Setting the Table for 2013


One of my first chores as a child was to set the table. My mom would put place mats or a table cloth on the round table in our kitchen. She would stack the dishes and glasses on the table because I could still not reach to safely remove them. I would get the utensils and napkins and complete the task.

Without realizing it my mother was teaching me etiquette and responsibility. I learned the proper place for the fork and knife (even when I was too young to use one) and which side the napkin is placed. Weeknights did not require complicated dishes or utensils so I needed special help at holiday time. I will always remember cleaning the silver (watching her do it, really…) before holidays. I have loved a pretty table since I was a child.

2013 table

There was a famous and expensive restaurant in Buffalo called The Cloister on Delaware Avenue. It was a very special treat to dine there with my parents. One of the things that impressed me was that every table had different chairs giving it an intimate feeling. I loved the way they
I love a table set with beautiful dishes, especially when the dishes don’t match. As long as the color scheme is compatible and the flatware is complimentary a mismatched table is very elegant. folded the napkins and how they treated children just like any other honored guest.

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I love dishes. I mean, I really love dishes. I once flew home from Rome with pottery carefully wrapped and on my lap for the 8 hour flight.

Can you blame me? I cradled that bubble-wrapped baby to the right like it was my job. I absolutely love it!

I know many families sat in the same spot for every meal. Our family of five was set in perfect nine o’clock, high noon, and three o’clock with me and my sister at five and seven. My high noon brother had his back to the window and was stuck in his spot since our nine and three parents surrounded him. So, whenever he wanted anything he would simply say “while you’re up can you get me…” and being up and out of our chair was of no concern to him.

Well, I’ve waxed poetic long enough. It’s time to chat about what I hope my foodie year will bring.

Foods I will learn more about:

Tea, Honey, Beets, Key Lime, Chia

Foods I will use or prepare for the first time:

Almond Paste, Duck, Hollandaise Sauce

Special dishes for special events:

Beef on Weck Sliders for the Super Bowl and Gramma’s St. Joseph Pasta Con Sarde

We are going to talk about:

Manners, protein and portion, and how foods are not good or bad, okay or forbidden

I will share my travels south this year:

Southern California, South Florida and the South of France after a visit to Paris

We are going to shake and stir and sip this year:

Cocktails using Pisco (a grape brandy from Chile or Peru), we are going to infuse vodka and other clear alcohol to make our own signature cocktails, and focus on French wine

I’m a home cook, “classically” trained by my mother and my own experience. It is very likely you are, too. Whether it was your mom or someone else in your life, you learned not only how to cook but how to share love with those you care about.

2012 was a big year for me and my writing journey. You have been with me for a very fun ride. Because we are in this together I would love for you to share with me what interests you and throw out some ideas of what you would like to learn with me.


Let’s do this together.

Let’s have a yummy year!

Facebook: Jude The Foodie

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie


Lewiston: Let’s Keep This Ball Rolling!

20120717-181825.jpgThat fateful day, January 27, 1991 when Scott Norwood kicked that ball into the air during what is now referred to as Super Bowl #1(or the wide right game) we were convinced we were going to win. Nope and the rest is Buffalo Bill’s and WNY history. Our psyche has been knocked around for a long time, and ever since Johnny Carson joked about all of the snow we got during the Blizzard of ’77 we started thinking as if we were nothing but a bunch of losers. 20120717-181836.jpg

Hell, everyone knows Dallas Star Brett Hull was in the crease during Game 6 at the Arena in June of 1999…but we’re not bitter…well…maybe just a little.

20120717-181843.jpg“Baby” Joe Mesi, the undefeated heavy weight boxer from Tonawanda, referred to as Buffalo’s Third Franchise, ended up losing his chance at the big fight due to that last hit…I guess it always does…that ended his career…we just can’t win!

Lucy ALWAYS lifts the football and Charlie Brown ALWAYS tries to kick it anyway.

Something strange happened to me today. First, and I think it is so much of my WNY brainwashing, I was fully prepared to lose the Rand McNally Best Of The Road contest. I cannot say it was based on rational thought, maybe perhaps, simply based on trying not to be too disappointed. It’s sort of like talking yourself out of getting the Schwinn Stingray bike with banana seat when you can only hope for the girly bike with the streamers coming out of the handle bars (too specific?).

I have never been a part of something so special in such a short amount of time. We moved forward so quickly we did not have time to over think the process. I think we were very successful and should feel like winners. Mike and Brian had a blast and fell in love with our small town.

‘Okay…so, we lost. We are not going to “get on the map” on their GPS. We are, however going to be on the Travel Channel on July 25th at 8:00 PM. It may only be for a minute but who cares? The winners will not likely get much more time than we do. How do we keep this momentum and build on it?

We have such an opportunity. What are we going to do with it?

It’s not an end. It’s a beginning.

Lewiston – what’s next?

Have a yummy week!