Flowers, Balsamic Vinegar, Love of a Good Woman

Getting Used to Being an Orphan

Although you can plan all you want for the upcoming loss of someone dear to you, there is really no way of knowing how you will react, or what your reaction may feel like until it happens.  I am experiencing many different feelings, most of all shock that my mother really died, after all this time.  All of my 72 years, until the last two weeks, she has been available to me.  She was there for me as a child, always.  As a lonely and insecure college student, as a young wife and mother, I could count on her letters, calming advice, a warm welcome, always.  Even when I grew older and moved away, I expected and got a warm welcome when I would call or visit.   In that, I am certainly fortunate.  But the difference is considerable.  I have been calling her nightly for well over 7 years now and just stopping that one ritual is hard.  My husband says I could keep calling her number and leave a message as if we could talk later.  I’ve done that a few times, just because I needed to do it.  How does one get used to a loss so fundamental?

I haven’t been crying a lot, just facing the shocking realization that the world is different, in an empty kind of way, without my mother in it.  

Cooking this week

The Recipe of the Week

My cooking this week has been all about eating an anti-inflammatory diet.  My new plan is to do this at the beginning of each month as a way of starting the month afresh.  I decided I really needed the discipline right now and went ahead with the plan, trying to make healthy foods that taste good.  I wrote about our efforts here:

Salad with seared scallops and pomegranate balsamic vinegar

Now, first, let me tell you–You don’t need a pomegranate-flavored vinegar but I happened to use some and it was fantastic with this combination.  You know those fancy gourmet bottles of vinegar you can get that come in all kinds of cool flavors like blood orange or Meyer lemon or peach or blueberry.  I got some little bottles of them last Christmas and try them in different recipes.  They really change up the same-old salad in a good way.  They are all interesting and fun to experiment with. (also a good gift to ask for from your grandchildren, relatively inexpensive and so fun.)  So if you have any of these, or a really good aged balsamic, try it.  Then you can claim the recipe for your own.  

This recipe is really two recipes.  My husband and I buy ½ pound of sea scallops for dinner.  This time we didn’t eat them all and had enough to top our salad for lunch the next day. You can use more if you want to plan for lunch, too.  Up to you.

½ pound sea scallops, or more if desired
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
Small bunch of thin asparagus, trimmed and cut in 2 inch pieces
Olive oil, paprika, garlic salt, pepper
First meal, lay scallops out on a paper towel to dry.   Sice bigger ones in half crosswise so they all cook evenly,  Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika, garlic salt, and white pepper.  Turn them over and repeat.  In a large saute pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil until hot then add scallops in a single layer.  Cook a few mins, turn over just one time, brown on the other side, and remove to a side dish.  Add mushrooms and asparagus to skillet and cook few mins till barely tender, then add scallops back in and allow all to cook and flavors to blend a few mins.  Reserve one-third of the mixture for tomorrow.  Add a tablespoon of chopped chives to skillet and serve on a bed of rice or millet.  
Second meal.  Reheat scallop mixture briefly to warm.  Sprinkle with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and stir.  Prepare two bowls of salad with mixed greens, some arugula or other peppery greens if possible, sliced roasted red peppers, slivered red cabbage, grated carrot.  Drizzle each portion with olive oil, the juice of half a lemon, and drops of balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Spoon scallops and vegetables on top.  

This week’s posts.

Here’s what I’ve been writing.on Medium
What we ate with a few detours
Planning an August Fresh Start Menu

Today was Milly’s 95th birthday but she missed the party.

Dear Milly

To purchase this book either in paperback or ebook, use this link on Amazon

Published by Jean Anne Feldeisen

I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey to Mildred Shropshire and Theodore Felsberg Jr. I was raised in Galloway Township and graduated from Oakcrest High School in southern New Jersey in the Sigma 67 Class in 1967. I attended Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, and graduated from Stockton University in Galloway, NJ, in 1974 with degrees in Philosophy, English Literature, and (almost) music. After that, I taught piano to local children and adults in the 70s and 80s, had a catering business, "Jean's in the Kitchen," from 1980 to 1992, then went to graduate school at Rutgers Camden to obtain my Masters's Degree in Social Work. Since 1996 I have worked as a therapist and counselor, first in New Jersey for five years and then, when our family moved to Maine, in Augusta, Maine, for five years. For the past 17 years, I have had a private psychotherapy practice in Gardiner, Maine, During the pandemic, I packed up and moved my office home to Washington, Maine. On the year of my seventieth birthday, I decided to write and self-publish a memoir about our parents' World War II romance, Dear Milly. I began blogging on Medium in earnest in 2020 and have posted more than 265 stories, including a block of stories about my catering career which I hope to turn into a book in the next year. I have been writing and collecting poetry since childhood but never showed it to anyone. Recently, I learned how valuable it could be to join a group for feedback and support for my writing. I have taken several courses and written many poems, and recently had several poems accepted for publication. Off in a new direction, again.

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