An Invisible Thread

Well, the Scope cure didn’t last long.

Zeke is back to snoring! I guess the menthol shock to his tonsils worked temporarily but apparently they adjusted, and the buzz saw is back to work. One thing that did last a long time was my stomach flu, which I had for a full six days!

The food I ate during this time was pathetic. I thought of taking photos of it, but when I looked through the lens at a bowl of white rice, a slice of dry toast, a tub of white yogurt, I just couldn’t. It was white, white and white and boring! Friends encouraged me to take the time to reset, detox and get my life back on track, while losing a few pounds in the process.

I tried to enjoy childhood foods for their simplicity- chicken broth with rice, Cream of Wheat, mashed bananas- but honestly- it was awful. And after babying my digestive system each day, I expected my stomach to reward me the next morning by settling down to normal, but it took a long time! Patience is not a virtue I have much of.

During this time, I also discovered my eyesight is going. I already wear reading glasses, but I guess I need to up the magnification. I also discovered a weird ache in my forearms, emanating from my elbows that is rather painful. So, basically, I’m falling apart.

On the plus side, I finished my book for Book ClubThe Year of Dangerous Days. On the minus side, I wasn’t able to attend the Book Club Meeting Tuesday, due to the stomach flu. I’d made a cute Pumpkin Cheese Ball to bring as a hostess gift. It’s just like a regular cheese ball, but you cover it in Everything Seasoning, wrap it in plastic wrap and tie with kitchen twine to make a pumpkin shape. The stem was from a bell pepper. We had it for an appetizer with crackers, Sunday night.

During my convalescence, I watched a movie trending on NetflixThe Luckiest Girl in the World with Mila Kunis. I thought it was very good, but it does deal with triggering subject matter (school shooting)- so it’s not for everyone.

New favorite Podcast is Smartless, with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett. Bateman and Arnett were on Arrested Development together and Sean Hayes is best known for his stint on Will and Grace. These three dudes are hilarious together as they interview a surprise guest. Thanks to my sister Elise for this recommendation.

I do have things to look forward to on the horizon. The CSA from Empower Farms is going to start soon (fresh fruits and veggies), I’ve gotten my shipment from Scout and Cellar wines and Season 6 of The Crown begins November 9th. And, I’m going to visit Chris, Courtney and Liam for Halloween. Scooby Dooby Doo, here we come!

Luckily, my stomach recuperated in time for the U.M. Football game on Saturday. I went with A.J., Wyatt and Phoenix and, since the game was at 12:30, I brought a Tailgate lunch and drinks for us to share.

I made Fruit Kebabs (that I forgot at home!), Ritzy Chicken Fingers (with Ritz Cracker coating) and Maple Mustard, Pasta Salad and Monster Maple Cookies. I was on a bit of a Maple Kick, due to recipes in the Herald from a maple farm in a new cookbook, called Maple Syrup Recipes with Tips and Tales from Hurry Hill. The chicken fingers got a bit soggy in the commute, but the Maple Cookies were a keeper.

It was fun to have a bite to eat with the boys, before heading into the stadium. to watch UM play Duke. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes were losing when we left at halftime. We heard a huge ROAR as we walked to the car, when UM scored a TD in the third half, but we ended up losing miserably! I had no time to think about it because I had a wedding to attend at the old Centrust Building (now called the Miami Tower).

It was a perfect night for an outdoor wedding and the venue, overlooking Brickell and downtown Miami, was beautiful. The bride Lauren, our friend Brook’s daughter, looked absolutely stunning and you could see the joy on her face as she walked down the aisle. They both looked so happy, standing under the trellis! We had met Lauren and her fiance Chris, many times before and were delighted to share in their special day.

Sunday, Zeke smoked a beef brisket for dinner. He had to get up at 6 a.m. to start it and it involved basting the brisket with a mustard mixture, filling a little metal container with wood chips and making a liquid mixture to smoke the meat with. It basically had to be babysat all day, then it was removed, wrapped in Butcher Paper and put back in the smoker. Then, at a certain temp, removed and stored in a cooler. It was quite the process! Our backyard (and my newly washed hair) smelled like a campfire.

Emma and Gui came over for dinner and, let me tell you, that Smoked Beef Brisket was so juicy and delicious, it made whatever Zeke had to do to it, worth it. I served it with Mashed Potatoes, little Green Peas, Cucumber Salad, Corn Bread and Fruit Kebabs no one touched. Maple Cookies were once again dessert.

Emma and Gui almost bought a little house recently but backed out of it and now Emma kind of regrets it. She still drives by and wonders if she made the right decision. She really loved that little house, but was stressed with all it paperwork and commitment it entailed.

Zeke and I are watching Bachelor in Paradise (horrible, I know), but they take a bunch of girls and guys, stick them on an island and see what happens. Some of them get together, some of them regroup with other people, but they always talk about their “connection“. Like “my connection to so and so is more than it is to this other person”, which is how they choose who they want to be with.

When you think about it, life is all about connections. Whether it’s to a house, a neighborhood, a city, a state or a country, we want that feeling of something that clicks. And, of course, with people- whether it’s a realtor, a partner, a friend, classmates, teachers, workmates, teammates, spouses. Someone could look perfect on paper and then you meet them and… no chemistry.

In this age of Zoom and Social Media and Internet, E-mail, Voice Mail, text, the only way to test a connection needs to be in person, no phoning it in. Like a guy at the UM game said last week: “There’s something about this team that just isn’t clicking.” It’s indefinable, this secret sauce that makes people, teams, gel or not. It can’t be manufactured or faked. It’s got to be real.

Speaking of which, the one and only, very real and hilarious Leslie Jordan passed away Monday from a car accident. He was truly one-of-a-kind and such a bright light in the middle of the Pandemic with his hilarious Instagram posts. “Hello there fellow Hunker-Downers!” he said, in his Southern drawl. Remember when we were all fellow Hunker-Downers?

Luckily, we are no longer! We are out and about, connecting, gathering, mingling, traveling, socializing with people we “click with” and enjoying life. It only takes something like a little stomach bug to knock you off your feet to make you appreciate how wonderful normal life really is.

Invisible threads are the strongest ties.

Friedrich Nietsche

Up Next: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Maple Cookies

Published by gleeguilford

Born and raised in Miami, the daughter of a pilot and stay-at-home Mom, I love food in all forms. My great grandfather opened the first Italian restaurant in Miami in the 20's, The Boathouse on the Miami river. I love exploring my heritage and linking food and recipes to personal stories. I've been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Food and Love and wrote restaurant reviews and news as the Miami Dining Examiner for three years. I love exploring Miami's latest hot spots, hole in the walls and institutions. I'm always looking for innovative ways to use the plethora of tropical fruits and vegetables South Florida offers, especially from my own garden.

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