Screening Room Menu

We’re planning a movie night with the documentary “Young @ Heart”.

The loveseats which usually face each other have been turned toward the television.
The loveseats which usually face each other have been turned toward the television.

In addition to rearranging the furniture in the conservatory/screening room I need a non-messy, easy-to-eat menu that can be consumed during the movie.

The invitation lets everyone know we'll have food.
The invitation lets everyone know we’ll have food.

The invitation says we’ll be serving sandwiches and drinks so I decided to pin down the menu. I needed a low cholesterol option which is the first sandwich below.

For the sandwiches I'll cook just a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey.
For the sandwiches I’ll cook just a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey.

Menu:

  • Sandwiches on baguette:
    • Turkey, avocado, sprouts, red bell pepper
    • Ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato
  • Popcorn
  • Movie candy:
    • Lemonheads

      Lemonheads
      Lemonheads
    • Junior Mints

      Junior Mints
      Junior Mints
    • M&Ms

      M&Ms
      M&Ms
  • Beverages:
    • Glade Fizz –  The original (which I invented so I should know) is about one (1) part chilled cran-grape to three (3) parts chilled gingerale . You may add ice if you desire.
    • Iced tea
    • Coffee – regular or decaf

Do you have a favorite low-fat, low-cholesterol food?

Another Get Together, Another Invitation

I have finally ordered a film called “Young @ Heart” on DVD.

This award-winning documentary film documents the final weeks of rehearsal for the Y@H Chorus, whose average age is 81, and many of whom must overcome health adversities to participate. Their music is unexpected, going against the stereotype of their age, performing songs by James Brown, and Sonic Youth. Although they've toured the world, this account focuses on preparing new songs, not an easy endeavor, for a concert in their home town, which succeeds in spite of several real heart breaking events.
This award-winning documentary film documents the final weeks of rehearsal for the Y@H Chorus, whose average age is 81, and many of whom must overcome health adversities to participate.

Since I direct a small choir at a Baptist church I was eager to see how another choir works through its music.

My choir.
My choir.

After watching the video I was excited for my choir to see the film as well. The film Young @ Heart is both poignant and humorous.

This invitation is simple because everyone in the choir knows where we live.
This invitation is simple because everyone in the choir knows where we live.

Ergo, let’s have a party private screening on a Friday night. The only invitees will be members of the choir. (I know after the Book Swap I said I was done with that for awhile but I changed my mind.)

We'll have to rearrange seating in the conservatory to accommodate over a dozen people to watch a movie.
We’ll have to rearrange seating in the conservatory to accommodate over a dozen people to watch a movie.

The only entry requirement beyond being a member of the choir is to know the secret passcode: I FEEL GOOD!

We'll adjust the seating in the conservatory so everyone can watch a movie in comfort.
We’ll have to move the TV also.

Working on a simple menu since the screening is on a Friday night when I don’t have much preparation time.

Do you have a favorite movie?

Books and Movie Ordered for the Summer Book Club

I’ve sent out invitations to join a summer book club. Today the group has been filled, 8 people plus me.  To encourage anyone who is trying something similar, I actually invited 29 people, 8 responded with a positive answer.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee -- the version we'll be reading.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee — the version we’ll be reading.

I decided to provide the books so we would all be “on the same page” when making citations during our discussions.

I ordered the video.
I ordered the video.

I ordered the books from Amazon and, while I was at it, ordered the DVD of To Kill a Mockingbird which will culminate our discussions. When I was checking my orders I realized I had accidentally ordered 2 videos which I then proceeded to cancel.  Unfortunately both videos canceled simultaneously and I needed one.

After entering my phone number, Amazon immediately called me.  The representative, Miguel, told me he couldn’t add the DVD back to my original order but when I placed a new order he removed the shipping charge. Good customer service.

Many books are available free on the internet.
Many books are available free on the internet.

One interesting feature to the book order is that Amazon would provide me immediately with an ebook version of the first 2 chapters so I could begin reading right away. Which I did.

You can actually read the entire book here.

Do you look for free shipping as a perk of ordering?

Swapped Books and Pulled Pork

Charlie and I pulled off a book swap on Saturday.

Folks put their books in an appropriate category then chose books that interested them.
Folks put their books in an appropriate category then chose books that interested them.

A variety of people, some who didn’t even know each other, each brought ten books to swap which led to conversations about common interests: books.

Non fiction
Non fiction remains

One couple came who was unknown to both of us sent by a mutual friend.

Fiction on the mantel.
Fiction on the mantel.

I am left with a bigger pile of books than I started with which will ultimately be donated to The Book Thing when it reopens after a recent fire.

The kitchen island was set up with the food buffet: pulled pork sliders, tortellini salad, barbecue chicken thighs, bread and butter pickles, grapes, brownies, and ice cream sandwiches.
The kitchen island was set up with the food buffet: pulled pork sliders, tortellini salad, barbecue chicken thighs, bread and butter pickles, grapes, brownies, and ice cream sandwiches.

The menu was very successful and would work for a large or small crowd.

I used a 9-pound bone-in pork shoulder with the skin.
I used a 9-pound bone-in pork shoulder with the skin.

I used Martha Stewart’s recipe for pulled pork.

Bacon is fried to render fat for searing the pork shoulder.
Bacon is fried to render fat for searing the pork shoulder.

The pork was seared in bacon grease.

I had to sear the pork in a bigger pan because it would not fit in my Dutch oven without being trimmed.
I had to sear the pork in a bigger pan because it would not fit in my Dutch oven without being trimmed.

I had to cut down the pork should to fit into the Dutch oven but I added the trimmed pieces to the pot.

Ingredients for the sauce.
Ingredients for the sauce.

The ingredients were mixed together and poured over the pork and bacon.

The pork shoulder is braised for 6 hours to become pulled pork.
The pork shoulder is braised for 6 hours to become pulled pork.

The pork finished cooking at half past midnight for 6 hours in a 300 degree oven.

Pulled pork
Pulled pork

I let it cool until early the next morning when I shredded it into fine pieces and returned it to the pot juices.

We prepared the pulled pork on small rolls to make it easy to eat.
We prepared the pulled pork on small rolls to make it easy to eat.

Later in the day the pulled pork was served on small slider-sized rolls — easy to eat. I can fully recommend this recipe.

Did you have something especially good to eat this weekend?

A Peaceful Mother’s Day

After having a houseful of friends and family yesterday at our Book Swap I’m anticipating a peaceful Mother’s Day.

The kitchen island was set up with the food buffet.
The kitchen island was set up with the food buffet.

Enough food left over so no one needs to cook.

Charlie cleaned up after our party.
Charlie cleaned up after our party.

Charlie has been hired to play music for an afternoon Mother’s Day party at a local assisted living.

Looking forward to a cappuccino.
Looking forward to a cappuccino.

So I’m just chilling.

My grandmother and mother back in the 1950s.
My grandmother and mother back in the 1950s.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who is remembering her own mother today.

Labeling the Book Swap

Instead of having people just heap their books all together on one table at the Book Swap I have divided the books up into categories.

Magic marker on card stock for labels
Magic marker on card stock for labels

I used 8.5″ by 11″ card stock folded in half for table labels. I hand-printed the various categories and spread them throughout the house.

I had to rewrite this label because I spelled "spirituality" wrong on the first try. (I missed an "i" and tied to sneak it in.)
I had to rewrite this label because I spelled “spirituality” wrong on the first try. (I missed an “i” and tied to sneak it in.)

Since the books will be spread all over the ground floor of the house, including the  porch, I’ve made a simple map to guide folks to the various piles of books both for contributing the books they brought and taking the ones they want.

Most people will enter by through the porch near the driveway where the "Gardening" books will be displayed.
Most people will enter by through the porch near the driveway where the “Gardening” books will be displayed.

The kitchen, while not housing any books, will be the service area for our food.  That’s on the map as well.

Charlie started his weeding because we were becoming rich in dandelions.
Charlie started his weeding because we were becoming rich in dandelions and weeds due to the plentiful rain.

We’ve had quite a bit of rain this week so our thoughts of people eating outside has sort of fallen by the wayside as the yard is fairly wet and in some places muddy.

Kitchen
Kitchen
Living room
Living room
Conservatory
Conservatory

Still there’s plenty of seating in the kitchen, in the living room and in the conservatory.

The pork shoulder is braised for 6 hours to become pulled pork.
The pork shoulder is braised for 6 hours to become pulled pork.

This morning we’re finishing up the food prep and  waiting for everyone to show up.

What’s your rainy day mantra?

Chairs for a Party

As I gathered my outdoor chairs together I realized they were just too dirty to sit in. We usually store them in the over the winter but this year the shed was full of exterior shutters awaiting rehab.

Nobody wants to sit in a dirty chair.
Nobody wants to sit in a dirty chair.

We’ve had a rainy week but Charlie went out in the damp weather with a bucket full of sudsy water (blue Dawn) and a scrub brush to clean the mesh seats and backs.

The undersides get especially dirty.
The undersides get especially dirty.

He told me the process was slow-going and involved some elbow grease.

Can you tell which chair has been washed?
Can you tell which chair has been washed?

I think the contrast is formidable.

The blue metal table is useful on the porch or in the yard.
The blue metal table is useful on the porch or in the yard.

The blue metal table is also clean.

What do you use in lieu of elbow grease?