All of us at one point begin to experience “senior moments”. Last week I found my ice tea container in the hall closet. This would be less extraordinary but for the fact it was filled with tea and lemons. Later in the morning I called for Mouse the Cat for an hour outside. Slightly panicking as she always responds when I clap for her, worry set in. Talking to myself, another sign that the brain has shifted into low gear, I went downstairs. Behind the closed door to her “apartment” I heard a plaintive “meow”. Opening the door she looked at me like, “Really? I cannot come in, if you do not put me out.”
Along this vein, a friend, Miss L., called me early yesterday morning. Miss L. is from the generation before me, but bright and witty and very much in the now. From the caller ID I knew who was on the line. Five minutes of giggling ensued before I understood a word she was saying. Once composed, the events of her day unfurled like a poorly hung sail. Before she’d share a word, I was sworn to secrecy lest her children put her in a home. Widowed several years ago, her son encouraged her to move in with his family. Not particularly lined up in thinking with her daughter-in-law, Miss L. declined. Certain he was more versed in what was best for his mother than she herself did, after much cajoling the lovely old family home was sold and a room prepared for Miss L. one floor above her children. This was not going well. According to Miss L., she recently discovered a brochure tucked inside the pages of a Consumer’s Digest on her daughter-in-law’s coffee table. It included rates and pictures of a retirement village in the midwest (they live on the west coast). “Not one of those luxurious setups with a golf course and buff young tennis instructors in tight white shorts” (wink), Miss L. went on to explain, “looked more like a secluded, well wooded location with tall grass all around, where you could safely drop off those pesky excess old folks, no questions asked.”
As her story unfolded, it seemed that Miss L., a creature of habit, stops at the same McDonald’s en route to her hair appointment every Monday morning. Yesterday, having another errand on the way, she chose a different route. Hungry, but long past her usual haunt, she stopped at a much larger, and totally unfamiliar McDonald’s. Facing two drive thru lanes, she chose one and totally discombooberated, drove directly to the window without stopping to place her order. At the window, she was greeted by a young lady wearing a pleasant smile, who said she had wondered if Miss. L. was planning on stopping by or was simply passing through. Red faced, the order was placed and money exchanged. Accepting her change, Miss L. once again apologized for such stupidity. Offering the young woman a wave and a smile, she drove off. It only took a moment to realize she’d left her Egg McMuffin and mocha behind her at the window. Now, she had to park, go in and explain her dilemma. Inside, the young lady was waiting bag in hand. Miss L. says she will never again darken their doors.
About two months ago a friend asked me to take her to Costco as she had never been. I explained it was like Disneyland for Foodies. Once we had eaten all the samples offered and explored the vast aisles, she was ready to sign up. Paying for our purchases, we went to the customer service area to fill out paperwork. Once completed, Miss M. was instructed to step over to the red screen on the wall to have her picture taken. Walking over to the screen, Miss M. stood back to us and waited for the camera to capture her likeness. After an uncomfortable minute waiting for my friend to realize her mistake, the clerk cleared her throat and said, “Excuse me ma’am, we really need to have your face on the card”. Can you see me rolling my eyes?
My mother did a classic. Sorry, Mom, everyone’s fair game on my blog. I may have told this story on her before, but here I go again. About twenty years ago I dropped her off at the San Francisco airport to catch a flight to Burbank (Southern California) to visit a friend. Unloading her bags, she declined my offer to accompany her inside assuring me she was not a child who needed help finding the appropriate gate. Not fully convinced as my mother is known for her dreadful sense of orientation, I reluctantly went on to work.
San Francisco to Burbank was a short flight so not long after I’d seated myself at my desk, the phone rang. It was Mother’s friend in Burbank saying my Mother had never gotten off the plane.
Meanwhile, back on the plane, my mother was in the air asking the woman seated next to her why the flight attendant was providing them with weather updates for Portland, Oregon. Told that was where they were going, the call button was pushed. Mother, it appeared, was the only southern bound passenger on the northern bound plane. In Portland, the airline called it their error putting my mother up in an airport hotel for the night and providing dinner. The following morning she was escorted to the gate where her ticket was checked several times before she boarded the plane for Burbank. Love you Mom.
Guess all of us over forty are beginning to experience a bit of rusting in the gears. I can handle it, but I wish Mouse would be a bit more patient,
These fritters were lovely and light, and the salsa makes the dish. Had to share this pic of baby and kitten. How very sweet.
Crispy Corn Fritters with Tomato and Feta Salsa
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 large ears of fresh corn kernels
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
4-6 Tbsp. oil
Sour cream and chives for garnish.
Remove kernels from corn. Place in small mixing bowl with chopped green onion and refrigerate until ready to use.
Mix together dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and garlic powder).
In separate small bowl whisk together milk, eggs, and melted butter. Mix wet ingredients into dry until just blended. Cover with clean dish towel and let rest for 30 mins.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with paper towels. Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in large skillet over med-high heat. Fold corn and green onions into batter mixture. Working in batches (putting the first batch when done in oven on prepared cookie sheet to keep warm) drop in 2 Tbsp. increments into hot oil and slightly flatten with spatula.
Cook until brown on one side (about 3 mins.), turn and repeat on other side. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Add extra oil, if necessary, between batches. Serve with salsa. Serves 6.
Tomato and Feta Salsa
1 large avocado, seeded and chopped
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 Serrano pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1/3 cup crumbed Feta cheese
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/4-1/3 cup Seasoned rice vinegar
6 large basil leaves, rolled and chopped fine
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix together all vegetables in a large bowl. Add feta cheese. Squeeze juice of 1/2 lime over top. Refrigerate until ready to use. Add vinegar slowly, mixing and tasting until all ingredients covered. Serve with fritters.