Friday, November 13, 2015

11 13 15 - time for an Update from Grand Rapids

The weather has certainly turned toward winter at long last and away from that gorgeous Indian Summer we've been experiencing here in the Western side of the Wolverine State. Yesterday there were tremendous winds coming off of Lake Michigan, which accompanied the occasional rain squall here in Grand Rapids. Temperatures have also fallen with a few snow squalls this Friday the 13th; Persephone has most definitely returned to Hades.

Oh, and the date 11 13 15 (November 13, 2015) must be driving the numerologists crazy.

Anyway, my work is going well -- it appears I'll be working for the next few months helping Johnson & Wales develop a transition plan for managing their image library. I have to say that I have had the good fortune to work with some truly smart people, people driven to create and eager to do the best job they can.

When I'm done with this phase of my life, I intend to name those people right here on this blog. They have made my life much easier, my work better, and have just been a pleasure to know. I also want to say here that I already miss a few of them more than just a little.

Life has been good here in Kent County. Bernice is in the peak of health -- she and Susie drove up to the old family haunts in Fremont to visit friends yesterday and they had a grand time. But the French Tarte is keeping busy, of that you can be sure.

Susie is working with the folks at Nonna’s Cafe in Ada, helping them put together a special offering of Italian cookies for the holidays. A couple of those are represented here: a perfectly crispy  chocolate biscotti and a real surprise, the Brutti ma buoni ("ugly but good") cookie, a hazelnut confection that is lip-smackin’ good, if you'll pardon the expression. She's also doing both a semolina cookie and my favorite, Ricciarelli.

What with Susie’s teaching, baking and the occasional special order (a brace of Pavlovas for friends last Sunday), and our constantly looking for the cozy, friendly place to grab a bite to eat, food has pretty much defined our world of late.

A week or so ago we drove out to Grand Haven to see the village's new chocolate shop, Patricia's Chocolates. Walking inside is like you've walked into a small confection shop in Paris. Patty Christopher and husband Paul have created a place not just to savor remarkable chocolates, but they also want you experience a slice of Paris. And so you shall; just go.

After they closed up for the night, the four of us strolled two blocks to the Kirby Grill where we enjoyed good company, lots of stories, and lackluster food.

We've also eaten at the Heritage Restaurant, the teaching property for Grand Rapids Community College's culinary program, and pizza from Field and Fire served to us at Aperitivo's bar, both in the Downtown Market.

parasurfing (?) on Grand Haven State Beach

one of Susie's renowned shortbread gift boxes

Gateau Breton with Bonne Maman Four Fruits jam and almond cream topping

puff pastries which Susie topped with apples

"Patricia's Chocolates"

Moelleux chocolat dipped in ganache and pistachios

Another version of the Gateau Breton

Apple-pear feuilletée

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