Mystery Food “Lucky 13” edition and Funeral For a Friend

26 Aug

First thing’s first: This week’s mystery food had a lot of my favorites!

Concord grapes, green beans, sweet corn, a tomato, peaches, zucchini and summer squash. Included in the weekly farm newsletter was a recipe for grape juice, so I may check out the farmer’s market and buy more grapes. I’d really like to try making some grape jelly from fresh grape juice. My mom and I were discussing last night how grape jelly never really tastes like grapes…so I want to find out if it does if you make it from scratch.

Also exciting on the local food front is that I picked the first watermelon of the season from my garden! The other two probably have a few more weeks to go, but here’s the goodness:

What is the second half of this blog post title referring to? I’m really not so crass that I would use an Elton John reference to make light of the actual death of a living creature. Now that your blood pressure has returned to normal, read on…
The last time I spent any significant time clothes shopping was when I went searching for items to complete my Halloween costume last year. Shoe shopping? I am clueless. When I find something that I like…it gets worn/used until it dies.
Examples: My favorite pair of sandals are four years old. I bought them before I left for England. I’d had foot surgery and had to wear shoes good support. The brown Sketchers I found (on SALE) were pretty ideal. Only now are they starting to fray a little bit around the edges. The same goes for my work shoes. Before I moved to D.C., I found the perfect pair of black mary jane flats. Every once in awhile I go over the scuffed edges with some polish and they look new to me. I am clearly tempting fate as I can see where one of the straps is about to give out and one of the soles is nearly worn through. I do this with clothes too-one of my favorite t-shirts was bought on a whim at Pac-Sun while I was shopping with my cousin Emily on vacation…we were 13 at the time. The most bizarre thing there is that it fits me better today than it did 12 years ago.

But my Travelsmith bag, with an apt model name of “MetroSafe”…it’s perfection. Joe’s parents bought it for us before our trip to Amsterdam in March of 2006. It is the best bag in the world-don’t argue with me on this, you will not win. First of all, it’s black, so you never have to worry about it clashing with clothing if that sort of thing bothers you. The adjustable shoulder strap is lined with slash-proof cable and the front panel hides a bunch of zipper pockets (with tamper proof clips!) beneath water-repellent nylon. The bag itself is only 11 inches tall and 10 inches across, and yet somehow I can fit all of the following items inside: A journal, Kindle, MP3 player, wallet-purse-organizer-thing, Blackberry, keys, my eyeglass case, a travel-size umbrella and a spill-proof travel mug that encourages my sweet, sweet affair with coffee. Simply put: this bag is magic. Mary Poppins would be impressed. And unless I’m going somewhere special or getting dressed up, it is about the only bag I ever carry.

And oh, how I have abused it. On multiple occasions I’ve had to run it through the washer/dryer because I a.) accidentally left the open/close button pressed down on my coffee mug, causing coffee to slosh out, b.) crushed a small packet of jelly that I stashed in one of the pockets when I bought a bagel, or c.) had an ink pen explode inside of it. The clip for the strap also broke after I snagged it on the Metro for the umpteenth time, but was easily repaired with a new one from the fabric store. The bag has been dragged through the Netherlands, England, Boston, Pittsburgh, DC and a hundred destinations in between. It has been thrown in the car, smashed in between luggage in the trunk, stuffed in an airplane overhead bin, and cramped into Metro trains sardine-packed full of tourists. It has donned buttons celebrating Steelers Super Bowl and Penguins Stanley Cup victories and stickers promoting political candidates and important causes. Yes, the Travelsmith bag is an item of beauty and awe.

Despite its incredible durability, the nearing end of its lifespan looms over me like a dark cloud. The cables in the strap have worn through the fabric lining and the jelly explosion seems to have caused irremovable stickiness on the inside of one of the pockets. Alas, it is probably time for retirement. It is time that I must allow my dear friend to go to bag-heaven. Goodnight, sweet prince.

Of course, I say this now, but it will be weeks before I actually acquire the necessary motivation to look for a new handbag.

Oh Travelsmith bag…I wish I knew how to quit you!
 

Ciao for now,
Neen

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One Response to “Mystery Food “Lucky 13” edition and Funeral For a Friend”

  1. VPS Hosting September 6, 2010 at 6:12 pm #

    nice article

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