“Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway” John Wayne

"Rodeo Cowgirl"

I had a fork thrown in my road since my last post.

 I have silly health bits. Nothing I was too worried about.

Dizziness and ear popping had become quite bad. So before our last trip to the homeland I asked a Doctor, worried about my popping ears on a 10 hour flight.

Thinking I’d get some big drugs for popping ears. No. He said ‘ooh exciting….maybe a brain tumour‘.

 So back to my last post, The NHS could be a blog in itself.  So I have battled the NHS

for MRI’s and blood tests.

Spending romantic nights on the couch cuddled up to Dr Google.  Twisting his ear about crazy high ESR rates, high inflammation, and chance rates with cancer.

How to get the NHS to think like a mother. Thinking like a mother…. scary to think like a mother when tumor has been mumbled by a doctor.

Webs'r'us

So Dr Google and I have as backup plans researched self-healing, food as cure. I have eaten ginger, beets and turmeric. My ESR has dropped.

Yesterday nearly 6 months after it was first mentioned. 3 months after my appointment with a specialist. Month and half after my MRI.  I had a doctor finally say my brain is clear. No tumours, no MS. Blood tests have said other cancers should not be a worry.

I’ve spent the past months holding my babies worried I might not be lucky enough to have them slam doors in my face in 13 years.

  Oddly my Forking thoughts were never far behind.

No body could have convinced me of the absurd love I would have for my children before they were sprouts inside my tummy.

But this restaurant in my head has been clear since I remember. I’ve scouted locations since I was 4. Yes 4. I was talking my idea with an acquaintance. He said ‘Bit early to choose locations don’t you think?’   All I could do was giggle.

I can taste the fork. I can feel it so close now. 40 years of wanting.

I am not a religious person. I am a spiritual person.

The past few months have been my test from beyond.

How hard will I work for this? Is it the best thing for my family?

How big can my life dream be? How do my babies fit into this picture?

Can I be a great Mom and a great manager?

Can I be a great life partner to my husband and a great restaurant owner?

This test, this fork in the road has brought me to the realisation that I have to try.

I have to jump into this Forking dream with all my passion and love. My family needs this.

I can not spend my life wondering if my passion could’ve been discovered.

I could sell a million towels, tyres or tomatoes for someone else.

I would die wondering if I could have built a happy Forking existence for others to enjoy.

 So with a clean heart (and brain) and a heavy slate of passion and plans.

Here we go. I will spend a few hours a week on business plan.

I will schedule appointments with the bank to find out what to do in the next 3 years to make my self more appetising as a financial investment.

My Brain on MRI

My Brain on MRI (Photo credit: CaptPiper)

I will write up menus, floor plans, recipes.

I will consult those wiser than me. I’m blessed to know chefs, Pub landlady’s, and business people.

I will ask people what they want from their Forkful.

I will do my best to keep you updated on this crazy process. I feel clear and ready.

I’m still dizzy. It does not worry me like it did. I’ll just need to design the kitchen so I don’t have to carry large pots of boiling hot food across the kitchen.

So if you do not follow me….Please follow me. Share me. Write me. Share with me.

 It’s all good. For your sincere loyalty you will be first on our opening night guest list.

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“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. ” ― Elizabeth Stone

It may seem as though I have slipped off the face of the earth.

I would love to say it was in respect for my last post.

Stopping censorship and retaining Freedom of speech are crucial to our world today.

I fear the changes I see happening in my homeland.

Pink sky at night

The irony is that I now happily live in England. The land my family left for the freedom America offered. The 2 maybe  closing in on one another.

  This subject could easily be a blog in itself.

However I have new reasons why I can not visit this blog as often as I would like. More about this in a bit…

So I will occasionally throw in a bit here and there about my other love…Politics.

But mostly I want to get back on track. Sort out all these forking thoughts I have about food and my wish to bring it to others.

So you may notice it’s exactly a year since my last post. Some symbolism there. Thoughts about a year in silence….

PEACE

Not Quite. I have been very busy. Not just creating amazing plates of food thinking of satisfying my café guests one day. Not just creating new recipes using fresh creative ingredients.

I have been very busy creating a baby brother for my beautiful amazing EllaBee.

My body felt the challenge more than last time. Possibly all to aware of what it is doing. Going through.

I have scary pregnancies. Almost die, barely move 10 feet pregnancies. The first time I did not know this…the second I did. I was as ready as possible.

My first pregnancy I was lucky to survive with 10 pulmonary embolism‘s.

I spent the 1st year of EB‘s life being told ‘No More’. Then a year on my amazing hematologist finally broke down and said I was possibly stubborn enough to survive another.

I have the NHS to thank for my 2 amazing kids and my life. The NHS has its troubles… a whole other blog. But it IS better than nothing.

I wanted my baby girl to have a sibling.

It has been an important relationship to both my husband and I.

So now she’s got her baby brother, or ‘brudder’ as she says. Griff Bee, GB for short. He’s as wonderful as I could have ever dreamed of. Just like his big sister.

So here I am back…ish. I have intentions to grab this bull by the horns. Baby and 3-year-old allowing. I know how quickly this 3 years will speed by.  I am looking at this time as pre pre prep. Like taking folic acid…incase you get knocked up. I need to be ready.

I have built  business plans in my head for decades. NO honestly decades.

Since my sisters and I would play cafe.

I have tweaked it with every meal out and every restaurant visited.

I have one in my head for if some sweet sweet person wanted to drop a gazillion pounds in my lap.

I have one for making soup and homemade garlic and cheese biscuits in my kitchen  to sell at the market.

One for every version in between. I have a chain of forks in my head perfectly suited to university towns and seaside resorts.

A brew pub, we do not brew we are the first to bring the small guys together, here in Lil’ ol’ England.

I have images of flooring and art, tables and glasses.

It is out of control. So this year is the year of the business plan.

To get these babies on the plate… oh I meant paper.

So if I run into that gazillonaire….

I can give them something to clench their teeth into.

Something they just want another mouthful of….

you know how it is not wanting the mouthful to end……

Welcome back hopefully this is the forkfull you’ve been missing!

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. George Washington

NO to SOPA & PIPA

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.
George Washington

A happy family is but an earlier heaven.

A happy family is but an earlier heaven.
George Bernard Shaw

If you have followed my sisters blog, Step On a Crack, you know our family has its history. I come from a family where turmoil and anxiety is a way of living.

I have been blessed in my life. My sister and I have risen above. Our bond will not be severed. We have been able to redefine family.

I have been blessed in my life. I have married a nearly perfect family.

My husband has one sister. They have never fought. Well not enough to remember it the next day.

My mother in law and father in law are still deeply in love. You see it when they look at on another. They tease one another and adore one another.

My English family are able to laugh, smile and joke  in any situation. We have had family deaths and challenges since I joined “The Firm”. Their relationship to challenges is refreshing. I am not sure if this is what a ‘normal’ family is. But it is nice and refreshing.

So this brings me to an apology. I had my lovely In Laws down this past week. Best intentions. I had a few posts nearly ready but time slipped away. I again slipped of the face of Blearth. Blog=Earth.

I am back.

Refreshed from watching my daughters grandparents adore every second with her. They love her to bits and pieces. Maybe as much as I do.

She woke up this morning and went straight to the guest room. She came back crying for Nan-nan and Pop-Pop.
So we made pancakes for breakfast.
Had some cuddles.
Now she has a friend over for a play date.
My husband is monitoring 2-year-old nearly fights. I smell the fresh brewed coffee and am thinking of a nice french onion soup for dinner. The laundry is on starting the play catch up from the busy week.
We had some lovely meals this week. Some I will share with you.
Casa Pepe, our favourite local resteraunt.
My P in Laws had their 38 the Anniversary dinner there on Thursday. There 4th consecutive Anniversary dinner there
It is where we go for all our special occasions.
Opened in 1974 they are perfect at what they do…. more about that later.
Ok… off to slice some onions. Slow, low and long that’s what French onion soup wants. Hope to see you tomorrow.

I Had a Dream Last Night

Ossy's sandwich shop, Union Road, Oswaldtwistl...

I had a dream last night.

It was of the perfect little building. It was already a take-away sandwich shop. Serving mediocre cold food.

It was very busy. I was working there. It was not mine. Yet.

The people I was working with did not know I wanted it to be mine.

They were happy with how quick I was and Friendly with the customers.

I am a bit of a show pony. That is what we call it when many new people meet me. An American on the south coast of England. There are not many of us.

The outside was dingy. Old ratty pebble dash. The windows were dirty, The insides had stuff stacked in front of them.

The shelves behind the work counter had been merchandised some time in the 1980’s and left to age. They were a dirty old brown, meant to look like wood.

The beautiful wood floor had been painted dark brown.

The work counters were in front of a stair case. Filled with crap. Another thing un touched since the 1990’s.

Do they not realise that is seating area upstairs. With great views of the sea.

Then it was mine.

Later in the dream it was mine. I had friends come for a painting party.

I have spent years finely brainwashing people with food. Kind Neighbor will for a fact do anything….yes anything for buffalo wings.

We painted the outside white with a blue/ turquoise trim. We built a conservatory just off the front for a bit of added all season seating. Decking next to that, we are right on the beach.

Amazing Saint of a Plumber friend sorted out the pipes inside. He also built an outside shower to rinse of the sand, if you want. A little sand is not a problem.

Inside bead board wainscoting and shelves painted a nice accent turquoise. Everything else white. The floor stripped back to it’s virgin board, oiled and sealed. A couple new deli cases and stainless steel tables.

By the door shelving for fresh fruits and veggies you can buy and take with you. Silly to have it taking up our storage space. Upstairs painted and ready for table and chairs.

We stop to take breaks, there are tubes filled with cold drinks, wine and beer

(No alcohol if you’re using power tools. That was one of my dad’s wise rules he would have loved this.)

There is a bit of snack foods. Towards the end of the day I bring out the Crock Pot of BBQ ribs and bowls of salad Potato salad, green salad, cottage cheese salad

We turn the music up. We break in the decking with one mighty inaugural dance.

I love these people. I really do. They will be some of my regulars.

One difference.

They will eat for free for quite a while

Think of your favourite cafe…… Now read this!!!

Please heed this as a warning. Your old favourites maybe be desperate for your visit. In a time when it’s far to easy to find a satisfying deal at a chain. Yes your one visit may not save them. But every bit counts.
I have to admit I have not been back to M&D’s Cafe since I moved from Denver. The number of times I thought of it at the airport when leaving.
This place ruined me for fried chicken. Talk about love making food beautiful. I have not had fried chicken since my first visit, With out thinking if this place. Nothing will ever compare.
Someway I will find my husband and daughter a way to try proper soul food. But it won’t be M&D’s Cafe.

I found this posted on FB by a friend in Denver. It’s from the Westword the local events magazine.

M&D’s Cafe, An Iconic Denver Restaurant, Closes After More Than Thirty Years
By Lori Midson

Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012 at 1:11 PM

Lori Midson
​While we were ushering in the New Year with friends, family and booze, several Denver restaurants were closing their doors. Over the weekend, Pearl Street Grill, India’s Pearl and OTOTO all shuttered; after fifteen years in its Park Meadows location, California Cafe quietly closed; and in what could be some of the saddest news we’ve heard since the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve, yet another Denver restaurant — one that survived for more than three decades — served its last meal.
After 34 years, M&D’s Cafe, which first surfaced in 1977, locked the doors of its expanded space at 2000 East 28th Avenue this weekend, leaving a gaping hole in the city’s soul-food landscape.

M&D’s, which was owned by Mack and Daisy Shead, who began their long career in the barbecue business in Texas in the 1940s, was renowned for its gospel Sundays, fried green tomatoes and catfish nuggets, peach cobbler and sweet potato pie, housemade hot links and rib slabs. In 1998, former Denver mayor Federico Pena, who at the time was serving as Secretary of Energy in Washington, D.C., was desperate for a fix, so his staff made a call and asked the Sheads if they’d fix up a lunch for the homesick politician. Pena was FedEx’d an overnight delivery.

“A 34-year family legacy — my family — has just shut its doors in Denver,” laments Eulanda Shead, Mack and Daisy’s granddaughter. “I grew up busing tables and learning family kitchen secrets at M&D’s cafe, and my heart breaks at this loss.”

Still, she says, “My grandparents’ comfort-food legacy lives on. The things I’ve learned in the family restaurant business are truly transforming, and I’ll always cherish those lessons. I’ve learned what type of person I should marry over a warm bowl of peach cobbler shared with my grandma, and I’ve also learned that mastering the art of wit comes best when shared over granddaddy’s spicy catfish.”

But while Eulanda has fond memories of M&D’s — as do thousands of others — she’s quick to point out that we need to do our part to sustain independently owned restaurants: “Support local businesses, people. Do not let community gems like M&D’s go the way of the recession or lack of pockets.”

And, she pleads, “Please pass this on.”

Follow @CafeWestword on Twitter and at facebook.com/denvercafesociety

Next week my in laws are visiting. We will go to CASA PEPE our favourite locally owned and run restaurant since 1979. I will try and go at least once a month. I for one are not willing to loose them. More about CASA PEPE next week.

Oops. I Slept in Today.

Oops. I slept in today.

I have my mornings down to a fine science. I rejoice in being alone.

I listen to the coffee brew while watching my garden.

That is the only noise I hear. The sound of the coffee brewing.

If it is on the hour my lovely bird clock will chime a bird song. Usually the black bird or blue tit.

Once I’ve had my first sip. I turn on the news. I love the news.

Then if the house is not to much of a mess. I feed my obsession. I write a little something to share with you.

 So today I slept in, I missed the Blue tit and the Black Bird. I woke up just in time to hear the nightingale sing.

The Sparkle Bee heard me move. I heard her little feet hit the floor. I heard her little yum yumm yummm Mommy, This means she woke up hungry and I only have a few minutes to make her breakfast.

 So the day slipped away. I got bits done. Shopping came. You’d think I had my café with the amount of bags. (See the photo above.)  I do one huge online shop once a month. Then to the  fruit and veg market and butcher a few times a week.

So the day slipped away. I wish I had my quiet news and coffee morning back.