Monday, June 30, 2008

Blame the cheese

When we have visitors from out of town we like to take them to lunch at a little restaurant which overlooks the beautiful Niagara River. You can't beat the view,the food is good and service is friendly. It can be hard sometimes (in our neck of the woods) to find a nice place for lunch so we're really glad to have found this restaurant.

On our last visit, three of us ordered hamburgers and one ordered nachos. See? Nothing fancy.

The nachos arrived. Two hamburgers arrived. Mine did not. I was told, "We're just waiting for the cheese to melt."

Now I'm a nice customer. I say my "pleases" and "thank-yous" and don't complain. I've been known to eat the meal wthat was served even when it wasn't what I had ordered. So I waited for my hamburger with melted cheese and had the others start without me. And I waited. And I waited.

Our server had vanished so we called another server over thinking she could at least find my hamburger with very melted cheese and bring it over. She could not. Apparently someone else had been served my hamburger by mistake. Not to worry, they would prepare me another hamburger. What's wrong with this picture???

So I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Called over another server. She goes to find my hamburger.

Finally a manager appears bearing my freshly cooked hamburger with the melted cheese. Apologies were made but my hamburger had been "dropped on the floor and of course, they couldn't serve me that burger, so sorry, so sorry but here you go."

I suppose our first server was just too embarrassed to tell us that she had dropped my plate - I'm assuming that was the true story since it's the worst case scenario - but accidents happen and we all would have understood, laughed and been prepared to wait. It's the

w a i t i n g
f o r
t h e
c h e e s e
t o
m e l t

that got to me.

Our original server never did come back to the table to ask if everything was ok. She never did apologize for making me wait more than 20 minutes for my lunch while the others were eating. In fact, she never even looked at me. Maybe it's because I was giving her my wilting Mother's look that says, "Is there something you need to tell me?"

No apology, no comp, no discount, no dessert, no nothing. So our favorite little lunch spot has lost a star. And I guess I've learned that if I'm told "we're just waiting for the cheese to melt" to respond, "That's ok - I'll just take that without the cheese!"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

My "Flock Master" and one of his babies

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

SPF 75 please!

The Great American Backyard Campout!

If your child has a birthday coming up this month or you're just looking for a great summer activity, join in the National Wildlife Federation's Great American Backyard Campout.

It's set for June 28th so you need to start planning now. Go to the website and add your campsite. You will receive packing lists, recipes, wildlife guides, activities, tips and more. It doesn't matter that you're not out in the can have a great time in your own backyard!

The site has an interactive map you can use to locate campsites in your state or backyard campsites by zip code. Sooo cool!

This can be as personal as a birthday party or make it a media event to promote a charity, school or organization. Everything you need is on the website. Check it out!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Organic or local in 2006

I am a self confessed hoarder. I hoard magazines. I have issues of Architectural Digest dating back to the 80's. I have back issues of Martha Stewart Living, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Eating Well, to name a few, that fill bookcases in my basement. I rationalize that they hold valuable information that I will someday be happy to have at my fingertips. As each season begins, I enjoy comparing the offerings of the same season in past years.

So as summer approaches, I was browsing past summer issues and found an issue of Food and Wine from August 2006 The front cover invites us to read:

Purely Delicious: How To Be An Eco-Epicurean
Chef's Healthiest Recipes
Lessons From A Green Kitchen
Wines: The Next Eco-Trend

I checked the date again...yep, 2006. This could easily be on sale at the magazine stand today!

And it would seem that in the two years that have elapsed since this issue was published, the debate over what "eating well" really means has not shown any signs of resolution. In this issue, Jane Black interviews Michael Pollen who had just written The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. His book examines the "cornucopia of choices that render eating intelligently and healthfully a perplexing daily task."

Michael confirms what we still struggle with today. We can buy imported meat and vegetables that are organic, but what does that mean in terms of eco-friendly living if we buy food that has been shipped thosands of miles to get to our shelves? Changing the way we eat and shop is still as overwhelming as it was two years ago...have we not been able to progress at all?

Reassuringly, Michael tells us, "You can vote with your fork three times a day. You may not cast every vote in the best possible way....but if you do one right - if you get organic instead of conventional or local instead of organic - you are taking a big step."

Even though these words were published two years ago, and even though we might wish we had progressed more than we have, perhaps we should take comfort in the opportunity we have each day to move a step in right direction and recommit to doing just that. Thanks, Michael!

I knew my stash of magazines would be useful!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Kelby Carr, winner of the giveaway sponsored by La Mama Naturale over at Recycle Your Day! Kelby wins a party set up for 4 from One Mom and a Party. She selected the Cooking Live! pattern for the napkins and favor bags with the red star tablecloth.

If you're interested in greening up your birthday parties, visit One Mom and a Party for some eco-friendly party supplies plus ideas for green party themes and activities. Even the smallest steps toward a greener lifestyle count and this one is easy!

Enjoy your party Kelby!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Coming soon to a farm near you.....

My flockmaster son just added baby chicks to his farm menagerie this week....made me think how much fun kids have on farms.

If you're looking for a great way to spend a day with your family, a source for organic food or an eco-friendly birthday party activity, check out

"The best organic food is what is grown closest to you." With this in mind, use Local Harvest "to find farmers' markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area." Just enter your zipcode to find out what's offered near you.

This site also offer a "Food/Farm Events" calendar. Just click on the date you have in mind to see what's happening this summer. Bookmark this site as a resource for planning some fun summer outings for your family.