THE HOLIDAYS

THE HOLIDAYS

Things feel different this year holiday season.  Perhaps it’s the loss of my mother, although, for the last few years, she wasn’t much aware of holidays and always seemed to think it was someone’s birthday!.. which made for some fun and laughter at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  “Why are we eating Turkey on my birthday?, she would ask.  “I hate turkey.  I prefer a corned beef sandwich”.

So many of the young people who have worked for me over the years have moved on in their lives, and new young people have taken their places.  I miss the fluidity, the humor, the closeness that bound us every day.  We laughed hard and worked hard.  We were family.  And now, I have a new family, trying to figure out how to recreate what was with what is now.

For Thanksgiving there will be three of us.  Josh, Tom and myself, and Christmas will be the same.  My other son lives on another planet, called Canada, and all the way over on the other side too, and I am sure, by next year, Josh will be off to his new planet somewhere, and then there will be two.  Perhaps it is time to start to explore the possibilities of two, and redefine what the holiday mean for us.
I am not sad, or disappointed.  I am hopeful and full of anticipation.  And maybe Thanksgiving will be a Corned Beef Sandwich from now on and Christmas will be a trip to another planet.

I WISH ALL OF YOU THE BEST OF HOLIDAYS, IN WHATEVER WAY YOU DO IT, WITH WHOEVER YOU DO IT WITH, AND WHERE EVER YOU GO…

 

A CHANGE ON SUNDAYS

I’m a big “go our for Sunday Breakfast” kind of girl.  I want someone to pour me coffee (actually, I drink decaf, but don’t tell), ask me how my weekend is going, and then bring me a Lox and Bagel, or my favorite eggs over medium with scrapple, or, if its’ later in the day, I may opt for a Corned Beef special.  I want someone else to clear the table, do the dishes, and send me off feeling satiated and ready to take a lovely walk in the wood, do my laundry, or read a book.

We started our Sunday brunch thinking that we could bring some excitement to Glenside with an upscale menu, locally grown, and a little different than the diner fare.  I’m beginning to realize that here in Glenside, folks want what we do best,  Soups, sandwiches, salads and good service.  So, here’s what we do with Sunday.  Starting on Sunday, October, 14th, we are opening up at 11 a.m. until 3 pm. and we are going to do simple breakfast and our tried and true daily menu, along with our delicious soups of the day, and maybe we will throw in some kind of fun Brunchy special.

So, come on over, make yourselves at home and  we will be doing what we do best!!

FOOD IS ART

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that cooking is a skill that you learn, like road paving, or computer programming, brain surgery.  Cooking is an art form.  It comes from a deep down need to express oneself intimately, to share oneself’s inner vision of beauty through the use of  all the senses. Some artists use paint, or pastels, or charcoal. Some artists write music, some artists dance their creativity.

My sister is an artist.  She drew this when she was in sixth grade.  That’s her and me.  I’m the cute one.

IMG_1934.jpg

My father was a musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra for 25 years. Here is a statue of him done by an artist friend of my parents.

IMG_1935.jpgI could never draw like my sister, or play an instrument like my dad, But I did know how to make people happy through food.  What better way to offer yourself to others, than be creating something that smells amazing , looks fabulous, awakens your taste buds, and then you get to eat it.  Sorry Candy (that’s my sister), but you can’t eat your drawing and you can’t munch on that statue.

Food is essential. Love is essential. Creativity is essential. I put those things all together and then offer it to you on a plate.  And it’s a lot cheaper than a Picasso.

TO MY MOTHER

On August 18th, 2017, my mother, Yvette Arian, passed away.  It was a surprise to everyone except me, I guess.  She was healthy all her life, never broke or sprained anything, had all of her beautiful teeth and hair, and had the greatest sense of humor. She and my dad were married almost 68 years when he died at 88, and my mother tried to go one with her life, but, as time went on, she lost pretty much all of her friends, and was a starting to lose much of her memory.  My mother was a very organized, meticulous person, a librarian and teacher for most of her working years and not being in control of her thoughts was tearing her apart.  She told me that “living was ruining her life”, and was not happy about making it to 95 years old.
About a month or so ago, she started telling her dearest friend that she wasn’t going to be here much longer.  She tried to give away some of her belongings and she told me that the only thing that was keeping her around was me.

In the early morning of August 11, the staff where she lived found her on the floor of the bathroom.  She had had a massive stroke. IN the hospital that morning, I leaned over and told her that she didn’t have to worry anymore, that she had figured out a way to depart and that I would be there to keep her company.  She grabbed my hand and tried to smile.  My mother died in an organized and meticulous way.  I would not have expected anything less from her.

I have always been proud of my mother, but never as much as I was as I watched her face her death with such class.  She set a very high bar for me.  I hope I can make her proud.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AKT

 

As of August 1,  Anne’s Kitchen Table will be entering it’s 18th year of existing.  I guess that means we have finally reached grownup status. I think back to when I turned 18, and, frankly, I was anything but an adult. I had already flunked out of college twice (one being Montgomery County Community College, I may be the only person to ever do so), ran away to California to be a flower child (which I did, with a not very good outcome), and had been fired from Lit Brother’s Bargain Basement department , for not following directions.  I also trashed my dad’s 1964 Peugeot’s transmission by driving it in second gear at 60 miles an hour for four hours, and collected 30 parking tickets in Conshohocken, Pa. This is only what I can remember.

I’m hoping that Anne’s Kitchen TAble does not follow in it’s owners footsteps!.  I’m thinking that restaurant years should be more like cat or dog years: maybe every year of staying open should be like two people years.  That would make us actually more like 36.

Of course, then I think back to when I was 36…

I don’t know if we will ever stop growing.  I hope not.  This place I call Anne’s Kitchen TAble has been my child, as much as both of my children have been. I gave birth to it, I nurtured it, I have had sleepless nights over it, I have felt pride and I have felt disappointment over it.  I have tried to show it the best way to  make it in this very confusing and complicated world.  It is, to me a living thing, and all living things need love and care and support.

In return, Anne’s Kitchen TAble has given back so much more than I could ever have hoped for.  I have met so many amazing people, who have worked for me and who have been customers and who have become life long friends.  It has enabled my husband and I to provide for our ourselves and our children. It has given us as sense of worth and acknowledgment.  It has taught me that I am creative and strong, and a fun person!

And so, Happy Birthday, Anne’s Kitchen Table. I hope  you have many more.

The Garden

It wasn’t until recently that I have taken to planting a garden. when I was a child, I used to watch my mother kneeling over seedlings of tomatoes, and peppers and fresh herbs, with her floppy sun hat on, her sun glasses, and her trusty gardening gloves. She would pick the weeds, and loosen the soil with her gardening claw. There were bulbs of spring flowers to plant, and rose bushes to prune.  There were little purple and pink blankets of tiny blossoms that spread over the garden. Every day my mom would check her garden, making sure there was enough sun, or that the squirrels hadn’t eaten her hard work. I have memories of her garden full of colors and smells that still linger in my thoughts when I pass a rose bush, or a honey suckle. 
 
I am not as studious as my mother about my own garden, or for that matter most things in life. But there is something to be said for watching the fertile soil, filled with worms and other little creatures, all working hard to take a small seedling and produce a perfect tomato, or zucchini, or a sweet red pepper.  I am in awe of what the earth can do all by itself, without our help or our hindrance.  
 
My mother was, and still is, a very intense person. Always needing routine, and order in her life. She was never still, or calm, or relaxed except for her time in the garden.  She found her quiet place.  It’s where everything made
sense for her. 
 
through my garden, I have started to gain a deeper understanding of this complicated, gentle, intense and beautiful person I call my mother, and in turn have started to understand that part of her in me.