We Came, We Ate, We Watched

Friday night we had our choir over to watch the documentary Young @ Heart.

Air-popped popcorn. What's a movie without popcorn.?
Air-popped popcorn. What’s a movie without popcorn.?

I planned a simple menu that could easily be put together in an hour after I came home from work.

Cover the sandwiches with a damp dish towel to keep the sandwiches moist.
Cover the sandwiches with a damp dish towel to keep the sandwiches moist.

Instead of making individual sandwiches I bought baguettes and made four large sandwiches.

Turkey breast and avocado on baguette.
Turkey breast and avocado on baguette.

In additional to a traditional ham and Swiss with lettuce and tomato, I combined turkey and avocado.

Grating the red bell pepper makes the texture more pleasant in the sandwich than chopping it.
Grating the red bell pepper makes the texture more pleasant in the sandwich than chopping it.

I added grated red bell pepper to the turkey and avocado. Three grocery stores were out of sprouts or those would have been on the sandwich, too.

Folks could mix and match their sandwich choices.
Folks could mix and match their sandwich choices. The condiments: Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, pesto, oil and vinegar, salt and pepper.

Then we cut the sandwiches into smaller sections and provided condiments to be applied by the eater.

Charlie provided the fudge filled pretzels in the foreground.
Charlie provided the fudge filled pretzels in the foreground.

I also supplied movie candy and popcorn.

Movie snacks individualized for easy eating.
Movie snacks individualized for easy eating.

One friend brought a mixture of pretzels, popcorn, Chex cereal, slivered almonds, craisins, and M&Ms covered with white chocolate individually packaged. Totally addictive.

What’s the last movie you saw?

A Busy Week

This week started off busy and is slated to continue that way.

Tennis Racquets -- all for one price.
Tennis Racquets — all for one price.

Yesterday I sold our old tennis racquets for $15 after listing them on Craigslist. It was a bargain and the buyer arrived in a Lincoln. I gave her a 2-hour window and of course she arrived at the end of the window.

The conservatory is usually set up with two love seats facing each other.
The conservatory is usually set up with two love seats facing each other.

Tuesday night we start our summer book club.

The love seats are now at right angles to each other. We'll fill in the facing spaces with chairs.
The love seats are now at right angles to each other. We’ll fill in the facing spaces with chairs.

I’ve rearranged the furniture in the conservatory so 10 of us can fit in this room to discuss To Kill a Mocking Bird.

Charlie keeps his booking files scattered around the conservatory.
Charlie keeps his booking files scattered around the conservatory.

I told Charlie he has to clear out his stuff from the conservatory floor.

The window on the far right is a good spot for an air conditioner -- unseen from the street and behind the bathroom door when opened.
The window on the far right is a good spot for an air conditioner — unseen from the street and behind the bathroom door when opened.

I also asked him “very nicely” to put an air conditioner in the window in the corner.  Generally the house stays at a comfortable temperature but we’re expecting hot and humid days and some of my guests suffer from over heating.

The conservatory is rearranged to make the television a focal point.
The conservatory is rearranged to make the television a focal point.

Then on Friday we’re hosting a screening of Young @ Heart for my choir.  This is also happening in the conservatory.

The marble coffee table has been stored under the dining room table before.
The marble coffee table has been stored under the dining room table before.

I invited 19 people but am realistically expecting 10 to 12.  We’ll move the coffee table out of the room (under the dining room table) and set up chairs facing the television.

Do you like to entertain?

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.