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.
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.
They will eat for free for quite a while
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
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.
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.
I know at nearly 29 months we are about to enter the beige food phase.
Maybe she will skip it maybe she won’t.
The other day we were at one of our favourite cafes.
Renarto Deli Cafe Bournemouth. Managed by Italians. Frequented by Italians.
The food is delicious and they serve the only cup of coffee I’ll order in Bournemouth.
The community table was filled with a whole family speaking in Italian.
It took me back to Tuscany. It seems Renarto’s eggs should be the vibrant yellow of Italian eggs.
If you have never been to Italy…If your lucky enough to one day go
You will remember reading about the yellow of the Tuscan eggs. I did. I read about them in a cookbook probably 8 years before my trip. I remembered.
After my trip my lovely Italian chiropractor asked what I liked about Italy. First thing I mentioned was the eggs. He seemed startled, confused even.
After a visit back to his family a few weeks later, He bounded up to me when I arrived at the office, like a puppy. Saying ‘wow I never realised the eggs….wow the eggs’.
Sadly he told me that visit he had decided to move back. I hate it when a chiropractor breaks up with me. My last one moved to Spain to train for the olympics, how dare she.
Ok, back to Renarto’s. The Bee and I strolled in last week.
The community table was full, we sat at a table next to it.
She politely said ‘owaowa pls mommy.’ The waiter came over she asked him the same thing. I translated ‘still water please’.
We ordered a ham and cheese sandwich for The Bee. A greek salad for me. I had the coffee that came with Bee’s sandwich.
A perfect cappuccino. absolutely perfect.
When our food came The Bee stood on her chair and matter of factly, gave me a slice of her sandwich, she took most of my olives and several of the big pieces of feta and peppers from my plate and put it on her’s.
She sat down put her napkin on her lap and ate nearly all her food… and mine.
She munched away watching the waiters do their work.
She seems to have a bit of a weakness for tall dark and handsome men. And surfers.
She eats and flirts quietly.
Midway through the meal the table of Italians, who had watched us carefully, get up to leave.
The youngest woman at the table asks me where we are visiting from. I say we live her but I’m from America.
She translates to the rest of the table they all smile and giggle.
She acknowledges The Bee is a great eater. Then says she thought I was foreign due to the ordering coffee. I say ‘ this is the only place I will order coffee, they know how to make coffee’ They laugh in agreement.
I worked down the street from Renarto’s for a few years. I would go in 7-10 times a week. Always fresh, delicious and the best coffee. The manager remembers me from back in the day. Always comes over for a visit.
If you ever find yourself in Bournemouth Town Centre, Renartos is highly recommended. For £10 The Bee and I had another delicious visit.
The menu is small but perfectly formed with a bit for everyone.
The good-looking Italians who work at and frequent this joint certainly doesn’t hurt the people watching.
My new year has started beautifully.
I woke up to the news my Lovely sister Jennifer from Step on a Crack has nominated me for a Versatile Blogger award. I’m excited and honoured.
I spent a lot of the day getting lovely cuddles from my Sparkle Bee. At 2 these are coming less often. I take them when ever they are offered. I know the slammed doors of 14 will be here before I realise it.
We had a breakfast of scrambled eggs with peas and ham, croissants jam and mango. One of The Bees favourites.
Left over Thai food for lunch.
A nice nap cuddled up with the rain falling outside.
We woke up to the best movie of all time.
Wizard of Oz.
I have loved that movie as long as I remember.
So a day of leisure and love to start my year.
Tomorrow I will start to choose my favourite blogs to share the Versatile Blogger award.
I will wake up knowing I’m blessed beyond belief.
This year I will cultivate The Fork, in blog form.
In preparation for one day, a door to unlock, people to feed, memories to make.
This year I will build recipes….
I will conquer green chili, with out the correct peppers.