Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The East Side Of The Thumb

While visiting friends in Port Huron, Michigan last weekend, they took us on a tour of their cute little town and one of the stops we made was Fort Gratiot Light, the first (and therefore, oldest) lighthouse in the state of Michigan.

Constructed in 1829, the lighthouse marks the entrance to the St. Clair River from Lake Huron, in the southern portion of Michigan's Thumb. If you are from Michigan or know anything about Michigan, you will know that most people hold up their hand and point to a spot on it, indicating where they are from. Michigan is shaped like a mitten, in case you're wondering why they do that.

The lighthouse is still active and is on the grounds of an active Coast Guard facility, although it's recently been handed over to the Port Huron Museum. It's a beautiful park and the building that was once used as barracks are available for rental. You can stay overnight or even host an event - we were imagining a wedding in the park with the river and lighthouse as spots for some great photos marking the occasion.

I look forward to visiting Michigan again.  I love all the lush greenery - gorgeous trees of many varieties, giant moved lawns, colorful flowers in bloom - and that numerous lakes that aren't far from any point in the state.  I could definitely see myself living there.  It's right across the river from Canada via the Blue Water Bridge, they have four distinct seasons, and they get lots of snow!  

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2020: Sorry, no post on this day
The Luck Of Double Sevens
2018: What Surfing Produces
2017: How To Make A Girl Feel Like She's On Top Of The World
2016: Resting Bitch Face Is Real
2015: No Rooms To Let
2014: Beautiful Brutalism In A Bucolic Bourg
2013: Have A Little Faith In The Romantic Comedy
2012: The Perfect Volunteer
2011: The Men Who Stare AT Goats
2010: A Peek At A Working Team
2009: Alligators Are Not A Girl’s Best Friend
2008: Forget Your Cholesterol. Get A Hearing Aid.
2007: Sizzling Good Time
2006: Amarillo May Smell Like Cow Shit, But They Have Some Pretty Tasty Steaks
2005: List Of Fives

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Jesus Is Keeping An Eye On All The Yummy Goodness

I recently organized my storage area and came across a bunch of cookbooks and magazines in a Rubbermaid bin.  That bin also contained my grandmother's recipe box.  

I was delighted to see tons of recipes written in my grandmother's hand, in addition to many typed on index cards.  Likely on the same typewriter, she taught me how to type on.  That machine was old and although she taught me correct hand placement on the keys, I still used the hunt-and-peck method until I mastered typing by touch.  

Also in the box were recipes she cut out of magazines and recipes neighbors, friends, and family had given her with dates and notes like, "Mrs. Brigandi's sour cream coffee cake".  The pink card on the side of the box was written by my cousin, giving my grandmother a recipe for Chicken Chow Mein that was a specialty of my teenage cousin at the time.  Other cards had notes about holiday gatherings and who attended family functions.  Those were very interesting.  

On this one, she writes who was present - "Dad, Joya, and I".  So that means, my grandfather, my grandmother, and my Aunt Joya.  My grandmother had four daughters and at this point in 1967, the oldest three were married, my Aunt Joya being the only one who was still single.

You'll notice I got a mention, "Salena 2 mos. old today".  I was the first grandchild in the family and don't tell the others, but also the clear favorite.

She kept these notes for every holiday from Thanksgiving on November 23, 1967 - the photo above - until the early eighties.  Christmas of 1967 is shown on the card below, where  I made another appearance - 3 months, 2 days old!  She also notes, "All Family Here", meaning everyone attended.

I really loved seeing her handwriting again, it's been 24 years since she passed, but I was a bit sad seeing notes about the holidays my grandparents spent alone.  All of their children had moved from the Bronx to upstate New York in the early seventies and they often didn't make the hour-and-a-half trip back to the city for the holidays.  Between spending time with their new families and attending holidays at the in-laws' houses, sometimes my grandparents were alone.  And I hate that. 

But, I'm glad to have all these recipe cards and I can't wait to make some of the meals that she wrote cards for but didn't specifically teach me how to make.  A lot of her specialties I already make, the recipes verbally handed down to me.  It'll be interesting to tackle some of the other things and see if they measure up to what she made.

This is her meatloaf recipe.  Notice she included the Italian word for it - polpettone.  I'm not a fan of meatloaf AT ALL but the only one I'd ever eat was hers.  I might have to give this a whirl.  It's super basic, which is why I probably liked it.  Thankfully, she never added pignoli, raisins, or the hard-boiled eggs.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2020: Boundless American Optimism
The Movies Have Always Been An Escape
2018: Nowhere Near As Cute As A Kitten
2017: Celebrating Seven And A Half Decades
2016: Makes Complete Sense
2015: I'm Always Hoping It's The Last Time
2014: Apes At The Hitching Post
2013: History On Water Street
2012: Do It Like The Settlers Did. With Whiskey.
2011: No Vacancy
2010: Imperial Sand
2009: How Many Twenty Year Olds Have A Seventy Pound Head?
2008: My First Time
2007: I’ve Been Everywhere Sunday
2006: Text Me
2005: Eddie Dines Out Friday