1. I went down to the Co-op, up to MOM's Organic, and over to Costco and replenished our kitchen. The Moth Radio Hour came on the radio as I pulled into a parking spot at Costco and I sat in the car and listened to the first story. It was told by Maurice Ashley, the first African-American International Grandmaster of Chess. He told the story of his early days playing chess in Brooklyn, of playing with men at Prospect Park whose game was Blitz. I was reminded of the young boy in the 1993 movie, Searching for Bobby Fischer, who comes under the influence of a speed chess player, played by Laurence Fishburne, in Washington Square Park. In both the movie and in Maurice Ashley's telling of his experiences with the Prospect Park players, known as The Black Bear School of Chess, a boy and a young man experience a reckoning. Both come to grips with how the game of chess and how they learn to play it informs the development of their inner self, their character, will, and sense of fellow feeling. It was a great twelve minutes and fifty-seven seconds of parking lot listening.
2. The Deke and I accepted the Diazes' invitation to come over for dinner and I volunteered to be tonight's cook. I needed to fix something relatively quick, so I shopped with beef stroganoff in mind, drawing upon a recipe that calls for ground beef -- usually, I make it with cut up round steak. The recipe I used is simple, but as I read it, I thought it seemed incomplete. When it came time to brown the ground beef, I put a little butter in the cast iron pan and sauteed three finely chopped cloves of garlic. Into the two cups of beef broth the recipe called for, I added a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and a quarter cup of red wine. I love beef and black pepper, so I peppered the ground beef a bit more heavily than the recipe suggested. I am happy to report that Molly, Hiram, and the Deke genuinely loved this beef stroganoff and they heaped praise on my efforts. Thank goodness. If you'd like to look at the recipe, just click here.
Oh! Two more notes. My stroganoff included the mushrooms and, for our family, the 12 oz. package of egg noodles was not enough and, luckily, Hiram and Molly had another package at their house.
3. Ana loves looking at books and she and I had a fun time looking at a picture book of baby animals. Ana can identify almost all the animals, either by saying what they are or making a noise that sounds like the animal. We also read a story about a red tow truck driver who rescues a stuck school bus and Ana made a lot of engine sounds.