Saturday, December 08, 2007

Commitment, carrots, compliments, and a 49’er Miner

I had a commitment to attend a holiday party tonight. It’s a party with all my friends. I <3 them a lot. But for some reason I was looking for every reason to not attend. I’m a pro at excuse making; including the following:
  • I slept in this morning AND I was still tired

  • I didn’t get everything done today, for tomorrow

  • I just wanted to be lazy

  • I didn’t have my side dish made

I came home from my scheduled auburn/cinnamon supplement and gray extraction process (hair color/cut), convinced I was going to bail on the event. Then I thought of all the people I told I’d be there. And my reason for NOT attending. It’s hard to lie to your Sunday School class – knowing you’ll be looking them in the eye the next morning. The word “hypocrite” comes to mind.


One of the things I love about cooking is I get to turn people on to food. This is the land of “mushy vegetables” and cream soup. You all know that’s not my style. I always take things I’m pretty sure most people haven’t tried AND will love.

So I made the following dish, it was a hit.

Algerian Carrots

1 lbs. carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/8 inch slices

¼ cup extra virgin Olive Oil (and if you’re going to splurge, this is the place to do it, First Press, High Quality Olive Oil is what you want to use)

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice (I used tangerine, because I had a ½ of a tangerine laying around. You could use lime too.)

2 tablespoons minced Italian Parsley

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper corns

Steam the carrots over rapidly boiling water until they are just tender, about 10 minutes. Put them in a bowl. Pour olive oil over them. Add cumin, brown sugar, garlic, lemon juice and parsley. Toss together, season with salt and pepper. Serve.

It was a hit, as was I ... as you'll see below.


This party is fairly casual. Some people dress up, but it’s by no means a “formal” affair. In a previous life I attended several “black tie” events throughout the year. I don’t have many places to wear those clothes these days – so I take this as an excuse to dress up. Last year I wore a plunging neck black silk jacket with seed pearls, black jet beads, and sliver sequin detailing. This year I wore something from the “dungeon” collection. (Total inside joke. If you don’t get it, don’t worry.) It’s a midnight black strapless pantsuit with a gossamer split overskirt and chiffon wrap. There’s a very discreet band of black sequins under the bust-line. I have a diamond broach that anchors the chiffon wrap, and matching vintage cut crystal clip-on earrings. I thought I looked nice when I left home. When I arrived – well, we’ll just say they were in the middle of the prayer of thanksgiving – and uhh, I might have made a bit of a splash. I received complements. Which is nice AND uncomfortable.

I know – pics or it didn’t happen. : ( Sorry to say there were no cameras. But SOMEDAY, there’ll be a reason for me to be dressed like that again, and I’ll try and get a picture.


I know I spend a lot of time sounding irritated with my customers. But I really DO love my job – and I have some of the BEST customers, EVER. They are always there for me when I’m out on the road. They’ve housed me in hurricanes, welcomed me into their homes, taken me to church with them, introduced me to their families, and helped me celebrate holidays and my birthday when I’m thousands of miles away from family and friends.

Today a small package arrived in the mail. It was from one of them. Here’s the note enclosed with the gift:

“Merry Christmas Mit!,

I found this little fella at the “flea market”. Immediately thought of you and Josiah! I really thought that he would be neat to sit on your window sill or on your desk and give you some inspiration. Can you imagine what a long, hard trip he had all the way from California to Selma, Alabama in that little cart?

Love M.O.T.O.R & F.O.T.O.R

(Mother of the other Red-head & Father of the other Red-head)

And there, packed away was a 49’er miner ornament. He’s standing in an ore car – holding a pick-ax and piece of quarts with a big old smile on his face. I’m sure any minute he’s going to breakout into “Oh Suzanna, don’t you cry for me, I left Alabama with a Banjo on my knee ..."

So tonight I am reminded of all my blessings and friendships. How important they are, and how the littlest things can carry the biggest meanings.

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