You axed for it---have a cuppa!!!
  Re: (...)
Okay—you AXED for it!!!

My journey

First of all, I must mention that I (we) spent a glorious six weeks with my Mom, and one with daughter Wendy. Wendy escorted Mom to Cape Town after meeting her in Atlanta for the overseas flight. There were glitches, as always, but they finally arrived 18 hours after the original time of arrival. NO PROBLEM! Mom is diabetic so that was a bit of a dilemma with her insulin but Wendy was a star!!!

I made tons of recipes out of C@H and from the Share a Recipe cookbook----things I knew my Mom would love!! While Wendy was here it was a bit more complicated—she loves my more intricate recipes re: bouillabaisse, beef Wellington, a Chinese extravaganza (she doesn’t get that in Scottsdale, AZ), Turkey with all of the sides (she missed Thanksgiving), chopped liver—(YUCK!!!) and the Japanese pork cutlets. That was easy because those were her requests!! I couldn’t believe the appetite of this young lady—I guess home cooking makes a difference, after all. I HAD NO LEFTOVERS!!!

The remainder of time with Mom was catch what ever spirit moves you---she was pleased with her visit and what a treat for me. It was wonderful to spoil her rotten!! We did everything Mom and daughter should do together (but most times don’t) before it is too late. Manicures, pedicures, hairdresser etc. I never do those things on my own!!!

Soooo—I escorted Mom back to Massachusetts, uneventful journey except a delay of about 2 hours in Johannesburg—caught up the time en route. As we were going through customs in Atlanta, guess who was stopped and searched and everything was confiscated out of her carry-on –you got it!!! I had NO IDEA that traveling required putting any liquids in a quart size zip lock---mine was in a gallon---GONE in a heartbeat. I was in tears because I had some very expensive perfume and cosmetics in there. But nobody died, I guess. The inspector must have had a bad night before OR he was on a power play—I lost tons of good stuff there. To make matters worse, I had just assisted with transporting six wheelchair passengers (not enough staff at Atlanta) and they all had to go through my humiliation---UGH!!! I was soooo embarrassed.

We arrived at my Mom’s home (a seniority complex) and, of course, had to immediately go shopping---after a major haz-mat showering!!

Well, I cannot begin to tell you about the experience!!! I was salivating over the deli counter----what you all take for granted!!! I had to “taste-test” everything!!! The cheeses and gourmet meats were incredible, beyond belief!!! Now I’m talking about Stop and Shop and Food Mart----no comparison to what you all converse about but I was totally enthralled. The seafood selection is beyond anything that I could wish for here. I purchased scallops ---the BIG ones---I’m deprived!!! That was our first dinner in Springfield. I had no opportunity to have Maine lobster, for some strange reason they were not available. The selection of veggies and salad ingredients made me think I died and went to heaven. The choices in the most simple food items—pasta sauces, pastas, Asian or Mexican ingredients, soups, cheeses, sour creams, light butters—and the bread selection---OHHHH!!! BEN AND JERRY’S !!!! You have it all!!! I know I am not mentioning exotic stuff here, but this was exotic with respect to what I experience on a daily (shopping) basis. YOU ALL ARE VERY LUCKY!!!

I had the wonderful experience of connecting with ALL of my family on my visit----there is no expression that can relate my feelings on that. The MOST special was with my son. He is presently living on Nantucket, an Island off of the Massachusetts coast. I had never been there before, and what a pleasant journey that was. He is an awesome son---managing chef for a very popular restaurant on the island---I’m so very proud of what he has accomplished. He now has plans to pursue a more intensive course with a culinary course at one of the Institutes---I sincerely hope that comes to fruition and will do everything in my power to assist with this positive endeavor. What a wonderful reunion we had---tears come as I think about it.

I also had the chance to do some “girl” shopping!!!! The opportunities here (in South Africa) are few and less. Clothes are made for the more “pear-shaped” woman here----very difficult for one who is 5’5” and 116 pounds. Anyway, I had a wonderful time at Macy’s, Lord and Taylor’s, Brooks Brothers, Bloomingdale’s---got a few “duds” for another ten years—maybe. I live in jeans and very casual tops. I had to go to the Boston area for clothes that fit---forgot what driving in Boston environs was---surprisingly courteous drivers ---I should say not as aggressive as to what I experience here. The locals are a nightmare---they don’t give an inch!!!

AND what you all are waiting for---I visited a Crack and Barrel, Williams and Sonoma, Le Sur Table, Barnes and Noble—didn’t walk out empty handed!!! I had to pack those goodies in packages to South Africa---can’t wait to pick them up tomorrow from the post office---I bought some of the silicone goodies, some cookbooks, a few packets of condensed sauce bases, gadgets that I didn’t have,----I could buy the entire selection of most everything but then I would be over indulging.

I was a little disappointed with the selection of knives. I really wanted to purchase a Santuko and a better prep knife but nothing seemed to feel comfortable in my hand. I think I tried everything available---just didn’t fit. Maybe next time.

You all must know how fortunate you are!!! Anything that you could wish is within reach---go for it if you have the inclination. I miss most of that and, even though we may not have the ready accessibility to the goods you have available, there is a
life we have created for ourselves in this corner of the world. It may not be ideal but I see many of our problems (politically and socially) very apparent in the US. We live a very pleasant lifestyle and try to keep low key. We are very patriotic Americans but are very distressed with the trend of the ordinary American---re: not aware of what the world is becoming. I don’t want to get political or philosophical here but I hope people wake up—it is a very different view from a foreign perspective--- they tend to be vehemently ANTI-AMERICAN!!!!

Support our troops—no matter what!!! Don’t let the political pundits take over!! It’s OUR country---speak up and be heard.


I will be happy to respond to questions and/or observations!!


Happy Good Friday to all!!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by Roxanne 21 (Okay—you AXED for it...)
Sounds like you had a wonderful trip (minus the customs experience!!). That can be a hassle for sure. I think we often take for granted all of the neat things we have access to. I was griping yesterday because my market didn't have golden beets for a recipe that I was making. But I guess we do have lots of things that we don't even realize are "exotic."

You're so luck to have visited Nantucket, and what a great position your son has there. I went to Nantucket many years ago and just LOVED it's charm. All of the artists painting on the streets, window flower boxes, cute houses, etc. Course I was there in the summer so you may not have seen that. We have relatives on Martha's Vineyard and go there every year, but it's just not quite like the quaintness of Nantucket.

Glad you had a nice trip

"Everything tastes better with wine"
  Re: Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by SDRecipeGirl (Sounds like you had ...)
OH Roxanne, what a wonderful time you've had with your family. Sounds like the travel went as well as could be expected. I'm so sorry that you didn't know about the quart bag's so aggravating but I assume there's a reason behind.

You're going to be looking 'hot' in your new duds plus cooking up a storm with your new books and accessories! It sounds better than Christmas!

Glad you had a super time!

Please spay and neuter your pets.
  Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by Roxanne 21 (Okay—you AXED for it...)
My dear Roxanne, would I ever like to take you to a Whole Foods and a few other places. What fun that would be. I know I whine about Meatball here, but after visiting other countries during my life I do know how lucky we are. I am so very glad you made it back home safe and sound.

I do believe the "silent majority" here is vaguely aware of what's going on, but just too damned lazy to get off their "pear shaped" bottoms.

What a wonderful, inspiring trip you had. Visiting family, cooking, and just being. The Japanese Pork Cutlets you made, were those the ones where you use mirin? I love that recipe.
Don't wait too long to tell someone you love them.

  Re: Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by bjcotton (My dear Roxanne, wou...)
Roxanne, thank you for sharing your adventures with all of us. I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. My great-aunt, Clara, (gone now) lived in Springfield all her life. Librarian, DAR and all that. Nantucket is great. I just love all of New England. That's wonderful that you got to connect with all of your family. You must be so proud of your son. Keep us posted on what he's up to.

You are so right to remind us how fortunate we are in this country. We have so much. May I ask how long you have lived outside the country? Can you expect to come back any time soon?


"Drink your tea slowly and reverently..."
  Re: Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by bjcotton (My dear Roxanne, wou...)
Yup--that's the one and they loved it too. Good recipe!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by Mare749 (Roxanne, thank you f...)
Maryann, We have lived in Cape Town for 14 years and have had a really good life here. A couple of years ago we decided to sell our home in order that we could return home and be closer to family. Our property is very unique and have had several offers but they came in too low. A couple of weeks ago we finally had the offer we were looking for---however, once we were presented with the potential reality of selling we decided to remain in our home. It is a very hard decision to leave our creation--our hearts and souls are in every nook and cranny....very difficult to explain the emotion. For now, we are here with no regrets.
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by Roxanne 21 (Maryann, We have liv...)
Great post, Roxanne - sound's like you had a wonderful time with your family. What cookbooks did you pick up? I can certainly understand your deciding not to leave your 'homestead' - that's kind of how we felt after all the work we put into the barn and vineyard. When you're ready, you'll be ready!!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by cjs (Great post, Roxanne ...)
Culinary Artistry---what a great find that is!! I also bought one to take to Jeff, my son. He was extremely pleased with that gift---says he refers to it often. Thanks for the heads up. Believe it or not, I just had the chance to skim through it TODAY. I have some serious hunkering down to do--kinda have the dwindles today but must get SOME work done that I have procrastinated against so far.

I also picked up a couple of Anthony Bourdain---just for the curiosity factor. He is quite the character! I also picked up some for another collection we are accruing--my those things are heavy!!!
"Never eat more than you can lift" Miss Piggy
  Re: You axed for it---have a cuppa!!! by Roxanne 21 (Okay—you AXED for it...)
We lived in South America for 8-1/2 years and each summer I would visit my parents for 2 months. We had to make pet food, from beef hearts and kitchen scraps. I would come home and see an aisle a half-mile long of pet food. I was like a kid in a candy store. Noone would go to the supermarket with me. Now I dread it so, I call it the stupormarket.

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