After a Sunday evening filled with wall-to-wall video weather wizards spouting impending dire doom from potential tornados that might be lurning in the storm darkened skies, the sun came up on a bright and sunny Monday Memorial Day. Of my seven real uncles (I don’t count my five uncles by marriage as real uncles) five served in WWII and I salute them for their service.
My favorite was the youngest and my namesake … Uncle Jerome. OK, you ask, how could an uncle named Jerome be the namesake of a guy named Robert? Thank a busy-body nun at Sacred Heart Grade School who was convinced he would have a far, far better school-life if he went by his middle name (Robert) than his given name (Jerome). I thank that un-named nun, too, Because by the time I popped into the world, his entire family was calling him Bob instead of Jerry.
OMG, shades of the Village People before their time!
My Uncle Bob was my last surviving uncle. He passed away early this year at age 89.
Today I flashed back to the wonderful old Orient Cafe that used to be on 7th Street just off Washington Avenue in downtown Saint Louis. I cooked my remembrance of the sub-gum chop suey they used to serve. Actually, it was the only thing I ever ate there. I even took my mother and father there and introduced them to Chinese dining. They always ate the chop suey there, too.
When the Cafe finally closed down, I attempted to recreate the dish from memory. And after a couple of tries I finally got it right. After that, I often cooked it for the family. I think that was my mother’s way of getting out of cooking. Also, because I prepared so much, there was always left overs for follow up dinners. Since I didn’t work from a printed out recipe, my dish varied every time I made it. But it always seemed to taste the same!
Since I forgot to take a picture while I was cooking today, I went back and borrowed this one from a post I published several years ago. After a closer look, I think this might have been an Oriental Chicken Soup. Same basic veggies, but the broth/sauce in the chop suey is much thicker. And I usually used beef or pork in the chop suey.
(I also created my own variation that I called Crunchy Chow Mien Burgers. I got the name from humorous mystery from the 60s or 70s where the main character went to a London restaurant where he always ordered them. For the life of me, I cannot remember the author or the book’s title. Anyway, my version was sort of like an Oriental Sloppy Joe made with ground beef, chopped celery and bell peppers and bean sprouts and topped with chow mien noodles on a bun.)
Well, what do you expect when it’s Sunday, Mother’s Day, Renee’s birthday, the month of May and the mid-west. The only other thing to expect are the storms. And we had them! Friday! Saturday! Sunday! And a little bit this morning!
That’ what the eastern skies look like after the torential rain showers, thunder and lightening moved overhead and out of Missouri and into Illinois Sunday afternoon as I was preparing to eat dinner. (It was tamale pie and very tasty, too!) Mlle. Renee (who was celebrating her seventh birthday didn’t join me for dinner) because as soon as the thunder she hightailed it into my room and the safety of my bed.
That’s what she always does!
A bit soggy, but totally pretty and pink.
This week, share a force of nature from your corner of the world. (For more information go here!) Living is Saint Louis between the mighty Mississippi and the Muddy Missouri Rivers, smack dab on the New Madrid Fault Line (for details on the biggest earthquake in American history go here!) and in the middle of Tornado Alley, (I actually watched a tornado go past my office window one day! OK, it was about a mile away!) the forces of nature really aren’t very photogenic.
The first pink and red roses of spring in a photo taken in the middle of a spring rain storm.
Sure, the two tall maple trees in my back yard provide me with an entire summer of shady afternoons and cool gentle breezes where I can lounge around and read a ton of fiction on my kindle. But right now, I would like to call the hit squad to rub them out.
The inter-web says the seeds are edible. But first you have to pop them out of the pods and boil them until they no longer have a bitter taste. Then you can roast them with a little salt and eat them like nuts. I think I’ll pass. You would think the trees would at least produce a little maple syrup.
What does the word “intricate” mean to you? It could be the deep, fibrous bark on the ancient oak tree in your yard. Maybe it’s the robin’s nest under construction near your window — that ornithological engineering marvel of mud and twigs. It could be the treasured piece of needlepoint your grandmother crafted, or maybe a drawing you made. It could be the leaves falling from trees in the Southern Hemisphere — the wind arranging them just so on your lawn. (For more information go here!)You don’t need a giagantic canvas to paint an INTRICATE scene, but a nice frame helps to set the scene.
Saint Louis Museum Of Fine Art