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Wendy’s Birthday Weekend, 2022-09-17

Wendy’s Birthday Weekend, 2022-09-17

What a busy week/weekend for the Vogel household, especially for me (see below), but we made sure Wendy was busy and had a great time on her birthday weekend. On Monday, September 12, 2022, I started a new job that I am absolutely loving so…

Iron Chef Masahiko Kobe – RIP, 2019-03-14

Iron Chef Masahiko Kobe – RIP, 2019-03-14

Yesterday, I learned of the passing of Iron Chef Masahiko Kobe (on March 14, 2019). I didn’t know that he’d passed. He was the youngest of the original Iron Chefs. Kobe was considered “Iron Chef Italian” and the “Prince of Pasta”, even though he lost…

Dinner for Dear Friends

Dinner for Dear Friends

On Saturday 2022-04-09, Wendy & I hosted a dinner for some dear friends we haven’t spent enough time with in too long. Wendy set a beautiful table while I prepped and executed the food. It was a good chance to ‘stretch my culinary legs‘ a little bit before my hip replacement at the end of the month. And we’re recognizing the 25th wedding anniversary of M&M! Congrats, you two. Many happy returns of the day, and thanks for letting us celebrate with you!

Here’s a picture just before the candles were lit…

The menu was as follows:

  1. Cheese & Bubbly Welcome
  2. Roasted Shallot Custard
  3. Wild Mushroom Soup + Hazelnut Gremolata
  4. Duck, Cherry, Pistachio Terrine + Green Salad
  5. Scallop + Truffled Pea Puree (no pictures of this course, darn it)
  6. Pork Tenderloin + Parsnip Potato Puree + Blasted Broccoli + Cranberry Apple Compote
  7. Sticky Toffee Pudding
Unfathomable at Game Night

Unfathomable at Game Night

At game night last night (with Wendy, Grant, and Wes), we played UNFATHOMABLE by Fantasy Flight Games. From the developer’s website: The year is 1913. The steamship SS Atlantica is two days out from port on its voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Its unsuspecting passengers fully anticipated…

Wendy’s 50th Birthday Dinner

Wendy’s 50th Birthday Dinner

Wendy had a significant <ahem> birthday on September 17, 2021. We celebrated on September 19 with 8 folks (Wendy, Beth, Summer, DJ, Alex, Jay, Greg, and me) at our house. The menu is included here and some pictures of the food! As a welcome, we…

2020 Happy Mouth Members Poll

2020 Happy Mouth Members Poll

As we leave 2020, I asked the members of Happy Mouth the following critical questions.

  • What time do you wake up in the morning?
    • Wendy: 7:30
    • Ron C: About 6:00 on weekdays. Sleep in on weekends.
    • Beth: As late as possible
    • Jay: When my bladder tells me it’s time (GAWD, I’m old)
    • Kristy: Earlier than I would like
    • Tracy: 8/830a. Unless I have a grandson, then it’s 6:30a.
    • Tara: As late as possible
    • Andrew: 7:10a, though my bladder often wakes me at 5a. It’s good when I can get back to sleep!
  • If you could eat lunch with one famous person who would it be?
    • Wendy: Terry Pratchett, but he’s dead
    • Ron C: Ethel Kennedy, the widow of my hero
    • Beth: Katherine Hepburn, well maybe Michelle Obama now
    • Jay: Neil deGrasse Tyson
    • Kristy: I can’t pick just one – Dolly Parton, Ron Howard, and Lin Manuel Miranda
    • Tracy: Maya Angelou
    • Tara: Meryl Streep
    • Andrew: Jacques Pepin

  • Gold or Silver?
    • Wendy: Gold
    • Ron C: Gold, I guess. Not a big jewelry person.
    • Beth: Silver
    • Jay: Silver
    • Kristy: Silver
    • Tracy: Silver. But I wouldn’t turn down either.
    • Tara: Silver
    • Andrew: Silver
  • Favorite TV shows:
    • Wendy: Firefly, Great British Bake-Off
    • Ron C: Star Trek (all of them), The Twilight Zone, The West Wing, WKRP in Cincinnati, Cheers, and The Bob Newhart Show.
    • Beth: Firefly (duh), M*A*S*H
    • Jay: Firefly. The Carol Burnett Show, The Muppet Show, WKRP in Cincinnati
    • Kristy: The Andy Griffith Show and Schitt’s Creek
    • Tracy: The Crown, The Mandalorian, The Masked Singer, This Is Us, Succession
    • Tara: Marvelous Mrs. Mazel, This Is Us
    • Andrew: What Wendy said, though I go further afield in my show choices!

  • What’s for breakfast?
    • Wendy: Morning Summit cereal with blueberries and Almond Milk
    • Ron C: Only a banana on weekdays. Sometimes more on weekends.
    • Beth: Currently intermittent fasting until noon, but ideally breakfast sammies on everything bagel
    • Jay: Toast, eggs, and ham/bacon/sausage… some form of porky goodness
    • Kristy: A cherry nutrigrain bar and a Diet Coke
    • Tracy: Yogurt, a veggie muffin and coffee.
    • Tara: Coffee
    • Andrew: Diet Mt. Dew and something from the following list: Pastry bars, eggs, cheese sticks, cereal, and (on Fridays) a Wendy’s Sausage Egg & Cheese Classic.
  • Can you touch your nose with your tongue?
    • Wendy: No, but I can touch it with someone else’s.
    • Ron C: No.
    • Beth: That’s what she said
    • Jay: Nope
    • Kristy: No
    • Tracy: Nope… and don’t want to
    • Tara: No
    • Andrew: Not even close. Cookie duster tickles my tongue!
  • Who/what inspires you?
    • Wendy: Interesting trees
    • Ron C: Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future and the hope that we’ll one day achieve it.
    • Beth: My parents
    • Jay: Anybody who can do anything really well
    • Kristy: My friends and family and my camera
    • Tracy: Ingenuity, Resilience, Perseverance
    • Tara: Passion, kindness
    • Andrew: I really enjoy passionate people, no matter what they’re passionate about.
  • Don’t leave me in a room with:
    • Wendy: Spiders or warm chocolate chip cookies, for very different reasons
    • Ron C: Bunker Boy (aka 45) or any of his delusional followers.
    • Beth: Tarantulas, and unnamed former members of HM
    • Jay: A honey badger.
    • Kristy: Maggots (I will cry and throw up all at once)
    • Tracy: Snakes, stupid people
    • Tara: People I don’t know but have to talk to
    • Andrew: Candy. It gonna get gone.
  • Your middle name?
    • Wendy: Anne
    • Ron C: Lee
    • Beth: Elizabeth
    • Jay: Dallas
    • Kristy: Lynn
    • Tracy: Marie – after my grandmother
    • Tara: Lynnea
    • Andrew: Philip (or Phillip – I legitimately don’t know the correct spelling)
  • Beach or city?
    • Wendy: Beach
    • Ron C: City
    • Beth: Oooo… City
    • Jay: Beach
    • Kristy: Mountains ?
    • Tracy: I’d say Beach first, but I love Chicago and Napa
    • Tara: City
    • Andrew: Beach, but I love exploring cities!
  • Favorite Ice Cream
    • Wendy: Graeter’s Toffee Chip
    • Ron C: Not a big ice cream person. The ice cream in the middle of a hot fudge cake, I guess.
    • Beth: Mint chip
    • Jay: Vanilla
    • Kristy: Raspberry sorbet or salted caramel
    • Tracy: Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip
    • Tara: Vanilla Bean
    • Andrew: There’s a Goat Cheese & Sour Cherry ice cream that I really like…
  • Popcorn: buttered, plain, or salted?
    • Wendy: Buttered and salted
    • Ron C: Buttered and salted
    • Beth: Butter, salt, and parmesan
    • Jay: Buttered and salted
    • Kristy: Buttered and salted
    • Tracy: Buttered and lightly salted
    • Tara: Buttered and salted
    • Andrew: Light butter, salted
  • Favorite color?
    • Wendy: Pink by default
    • Ron C: White, because it contains all other colors (stolen from Andy Bernard on The Office)
    • Beth: Purple
    • Jay: Plaid
    • Kristy: Orange and yellow
    • Tracy: Earth tones
    • Tara: Blue
    • Andrew: Red, I think. It’s the color of my meeples in board gaming. And pink, of course.
  • How many keys on your keyring?
    • Wendy: Two
    • Ron C: Six
    • Beth: WTF. 6, plus two plastic tags for stores I never use
    • Jay: Three keys and a couple of multitools
    • Kristy: No idea, but more than I need or use (mystery keys)
    • Tracy: I have a couple of key rings. The one with the most has 6. Not sure what they all belong to
    • Tara: 2
    • Andrew: I have a “compound keyring” – a keyring (with 4 keys) with an additional keyring (with 5 keys) attached to it. And my car’s key fob as well. So I think that’s 10… I know what 4 of them go to.
  • Favorite sandwich fillings?
    • Wendy: Turkey, gouda, mayo, pickle
    • Ron C: BLT
    • Beth: Chicken salad, tuna salad with bell peppers
    • Jay: Burgers (YES, burgers are a sandwich, dammit!)
    • Kristy: Honey, ham, mayo, lettuce or chicken salad on a croissant
    • Tracy: Corned Beef or Pastrami, Swiss Cheese, and Sauerkraut on Rye
    • Tara: Roast beef and cheddar
    • Andrew: Gruyere, roasted turkey, a little mayo… Mmm…
  • Can you juggle? If yes, how many?
    • Wendy: Yes, poorly. Three.
    • Ron C: No
    • Beth: None many
    • Jay: Yes, three items only. Never worked my way up into higher numbers
    • Kristy: Oh Lordy, no! Have you met this klutzy girl?
    • Tracy: Heavens no!
    • Tara: No
    • Andrew: I can juggle 1 or 2 balls reasonably well. Adding a third is where it starts to crumble.
  • Red wine or white wine?
    • Wendy: Red wine that smells like feet
    • Ron C: Neither. I’ll have a beer.
    • Beth: Yes please
    • Jay: Depends on the meal and my mood
    • Kristy: Red is always good, but I love a great white, especially in the summer
    • Tracy: Red… and lots of it
    • Tara: Yes
    • Andrew: Either, with a preference toward red.
  • Fizzy or still water?
    • Wendy: Still
    • Ron C: Fizzy
    • Beth: Fizzy
    • Jay: Fizzy
    • Kristy: Still
    • Tracy: Fizzy
    • Tara: Still
    • Andrew: Still

Thanks to the members of Happy Mouth who responded!

First Snowfall of 2020

First Snowfall of 2020

“It’s the very first snowfall, of a very long year.,..” — Over the Rhine This morning, we woke up to a thin coating of snow on the ground. Seeing a blanket of white is a bit surprising, but then I realized it is December 1,…