Photo courtesy of Elsa Mora
“You can’t dye hair blonde, you bleach it.”
(15 year old)
Isn’t it amazing the things you know at fifteen? Instagram – check, fad diets – check, manipulating the system – check; natural consequences – not so much.
This overhear reminded me of so many years ago when I was fifteen and still naïve about what really mattered in life. Long, blonde hair seemed incredibly important; as did (don’t laugh at the Brady Bunch context) a face without freckles. And I discovered great news; One household kitchen item could cure both apparently. Sitting in the sun with lemon juice on your face and hair was supposed to do the trick.
Ri-i-ight. Who in their right mind would ever think something like that was a good idea? Apparently me, and I ended up with a sunburnt, dried out, face and brittle, straw-like, hair.
Now I have come to love my freckles (although who knew that they would start to expand from those cute little dots they were back in high school to continent sized landmarks) and am amazed and grateful that my natural, strawberry-blonde hair hides the grey.
Still, while I have learned to accept myself in a way I never dreamed of in high-school, lately it seems like every dinner conversation at our house includes a dialogue with my husband over our need to lose some weight. And by lately here, I actually mean like for the last two years. So, we finally decided to re-visit Jenny Craig and become serious about it.
Funny, though, that the response I get most often upon telling friends that I am on the program is – “But you look fine. I don’t think you need to lose any weight.
And, perhaps that is true… maybe I do look okay. But I’d like to pause here and re-visit some recent blog / social media posts.
1. Food has been featured in many (and if you haven’t found my Molto Mayhem blog
with recipes from the novel
I am working on you may not realize this.)
2. I have been whinging a lot about the training I am doing for learning to kick a field goal (again, refer to my Field Goal blog
3. The symptoms of menopause have been discussed in great length here over a period of time.
So, while I may not look like I need to drop some weight, the truth is, my body is telling me I do… and but
As well, though this is something else a fifteen year old might know but never say out loud, fortunately my daughter is only 9 and she had no qualms about it. She understood right away when my husband and I told her we were on a strict diet. “So then you’ll be able to wear that pink dress again?
Yes.... it is all about fitting into my clothes comfortably and walking the hills around our house without wheezing.
She also went on to say, “Okay. So then if you and Dad are on a diet, does that mean I get to have the extra desserts every night?
Big sigh….. “Sadly yes! Yes it does
Have you been on a diet you liked (or hated), or had a dress you really wanted to wear again from years earlier? I'd love to hear how you handled it and what people said if you told them. (I'd also love to know what crazy stuff you did at 15 if that is easier to talk about:>) Leave me a comment and share the journey.
“Perfect. I was looking for the right person for this extra hot cocoa.”
We were visiting the Ritz Carlton for a behind the scenes tour of their kitchens but ended up with a once in a lifetime experience of service; and we weren’t even guests of the hotel.
Let me step back and explain how we arrived there. Spending Thanksgiving week in Tahoe we were looking for fun things to do around the area when we stumbled across this, free, kitchen tour. No questions asked the Ritz put us down for the visit at 3:00.
Located on the hillside above the Northstar Resort, the only parking optionwas through the valet at $20. Yikes… did we have a choice? Not really, but after expressing our concern, the valet offered to park our car, with our dog inside, in the heated garage at a much reduced parking rate.
Having arrived early we wandered around the lobby and were ultimately drawn by the huge windows which looked out over a massive fire pit, and in the distance, the ski slopes. I ordered a warm drink and while my husband and daughter had a quick snowball fight, sat at the fire pit enjoying the warmth and the view.
When it was time for our kitchen tour we went to their Flagship restaurant, Manzanita, created by famed chef, Tracy des Jardins. “Do not touch anything,” I warned my daughter, who immediately reached out to see if the huge, wooden bowl sitting at the bar was real. No problem… as I scolded her, the bartender, Tamaniqua, came over and told us that there was a ton of wood all over the hotel and everyone loved touching it. What did my daughter think of how it felt?
Moments later, Anthony, the Executive Sous Chef came over and began our tour, which covered much more than I had imagined. Vats of soup and homemade stock simmering in the catering kitchen, two huge walk in fridges,
thousands of square feet of prepping area, introductions to many of the chefs preparing for meals coming out of two restaurants and the catering area; the tour took 45 minutes and had us all entranced. At one point my daughter noticed a big bin of pre-wrapped s’more bundles. Anthony told us that every day at 4:00 the marshmallogists showed people how to create the perfect s’more out at the fire pit. Then he handed my daughter her own bundle so she could be prepared.
It wasn’t only Anthony who gave us his full attention. Along the way, any staff who ran into us greeted us warmly and asked what we thought, as though we were professional food critics. It was one of these staff members who
handed over this extra hot chocolate referred to in the overhear. My daughter was dazed, it was like magic to her. And at the end of the tour, after being shown the perfect cut from a huge halibut and the crackling duck fat in the open Manzanita kitchen, we met the managers of the restaurant who greeted my husband by name and reiterated the invitation to the marshmallogy.
Later, after we had roasted our marshmallows and picked up our car with our nice warm dog inside, we talked about our experience with each other. I explained that there are many hotels out there that will treat you well if you are dressed in designer clothes or have the last name Kardashian, but only a truly great hotel knows how to make every single guest, even the smallest among them, feel like a star.
This had hit home for me while we were roasting marshmallows. The marshmallogist had asked the kids there what they liked best about the hotel. There were the normal answers of the skiing, the pool, the game-room, but when a seven year old answered the bed, and another child said the food, I knew this was a hotel I would save my pennies to return to… as a guest.
Impressing adults is one thing but impressing a child is practically holy.
“Stressed spelled backwards is dessert you know.”
This was a new one on me but made perfect sense. Chocolate ice cream may heal a broken heart, but when I am stressed I crave a Snickers bar… a full on shot of chocolate not watered down with the other ingredients of ice
During our week in Tahoe we had many funny conversations about dessert in fact. Apparently, in some places of the world (or perhaps just in my friend’s house) melon is considered dessert. As far as my husband and I are concerned, though, the only thing that makes melon a contender would be that is is sweet. And even then unless it is frozen and served with caramel sauce and whip cream it would be difficult to imagine it being served after dinner at our
That said… my hubby and I do disagree on the range of ingredients that make up dessert. For him, it can not be considered dessert unless it includes chocolate in some form. I, though, hold to the idea that anything baked
or whipped that includes sugar would be dessert.
For example… custard = dessert, bread pudding = dessert, fruit pie = dessert; peaches, cherries, grapes, apples, mole sauce do NOT = dessert. It is a pretty simple recipe, but I’m willing to consider options if you have a
good one… so send me your favorite dessert.
If I get 10 legitimate comments I will share my super-secret, truly decadent recipe for chocolate peanut butter pie… Hands down the best dessert in the world, especially if you are stressed.