Guilty, Guilty Pleasures —>>> Major Crimes with Mary McDonnell and company

The last time I posted about a television show was in regard to the American remake of the Swedish crime drama The Bridge.  Today it’s to do a little promotional hype for Major Crimes starring the incredible Mary McDonnell. Season 3 of Major Crimes starts Monday, June 9 on TNT and I am so looking forward to it. This spin-off from The Closer featuring Kyra Sedgwick would be well worth watching simply because of Mary McDonnell’s great portrayal of Captain Sharon Raydor as a very strong, independent, and very, very smart woman who has the rules down pat–and a lot more. McDonnell’s interview with Travis Smiley explains a great deal for anyone who has not yet discovered Major Crimes. Even if you don’t enjoy crime drama I think it’s worth listening to McDonnell discuss the Raydor character, power, acting and the needs of human beings–and selling brushes.

Another plus for Major Crimes in its first two seasons was the story line involving Captain Sharon Raydor and material witness Rusty Beck. Watching their relationship with each other and the rest of the characters grow and evolve brought unexpected considerable depth and substance to this drama. The concept of family is redefined by example in a much-needed manner for the discussions it has the potential to provoke. Unlike The Closer which had a certain formulaic feeling to the episodes featuring Brenda Johnson’s considerable talent for lying and manipulating people into confessions even when raising all sorts of issues including ethical issues about the ends justifying the means, Major Crimes is making its own way into the future. If you want predictable resolutions of plot-lines there’s always Law and Order to fall back into the comfort zone of neat little black and white packages. This isn’t to say that the criminal cases aren’t closed and resolved in Major Crimes–they are–but there’s a lot more going on than stereotypical criminal behavior.

There’s a great deal more attention paid to serious issues like sexually abused children. “These boys aren’t runaways. They’re throw-aways.” So says a man running a shelter for teenage boys living on the streets of LA.  Now for a society in which the mainstream jabbers constantly about family values and loving children so much this is a brutally honest statement of factual reality.  Its consequences for boys like the Rusty Beck–and other characters–holds up a mirror that reflects our society as all truly great dramas of the stage and screen do.  Clearly there are not enough Sharon Raydors willing to step up and care in our real world.  In most drama storylines children are summarily deposited with the Department of Family Services  and conveniently disappear from the script. In the first two seasons of Major Crimes, Rusty Beck didn’t disappear–and the writers used his character to full advantage.  I can’t tell from the promos or website if the very talented Graham Patrick Martin will continue in this role–but for the sake of abandoned children trying to survive in a hostile world I hope so. Being saved  is not the end of anyone’s story.

Oh and by the way, Rusty Beck loves playing chess.

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Personally I think the fans on YouTube have made better promos for Major Crimes than TNT has dreamed up so far. Here’s a fun meet and greet video to get acquainted.

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A short and to the point promo. ) I get it, this is probably for short promo time slots.

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Mary McDonnell interview on The Travis Smiley Show. Yeah you want to watch. I think Smiley was very smitten. Oh yeah, he likes her shoes. Ah ha.

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This particular choice of song and images conveys a great deal about the relationship between Rusty and Sharon.  Clearly this matters to viewers as there are many music videos on the tubes regarding this relationship.

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Major Crimes Cookbook for the Sunshine Kids

Major CrimesTV

For more information or to order the Major Crimes Cookbook, click here: http://majorcrimestv.net/support-the-…

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For cast profiles and more information visit  Major Crimes online: http://majorcrimestv.net/

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I think I’m going to post more fan videos for Major Crimes on the sidebar. Yeah, I think I will. It’ll be fun–for me anyway.  I’ll make sure to find one with the scene where Sharon Raydor shoots a guy between the eyes with a red bean bag. Hey, he asks for it–literally.

UPDATE–the Beanbag scene is the headliner on the sidebar. Several of my favorite scenes follow along with some fan made videos featuring music. Charlie’s Angels is a hoot.

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As for The Bridge–it’s all dark and dreadful in America and Mexico.  In Sweden there’s darkness and light–plus resolution. I recommend watching both versions.

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Breakfast Special, #36, Szechuan Shrimp Lo Mein

“Szechuan Shrimp Lo Mein”

“Hey, Sarge.”  Lily leaned against the fridge wondering how to tell him he was welcome to stay without it coming across as if she was expecting a great deal more than either of them was ready for at the moment. She asked herself just what exactly she was really ready for, but before she could reply to herself, Sarge was in the kitchen holding a large round hot pink Tupperware container and grinning like a little kid who’d just found the best prize ever inside a box of cracker jack.

“Guess what this is, Lily.” He repeatedly flipped the container over and over showing his complete confidence in its ability to remain fully sealed while in motion.

Lily looked at his happy-as-all-get-out-hazel eyes and sighed. She grabbed hold of the container to stop its motion and peered at the milky white bowl. “Hmm. Looks like lo mein noodles.” She looked closer. “Is that shrimp I see? Open it! Open it!”  Sarge set the container on the table and obliged her. Lily leaned in close and sniffed. “Oh hot damn, Sarge. Is this Mrs. Ling’s Szechuan shrimp lo mein?!”

“Indeed it is, Lily. Guess what’s for dinner, unless you were planning on poaching some eggs, of course.” He winked at her, stood with his hands behind his back, rocking from one foot to the other clearly excited with having brought this delicious dish home.

Lily shook her head hard enough to send her hair flying. “No. Oh no. Mrs. Ling’s Szechuan shrimp trumps everything including eggs. How did you get this?”

“Unscheduled basement flood emergency complete with blown fuse box. Yeah. It was worth wading around in that damn cold water for this.” He held up the Tupperware lid. “And this too: her coconut cookie recipe.  Is this a major score or what, Lily?”

Lily took the lid from him and read the recipe. “O yeah, you scored big time, Sarge. No one makes better coconut cookies than Mrs. Ling.  I’ve never had any better even in that fancy bakery in M- or anywhere else for that matter.  Wow.”

Sarge sniffed the air. “Is that dinner I smell?”

“Yes, I think dinner is set. You hungry?”

“Starving.  If you’ll warm it up, I’ll get cleaned up. “

“Go! Go! Go! Hurry up! I’m dying for some spicy shrimp.”

Walking backwards towards the bathroom, he said, “You have chopsticks, right? Eating lo mein with forks is just plain wrong in my book.”

“Do you really have to ask?”  Lily laughed as she pulled out a pan for gently warming up the shrimp lo mein.

Five minutes later they were spearing shrimp and twirling noodles and playing with their food on the way to their mouths.  “Is everything Mrs. Ling makes this good?”

Lily nodded. “Everything she’s brought to a potluck has always been good, but this and the coconut cookies are her best as far as my taste buds are concerned. I think she’s got some secret with the shrimp.  Anton has been trying to figure it out, but so far he can’t pin it down. Mrs. Ling likes having her food mysteries, so she’s not saying.”

“When I tried this at that first potluck, I couldn’t get enough. It disappeared really fast too.  Oh hell this is so good.” Sarge ate a shrimp and rolled his eyes. “Yeah, she’s doing something with these little beasties all her own. I wonder what else needs fixing in that building.”

Lily laughed and pointed at the list on the fridge. “It’ll be interesting to see what other top choice meal deals you bring home as you work through those repairs requests.”

“Mmm. I wonder if I could work out some regular meal trades for bread. What do you think?”

Lily stuffed a bunch of lo mein into her mouth and nodded as she chewed. “Worth a try. Everyone seems to like one kind of bread or another.” She speared a shrimp and offered it to him. Sarge promptly accepted it. “Yeah, bread deals for sczechy shrimpies, oh Gloria’s pierogies, maybe some of Harold’s buffalo sausages. Hmm. O yeah, Sarge, there are plenty of primo meal choices around the Flats for trading bread.”

“Mrs. Ranoli’s turkey cherry lasagna.”

“O yeah.” Lily laughed and they both dug into their bowls. She looked over at the list on the fridge again then back at the man enjoying his shrimp lo mien score.

Sarge caught her eye action and leaned back in his chair. He waited to speak until he’d swallowed and had a sip of tea. “What’s on your mind, Lily? Hmm?”

She sucked on the ends of her chopsticks for a moment and looked at the list then back at Sarge.  With a little shrug she said, “There’s a lot of work on that list of yours. More on the main one that you’ve written your name by. That one on the fridge alone must be about thirty hours of full-time work all by itself.”

Sarge looked at the list and nodded. “Yeah, more or less depending on what I find when I actually get into seeing what’s messed up.  A lot of that needs some serious attention as soon as possible. That’s why I took them. If there’s something electrical I can’t handle then Ricardo probably can. Anything like that at least I’ll save him the time and trouble of finding the problems.”

Lily set her chopsticks across the top of her bowl then pushed her hair behind her ears and mentally jumped. “Sounds like a good working plan. But how are you going to do all that and work full-time dock hours too?”

“I have that worked out with Oscar already. Starting from whenever he can open up the docks for freight as usual I’m taking two weeks vacation. That should let me get through the really bad stuff and anything else that decides to blow in that time.” Sarge suddenly realized he hadn’t discussed any of this with Lily. “Um, that is if it’s okay with you that I’m still hanging around here, of course.” He held his breath while watching her intently and bracing for negative impact verbally and/or physically for his oversight.

Lightly tapping her fingertips on the sides of her bowl she nodded. “Yes, it’s okay with me, as long as you still want to be hanging around here. That vacation time plan sounds good. Though it’s not much of a vacation for you, is it? Not exactly a trip to the Caribbean to get away from the snow and cold for a fun time.” Lily watched for any reaction from him regarding the indirect reference to the travel receipt in his coat pocket. He offered none that she could discern via direct observation nor her home people vibes and a certain small tight knot eased in her stomach.

“Oh I beg to differ, Lily. I’m having great fun with the whole shebang.” Unconsciously he lowered his head enough so that he was looking at her through the hair covering his eyes like a sheepdog who thought he’d narrowly escaped permanent banishment from its chosen human’s company forever. “Nasty garbarge disposal tricks aside, of course. But even those have their upsides, like baths and Lily swirlies.”

“Are you really enjoying everything, Sarge?” she said softly while glancing down into her bowl then at him then into the bowl again. “Even pushy Lily swirlies?”

Realizing she was talking about more than the work concerning the repair list, Sarge leaned slightly forward over the table. Wondering if a solid chance with Lily was now coming his way, he said, “Yes, I really am, Lily. I’m having a great time with you here in the Flats.” Seeing her sharp cheekbones suddenly flush brightly, he pushed his hair away from his eyes to keep from reaching out and touching her red streaked cheeks and said softly, “Lily, I don’t want any of it to stop: not the sharing breakfasts; not the dancing with you; not the bread baking; not the crazy repair work or minding Marianna on a tough day.”

Lily nervously twisted her fingers in her hair and smiled. “That’s good, because I’ve been having a great time having you here with me in the Flats. I don’t want any of it to stop either, Sarge.” She glanced at the list on the fridge again. “Since everything is working for both of us, then it doesn’t seem to make any sense to change things that don’t need changing, at least not to me.”

“Not to me either.” Hoping she couldn’t hear how hard his heart was pounding as he waited for her to share the rest of her thoughts, Sarge moved his hands under the table and tightly gripped his knees. “This is your home so it’s entirely your call when I stay or go.”

“You’re very welcome to keep staying here as long as we’re both agreeing with each other.” She shrugged a little and listened to her home people vibes murmuring softly. “Or whatever combination of here and your place makes sense when your vacation is over.”

“Okay, thanks, that sounds good to me.” Feeling awkward in spite of their mutual agreement, Sarge tried to find a way to create a more concrete and literal balance in the scenario.  “My place isn’t nearly as . . .  comfortable . .  as yours.  But it is a lot closer to the college. Maybe it could be useful to you somehow. There’s plenty of room for a study space all your own. Usually it’s pretty damn quiet too, even when Kozy is working on something downstairs. He won’t mind at all if you wolf howl your lungs out. Might rattle some of the guys on the docks, but hey, it would give them something different to talk about.” Sarge thought for a moment, searching for something else to offer her very practical sensibilities, he added, “There’s a bus stop close by for the long route that goes from the west end of Falls direct to M- and back. It’s easy to make a transfer connection to and from the Flats in several places.”

Understanding the balance Sarge was trying to create with the sharing of their individual spaces that he was offering her, Lily hummed with internal excitement while managing to respond calmly with quickly growing real interest. “Your place is near a bus stop for the long West-East route on the south side? That is very handy.” She tried, and uncharacteristically failed, to pin-point the stop location-based on her knowledge of the city bus system.

Encouraged by her tone and the gleam of genuine interest in her black eyes, Sarge did what he’d never dared to do in the five years he’d lived in the freight district on the second floor of Walter  Kozy’s warehouse, he invited another person, this particular woman, directly into what amounted to as his personally sacred for its highly prized privacy, living space. “When the bus routes are back on track, how about we take a ride to the freight district so you can have a look around my place? We could brainstorm some other ideas. Let’s see what works for both of us.”

Feeling suddenly oddly shy and disconcerted about this development regarding sharing his living space, Lily’s voice was hardly above a whisper when she said, “I’d like that. It’ll be like figuring out how to pool our resources with our different locations in the city.”

“Exactly.” Trying to contain his own nervous excitement, Sarge took a deep breath. “We can work things out as we go along. Switch it up until we find out what suits us both.” He waited for her to make eye contact again. “I’m game for keeping things working for both of us, if you are, Lily.”

“I am too. I’m in, Sarge.” She partly hid her smile with her hand for a few moments while quickly considering the doors that had unexpectedly opened between them. “I guess that’s settled then.”

Picking up on the fact that her voice had become quiet and soft and correctly interpreting it as an indicator of her excited yet very nervous state of mind regarding the content of their conversation and its implications for each of them, Sarge tried to put her, and himself, at ease before one or both of them began back pedaling for any number of rational reasons. “If you say it’s settled, Lily, then it is as far as I’m concerned. I meant what I said about it all working for me. Truly it is. If something isn’t working for you, just say the word and I’ll do my best to set it right.”

“Same here, Sarge. Two way street.” She walked the fingers of each hand in opposite directions towards and past each other across the table.

Sarge watched her finger action and laughed. “A two way street, eh? Do we need a stop sign or a traffic light for getting from one side to the other? I doubt either would stop you from jaywalking at will.”

Feigning innocence, Lily pointed at herself. “Me jaywalking? Never. Ah ha. You’re a very funny man, Sarge.” She pointed to the teapot nearer him for a refill of her cup.

“Apparently I have my moments according to your sense of humor.” He grinned while pouring more tea into her cup and then his own and caught sight of Mrs. Ling’s cookie recipe. “Do you think Rosa has any coconut stashed somewhere so we can try out these cookies tonight?”

“Probably. But we don’t need hers, not yet anyway, when we’ve got coconut aplenty right here, Sarge.” She pointed backwards towards the storage cabinets.

Sarge glanced at the cabinet then at the recipe. “What are we waiting for then, Lily? Let’s make some cookies.”

She got up, opened a cabinet, pulled out a large bag of shredded coconut and tossed it to him. “How about some Benny Goodman on the side? That work for you?”

“That definitely works for me, Lily.” He watched her leave the kitchen for the record player in the bookroom. When she was out of his sight, he stood up and spun around on the balls of his feet in a quick silent celebration of their agreement to continue living together and working on their evolving relationship.  Hearing static from the other room signifying the record player was now in action, Sarge froze with the realization that at this point in time he was already far beyond netting his former goal of getting to see Lily for a third or fourth time. He’d passed that goal weeks ago after the snow had first begun falling in earnest. Music came from the bookroom, but Sarge paid it no mind as Lily sauntered back into the kitchen with a preoccupied little smile on her lips. Catching his more than slightly stunned facial expression, she cocked her head to one side and came to a halt in front of him.

“You look like you’ve been hit with a dozen snowballs all at once, Sarge. What’s the matter? Shrimp lo mein, coconut cookies, Benny, and Lily more than you can handle at one time?”

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Sarge looked down at the black eyes shining up at him and gave her a wicked grin. “Careful, Missy, or you’ll find out real fast just how much I can handle all at one time.”

“Ooooo that sounds like a dare.” Lily grabbed the bag of coconut from the table and tossed it at him then followed it up with the empty Tupperware container. She was reaching for the cookie tin when he gently stayed her hand with his. Lily turned towards him and he quickly stole a light brush of a kiss on the lips then shyly backed away like a skittish deer retreating from the bright lights on a road at night. Tempted as she was to hedge him in between the kitchen window, table and sink counter with a chair to stand on in order to soundly return the favor of his affection, she paid heed to the sudden warning turn of her home people vibes and refrained from taking such an approach. Instead she smiled and blew him a kiss. “I like you too, Funny Man.” She winked and began dancing to the music while gathering the ingredients for Mrs. Ling’s cookies. A moment later he joined her efforts.

Lily smiled to herself happy in knowing that she’d read him well enough that, in spite of his verbal daring and spontaneous kiss theft, he clearly couldn’t handle more at the moment. Backing off from physically returning the kiss and letting him return from his retreat on his own was plainly the right plan of action as his quick, unhesitant jump into the cookie making preparations signified. As they moved into sync for baking and dancing, her home people vibes humming along with the music, she felt him edge a little closer physically like a wary stray cat getting comfortable with the notion of proximity to a human setting out clean water and food for it. Treating him as if he were indeed such a cat, she kept to the program with which they were both familiar and comfortable and refrained from making any sudden movements of her own, tempting as that was considering their new mutual agreement to keep doing what was working for both of them, namely living together, and expanding their domain by venturing into his living space on the other side of the city.

As she gradually added coconut to the dough Sarge was steadily mixing with a wooden spoon, Lily reflected on the information he’d shared piecemeal about his home on the second floor of the warehouse in the freight district. The main thing that came to mind was a sense of it being far enough off the city’s well beaten paths to offer privacy and peace, trains aside, yet close enough for easy access with some foresight regarding public transportation schedules. She considered the comparative lack of both privacy and peace here in the Flats and gave him credit for adapting as well he had without complaint to the local environment. Having done more than her fair share of adapting, which seemed never-ending for her, she knew how the stress of it could manifest in unexpected ways. It wouldn’t surprise her at all if that alone was responsible for his starts and stops when it came to physical closeness when they weren’t dancing or sharing a task. She factored in the intense and focused way he read, as if his mental space was his most prized possession, and thought she had a fairly good explanation for his behavior. If they ventured into deeper emotional and physical waters now, and if they had a falling out, his as well as her options for literal private physical escape from the situation in the current context were practically nil. He might sleep in the front room occupied by the back-up generator and Ricardo’s in-home warehouse of food and other supplies deemed necessary for survival in the winter months in this climate, but it was no place for him or anyone else to spend their days waiting for the city to return to enough normalcy to enable a return home. The ready rooms over at “sun rise” didn’t offer any better solution all things people context considered.

Unconsciously they leaned into and against each other while together carefully reading Mrs. Ling’s surprisingly fluent English translation of the instructions for the next steps in the recipe. After placing the cookie dough in the fridge then setting the timer, they gave their full attention to the music and put the waiting time to good use dancing.

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Lily gave herself up to the music Priest had shared with her in an effort to create for her a potential social bridge into another culture. Gran and her aging friends had joined in the music and dance efforts in order to encourage Lily and to get some sense of what Priest was trying to convey to her granddaughter. Now her home people vibes hummed with glee as Sarge, who held nothing back as a dance partner, twirled, whirled and spun her around the apartment as if this was the very best thing in the world to be doing right here and now.

Only after the coconut cookies had been baked and deemed satisfactory for first efforts with a new recipe, after they’d cleaned the kitchen, after they’d danced to the last song on the record and Sarge laid claim to the bathroom for a shower while Lily sprawled over the red velvet couch enjoying the view of the winter sky, only then did either of them take more than a moment to pause in order to reflect on their conversation over Mrs. Ling’s shrimp lo mien.

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Breakfast Special, #1  ->  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/breakfast-special/

Breakfast Special, #26, “Fishing Lines and Irish Lace”

Fishing Lines and Irish Lace

Anton set aside his book and waited while Sarge adjusted the racks and closed the oven door on the two baking pans of banana bread he’d arrived with a few minutes ago.  He and Esther had already placed new bets with Mr. Ranoli on how long, how many ovens and how far along the street the bread baking spree, now in the middle of its third day of spilling out of Lily’s apartment might extend. Whenever Sarge wasn’t out clearing snow off rooftops with Anton and the rest of the Watch snow crew, he and Lily went to town mixing up breads then farming them out for baking in any available empty oven someone was willing to open for them. According to Ricardo, Rosa had skewed the betting odds of when all this bread making action would have to end due to a lack of ingredient resources by giving the pair free and easy access to her flour reserves stored in one of the large freezers in the front room. And she wasn’t the only one funneling baking supplies into Lily’s kitchen. The first batch of loaves had tasted pretty good and the second batch better. Now anyone who had an odd bag of yeast on a cabinet shelf or nuts, fruit, flour, sugar, anything else suitable for tossing into a mixing bowl was dropping it off and volunteering their oven.

Sarge set the stove’s oven timer, then grinned at Anton. “All set. Now what did you want to ask me?”

“I see you got a serious game plan going with the loaves. I don’t want to mess it. But, hey, how about you take a load off for a few tic tocs?”

“No problem. The game plan is in no rush, Anton.” Sarge sat down at the kitchen table hoping to set the clearly nervous Anton at ease. “You’re looking a little tight, Anton.  What’s winding you up?”

Anton listened to the voices in the hallway for a time then leaned towards Sarge and lowered his voice.  “Here’s what I’m stressing. Got a call back from this place in M-  where I dropped an app for a place on their kitchen line a while back. Main Cook Man says if I’m still fishing for a place on a line, to come round soon as the road open again. No sweat when, cuz he know the score in Falls. Just fill him in when feet can travel. That’s all sweet as far as I can read.”

“Sounds good so far. So what’s got you stressed?”

“It lay like this, Sarge. I worked a lot of kitchens in my time. But I never worked any kitchen line this high up before. Main Cook Man say he call me back cuz that boxed cod I plated up for him was best he ever put a fork to. I made it taste like fresh wild caught. See, I got my ways with the swimmers. I did this job pitch cause the funds so damn sweet. Cover travel and everything and still plenty cash to stash. No more need for Esther to do two part-times.  Hours reg too. Big sweet that. Most times I catch a job line in a place with folks I know. But not this place. I got no intel to fill me in. No eyes, no ears. No one ever done  more than hit the bar in this place for a treat. Now, I don’t mean no offence here, I just reading the book as it is. But, you being you, with roots in M-, maybe you know this place some. You read?”

“I get it. No offence taken. You want to know what you’re walking into up front.”

Anton relaxed and nodded vigorously. “Exactly.”

“Okay. What’s the name of this place?”

“Irish Lace on Lincoln Street. Sweet dining area up front.  Major kick-ass bar. Some tables in back. Live piano nights.”

Sarge nodded. “I know the place.” He looked at Anton. “You want it straight up, right?”

“Oh yeah, Big Man. Lay it on me.”

“Up front, I hope you know me well enough by now to know I mean no offence. Like you said, I’m just reading the book as it is. I’m trying to make sure I don’t put your back up. I like you, Anton. I don’t want any trouble for giving you what you’ve asked for.  You read me?

“I do. No blowback coming for sharing intel best can do. ”

“Good.” Sarge brushed some flour out of his hair then did his own check of the people in the hallway. Satisfied that they still had some privacy for their conversation but wishing for more, he gestured for Anton to lean in closer to him.  “If you’re working the kitchen, then stay in the kitchen. Not because you’re black.  Just because the kitchen is Mack’s turf.  He rules his turf. Kitchen staff are his people. If you were working the bar, you’d stay at the bar. That’s Charlies’s turf. He rules his turf. Bartenders are his people. Same goes for the tables and Tony. Everyone runs their own turf.  Unless you’re told to visit the bar to help out, you stay away from the bar. Otherwise you run the risk of setting off a turf war between three guys who have trouble implementing the concept of mutually beneficial peaceful coexistence.  Good so far?”

“I read. The dudes got territory issues. Go on.”

“Yeah, that’s one way to put it.” Sarge hesitated then dove in again.  “Here’s what I don’t know how to say any way that will sound nice and polite. So focus on the message not how it’s packaged. Intentions are all good on my part.  Okay?”

“We’re good. Let it flow.”

“All right then. The first time we met, Lily asked you to tell me all about the news for your speech practice. When you did that, you didn’t use any slang or your usual lingo. At Irish Lace,  it would be in your best interests to try to talk like that as much as possible while working. If they can’t understand you when the kitchen gets slammed, it’s going to piss them off. You don’t want that kind of trouble. I’m not kidding. Mack gets pissed and the knives start flying. He doesn’t like anything messing up his lines. ”

“I read. Talk their talk. Walk their walk. Anything else?”

“You don’t have turn yourself inside out for these guys.  They don’t expect that.  It’s just a matter of effective communication that’s all. Mack offered you the shot because he likes your cooking. With him and the people he takes on it’s all about the cooking. All they care about is what you do in that kitchen. You play nice with them and they will play nice with you.”

Anton laughed a little.  “Hell, you make it sound like a damn kids’ sandbox.”

“Yeah, well that’s pretty much what it is when you get down to it, Anton.” Sarge looked down at his hands for a few moments. “Now this is an entirely other matter you need to be aware of especially if you and Mack decide to commit to a long-term relationship. If there’s ever a fight when you’re working, do not under any circumstances get involved. Do not try to intervene. Do not make a play for a piece of the action. No matter what is going down or who you see fighting, stay the hell out of it. Do not call the cops. Keep your head down and out of the line of fire. Do whatever Mack tells you to do.  He watches out for his people. You follow his creed to the letter if there’s a fight. Have I made myself clear, Anton?”

“Oh yeah, Big Man. Oh yeah. No problem. I got no interest in kicking sand at anyone else.  Got plenty of intervention action right here in the Flats to suit me.  More than I care for. Ain’t about to tangle with others’ issues. Anything else?”

Sarge thought for a moment then said, “Oh yeah. Sarah, the owner, she’s a handsy type, but she doesn’t mean anything by it. She just touches everything and everyone. If you watch her with the customers you’ll see her do it non-stop. She can’t stop herself.  I think it’s some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder. You probably noticed that Mack has a lot of fly-swatters in the kitchen. They’re not there for swatting flies. They’re there to keep Sarah’s hands off the food.  I’m not joking. When I said she touches everything I meant it.  When Sarah reaches for the food you’re working with, you whack her hand just like everyone else does.  Don’t hold back. She won’t hold it against you. She knows she’s got a problem.”

Thinking Sarge really was yanking his chain, Anton grinned. “Don’t hold back with the fly swatter. I can do that. Thanks, Sarge.”

Sarge stood up. “No problem.  Good luck with Mack. You keep his lines sweet, he’ll treat you right. One more thing, Mack doesn’t care if you’re black or white or green. Keep that in mind if he gives you some flack when he gets stressed. He’s got a limited vocabulary. Now, I’ve got some dough to pound down. I’ll wander back in to check the bread around ring time.  If you think of anything else you want to know about Irish Lace just ask.”

“Will not hesitate. Hey, you got a compulsive disorder with all this bread you and Lily been making?”

 

~~

Breakfast Special #27 https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/breakfast-special-27-lilys-coat/

Breakfast Special, #13, The Most Important Meal of the Day

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Lily woke slowly, her nose leading the way to full consciousness. Head completely under the down quilt, she stayed motionless to get a sense of if she was alone or not in the bed. Realizing that there was nothing weighing down the mattress on the other side, she peeked out from under the edge of the quilt to see if the bedroom was empty as well. There was no sign of Sarge or his clothes on the footboard. But the scent of Rosa’s homemade chorizo sausage, one of her very favorite foods, had found its way inside the room despite the closed door. Very hungry and needing to visit the bathroom she yanked on her thermals then sprinted to it.

Unable to resist the stronger scent of the chorizo and whatever else was cooking, Lily wasted no time making her way directly to the kitchen. There she made a beeline to the stove and discovered the sausage warming in a cast iron pan, a stack of pancakes and another pan filled with fried potatoes, onions and peppers. Fully focused solely on satisfying her stomach, she took a pancake in one hand, put spoonfuls of the sausage and potatoes on it, folded it in half and took a healthy bite. Only after dropping onto the nearest chair did she see Sarge standing at the sink carefully pouring hot water into an apple red teapot.

Without taking his eyes off the task at hand, he said, “I figure green tea is a good switch up after all the coffee last night. Morning, Lily. Right on time for breakfast. Your nose is one heck of an alarm clock.” Sarge turned away from the sink to set the teapot on the table and came to a grinding halt at his first full sight of Lily wolfing down her pancake. After pushing a potato back into her overfull mouth, she gave him a thumbs up sign before pointing to the half eaten pancake in her other hand  spilling some of its contents onto the table and in her lap. Unable to talk, she squeezed her eyes shut for a moment while shaking her head a little to convey her delight.

Unable to take his eyes off her, Sarge carefully set down the teapot while slowly sitting down on his chair. He made absolutely no effort to hide the fact that he was taking his time drinking up the sight of her from the top of her head to her toes then back again repeatedly.  He was well aware that this was the first time she was totally relaxed in his presence. Following her intense desire to get to the source of the food scents, she’d arrived in the kitchen wearing only her navy blue thermal underwear which, in spite of its loose fit, here in the bright kitchen light, with no hammer in her hand to distract his attention, indicated the general dimensions of a figure barely half the mass of what Sarge had estimated might be hidden under winter sweaters and loose-fitting pants which allowed layering clothing for warmth.

Stuffing the last bit of the pancake into her mouth, she returned to the stove for another helping. Second pancake, complete with sausage and potatoes, held open over both of her hands she leaned a little over the table, still chewing the last mouthful,  nodded her head at the bottle of maple syrup then at Sarge. Catching her drift, he opened the bottle and poured a generous amount over the pancake which was then promptly folded in half like the first. Lily swallowed, cleared her throat, said, “Thanks” then attacked her second helping as intensely as the first.

Meanwhile Sarge resettled into his chair, one elbow resting on the back, saying nothing while taking note that even as she moved her fully covered breasts, in the shape of halved oranges, didn’t sway, sag or even jiggle. He still had no sure idea about her waist, but the gentle curve of her hips and tapering contours of her slender legs were doing an admirable job of satisfying his curiosity.

Having already eaten while cooking, Sarge waited wordlessly for the tea to brew while watching Lily eat nonstop until she’d downed a third pancake same as its predecessors. He poured a cup of tea and set it within her reach, then another for himself. Finally full, she stretched her arms overhead, leaned to the left and then to the right just long enough for a sound like cracking knuckles to issue from each side. Her arms dropping down with a relieved sigh, she picked up her cup of tea, nodded at Sarge and sipped it with her eyes closed. “Thank you very much, that was wonderfully delicious.”

“Any time Lily any time.” Drinking his tea, Sarge managed to refrain from giving voice to a single one of the numerous things he knew very well he ought not to say to a woman, yet very often did, even though doing so usually resulted in his permanent exile from their company.

Lily held up a length of her long hair, sniffed it and wrinkled her nose. “I think I better grab a shower before this gets worse. You want to use the bathroom before I get in there for a while?”

Sarge shook his head.”All good here.” By the time she left the kitchen humming with her cup of tea in hand, uncombed long hair swaying slightly with her every step, she had unwittingly totally captured his undivided complete attention on all possible levels.

~~~~~~

Breakfast Special, #14, What A Little Wood Can Do  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/breakfast-special-14-what-a-little-wood-can-do/

Cavort with Yvette for some “Home Made” cuisine all on your own. You too can bake bread without an expensive machine.

Click to visit Yvette.

     Are you ready for some do it yourself yum yums? Eh? Sure you are. I am always ready for cuisine that tickles the tongue and stirs the imagination. If your idea of good eating primarily entails KFC then go forage elsewhere because this is not mega chain food chop chop. If Yvette Van Boven can’t turn you onto to creating your own meals from scratch–without a shyte-load of expensive culinary toys–then you are doomed to plastic wrapped microwave hell for eternity.  Yes, you too can learn how to make bread and cheese and sorbet from scratch via this Dutch Cookbook of 2010 Award Winner which is now available in English stateside. All those luscious red tomatoes loitering whispered slyly to me from the library shelf, “Hey there. You, pick us up! You know you want to. No regrets, we promise!” on first sight.  Then, you know how we all do with cookbooks, a random opening and flipping of the pages to see if anything looked good enough to spend time actually making is in evidence. O and was there ever! Oof Verschuren’s photograph of Gooseberry Jam with Orange (p.15) enticed me into spending time right there and then with Yvette’s Zucchini Flapjacks with Basil Cream (p. 54), Biscuits (p.30), Red Bell Pepper Soup with Orange and Tarragon-Basil Oil (p. 1330, Papardelle with Spicy Lamb Ragu and Capers (p. 216), and Raspberry Sorbet (p. 315), and -well you’ve got the idea by now, I hope, that Yvette’s Home Made totally captivated moi via the salivary glands.

    If you’re more into photography than food -well–that’s another reason to taste this book’s delights. There are beautiful landscapes of Paris, people, and how to make bread and how to make cheese. If you’re a writer then take note of the engaging and encouraging voice of Home Made: “Let’s get going . . . .” Yvette does not adore ice cream but apparently Oof, her husband, loves it and makes a great deal of it according to his own notions of flavors. Most of which will NOT be found via Ben & Jerry in the frozen food aisle. Guess what, everything looks doable. Intimidating curious would be do it yourself cooks is not the name of Yvette’s game. This is do it yourself cooking presented as it ought to be–try it, change it, go for it, make it your own! Have a great time and enjoy everything you eat!

    Oof’s photographs are the sort that fool your hand into reaching out for the green tea ice cream, apple crisps and even the dog biscuits. Yes, the dog biscuits. If you’re a gardener lucky enough to have zucchini, carrots, and onions galore then get a grip on this cookbook for everything from roasting that zucchini to stuffing peppers with cheese you’ve made yourself. If you’re sick and tired of all the same old flavors and textures presented time and again in tried and true cooks’ books then wander through Home Made for some inspiration not found from a Pampered Chef party. Living well entails eating well–and you don’t have to be an Iron Chef to enjoy every meal.

   Okay, I’m off to get some raspberries to make sorbet!

                    Go see all that Yvette does herself in Amsterdam and Paris. What’s a food stylist do? Click the photograph below to find out.  Enjoy!

    

Car as easy-bake oven compliments of Solar Power?

Okay thank Meg for this cookie craziness.  Oh yeah, over at “Living a whole life” she banged up a post about her Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies that has had me eyeing the hood of my car and wondering just how to utilize it for baking  my fave cookies via the current raging Solar Power in the KC metro. Actually the inside of the car might be more appropriate–roll up the windows and position vehicle to catch the most rays and “BAKE”! The other option is the conventional oven–but–that might force me to activate the air conditioning unit that so far I have not employed due to evasive strategies of fans, blinds, and the desire to be refrigerated of other folks who are cooling my ceiling, floor and walls thereby keeping my space very very comfortably cool.

First the link to Meg’s yummies –>  http://thispearl.wordpress.com/2010/08/02/chocolate-peanut-butter-oatmeal-cookies/

Btw–Meg’s appear to be NO BAKE in an oven cookies! Oh yeah.

And–

Eva’s best cookies–so far~~

  These are cookies that fall into the full meal in themselves deal. Cookies that you want to keep eating and won’t make you sick. Or actually my goal is create cookies that won’t make ‘me’ sick by consuming one or more due to food allergies.  So, since so far it is impossible to share hard copy food via computer technology  I can do the next best thing and share the recipe as it currently stands. If it sounds  ‘good’  to you then bake them and eat until you can’t stand them.  If you experiment and manage to improve them in some way, then DO TELL me about it! LOL. Oh and I  am going to see what a Duck Egg addition will do for the recipe–but eggs of any kind are not required.

The stuff you need:

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 sticks of BUTTER

1/2 cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup of vanilla or plain yogurt

1 cup of white cane sugar

1 cup of loosely packed dark brown sugar

2 cups oatmeal–NOT the instant variety

1 cup coconut

1/2 cup pecans

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup macadamia nuts

1/2 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup golden raisins or dark if you prefer

1 cup semi sweet chocolate morsels

Sea salt

Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together in  one bowl.

Mix the butter, sugars, olive oil and vanilla extract together in another bowl.

Mix the ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ bowl contents together.

Add the oatmeal.

Add all the nuts, fruits, and chocolate.

On ungreased cookie sheet, bake at 350 heat–depending on your oven and the size of your cookies–10 to 12 minutes–until golden brown. While still hot sprinkle lightly with coarse Sea Salt.  

NO eggs allowed!

No Barley Flour used.

No beet sugar added.

If anyone has successfully converted their automobile into an easy-bake oven please illuminate moi! Oh yeah, my boiling brain really wants to know all the heating details.

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