Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jean and Alton Brown Team up for Meatloaf!

Skating Bears Puzzle
Wednesday, December 16, promises to be a big day. We have toast for breakfast in anticipation of our luncheon with my friend Jean in Austin. We're not sure how bad the Austin traffic is so we leave Bastrop at 10:35 this morning under dreary skies after a low of 40 degrees. We sure hate to turn off the little heaters since we have no furnace to warm it up quickly when we return.

The traffic turns out to be light this time of morning, or is it the fact that it is Wednesday? Either way we zoom on 183 to Jean's place and arrive unfashionably early. She seems to have lunch plans well in hand. It sure is great to see her. She has me open the back door to let her beagles in. They are feisty for a few minutes but settle down like the mature ladies that they have become.

Jean takes Alton Brown's Meatloaf out of the oven

Jean's recently remodeled kitchen has a much more open look as she lowered the high bar between the kitchen and family room. We perch on the 'ample bucket' (hope I remembered that right) bar chairs. Jean gives Bob the "Skating Dog-Bear Puzzle" which he conquers fairly quickly while we browse her Turkey travel book. I love those on-line coffee table books you can turn your photos into. And Jean has a real knack for combining the photos and adding the perfect captions. I feel like I was there!

A few minutes after I let the dogs inside I realized I didn't even note her new pergola (A structure usually consisting of parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of girders and cross rafters!) Since I had to look up the spelling anyway I have included Webster's definition of a pergola. It aptly describes Jean's patio edifice. I was impressed that she didn't lose the light coming through the big living room windows. But she says it makes a big difference for sitting outside in the Texas sunshine. It's chilly out here so we quickly duck back in.

A festive holiday table

Heavenly aromas are coming out of her kitchen. I really love the new brightly-colored tile backsplash. It works well with her clocks that surround the soffit. One of the beagles, not-to-be-named in order to spare her feelings, deems it to be her job to open Jean's Christmas gift. So I snap a picture of Jean holding up a Telecron clock ad near the very same model above her kitchen table!

Lunch is served on her beautiful dining room table. She has outdone herself with Alton's Brown's meatloaf with a spicy sauce, roasted potatoes, beets and warm buttered bread. These fine groceries were accompanied by Don Miguel Gascon Malbec Mendoza of Argentina. Bob and I are pleased to take a bottle home as part of our Christmas gift. After we had seconds of this huge meatloaf, Jean served Martha Stewart's Eggnog Cheesecake Bars. Now I am an eggnog fanatic as Jean well knows and these were pure heaven with a cup of coffee.

We got a demonstration of Jean's iPod and her Bose docking port player. Food for thought! Then we retired to the living room and chatted for a bit. Bob snapped a photo as Jean and I tried to corral the beagles-not very successfully. All too soon it was time for me to head to my oft-rescheduled hair appointment with Dawn. We said farewell with a promise to meet in Bastrop so Jean can tour The Titanic. Not only that, we left with lunch 'go boxes'! How nice of her to share. It's hard for me to express what a joy it is to return to our stomping grounds of 25 years and be welcomed back by long-time friends.

Rita and Jean try to corral the Beagles

What a bummer, as we get halfway to Dawn's salon she calls on the cell and says she's running a half hour late. We duck into Instant Replay a local golf resale shop that we visit every year. We don't find anything-well there was a set of ladies Calloway Irons but we both need glasses and I need new contact lenses so we left empty-handed. Bob parked and walked to HEB then Walgreen's to finally find a paper.

We had killed enough time and I walked into Carte Blanche just as Dawn was finishing Linda, her self-proclaimed animal-whisperer client. And who should great me but Pilgrim, Dawn's adorable Chihuahua. She was very interested in either the beagle smells or the meatloaf smells she found on me. What a cutie. She looks exactly the same as last year so she hasn't grown any. In fact, I didn't take a picture so I'm posting last year's photo. It's always great to catch up with Dawn on all of the local news. Her son Wil (can he be that old?) is all of the performances of Nutcraker. I'll have to tell Glenda to look for one of the 'party boys' who is in a brown and white striped jacket. That is Wil Loewen!

Jean with Telecron clock ad and the real McCoy hanging above!

I get a great haircut. Dawn gives me one of her wonderful small bottles of Hemp lotion. I give her an old Austin postcard and a new one from the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame. I jump in the truck and we make it out of Austin at 4:30 without too many traffic issues. Back home we read the paper, work the puzzles, have a snack and watch some recorded shows we have saved up.

Dawn's cute little Pilgrim

What a fun day. The weather was cold but it didn't rain. The RV is chilly when we get back home but we stay warm under our quilts that Glenda lovingly hand-crafted for each of us.

Bob and Reet stay warm under our respective quilts from Glenda!


OsageBluffquilter said...

Now I'm impressed that you can set the camera and get back under that beautiful quilt before the timer goes off. You are one talented gal!

Rita said...

I had it all planned out and nobody's seen me move that fast in years! Glenda is the talented one though. Love the quilts she made for us.