ORIGINAL AMERICAN ACRYLIC PAINTING: A PEACEFUL BEACH CAN CONVEY COMFORT
...painting is like cooking or making soup: both require creative applications and the recipes may require adjustments and alterations...
When I paint I do not cook. My brain requires a single highway these days when it comes to creative pursuits. When it was being used to make daily decisions as an 11-7 shift Charge RN in a very busy Intenstive Care Unit... many moons ago...it could compartmentalize and switch gears at lightening speed...no more.
...but that is okay...today taking time to be more methodical in problem solving is necessary when pursuing the business of teaching myself to paint these many years...alone.
So if cooking is left to others to feed the stomach and the soul...much expermintation is needed in finding fab restaurants with fab healthy food to enjoy on site and bring the rest home to make new meals!
As a winter germophobe, I lose weight in winter - to be joyfully re-gained during the delightful dining out summer season! Yay! What with good apps, a fab dinner, two marvelous martinis and yummy dessert, how can one not gain some weight!? Thankfully...lost again in winter. Here are a few places - not in any particular order - that we enjoy in late spring and summer season:
Locally a restaurant with a mediterranean menu that is positively delish and healthy all at once! The co owner, a tall leggy lady who stops at every table to say "hello", and her hubby bought the restaurant from her father and now includes cousins in their midst. Monda...with two years left for her PhD in criminal science....get those perps Monda...makes a mean martini...Her sister Cassie, an ICU RN, also waits there part time and could perform a Heimlich should someone need it...gosh forbid! Miranda the hostess always gets our weekly take out order just right during the winter months. Everything there is always perfect.
Ithaki in Ipswich see the "Seeking Serenity...." blog below...
Samuel's at historic Andover Inn...Jackie O stayed there when she visited John John...at Phillips Academy...offers an impeccably crafted menu, marvy martinis and courteous service. The Brisket Slider or Crab Cakes apps are always good and the Pomegranate Short Ribs (beef of course) are toe curling. Bob's French Martini to die for...while the fellas may like the Dark N' Stormy...finish the meal off by sharing the Peanut Butter Cup Croissant Bread Pudding...oh my.... Even though bread pudding has always been a no-no in my book...bread pudding is starting to "make good" at certain foodie restaurants these days...
Allora Ristorante in Marlboro MA, although an 85+ mile round trip for us...is a Spring through Fall must. The Crab Cakes app with lemon aioli is my most fave and their Rollatini is not the usual: no fried eggplant...instead, a thinly sliced eggplant piece is delicately wrapped around the Ricotta and sauce... The Braised Beef Shortribs...must be feeling a bit anemic craving all this lean beef lately...and Lamb dishes to perfection.
...And then there is Tom...yes...Tall Tanned Tom... who has owned a few restaurants...has an eidetic memory when it comes to his guests' martini faves... at the bi level Allora horseshoe bar..where he holds court. His creation the Killer Bees martini is "molto buon" or as he would say "shad habor" (misspelled here - no doubt)... while the fellas may like a briny manly martini with three blue cheese hand stuffed queen olives...yum... You can watch Tom infuse vodka with various fruits...simultaneously take multiple dinner orders... craft any martini or invent any combination by request...as long as it does not include St. Germain...triple sigh... Mama mia...what talent!
For years, in Portsmouth NH - The Library Restaurant at the Rockingham - a historic mansion built in 1785 turned hotel - now private residences...where Presidents George Washington, Teddy Rosevelt, John Kennedy, et al once slept...has been another favorite 80 mile round trip...and is always worth the drive for lunch or dinner. At one point the renovations cost more than the entire Portsmouth Naval Yard! Holy moly!
While the historic dining room with its hand painted panels is a must...the Library Lounge...yes...beaucoup books to read on the walls... with the nine stool cozy historic bar which is always full. Not to worry,...there are tables against the walled bookcases, a varied menu and courteous service to enjoy. I have sketched my hubby sitting across from me in years past. The martini menu is contained in a small bound notebook to make your head spin with decisions...alas...although quite capable of consuming more without a wobble...two and only two is my choice consumptiom for the evening....calories...calories...calories.
It is still the only place to eat Artichoke-not-too-cheesy-Dip in that fabulous glorious delicious bread bowl...calories...calories...calories...extra hour on the bike...extra hour on the bike...extra hour on the bike... Emily the bartender and Curan make it a most enjoyable visit. How fun to own a condo upstairs and come downstairs to this historic restaurant...
Venetian Moon Ristorante and Martini Bar in Reading MA has been another favorite these past 12 years. The Rollatini, Sauteed Artichoke Hearts and Boneless Filet Mignon never disappoint. Praising Prociutto is not my usual, but the Venetian Carozza app with the Prociutto blanketing the artichoke hearts sitting on a bed of arugula and other baby greens accompanied by the yummy delicate drizzle of fig balsamic...yum... Hubs liked the Fusilli Ultimo and we shared a small Salt Carmel Crunch Cake slice.
...But before all this is to be enjoyed a delectable martini starts the "date". At times it's good to look to the bartender for menu and martini suggestions... Paul, in one of his dozens of classic Hawaiian shirts, presides over a very long well stocked bar to shake any martini the heart desires. More than 70---yikes! There is a lot of shaking to be heard amidst the happy dining guests. Paul makes the best Union of Crowns, and yes with St. Germaine...yay... or Lemon Gimlet Martini and his professional attention to all this guests peppered with interesting tidbits of the day, makes for a most enjoyable evening. The food is always delish, the owner and staff have always been most professional. Walking distance from the Reading Art Association Spring and Fall Art Shows.
Now for the down to the salt of the earth food: Living up here in New England, there are not a lot of cattle running around to make for real Texas BBQ. After a few decades of searching, only to be disappointed year...after year... after decade...even enjoying the pleasure of the Neiman Marcus mail order food catalog to provide good Texas brisket...ah yes...one can indulge in lots of delights from Neiman's Gourmet Foods Catalog...still one just craves the "smoke" in person.
No...not grilled...not over cooked...errr charred to cancer causing proportions with propane nor noxious starter fluid... which is the usual in these parts...just the real wood smoked thing! Brisket must be cooked low and slow with real wood...if not in a real brick smoke house out back...at least in a huge genuine Texas smoker capable of holding 1,200 lbs. of Beef! It is so good that it does NOT need "a rub" nor any sauce...that is how good smoked slow cooked brisket shoud be! No bbq pig or chicken for this gal...NEVER!
At last....Enter Goody Cole's Smokehouse 20 miles up the road to Brentwood NH. Aaahhh...Rte 125 use to be "antiques alley" a few years back...Brentwood Antiques moved to North Hampton NH a few years ago... Back to Goody Coles... For me, this is take-out-heaven only - no AC and alas No maritinis! For the owner and his wife, a native Texan - yay - the brisket bbq had to be true...more to read on their website. At home, left overs are perfect for a sliced fresh multicolor vegetable healthy dish topped with thin strings of their flavorful brisket. Their corn bread is yummy too! The staff is most friendly and efficient too. If you are ever antiquing on Rte 101 in New Hampshire on the way to the coast...Goody Coles is for the ONLY REAL Texas Beef BBQ in all of New England! That is if you must have Beef...not pig...not chicken.
So...traveling back south still on Rte 125...you get a hankering for a margarita- tinified for me thank you very much- guac and crispy thin chips...just over the stateline back into MA, there is Grande Mexico in Haverhill MA, a thriving business owned by two couples. They take turns "minding the store" along with their respective daughters, Alix a culinary student and the other owner's daughter: a most attentive bartender Katrina, a free spirit who makes "gem laden wire trees". Britney and Jen are always cheerful too. Did I mention that their food is made with...wait for it...MORE BRISKET or as they say beef tips. Cooked to perfection!
After being naughty and "cheating" on the weekend...the rest of the week is always practically vegetarian with tiny bits of meat...No martinis (sigh)...No bread... nor chips...never... and lots of water and extra time exercising.
All the left over food comes home and finds its way in small amounts over beds of bountiful beautiful vegetables drizzled with extra virgin oilve oil when topped with tidbits of these left overs.
This is what feeds the stomach in small amounts...and then back to painting...
The real Goody Cole history: somebody must have really wanted the widow's 40 acres at Hampton, NH as she was tried as a witch three times during the 1600s, dying in prison although acquitted repeatedly.... Yikes...a gabby gal like me, would have never made it up here in those days!
All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. August 17, 2015
This original acrylic on canvas laid on board titled: NILES REPOSE was shown at North Shore Arts Association Aug 2015 - and can be seen by by clicking the second link above the image at upper left. When making this part of you collection, if you saw this at the NSAA gallery, please advice as a percentage would go to NSAA for the building restoration project.
The commissions from the paintings sold will help with the much needed restoration and day to day costs of exhibiting and promoting fine art as it has since 1922.