After eating off one of the Himalayan Salt Blocks on Thursday I got curious to find out more. This is a great article on all the uses for this unusual natural resource. I thought you might find it interesting.
If you are thinking of purchasing one make sure you read the comments at the end of the article. There are some very important tips on how (or how not to) heat them.
I don’t write about dining out very often. We go out a few times a month, usually to someplace different each time. Having spent decades in food service it takes quite a restaurant for me to want to go back to it. I have found a few and last night I added another one to my list.
It is a small new gastropub in downtown Greer. What is a gastropub? I think of it as a pub but with more upscale food and affordable priced. Thursdays is half price wine and dessert, always a good deal. The most creative items on the menu are the Himalayan salt block cooking. The 6-by-6-foot block is cut into a blocks about 4 inches thick and 8 -10 inches. It is mined from crystalline pink salt under the Himalayas, is heated to a blazing 700 degrees and brought to the table, where diners have the choice of beef, shrimp, ahi tuna or crab cakes to cook on the block. Kind of a new age fondue. The people at our table had shrimp, beef and tuna. Bob had the smoked chicken and grits and it was fantastic. We sampled three different appetizers and all were good.
You can read more at: http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20120112/NEWS/301170005/New-dining-experience-lands-Trade-Street
I recently read this article in More magazine. It was talking about how much money is enough. I expanded that thought to “How good is my life compared to others?” This would be how you compare yourself, your life – marriage, kids, grandkids, financial situation, happiness, house, car, job etc. to others. The author told of a statement one of her friends had made and I really liked it and wanted to share it with you.
“I know one thing. If you lined up everyone in the world, front to back, from most fortunate to least fortunate, I figure I could see the front of the line.”
I’m happy to say I think I could see the front of the line. I really hope you can say that too.
Wish I had seen this yesterday for MLK day. I like it.
This afternoon we went to the Centre Stage play “You are Here”. This play is the winner of the of the 2011 award new play award http://www.centrestage.org/show/you-are-here
It is fantastic. Directed by Brian Haimbach, You Are Here tells the story of a father and son dealing with growing pains. Guy wants to go away to college and Roger wants life to stay as it is. Their life has not been easy. Roger’s developmental disability has kept Guy from having a normal childhood. When they are faced with the most difficult decision of their lives, they must decide what is really important.
In a nutshell, the father is autistic but has still raised his son himself. Now change is coming. Powerful themes presented by great actors.
It plays through Jan. 21 and the tickets are only $10. I highly recommend it.
One of my Newcomer friends pointed this out to me. I don’t usually read the newspaper wedding stories but I have been lately to check this out. I would say at least half of the grooms have their father as their best man. I don’t think I ever saw that in MN. I did a little research on line and apparently from the comments I read it definitely is a southern thing.
Here is a little history I found about the best man.
The tradition of a best man has its origin with the Germanic Goths, when it was customary and preferable for a man to marry a woman from within his own community. When women came into short supply “locally,” eligible bachelors would have to seek out and capture a bride from a neighboring community. As you might guess, this was not a one-person operation, and so the future bridegroom would be accompanied by a male companion who would help. Our custom of the best man is a throwback to that two-man, strong-armed tactic, for, of course the future groom would select only the best man he knew to come along for such an important task.
The role of the best man evolved. By 200 A.D. his task was still more than just safeguarding the ring. There remained a real threat that the bride’s family would attempt to forcibly obtain her return, so the best man remained at the groom’s side throughout the marriage ceremony, alert and well-armed. He continued his duties after the ceremony by standing guard as sentry outside the newlywed’s home. Much of this is German folklore, but is not without written documentation and physical artifacts. We have records that indicate that beneath the altars of many churches of early peoples (the Huns, Goths, Visigoths, and Vandals) there lay an arsenal of clubs, knives, and spears. The indication is that these were there to protect the groom from possible attack by the bride’s family in an attempt to recapture her.
Traditionally, the bride stands to the left side of the groom. This was much more than meaningless etiquette. Among the Northern European barbarians (a name given to them by the Romans), a groom placed his captured bride to his left to protect her, as he kept his right hand free to use for defense. Also originating from this practice of abduction, which literally swept a bride off her feet, sprang the later symbolic act of carrying the bride across the threshold of her new home. And speaking of carrying the bride over the threshold, tradition dictates that the bride must never trip and fall as she enters her new home or she will have bad luck for all the years to come.
This was the first week of OLLI classes. On Monday Bob and I went to our first “Religion and Politics” class. Seems like we will be having some lively discussions and our instructor has already warned us to be nice. He is a retired minister and a democrat so it should be interesting. There are about 50 of us in the class. Our first class covered some of the history of religion in the US.
This chart is from 2004
Thursdays class for Fay is “The South: Slavery, Culture, War and Reconstruction” taught by an OLLI favorite instructor. I would say there are 300-400 people in the class. He is so good. A. V. Huff is a native of this area and is a retired Furman professor, author and a very entertaining speaker. This first class talked about slavery-what caused it to grow (the cotten gin) and what the life of the plantation owners and the slaves was like and the importance of religion to the slaves.
Today we took our first field trip to Sealed Air and Cryovac, a very large plastic bag manufacturer in Simpsonville. Sealed Air originally started with bubble wrap and has expanded to many other packaging items for food and nonfood products. I did research work with Cryovac back in the mid 1970′s so it was really fun to visit this plant.
Last night we had dinner with one of our neighbors at their house. A nice long visit with them and their fine college age kids. One of their daughters does pottery and has a wheel and kiln. We hope to go over tomorrow and watch her make something. Last night we discussed ways to combine her pottery work with our woodwork. Could be interesting.
Bob installed Windows 7 on our Vista OS laptop and is tearing his hair out because he can’t get the Home Groups to work to look at our other computers and can’t get the remote printing to work.
This is a quiet weekend. I think we will work on more bandsaw boxes and I will make some glycerine soap and Sunday afternoon we are going to an original play here in Greenville.
Wishing a fun weekend to all of you.
P.S. Sabrina says “It is cold outside and I won’t stay out very long and so then I have nothing to do in the house and get very bored and then I get kind of naughty.”
About 30 years ago I met Leslie and about 20 years ago I met Claudia. We all worked together at the University of Minnesota for many years. Quite some time ago Claudia went on to other jobs but we still kept in contact on a regular basis. At some point we decided to make a special effort to get together for lunch on each of our birthdays. With all three of us working sometimes we celebrated a few months late but we still had a couple hours together but never enough time to really get caught up.
For about 5 years I hosted a “spa day” for half a dozen of my best girlfriends. We ate, drank wine, sat in the hot tub, got massages and facials, did our nails and most of all talked so that’s how spa day came to be.
After I retired we did our monthly birthdays for a couple years and then I said “Instead of going out to lunch why don’t you come over for a spa afternoon. We will have more time to relax and talk.” Neither of them argued and so birthday spa afternoon started.
I’ve seen Leslie and Claudia a couple times since we moved when we returned to MN. In October they went out for Leslie’s birthday and were remembering our good times. That resulted in Fay getting a call from Claudia in October that said “We decided we are coming out for spa day. When can we come?” I was so excited and I think they were too.
They arrived about 8:30 Thursday night and the laughter and conversation began. Bob had been designated as our butler and he didn’t let us down. He cleaned up dishes and the kitchen, set up the spa and waited on us, as well as joined in the conversation because he has known them for decades also. Friday Leslie didn’t get dressed until 11. After seafood and sausage gumbo and corn muffins lunch at my house I took them to see Furman University, downtown Greenville and Travelers Rest to do sight seeing and shopping. I teased them that with all the stuff they bought they supported our economy very well. The weather was 68 and sunny and absolutely beautiful. After a nice dinner at home we sat outside in the hot tub under a big full moon. I try to feature Southern ingredients when we have visitors. We had apple and lettuce Waldorf Salad, sweet potatoes, chicken breaded with pecans and served with bourbon sauce and tipsy pecan clusters (pecans covered with bourbon carmel and chocolate with salt sprinkles). We had clean plates.
Saturday we went for a walk, lounged around the house and sat in the hot tub until 2:30 when my massage therapist Lisa came to give Leslie, Claudia and Bob hour long massages. Weather again was beautiful. That night we went to Williams Hardware Cafe for a nice dinner and live entertainment. Claudia had shrimp and grits!
Smoky managed to sneak into his rocker during massage time so he relaxed too and Sabrina got herself locked in Leslie’s room so Leslie had a kitty sleep with her. I think both cats walked on Claudia downstairs on the blow up bed They both have two dogs and have had cats also so they like animals. As far as my cats were concerned there were two more people to let them in and out and two more laps to sit on.
They left for the airport at 1:30 on a rainy Sunday. You wouldn’t believe how much we laughed and remembered our past and talked about our future. The only bump in their travels is their flight leaving Greenville was two hours late which meant they missed their Atlanta connecting flight. All turned out ok and they got another flight 2 hours later so they were home in MN by 8:30. We had a great time. I hope they come again soon.
Claudia, Fay, Leslie
Here are a few photos of our Christmas with friends Lynn and Bob. This is of the three of us in the kitchen on Christmas Day when we all worked on getting dinner. Bob was the chef and Lyn and I were the helpers.
This is the beautiful table where we had dinner. Only problem is it takes us a long time to hand wash all these glasses!
Before we left for home on Monday we took a nice walk along the new pier by Shim Creek. Very relaxing.
I hope your New Year is off to a good start. I’d like to hear what resolutions or plans you have for next year. Here are some things I would like to improve on:
- Be a better friend to my longtime and new friends and family. Remember them on their special days, call my MN friends more often, entertain more at our house.
- Keep up with the water aerobics 3 times a week but on other days do something like go for a walk or Tai Chi.
- Cook more healthy meals, more vegetables and fruits and less meat and try some new recipes. Maybe I will watch some cooking shows for new ideas. Anyone have a recommendation for a show to watch?
- Continue expanding my woodworking and other artistic interests.
I really hope for an improvement in the economy around the world to get people back to work and for businesses to thrive. I want our politicians and president to work together, not against each other. To use a very old phrase, I want peace on earth and good will to all. In a nutshell, I want a much better year than parts of the last 4 years.
Wishing you and your family peace, good health, happiness and enough money to do what you want to do.
Fay, Bob, Sabrina and Smoky
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