Archive for Food Posts

published in Christmas, Family, Food, Humour by Maryanne | December 4, 2018 | 4 Comments

Christmas Cake & the Art of People-Watching

 

MA at the Pink Gazelle Cards & Creations table, Calgary Christmas Market

“You can observe a lot by just watching.”

– Yogi Berra

I may need to leave my writing hobbit hole more often…

My social graces seem to be slipping. Case in point was the Christmas Cake incident at the Calgary Christmas Market this past weekend. All in all, it was an excellent four days. Sales at the Pink Gazelle Cards & Creations table were strong and plenty of my Calgary peeps stopped by to say hi…it was one reunion after another as well as a few first-time meetings!

There were, however, some periods of down-time – during which I would either Instagram to my heart’s content or people-watch…which I should know, by the age of 50, is an art. Done correctly, it can be a brilliant study in anthropological behavior. Done poorly, it can quickly denigrate into just plain rudeness. I shall leave it to up to you to decide which category the Christmas Cake incident falls under ☹

Picture this, if you will: there I am, sitting at my table in the aisle, minding my own business and contemplating which snack to eat next, and up walks this beautiful bi-racial young family. The guy is black, handsome and massive. The woman is white, pretty and proudly carrying their new baby in her arms. Their 3-year-old adorable little boy toddles alongside, toy truck in hand. Another white guy, about my age, follows behind. He seems to be with them but doesn’t say much (I eventually figure out he is the woman’s father…not because I’m brilliant but because she said, “Dad, do you have seventy-five cents?”).

Anyway, they all stop at the vendor across from me and proceed to have an in-depth conversation about whether or not to buy a vaporizer. For some reason, I find this family absolutely fascinating. But I don’t want to be rude and stare too much, so I reach into my backpack and pull out a piece of Christmas cake and in between bites, sneak glances at them.

Now bear in mind, they are only two feet away from me. I suspect my fascination trumps my ability to be discreet because right after I take a very large bite of cake, the guy turns around and looks right at me. Unfortunately, I have bitten off more than I can chew (which happens more often than not, with both food and life in general), so at the very moment he turns around to look at me, there is a large piece of Christmas cake half in my mouth and half out.

Our eyes meet. I am mortified. Busted!

Then he takes a step towards me. So I bite the damn cake in half, madly chew the part that’s in my mouth and put the other half back into the plastic wrap in my hand. By this point, the guy is now standing about a foot away from me and says, in a deep rumbling voice, “Is that rum cake?”

I shake my head, wide-eyed. I can’t answer because my mouth is full (which would be rude…oh, like I haven’t been rude enough?!).

He takes a step closer to get a better look at the remnants of crumbled cake in my hand. “It looks like the rum cake we have in Jamaica,” he says.

Then the little blonde head of his tiny wife peeks around her massive husband and she adds her two bits to the conversation. “No,” she says, after a quick assessment of the situation. “That is not rum cake. That’s Christmas cake.”

Then she turns back to the business of choosing a vaporizer. The man looks at me and shrugs. The conversation is over. As are my days of staring at people…unless I’m wearing sunglasses.

A few photos of the Pink Gazelle Cards & Creations table and some of my visitors:

 

L to R: Ashling, MA & Rebecca

 

MA & Cheryl

 

L to R: Camille, Danielle & MA

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.

published in Achieving Your Dreams, Family, Food, Gratitude, Inspiration by Maryanne | May 30, 2018 | 2 Comments

Keep Your Eye on the Prize (and the Prime Rib on Your Head)

 

Maryanne at Fanny Bay Inn, BC

“I never lose. I either win or learn.”

– Nelson Mandela

Oh what a night…

If there was ever any concern about turning 50 being the start of a downward slide into old age, this past weekend dispelled that fear. In fact, it would appear I may be sliding in the other direction 🙂

My little brother, Carleton, and his wife, Valina, spent the weekend with me and Sadie in our beautiful Qualicum Bay rental cottage, north of Parksville on Vancouver Island. I am staying in these different places ostensibly to get a feel for various communities in which I may one day set down roots. In reality, I’m having a ball staying in funky homes, exploring the surroundings and fraternizing with visitors and locals alike.

Case in point was Sunday night.

It started out in style with a ride in Carleton & Valina’s convertible mustang…mature big sister (that’s me) in the back, gleefully snapping selfies while baby brother/designated driver adhered to the speed limit under the watchful eye of his co-pilot/wife.

Carleton, Valina & MA, Fanny Bay Inn

Dinner was at the Fanny Bay Inn Pub where there was live music AND a meat-draw (they don’t have those in Sidney)!

“Valina,” I said, as we took our seats, “I am going to WIN that prime rib!”

So when the guy from the Lions Club came around selling tickets, I bought nine of them for $5.

Sure enough, twenty minutes (and a beer or two) later, they did the draw and one of my ticket numbers was called. You’d think I’d have won the lottery. I leapt up from our picnic table with a squeal then screamed, “I WON! I WON!”

As I was running (in strappy wedges) up to the front to collect my prize, some guy in the crowd yelled, “Put it on your head! That’s the tradition!”

So I threw my arms around the fellah who sold me the ticket then grabbed my prime rib, hoisted it in the air and placed it on my head. I turned around to face the crowd and there’s little brother, proudly snapping photos of his sister’s big moment. It was priceless.

The cheeky photo-bomber in the photo at the top is the Lions guy who sold me the ticket.

And the moral to the story is, perhaps, this: 

If you want to a win a prime rib, you have to buy a ticket (or 9). If you want to win at life, you have to get in the game. Keep your eye on the prize, show up each and every day and do the work and eventually, things fall into place and/or you win a slab of beef.

Speaking of keeping your eye on the prize, here’s your friendly neighbourhood ball-obsessed retriever in action at the local swimming hole:

Sadie at Rosewall Creek, BC

Have a great week and we shall do the same! I suspect a scrumptious prime rib dinner is in our future 🙂

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life

 

published in Dreams/Goals, Family, Food, Gratitude, Inspiration, Travel, Writing by Maryanne | September 7, 2016 | 8 Comments

Deux Pope à Paris 🙂 

 

MA and Tracey in front of the Louvre

MA & Tracey Pope in front of Louvre

“I guess it goes to show that you just never know where life will take you. You search for answers. You wonder what it all means. You stumble, and you soar. And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.”

– Amy Thomas, Paris, My Sweet; A Year in the City of Light

Salut!

I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. I sure have! My sister-in-law Tracey (my brother Doug’s wife) arrived on Saturday morning and over the past few days, we have seen enough magnificent architecture and stunningly beautiful art to knock a cow over backwards.

arc de triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

carvings on Notre Dame

An archway on Notre Dame Cathedral

eiffel tower

Eiffel Tower

paris streets

Paris apartments

We’ve mastered the metro and become experts at choosing the best café in any given neighbourhood to sit and watch the world go by – glass of wine (or beer or cafe creme) in hand. The food, of course, is exquisite and the people-watching is fantastique!

MA drinking beer in Latin Quarter

MA at a cafe, Latin Quarter

MA & Tracey cheers beer in Latin Quarter

Beer cheers, Latin Quarter

We even spent some time with the, er, remains of people past – 6 million of them – when visiting the Catacombs far below the streets of Paris.

skulls in light at catacombs

Bones in the Catacombs

skulls and big bones pile

Skulls and femurs stacked high

Tracey & skull

Spooky shot of Tracey in Catacombs

MA & Tracey freaked out in Catacombs

MA & Tracey spooky selfie

Here are a few more of my favourite pics of Paris so far:

black and white Seine shot

The Siene

stained glass in notre dame

Stained glass window in Notre Dame

MA in red beret in red chair

MA (in matching red beret) on crazy swivel chair in Centre Pompadou (modern & contemporary art)

Pain au chocolat

A beautiful sight…no caption needed

We are off to the Louvre today 🙂

Oh and I am still getting some excellent writing done, just in case you’re concerned. Hah! What I do is get up early and write for about an hour every morning before we head out to wander the streets and see the sights (and eat more delectable delights). Très bon.

Au Revoir!

Previous Paris blogs by Maryanne:

Je Voyage à Paris!

Je suis arrivé à Paris!

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and the Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her weekly blog, please sign up here.