August 26, 2009

The Boys of Summer

"But I can see you-
Your brown skin shining in the sun
You got your hair combed back and your sunglasses on, baby
And I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
After the boys of summer have gone"...
Don Henley

Oh, a beach town...a beach town in the summer. Can it get any better? Such a simple way of life. Little diners full of folks in flip-flops looking for a home-cooked breakfast, funky souvineer shops and a grocery store with aisles packed chock-full of float toys, chairs, umbrellas and coolers.

Everything and everyone moves just a little bit slower.

On the beach you see little kids run in and out of the surf, laughing with delight as the waves kiss their feet. Buckets and shovels in hand constructing sandcastles in the sand.

The beach draws families, couples, groups of young pretty girls and boys strolling hand in hand.

There are runners and joggers and walkers. Couples with strollers introducing the newest member of their family to this wonderland.

And, of course, there are always a few folks like me who aren't so "postcard perfect", book in hand watching another beautiful, tranquil, fabulous day at the beach pass before my eyes.

There's also pelicans and gulls and kites and an occasional game of volleyball and then there's the surfers...oh the surfers!

For me, the beach is the ultimate "therapy".

It presents me with exquisite beauty - the simple things in life I've mentioned here.

When Don Henley wrote The Boys of Summer I imagine he was referring to romance and a girl. As for me, the words also bring about thoughts of a very different love affair - my love affair with the sea.

..."and I can tell you my love for you will still be strong, after the boys of summer are gone"

August 23, 2009

In Honor of Julie AND Julia...

A couple of weeks ago Mark and I went to the theater and saw Julie and Julia starring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. What a precious movie! Meryl Streep was amazing and I have to keep reminding myself that Meryl is not ACTUALLY Julia - although, I also have to wonder whether the true Julia could have been any more charming than Meryl playing Julia! She is tall and vocal and when one day her husband asks her, "what is it you really like to do?" she responds, "eat" and he says, "and you're so good at it, look at you"!

The movie ended, the credits rolled and I looked over at my husband and proclaimed, "You realize now that I must have that cookbook". Being the sweetie-pie that he is it miraculously appeared in my mailbox just a few days later!

In case you aren't familiar with "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" it is a mere 684 pages long. As it just so happens I have spent several half sleepless nights of late so I've familiarized myself with said book and decided it was high time we tackled the delectable Boeuf Bourguignon.

Boeuf Bourguignon is basically beef stew but, let me you something people, once you have tasted this stuff you will never look at beef stew the same again. Holy-moly was it fabulous. The bacon, the boeuf, the herbs, the sautéed mushrooms, the baby onions, and the entire bottle of Cote de Rhone - oh my, I may have to have another serving! Focus Kim.

Okay, so as the story goes Julie spent 365 days of her life tackling (not to mention blogging about) the 524 recipes offered by Julia in this beautiful book. It was quite a challenge but she pulled it off. I'm in no way saying I could ever pull off such a feat especially considering there are complete chapters on duck, goose, kidneys, liver, sweetbreads and brains; I am however excited to take on the poultry chapter, the eggs, the vegetables and the pork. As you can tell dear reader, Julie, Julia, Senior Reaves and I have a couple of things in common, we love to cook, we love to eat and we're good at it!

So, in the next few days I will be off to Central Market to purchase the perfect roasting chicken. According to Julia it "does not require years of training to produce a juicy brown, buttery, crisp-skinned, heavenly bird". Well, we'll see about that. Until then "bon appétit"!

August 14, 2009

My Happy Place...

To settle in to a beach chair in Playa del Carmen or X-Pu Ha Beach is a therapeutic experience. To share it with people I love makes it even more special. On our most recent trip down Mexico way we added a couple of new folks to our usual cast of characters - welcome Micah and Taylor! and were minus a couple - we missed you Jessica and Cory!

Mark, Kim and Taylor

Taylor at X-Pu Ha Beach

Cody and Haley

Mark and Gary

Bryan and Micah at Coconuts - Cozumel

View from Fusion Restaurant - Playa del Carmen