Happy Birthday, Louis!

November 16, 2017

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On My 75th Birthday: An Album of Photos

October 24, 2017

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With my maternal grandparents Bobe Jennie (aka “Bobe Bopsy”) and Papa Louie

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With my paternal grandmother Bobe Fannie

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With my paternal grandfather Papa Misch

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When I was 4, my mother took me uptown to Lorston Studios for a professional “portrait.” I love this photo!

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I became a big sister at age 6 when my brother Mel was born on November 28, 1948.

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With Mom and Dad

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From age 7 to 12, I went to summer sleepaway camp. I’m probably about 10 here. Note the saddle shoes, very popular in the 1950s.

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1956: Junior High School graduation. I was in what was called the “S.P.” (Special Progress). Grades 7, 8, and 9 were done in two years instead of three.

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1959: High school graduation. I hated my yearbook picture so much that I totally defaced it. I think this was taken instead. What is a mystery to me is why there are no photos at graduation since I imagine my dad must have taken some.

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1963: College graduation photo in yearbook. There are no graduation ceremony photos because I didn’t attend.

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Circa 1965. After college, I worked at a small ad agency before taking the NYC exam to become an English teacher. My first job was at Andrew Jackson H.S., the school I had attended. At the time I was teaching there, my brother was a senior. He took this photo of me marking papers.

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December 1967: Engagement announcement photo

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June 8, 1968

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On December 16, 1969, we moved into our house where we still reside.

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I became a mom when Jen was born on June 22, 1971.

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May 10, 2008: Mother of the bride

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New Year’s Eve 2015

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

October 20, 2017

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

This is a photo I never thought I’d be taking. Sure, I’ve posted pictures of our patio table set for dining many times before. But this one is different because of when it was taken. In October! Michael and I agree that in all the years we’ve been living here, we’ve never dined al fresco in October. Usually, when October arrives, we take the patio umbrella down. However, this year’s weather has been totally out of whack with summer temperatures of high 70’s and low 80’s lingering well into this month. So, why not take full advantage? We’d been eating our main meal of the day in the afternoon — very often on the patio throughout the summer — and that’s what we continued to do.

October 4

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Salad: Mixed Greens, NJ Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, Red Onion, Vinaigrette

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Lamb Chop (from Iceland); Eggplant “Sandwich” with Roasted Red Pepper, Goat Cheese & Red Onion; Hot Pepper

October 5

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Summer Squash “Gazpacho”

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Babyback Ribs

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Babybacks, NJ Sweet Potato, Homemade Cole Slaw

October 6

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Summer Squash “Gazpacho” with Homemade Croutons

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Spit-Barbecued Chicken, Grill-Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans Almondine, Hot Pepper

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Homemade Cherry Clafouti

October 7

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Chilled Zucchini Soup with Homemade Croutons

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Cheeseburger, Grilled Onions, Fries, and Pickle

(Note: No cheese on Michael’s burger. Instead of grilled onions, a slice of raw onion.)

A couple of days of rain and then back to outdoor dining.

October 10

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Salad: NJ Red & Yellow Tomatoes, Garden Mix Greens, Red Onion, Goat Cheese, Vinaigrette

At Home: Dining on the Patio in October!

Lamb Merguez (from D’Artagnan); Couscous with Dried Apricots, Dried Dates & Prunes; Hot Pepper

The weather then became fall-like — chilly during the day and frosty overnight — before turning into Indian Summer with daytime temperatures in the low to mid-70’s. However, because our backyard is very shady, it’s always much cooler there, making it too cool to eat outside. Michael took down the umbrella marking the official end of this year’s patio dining.

At Home: Umbrella Down

To view the complete set of photos on Flickr of our October al fresco meals, click here.

Dining Out: July – September 2017

October 7, 2017

Chez Catherine

July
New York City
Dinner:
Upland
Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse
Café Boulud
Fusco
Majorelle
The Pool

Lunch:
Empellon
ilili
Union Square Café

The Hamptons
Dinner:
EMP Summer House – 2

Lunch:
Jean Georges at Topping Rose House – 2

Breakfast:
Jean Georges at Topping Rose House – 2

August
New York City
Dinner:
italienne
Majorelle
The Grill
Eros Greek Restaurant
Gotham Bar & Grill

Lunch:
Covina
NoMad
The Modern Dining Room

Late Supper:
Lincoln

The Hamptons
Dinner:
EMP Summer House – 2

Lunch:
Jean Georges at Topping Rose House – 2

Breakfast
Jean Georges at Topping Rose House – 2

New Jersey
Dinner:
Anton’s at the Swan
Fromagerie
Stamna Greek Taverna

Lunch:
Chez Catherine – 2
Mistral

September
New York City
Dinner:
italienne
Majorelle
Vaucluse
Eros Greek Restaurant
Blue Smoke
Paul & Jimmy’s
Gramercy Tavern Dining Room (Rosh Hashanah)
Tocqueville (Rosh Hashanah)
ilili
Cherche Midi
italienne at the James Beard House
Ortzi

Lunch:
Made Nice
Gabriel Kreuther
Red Hook Lobster Pound (at Madison Square Eats)
Maialino
Local Leaf

Brunch:
Sarge’s Deli

New Jersey
Dinner:
Heirloom Kitchen

Autumn?

September 24, 2017

The Autumnal Equinox occurred on Friday, September 22nd, at 4:02 p.m. Summer seems not to have gotten the message that it’s over. The norm this time of year in NJ is 74 degrees. But today in Marlboro, we’ve got “Rozy weather”!

Autumn?

Rosh Hashanah 5778/2017-18

September 20, 2017

Rosh Hashanah Symbols

Shana Tova!

At Home: On Labor Day, Final Franks for the 2017 Summer Season

September 6, 2017

While Labor Day marked the unofficial end of summer, it was, as it always is chez nous, the official last day for franks this year.  I closed out the season (which began, also as usual, on Memorial Day Weekend) with the Hebrew National franks known as “specials.”

"Specials"

There were just the two of us. I served the usual accompaniments and drinks.

Batampte Sour Kraut & Garlic Dill Pickles

Batampte Sour Kraut & Garlic Dill Pickles

Homemade Cole Slaw

Homemade Cole Slaw

Deli Mustard

My Plate

Busch's Vegetarian Baked Beans

Busch’s Vegetarian Baked Beans

Sodas

Heirloom Tomatoes from the Clayton Family Farmstand

August 18, 2017

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

The heirloom tomatoes arrived at the Clayton Family Farmstead later than usual this year. Weather issues, they told me. A couple of weeks ago, they were ready. A baker’s dozen!

Documenting the evidence:

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

I bought this colorful assortment:

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

They also grow heirloom cherry tomatoes. I always buy those as well.

Clayton Family Farmstand, Freehold, NJ

Putting this bounty to good use:

At Home: Heirloom Tomato Salad

I dressed the heirlooms with a good sprinkling of sea salt, a light application of extra-virgin olive oil, and some fresh basil. Yes, lusciously delicious!

C & J Farms

August 1, 2017

C & J Farms

With the closure of Stattel’s Farm, there is just one farm left close to our house, C & J Farms. Their stand is located on Route 9 North, about 5 minutes away. (I regularly pass their growing fields along Tennent Road when driving to Route 9.) Though I’ve always known the stand was there, I wasn’t a regular customer. That is about to change.

C & J Farms

As you can see by the sign, they open at 9 a.m. But C & J’s hours have always puzzled me because I noticed that they always close sometime in the afternoon. So, I asked the young woman at the register if they had “regular” hours. (Stattel’s was open 9 to 6 daily except Wednesday during the summer months). She told me their afternoon hours depend on when they run out of their daily corn harvest. During the week, that’s usually between 2 and 3 p.m. But on weekends, around 1 p.m. Since they have lots of other produce, I asked why it depended on the corn supply. She replied that they have many customers who get very upset, even nasty, if there is no corn. Seems a mighty strange way to determine your business hours, don’t you think?

C & J Farms

C & J Farms

C & J Farms

C & J Farms

I was thrilled to see that they grow fairytale eggplant which I’d been getting at the Clayton Farm in Freehold. Shelves along the walls (which I didn’t photograph) hold lots of vegetables, including their own hot peppers. Michael loves them! A whole basket cost $1, way cheaper than buying then by the pound at Delicious Orchards. We had the corn at lunch yesterday. So sweet!

C & J Farms

At Home: A Totally Cloudless Sky

July 30, 2017

It’s pretty rare to have a totally cloudless sky around here. I first noticed it when driving back earlier from doing an errand. Even on days when, as today, the weather couldn’t be more perfect — low 80’s with no humidity — there are usually some clouds. But not today. Definitely needed to document the evidence.

At Home: Totally Cloudless Sky

At Home: Totally Cloudless Sky

At Home: Totally Cloudless Sky

For sure, this is “Rozy Weather”!