A Summer Dinner to Remember

Right now the summer bounty is so plentiful Meg doesn’t even know what to do with it all. Tomatoes, corn and zucchini are all begging to be used in the kitchen, but Meg can only listen to so many vegetables clamoring at once for their turn on her countertop. What, they don’t talk to you, like they do me?

In any case, it the abundance factor sparked a funny memory for Meg that she decided to share with you, and that was the worst summer meal she ever had. Let’s begin:

Once upon a time on the magical island of Nantucket, the family vacationed in a rustic beach house. And the use of the house didn’t come cheap, because Meg’s family were really the cheap (un) hired labor. The owners required tasks for use of the house; and they had accounts at local hardware stores, but dammit, not the liquor store. One tidbit Meg and Ain’t Misbeehaven cleverly gleaned while waiting in line to purchase booze, was that Kathie Lee Gifford had life sized statues of her kids in the front yard of her house. No surprise there, eh?

Anyway, Meg digresses.

Once in awhile, after a hard day of painting stairs the color of the ocean and and cleaning the bedroom with sixteen windows, Meg and Ain’t Misbeehaven wanted to hit a restaurant with their hubbies and take a little break. This particular year, the girls decided to try someplace trendy, which was a little out of their usual wheelhouse. The sisters called the spiffy oceanside establishment for a reservation and were told the dress was “smart casual”. The men were all like “do our pants need a certain IQ“?

Calm down boys, we said, just wear some khakis and a golf shirt. We’ll take care of the rest.

The couples arrived at the restaurant and were seated, and they perused the menu with delight. Meg and her brother in law chose the tuna, accompanied by garlic mashed potatoes and fresh green beans, because how the heck can you screw that up? In the meantime, they noshed on bread and rolls, had some cocktails, and relaxed.

Soon, the meals came, and we thought there as a mistake. Meg saw what looked to be a piece of fish, but where WAS THE REST OF HER STUFF?

When queried, the waitress explained the dish was composed.

Composed dish? And by composed, I don’t mean it was cool, calm and collected. Yeah, composed in the 90’s meant arranged in stacks and angles so it all looked fancy. Still, there was an expectation some food should on the plate, NOT AIR.

The tuna was placed on the thin layer of potato, and peeking through that layer there looked to be some chives. But guess what? Those chives weren’t chives, they were the smallest GREEN BEANS on the planet, the babiest haricot verts she has ever seen. She can’t imagine who even picked them from the garden, she imagines the Lollipop Kids from the Wizard of Oz.

Well, what can you do? Call for that bread basket to be filled over and over and over again. And maybe one more time for good measure until we all resembled Poppin’ Fresh and were ready to blow from carbohydrate overload.

We all learned a lesson that night, and that was when the going gets tough, keep asking for more bread. And oh, by the way, the place went out of business by the end of the summer. But the bread WAS good.

Remind Meg to tell you the story of how the men were late because they played golf with a guy who’s hands were blown off by lightning. Meg still has yet to this day to get a coherent explanation about that.


Potpourri – The Double Jeopardy Edition.

Hey kids, how have you been? Meg hasn’t been able to put together a coherent thought in a week or so, so it’s a good morning for the Potpourri edition, featuring Double Jeopardy. Why DOUBLE JEOPARDY you ask?

The past week, Meg has been in an organizing and cleaning frenzy, where the frenzy equals some pending visits from real estate agents. Now Meg has set this all up herself, in order to save herself some pain later on this fall as she plots her move to the Lone Star State. (which she thinks sounds more romantic than Texas) Just so you know, Meg has never met a real estate agent she liked. Last time the family shopped for a house, they found their own damn house. And her other house sold in a day, so Meg’s pretty sure she was totally responsible for that, too.

Anyway, here’s her old office:

And here’s the new one:

The amount of files and paper she burned in a cathartic campfire was extensive, and she’s happy to see a nice spacious, modern office, that will please all who walk through her humble abode.

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In other news, her dog has learned a new trick, the one where he jumps on the bed. And no matter how hard you try and make the bed, your dog will take his paw and place it gently on your hand, because it’s TIME FOR A WALK.

And you just go, “oh well, let’s roll Jack”!

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August brings the farmers market, and Meg has been serving grilled zucchini with feta and roasted peppers:

YUM!

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August also brings sales, and that means Meg can hit the expensive boutique downtown to score some cute stuff for her trip to France:

Meg especially likes the turquoise tunic dress, which she can envision wearing on the sundeck of a little boat in France next month.

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Finally, Meg hopes you all are Jeopardy winners this Tuesday!


When Hair Goes Bad

Dear Mama Kat,

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the most egregious fashion moments of our lives. This blog will not only expound on several important topics, it will provide concrete visual evidence that several trends of the 90’s should never ever appear again in the United States of America, with perhaps the lone exception of the Jersey Shore.

Without further adieu, I bring you THE PERM:

This is Meg and her sister Ain’t Misbeehaven in Nantucket, circa sometime in the early 90’s. Note they are both sporting tightly wound perms, heavily sprayed into place with Aqua Net. Sorry Bee, if I outed myself, I had to out you, too.

Meg is seriously concerned about the fluorocarbons she has used; contributing to a hole in the ozone layer. She can hear the polar ice caps cracking, and icebergs collapsing. Good God, what could she have been thinking?

In another vacation mishap, Meg, and again her sister, Mom and cousin all decided to sport matching sweatshirts:

That in itself isn’t so bad, but please note Meg is sporting some aqua stirrup pants. Apparently her sister is looking on in disapproval, and Meg can see why. She also notes her attire includes a heinous baseball cap and some sort of dangling earrings, and all she knows is the outfit is a cry for help. What kind of help, she isn’t sure.

Meg is happy a new century has dawned, and she can finally be halfway comfortable that a photo of herself won’t be used as a Glamour Don’t:

And girls, don’t let perms and stirrup pants HAPPEN to YOU.


I Can’t Help Myself Friday. The Olympic Edition.

It’s Friday, the the Summer Olympics are wrapping up. You know, the TV show with all the beach volleyball and a myriad of scintillating interviews with Jenna Bush Hager? And Al Roker telling us what petrol is? Jesus, does he think none of us have not watched Downton Abbey? I think we are all hip to the Brit slang, Al.

Anyway, Meg thought she would recap some of her favorite Olympic moments. Shall we start with the opening ceremonies?

Seriously, Jon Stewart is not my fake husband for nothing.

Meg enjoyed gymnast Aly Raisman’s parents as they stuck their uneven bars routine:

Ryan Lochte only has time for one night stands. Says his MOM.

Ryan, stop talking and get rid of the grill. I’d rather you spend that money on a nice sports car.

I kinda felt bad for vaulter McKayla Maroney:

Check out what other things she’s not impressed by, besides her silver medal.

Who knew synchronized swimming could be this scary?

And for more terrifying makeup and noseplug photos, head over here, if you dare.

My favorite event was the sailing, as called by Ireland:

So proud to be Irish!

Well kids, it’s all over but the closing ceremonies, and Meg is praying they extinguish the Olympic cauldron with Ryan Seacrest. Guess what Ryan, you are no longer safe.


With Apologies To Mom…

This week, Mama Kat asked “what meal did you dread growing up“? Meg is sure you all have memories of yet another plate of American Chop Suey or a slab of fried SPAM. And yes, SPAM is a food, as well as errant email sent by a bank in Hong Kong, the one where you won the million dollar sweepstakes.

Meg is positive her Mom was challenged on a weekly basis as what to feed her fussy troops, but she believes there was no more
challenging time than the Lenten season. Once Fat Tuesday was over, the crying really did start, especially on Friday nights. What to serve for that meatless meal?

Well, there was always a frozen pizza:

There were the ubiquitous fish sticks:

And we all know ketchup served as the vegetable portion!

But nothing brought more dread than this:

TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE.

Now the dish morphed over the years. It started off with egg noodles, some sort of white sauce and a can of tuna. Eventually, breadcrumbs were added. Then a version with sour cream to make it fancy. Then crunchy potato chips to add a layer of salt and texture.

Still, it remained a TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE. Eventually, the family was liberated from the casserole when Meg and her sister started cooking and turned their Mom’s meatloaf into tacos. They were creative like that.

Meg imagines the last time she ate this dish was sometime on the mid-seventies, but it still resonates as the dish she is most likely never to eat ever again in her lifetime; with that casserole forever seared into her taste buds. And don’t think adding truffle oil is going to change her mind about this dish, either.