Of CMT and chicken wings

Ernie and I watched the CMT awards last and for better or worse rather enjoyed it. I mean, there was some godawful stuff but there was some that I didn’t mind. Ernie became somewhat obsessed with Jelly Roll and at one point was heard yelling, “My man, Roll.” Of course there was much that was confusing too. Why was Alanis Morisette there? Why did Gwen Stefani perform? Why was Megan Thee Stallion there? Why did Carrie Underwood choose heels with hot pants? Why so many hot pants? Why did Shania Twain wear purple hot pants that looked slightly too big on her? For some reason I worry about Shania Twain. She seems slightly….just off. Why so many truck references? It’s like beams on HGTV. Why can’t Wynonna dial back on the orange (she looked great otherwise) and why was she singing a Foreigner song? Why, why, why? There’s much more but it gets confusing because we didn’t really know who anybody was. Gary Clark Jr. sounded good. Keith Urban sounded good. There were a couple of songs I liked ok but damned if I know what they were. It was just an amusing, sometimes entertaining mess.

We did our standard award show food: chicken wings—the recipe for baked (but crispy) wings from Serious Eats. Such a good recipe and so simple that you can’t screw it up, right? Uh, no. I also steamed some broccoli florets and made a weird dipping sauce for that and the wings. The wings have to be prepped ahead of time. Ernie did it while I was still in bed reading that morning.

The wings looked somewhat pale on the plate. Hmmmm. I took a bite of the first one and almost choked on all the salt. Tried another and it was ok. Tried another bite and had to spit it out. I kept quizzing Ernie on amounts he’d used, etc. After quite a while he mentioned that there hadn’t been enough of the baking powder/salt mixture so he’d added more.

Ahhhhhh. As with all confusion or mistakes, we just blame it on his treatment, which is handy. Cancer brain!

The extra salt and baking powder made the wings not only WAY too salty but bitter. They were amazingly awful. AMAZINGLY AWFUL. I couldn’t even eat much of the broccoli because my mouth felt like a desiccated hole. I shuddered and drank some wine. That’s right about when Ernie yelled, “My man, Roll.”

wings the first time we made them
wings last night

In other news:

I had some leftover Thai celery salad so made a mini batch of sesame noodles and mixed the two together.

We did asparagus pasta again but I think I’m getting pasta’d out.

I love this picture of David at St. Matt’s from a few years back. Something about the way he’s holding his hand like that…seems so familiar and so David.
Not crazy about the tornado warnings but I do love a rainy night.


Top photo: random living room shot. My mother bought that little church about a million years ago from Mae Boltman up in Rochelle, Illinois.. We used to have a tiny little wreath we’d put over the door at Christmas but I think it fell apart. For a fascinating life story check this out. Damn. That lampshade is crooked. Lampshades…

Pendulum and Pork

I’m so, so happy today because Leo and Tal had a wonderful time at the Pendulum show in London.

Tal wore a strand of lights. Yes, I love her.

One of the best things about this picture is that I know he had someone take this picture just to shut me up.

Things were much quieter here. It didn’t feel like Sunday. I continued to obsess about rearranging the living room and thought about furniture to have Leo move when he gets back and then we made dinner. Ernie grilled pork steaks and I made a sort of salad-ish thing of broccoli and gluten free spaghetti with a Thai-ish dressing. That’s a lot of ish but it was pretty good. It was from a Sam Sifton non-recipe (just noticed the kindle version of that cookbook is only $5.99!) which I like as that’s very much how I cook. Equal parts soy sauce and balsamic vinegar with dash of maple syrup and olive oil. Oh, and red pepper flakes. The broccoli was supposed to be grilled but I just threw it in a pan. I was going to do just the pork and broccoli but I’m trying to get Ernie to gain a bit of weight so I added pasta. I thought there was a tad too much vinegar last night but this mornings’ breakfast of leftovers had mellowed perfectly.


Lego Eric, Lego Peter

This is a picture that our dear friend Van DeLisle took at the first Eric Brace and Peter Cooper house concert, back in 2012.

The figures were the boys’ contribution to the show and were sitting on our mantel that night. It may have been the height of the boys’ Lego fever. They had recently decided to share a bedroom so that the other room could be entirely devoted to Lego. Leo thought perhaps he could give tours of the Lego room at the next house concert. Given that our poster artist, the great Mark Gerking, is, well, brilliant, he designed the poster for the show with a Lego theme. Damn, I love that Mark.

As we’ve been grieving the loss of our beloved Peter Cooper, I’d been looking at old pictures and was happy to find that Van had taken a picture of the Lego Eric and Peter. You can see Eric mention it in this wonderful clip (despite the hissing PA) below.

The boys decided to give the figures to Eric and Peter. I believe one of them availed himself of the Lego room tour. Peter, I think, but I’m not sure. Eric may have been busy eating his moon cake from Heather.

I assumed the Lego figures were long gone, lost in the detritus and vagueries of touring life. When I posted the old picture on facebook, Eric responded, “Pride of place on my bookshelf in the dining room ❤️❤️❤️,” and posted the picture below.

Then our friend Amy chimed in with a couple of pictures I’d never seen before from that night, the picture of Eric below (with art photo bombs by Julie Sola and Sasha Rubel) and the picture at the top.

Honestly, seeing that picture from Eric just brought tears to my eyes. It’s as though he has a little part of our family from that moment in time sitting on his bookshelf. I am a ‘things’ person. I will never be a minimalist. Objects speak to me and I love what those little figures have to say. Little boys wanting bunk beds so they could devote the other bedroom to Lego. Can you imagine how excited they were? A time when all family travel involved either Lego or trains. A time when I let them tape signs or drawings all over the house. A time when the thrill of live music in our house with people we love was new and intoxicating. A time of creative energy for so many friends and future friends in Nashville. Those little figures represent so much.

All my love to Eric for keeping them all this time. And for understanding.