Table’s Turn

Ending the year on an up-note. Family trek to New York produced several excellent dining experiences. The best was Ciano on Park Avenue South, a few blocks from our still favorite hotel, The Giraffe. Ciano has a farmhouse cozy warm ambience with fresh simple fare. Monkfish loin, Berkshire pork tenderloin succulent, cooked perfectly. Wine “program” a little much and it’s pricey, but worth it for a change. Lure remains our consistently fun FishBar stop in SoHo.

Enjoyed a quintessential bistro steak frites lunch with Betsey, who savored every morsel at Bourdain’s original Les Halles. Earlier lunch attempts at Zinc in New Haven and Alta in Lenox less satisfying, but nice just to be together with family and friends over the holidays. Happy healthy New Year to all SideTrekkers.

Buy Table’s Edge on RecipeDetours page.

The Side Trek – Worst 2011

10- People on TV.  Cover your cleavage, freckles, arms. Sleeves. Pleez.
9- Rabid FoxyLoxy in our yard later found bludgeoned next to a croquet mallet.
8- Tea Party Bags obstruct. Debt Ceiling Debacle.
7- Cancellation of Human Target. Miss Mrs. Pucci and torture guy Guerrero.
6- Restaurant quality. Even old standards fell. Blue Heron. Gotham B&Grill.
5- Last Harry Potter movie. Cute kids became creepy old characters.
4- Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Suicide for sale. Who would watch it. Um.
3- Still in Afghanistan. Bring troops home. Build roads here.
2- Amy Winehouse. Wasted. Life, talent.
1- Weather. Blizzards, tornadoes, hurricane. Wreaked regional, personal havoc.

Stuffington Post 2011

25 lb. Vermont bird demolished, nary a slice left. Lots of eating and laughing accomplished. Minor dysfunctional family melt-downs. Everyone survived. I think. JeanJean chef de cuisine queen made it all happen. At CandyPants’ house.

mAdHad and mAdBen compared account management notes. Cuzins colluded and rebelled to mess up the place cards so they could sit together. Alicat wasn’t here so I had the neck and gizzard to myself. Church basement rentals returned. Thanksgiving for healthy Grandmama.

StuffingtonSaturday cuzins’ football game. 

Comity Act

It’s not funny. Courtesy. Respect. Gone from the political landscape. Social media as well. Has America sunk so low that interrupting a football game is the primary topic of consternation? Not the dysfunction and rude discourse of our leaders.

Either way, this better be one damned good speech. Petty run-up raises the stakes. It’s about jobs, right? Calling FDR. Where are you? Oratory with teeth. Congressional Comity Central? Doubt it. We’ll see Thursday.

We lost Ellis, king of comity, a year ago today.

Shook Up

 Shakin’ all over the East Coast. Romanian travelers settled into Sibiu without a Cluj. Far-reaching quake centered in Virginia caused panic in Poughkeepsie. San Franciscan survivors of the ‘big one’ unimpressed.

Not that long ago, Trump was offering to put Gadhafi’s tent on his golf course in Westchester. Who are the bad guys? The so-called “Arab Spring” will not bring democracies. Chaotic tribal hodgepodges, theocracies, freshly minted despots will emerge. Follow the money.


Mormon wars? Huntsman v. Romney? Jon Huntsman, Sr. and I go back to 1986 in the banking bizness. Jon, Jr. dipped in and out of  Huntsman Chemical, and was on hand when his Dad gave me a salute at the family’s Park City ski lodge in 1994. Not surprised that Jon Jr. would run for Prez, but shocked that he’d do it this year against another Mormon. That doesn’t happen in LDS-land. Huntsmans and Romneys have deep ties to each other and the Church. Huntsman’s campaign advisors come from the McCain camp. There’s gotta be more to this story… 

Carol in Northampton, Ma., made her 24th appearance on the Cafferty File, 6/22. “Could a Mormon Ever be Elected President of the U.S.?”

Hair Say

Whose hair you’d rather? Travolta, Aniston, Bieber, Ghadfi? Salander?
UK Telegraph agrees that Noomi Rapace was robbed. She should win the Oscar for her portrayal of Lisbeth, TatooGirl. My favorite actor performance besides the obvious Colin Firth was Justin Timberlake’s in The Social Network. Speaking of the Oscars, check it out. MazeHome will participate in the swag bags. Kelsey’s ex un-real housewife of Beverly Hills, Camille Grammer will be covering the red carpet for CNN. Plastic pathological people of the world unite. Great.


Year of the Rabbit. Livin’ it. Happy Chinese New Year! And Thailand, too. Got dug out too late to make pie. Who was first on line at 3am for new Verizon i-Phone? That’s online. Classes today, don’t forget.

Poor Anderson got clocked. Journalists being rounded up. Scary. How long before Glenn Beck confabulates that Mubarak and Barack are secret half-brothers plotting to take over the world? Jordanian King should shed his Eaglebrook, Deerfield roots and get with his peeps before it’s too late there. Gonna be a bumpy ride.

Side Trek – Blog Spotted

Pioneer Valley newspaper Daily Hampshire Gazette featured TheSideTrek in Phoebe Mitchell’s “Blog Spotter” report. Cool! Great article. Read it here, the link works now, thanks to Noah:

‘Florence Woman Makes Mark on CNN Blog, and Her Own’. Ms. Mitchell highlighted frequent on-air Cafferty File comments, Recipe Detours, 2010 best TrekBooks and eclectic ramblings including the Hopper exhibit at the Whitney. Nod to GemQueen. Mitchell cited snarky “Skippy Hallow” post, and liked that Alicat and I fought over the neck and gizzard on Thanksgiving.

James Franco hosting Oscars, Ben’s NYU Econ Honors thesis acclaim and now this, good times. Thanks for your 14,000 visits and comment away into 2011!

Weekend Treks – Imagine

John Lennon was my Beatle. We all had our own. Missy liked Paul, or was it George. Cindy Erb played Ringo. But, mine was always John. He was dark, moody, poetic, even in 1964 when I was 14. My father was freaked out when the family sat in front of the telly on that Sunday night watching Ed Sullivan’s Show. I screamed like no silly ‘tween has done since, even for a Jonas Bro. It was orgasmic in an innocent way. If that’s possible, but it was. Camelot had just been shattered by bullets; soon after that, MLK and RFK were gunned down, and finally John. We went through a hellish violence in our childhoods, decades of turbulent times. Love is all you need and no more war. Vietnam, not Iraq or Afghanistan. Have we learned anything. No. Gathering at Strawberry Fields in Central Park tomorrow, John’s would-be 70th birthday, hard to believe.