Sunday, November 16, 2014

Enjoy the Moment Listen for the Ping

 My friend Sheryl Rule is a food writer and sometime philosopher.  Her blog is filled with thoughtful observations topped off with wonderful recipes.  Yesterday's post was about what she calls the Ping moment in our lives.  That sound that she hears the ball hit her tennis racket and is on its way to the spot she aimed for.  A perfect moment.  We all have them, hope to hear them often, and are filled with pleasure then it happens.   What's yours?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

How Do I Get There?

When we ask the question - How Do I Get There? - these days most often the reply is – just check Google maps or plus it into your nav system.  It’s easy. 

But sometimes we are looking for something special.  Sometimes we want a piece of paper, something we can hold in our hands, unfold while standing on a corner in a new city wondering where we are.   The paper map may not be the first choice but sometimes it’s the best choice.

In Memphis and want to know where Elvis lived, ate, signed up for the army?  Check the map produced by Alan and Grossman and Andrea Shaw with over100 points of interest for Elvis Fans.  (

Curious about kissing in France (is it on cheek, two or four? ) or want to know what countries are landlocked, surrounded by other counties as is the case for the Kingdom of Lesotho?  Search through Frank Jacob’s book the Book of Strange Maps.

While we know who created the Memphis guide to Elvis, it’s unusual to even think about who makes all these handy maps. How do they do it and why?  Read Ken Jennings book  Maphead:  Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks.

Whether the maps are on line or in print individuals, cartogrpahers,  create them for us to enjoy and to help us navigate the world we inhabit.   Take a moment and say a quiet Thank You to them all.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Food for the Holidays

A buffet of Jello
This morning Iistening to NPR I heard an interview with a Chef about food for the Day of Dead celebration.  In his restaurant the food linked to the holiday will be available throughout November.

What captured my interest was the idea that when the family gathers, in addition to the traditional sweet breads, the menu is expected to include dishes favored by ones ancestors.  Those who are honored at the gathering.    It seems a lovely way to keep the memories and the spirit of the family alive through the generations.

Then it occurred to me that Thanksgiving about to be celebrated November 27 in the US, includes food in the same way.  In every family that I know there are certain dishes included partly because Aunt Susie or Grandma Jean always made them.  They are served  in remembrance of someone no longer with us.  Maybe it’s sausage stuffing.  Creamed onions.  Green beans with cream of mushroom soup.  In our family it’s Nana’s cranberry/sour cream/pineapple jello.  For some a frightening pink concoction.  For others a reminder of Nana.  At our table pink jello provides a way to link one generation to the next.

As we move into the holiday season, filled with food and drink.  Take a minute and think about who created that special (if unusual) dish that appears on your table every year.