Sunday, April 10, 2011

Whining About My Blessings

Normal life is going on here. I’m working at my job, making dinner, shopping for food and soap. I’m sleeping a bit and filling the bird feeders. Normal stuff. But THIS is what is filling my head:



The Cotswolds



Lyme Regis


The New Forest




We leave in just over a month for our two week trip to England and Paris. For weeks I’ve felt chained to my computer – researching routes, advice, restaurants, etc. etc. ETC.!!! Its half fun and half brain exploding stress. I can’t wait to get there and see and experience everything. But I worry what we’ll miss in our ignorance. What if we stop at a tea room and just a block over is the BEST cream tea in Devon??? What if, in our two day Cotswold wanderings we miss the MOST charming and perfect village? I am not at all a package tour kind of person, but I completely understand the temptation. I can imagine how easy it would be to just let someone else arrange everything – where to go, what to eat, what to see. Being in charge of what Mr. Kim and I see and eat on what is quite probably our only EVER trip to Europe is a BIG responsibility! Yes, I’m a ninny, I know. And I’m NOT whining (or whinging, as they say in England) – I know just how fortunate I am do be able to do this and I am thankful beyond measure for the opportunity. It is truly the dream of my life to go to England and when I look at youtube videos of the little villages of the Cotswolds that we will be visiting I get a little emotional. So I do appreciate the treats that are coming for me, even as I grumble about the work involved.

Nothing to do with England or the trip, but look at the loveliness sitting at my elbow as I work on our trip:

I put these on the table last Friday when my MIL, Jo came for dinner. These ranunculus seem to get lovelier every day.

Posting this is an attempt to mitigate my piss poor efforts lately and to excuse in advance my likely absenteeism until after Memorial Day!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

An Icy Blast From the Past

Anyone who grew up in Northern Virginia in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s will remember Gifford’s Ice Cream shop.

There is apparently some upstart Maine company with the same name, but they only started in 1980. The real Gifford’s started in 1938 (the year Momma was born!) in the Washington DC area. The Bailey’s Crossroads shop (MY Gifford’s) opened in 1956 – 3 years before I was born. They have been owned by various people over the years, but there are still Gifford’s stores in MD and DC. The VA stores have been closed for years. And I haven’t had any Gifford’s ice cream since the Bailey’s store closed.

Gifford’s was not your average ice cream stand. It was a large airy room with a uniformed staff and table service.

Along one wall was a counter where candy and to go orders were sold. My childhood dream was to have one of each kind of the candy sticks.

Gifford’s was the kind of place that families went to for ice cream after a family dinner. A nice place. A special place.

So imagine my delighted surprise when I came upon this wandering around Whole Foods yesterday:

And on the back a picture that stirred so many memories:

That’s MY Giffords. That’s exactly what it looked like. I doubt that Roasted Coconut was a flavor back then, but it was OUTSTANDING.