Friday, September 25, 2009

Dancing Man

Have you ever wanted something, I mean really, truly wanted something? Then as years go by your wanting doesn't diminish but it becomes clear you're not going to get it. So if you’re like me you start thinking of other ways to satisfy that desire but none of them bring the same degree of satisfaction. Its out of your hands you need someone else to bring it to you, and that’s not happening.

I'm married to a great guy. I mean a great guy. Ask anyone who knows him and they'll tell you, he's a great guy. There is one thing, though, he has never been a dancing man.

One of the disappointments of my life is not marrying a dancing man. I know, in the grand scheme it might seem petty but little things matter. It’s the little things that come together to make the fabric of lives….sorry cotton.

I love to dance; I've always loved to dance. I'm not especially good at it but I'm not awful either. In our younger days we'd go to a club and after a few cocktails he might dance but his heart wasn’t in it. He just wasn’t a dancing man!

As time passed I got busy with life and children and for the most part forgot about dancing, but never completely. I didn't want to grow old with the knowledge that all my dancing was behind me! So from time to time at gift giving occasions I'd ask my husband for dancing lessons for the two of us.

The surprise of my life came this year when my husband gave me dancing lessons for my birthday. I don’t know what changed his mind. He doesn’t know either. It just seemed like a good idea.

We've had two lessons. We recently reached the point where it feels like we're dancing instead of practicing dancing. He twirls me and moves me around the kitchen floor. Feeling angry at one another? Turn on the radio and dance. Feeling sad, frustrated, depressed or uncertain? Dance! It is impossible to be unhappy while dancing. Before you know it we're twirling and laughing. Me and my dancing man!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mom's Birthday Apple Tart

At the center of my mother's life has always been food. From a grandmother who died of malnutrition in the Depression to a beloved aunt who taught her how to love with food to mothering five children.......... in her adult life she worked in a brownie factory and managed a restaurant........... my mother was a foodie before foodie was a word. On September 12th she turned 79. These days her food obsession runs mostly to the Food Network and food websites. I swear in her heyday she could have originated and run the Food Network. She was a tireless and inspired task master!

Mom didn't ask for much on her birthday but she wanted an apple tart and she loves the one Jacques Pepin's mother used to make. He gives the recipe in his autobiography, The Apprentice. I think its not so much the tart, though it is good, as the fact that its Jacques's mother's recipe and my mother loves Jacques and his story and his devotion to his mother.

We woke up early the morning of mom's birthday because we were hot. The air conditioner stopped working in the night and it was stuffy and stale in the house. There would be no repairman out until after 2. Mom said the tart would have to wait until the afternoon because if we turned on the oven the house would get even more uncomfortable, not that it was that bad but we didn't know how long we'd be without AC or how hot it might get.

The short of it is the air conditioner couldn't be repaired that day and my mom didn't get Madame Pepin's Apple Tart for her 79th birthday. Hardee's apple tarts served as our substitute treat and we sang Happy Birthday to MiMi while she alternately glowed and hid her eyes. Tears come easily to Mom, especially happy tears.

We've all gone back to our homes and lives and Mom is alone again in her home in the country; but thanks to the Food Network and the internet she can carry on with her passion for food!

Thank you Hardee's for being there when we needed you. Your tart's aren't bad I'll admit but they are not Madame Pepin's Apple Tart so I owe you one Mom!