Senior Year (part 1)

Are we serious when we tell our kids, we want you to have fun and enjoy your last “carefree” days while you are in college?  Many of us who are reading this, will think yes and then, after contemplation, maybe not.  After all, our kids are “our” kids, college has changed so much.  Well truth be told, it really hasn’t changed that much.  Freshmen are still punished with 8am classes that are way too large to stay awake.  The food, despite claims of now offering salad, is still focused primarily on pizza, take-out and whatever has the most caffeine. Anyone remember Jolt Cola?  jolt-cola

But, I must admit there is an element of college that scares me. A little further digression and then, you may understand my dilemma.  When I went to school, photos were not digital. Polaroids were portable selfie booths and cameras were either SLR or a one-shoot with a disposable flash.  We took silly pictures that often had to be developed by some guy at a Fotomat but there still was some anonymity to it.abandoned-fotomat-1a-960x741

Now a days, it is all instant, digital and even if done as a prank, the perception is out there for all to view.  This can be an innocent picture of someone sleeping with a prank narrative or just kids being goofy in what should be safe. So, yes, I am a parent that loves social media and yet it scares me because of what it can do to the trusting new adults.  There I said it…I think you understand.  Now, everything is prefaced and I have become a nagging, worried parent who is freaking out about their child’s departure to expand and firm his own foundation for the rest of his life.

Bragging rights for this mom, he received an award in tennis, (yes, I blocked his name), he is participating in school activities and then his senior photo shoot looks really good. Don’t you agree?


Yet, senior year brings out the nag in every parent.  “Did you finish your applications?” “Do you know what school you want to go to?”  “I know you are 18, but you still live in this house, take out the garbage.”  “Did you do your homework?” “Yet?” Repeat all of the above and add a few more and I do feel a little sorry for him, then I think about it…no, I don’t.

But alas, the turmoil and the mixed emotions of the year do have me leading to weird pairings.  Like having a Maple and Things at Casey’s Craft Bar and Grill…a yummy delicious twist on an Old Fashioned cocktail. Then,  to have wine…now truth be told, there will be several bottles emptied throughout this year, but this one definitely helps us learn our coping skills.

Senior year is meant to be a bit wild, so why not have the wine be a special respite from it all. It can help ground you, give you spirit to take what is thrown at you and it will undoubtedly keep your taste buds excited, perhaps even as excited as an 18-year-old in his senior year eagerly anticipating the sense of independence.

The Rombauer Cabernet Sauvignon lives up to expectations.  Maybe that is a little too much pressure to be applied senior year, but I think this wine can handle it.  It is smooth, blends well with a variety of foods.  Besides it pays a little homage to one of the most successful cookbooks of all time “The Joy of Cooking”, by having the corks remind us of the Joy of Wine.

This is a rough year for a parent and yet it is one that has us swelling with pride.  Witnessing the sense of wonder come to life as the steps get bigger and they become more and more accountable and their own voice is formed and heard.  Wine will be needed but just as we do not choose favorites among our children, now is not the time to choose favorites among our choice of wine.  It is the quintessential time to drink what you like. Cheers!


Tending to the Constant Craving

It varies from person to person but when it comes to having a craving that will fester and grow until it has been tended to, it is often sushi. Yes, there is chocolate, and nothing compares to it. But, when one mentions, let go for sushi, there is almost always a guttural moan in unified agreement that seems to be saying, “yes, yes give me sushi now”.  So, for those of you who are reading this thinking this is not me, I will simply say this.  You either haven’t tried it or you have something against food porn.  Sushi by the names on the menu and in presentation is food erotica and no matter whether we are prude or not, you can’t help but be intrigued by the look of it. Now, if that doesn’t start you craving the wonders of the sea, maybe a little help through song about Constant Craving by K.D. Lang.  Play the song and it will be in your head for a long time.  Look at the pics while the song is playing, my guess is your next stop is sushi. You should play it, it is a great song.

Recently while visiting family, my brother (a non-seafood of any kind guy) asked would you guys like to have sushi? Cue the guttural moan. He suggested Osaka Sushi and Grill a place where we can BYOB and he can order food that doesn’t swim. The portions were extremely generous and delicious.  Among the food we ordered were the Sexy Lady Roll, Flying Sea Bass Roll, King of the Ocean Roll, White Hot Roll. All were very good but my least favorite was the Sexy Lady Roll and I think it was a texture thing because the flavor was great.

My brother is well-known for his passion and knowledge for wine.  So, we brought along a really fun and playful Cabernet Sauvignon.

I am a sucker for fun labels and wines that can entice you with a story. My first dog was a poodle, and this 2013 Old Poodle Dog wine could match my dog Fifi (we called her killer) in spirit and personality.  I suggest you look it up as you will definitely start a conversation and the story on the back about a French restaurant is also worthy of discussion.

Remember, the name alone will make a big splash but when you pour your reds, you should make them splash a bit to get the oxygen circulating. So, we brought our own little tool to help this out as well.


See the tiny bubbles are not just for Champagne/Sparkling Wines anymore. But, these will settle down and your taste buds will love you for it.  Now, after writing this, I am going to have to figure out how I am going to get sushi again today.   This cab is great for Japanese food as well as some Indian fare as I have paired it with that in the past and loved it. Yummy stuff and cheers until next time.