Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016

Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016
Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Supper with Friends - Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016

Around 9am, Bob went on a four-mile run, his first run since the Honolulu Marathon. He was very proud that he ran the whole way and felt great. He will now be training for the Austin Marathon on February 19.

Christmas morning, 11am: We packed up the wild rice stuffing, mashed yams, a bottle of Moscato, and a bottle of port wine. From the RV park to Susan and Darren's home is a half-hour drive. The weather outside was delightful (not frightful) at 79 degrees. 

When we arrived, after saying our "Merry Christmases" to Susan, Darren, and their son, Kyle, I helped Susan in the kitchen. Our main dish was Sole Thermidor. Susan was rolling up the sole, readying it for the oven. 

Once the fish was in the oven, I made the thermidor sauce, which is similar to a cheese sauce on macaroni and cheese. After the fish cooked for 25 minutes, the thermidor sauce was poured on top and then the pan was placed under the broiler for 1 minute.

Dinner was served. Besides the sole thermidor, we had wild rice stuffing, mashed yams, fresh red and green grapes, bread with honey butter, and wine or beer.

Kyle and Darren loading up their plates

Sole Thermidor (lower left), grapes,
mashed yams, wild rice stuffing, bread

Bob and Susan M. ready to eat

Darren and Bob
We had a lovely meal. The Sole Thermidor was excellent. The fish was cooked to perfection. The wild rice and yams blended perfectly with the fish. 

For dessert, Susan put out Pirouette wafers and homemade cinnamon cookies with icing. Very tasty. 
This was the first time in 20 years that Susan and Darren have been home for Christmas. Normally they go to see their family in Ohio. Thank you, Susan and Darren, for inviting us to your home for Christmas. We feel honored. 

After dinner, we sat on the couch and everyone watched sports, except me. I read a National Geographic magazine, napped, drank some port wine, and then read Entertainment Weekly. I love catching up on naps and reading while others are watching sports.

Games they watched included Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, and San Antonio Spurs vs. Chicago Bulls. Everyone was happy with the outcome of both games: The Spurs and the Cavaliers won.

Christmas Day was just right...time well spent socializing with friends.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Christmas Onion: A Parable - Sunday, Dec. 25, 2016

It all started last night with Bob's birthday spaghetti dinner. My work day was very busy and I left the office about 2:40 pm. 

When it came time to make spaghetti, I was carefully considering the quantities of different ingredients. I had 3-4 pounds of ground turkey and a huge onion. I could have put in half the onion, but decided to use the whole thing in the spaghetti.

The spaghetti turned out great. We also had steamed red cabbage and garlic toast.

Fast forward to this morning, 8 am. I'm getting ready to make wild rice stuffing. The recipe is on my computer, saved from when I made it for Thanksgiving dinner. I re-read the ingredient list and there it was: one cup of onions.

Aaaackk! I used up my onion last night.

Christmas morning
Before showering, with my hair all a mess, I hope above hope that Walmart is open this morning. Driving the mile and a half down the street, I see maybe ten cars out. 

The Walmart parking lot comes into view. Not a single car in the lot. I drove past the doors hoping, maybe, that they're open. It was a false hope.

Across the street was a 7-11 at the gas station. Long shot that they'd have an onion, but I gave it a try anyway. The clerk looked at me like I was nuts when I asked her if they had any onions. No, definitely not.

Strike two. What to do? What to do?

Then I remembered driving past a small Mexican restaurant, Las Palmas, that was open. I parked, went inside and sheepishly asked if they had an onion they could sell to me.

Photo taken the evening of Jan. 5, 2017
when we went there for dinner.
The first young lady, Linda, didn't know what to say. She asked someone else. 

I explained to Brenda that I needed to make stuffing, but I didn't have any onions left at home. I wondered if I could purchase an onion from them.

Brenda went to the back of the restaurant and came out with an onion. I asked her, "How much?" She said, "No charge. Merry Christmas." I am so thankful!

What a sweetheart! She made my day. 

We had been there for dinner once before. Now we will be returning more frequently. 

My wild rice stuffing turned out great. 

Lessons learned:
  • Recheck your recipe for ingredients needed the day before a holiday
  • Don't give up after two strikes.
  • Think outside the box...stores.
  • Don't assume someone won't help you.
  • If you have a chance, repay the favor to someone else. (Pay it forward.)
  • Treat other people the way you would like to be treated.  
  • Give thanks when someone goes out of their way to help you.
  • Spread the word about a good deed.
  • Give your business, and refer others, to businesses that help people. 
Merry Christmas!