The Perfect “FLASQ” for Summer Wine Drinking

May 11, 2012

We always love going to the Northwest Foodservice Show because it’s like old-home day; we get to see people we don’t see the rest of the year, and make new friends along the way, as well.

Held in Seattle a few weeks ago, at this year’s show we ran into our old buddy Keith Johnsen, whose represents Georgian (as in the former Soviet Union) wines. We met Keith back in 2009, tasted the wines, and wrote about them for Amazon.com’s Al Dente blog. We even included a recipe for Georgian Walnut Sauce (Baje).

Now, in addition to representing Georgian wines, Keith is West Coast sales rep for FLASQ wines. These California-grown wines come in three varieties–2009 Chardonnay, 2009 Merlot, and 2009 Cuvée Blanc (an off-dry, slightly spritzy white blend that may just be the perfect hot-tub or brunch wine).

What sets these wines apart–and makes them worth crowing about–is their packaging, in stylish brushed-aluminum, bullet-shaped bottles that contain two glasses of wine (just the right amount!) with a reclosable twist top.

Other desirable features, according to the website, “They are 100% American-made and bottled in eco-friendly, easy-to-handle, easy-to-chill aluminum bottles.”

Keith reports the wines are selling very well, especially at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where savvy wine lovers stock up on a bottle for in-air consumption. At $5 per bottle, FLASQ wines are higher quality and less expensive than the tronk that the airlines sell.

Keith sent good news shortly after the show–that FLASQ Wines had made the cover of Wines & Vines magazine, featured in a cover story on, Novel Materials in Packaging, along with an accompanying article.

Continued success to Keith as he promotes FLASQ Wines for the product’s second spring and summer season (and well beyond).

 

Sunday Suppers Around the Communal Table

April 10, 2012

Volunteer Park Cafe Interior

Volunteer Park Cafe on Capitol Hill offers Sunday suppers once a month

My latest article for The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest magazine, Family-Style Supper’s On at Seattle Restaurants,  featured my reflections on several Seattle-area restaurants that offer Sunday suppers around the communal table to their guests.

It makes me hungry just thinking about the good food and wine we had researching the article. Standouts include Tavolàta’s Roasted Chicken and Pear Bread Pudding during it’s Roman Feast in December and Volunteer Park Cafe’s flatbread with a luscious Lebanese roasted-red-pepper/walnut/pomegranate-molasses spread followed by Chicken Tagine.

The comments on this one were really interesting. . .lots of _itching and moaning about this form of dining being similar to a commune or cafeteria. Think they kind of missed the point!

I was thrilled that the article was picked up by RestaurantSmartBrief, a daily email service that aggregates interesting articles for its nationwide audience.

Photo by Spencer Johnson

 

 

 

Lady Alice Newest Apple Variety

March 30, 2012

Looking for something new and healthy to nibble on this time of the year? Then pick up a pound or two of Washington state’s newest apple variety: the Lady Alice.

The Rainier Fruit Co., exclusive agent for this new fruit, sent along a sample box about a week ago, and almost half these beauties have already been consumed by my husband and me.

They’re small and compact–perfect for the lunch box or a child’s afternoon snack.

My tasting notes read: Pleasing firm, dense texture with a snap to the skin. Not overly or cloyingly sweet–just right–with a bit of a tart aftertaste and pleasing acidity (much like a fine aged Riesling). Refreshing and very satisfying!

Rainier Fruit Company claims to be one of the largest growers of fresh apples in the United States. According to a press release, “This year the company is shipping its largest crop yet of the Lady Alice apple, a new apple that is making its way into more stores this year than ever before.”

You’ll find Lady Alice apples at your local QFC and other independent stores in the Seattle area through May, or while supplies last. Or use the Lady Alice Store Locator  to find a store near you.

More about the Lady Alice Apple (from the press release):

The unique Lady Alice variety is like a fine wine–it gets richer with age. The variety is characterized by its pinkish-red stripes over a creamy yellow background and sweet, crisp, dense flesh with a hint of tartness. It is an excellent choice for snacking, baking, and cooking. Unlike many varieties of apples, the Lady Alice is slow to brown when cut, making it perfect for salads and fruit trays. Its heirloom-like flesh helps the apple retain its texture when heated at high temperatures. Its delicious sweet bite offers a hint of tartness that lingers on the palate.

The recipe below would be perfect for this time of year since it uses first-of-the-season halibut paired with Lady Alice Apple Chutney. Seasonal eating at its finest!

Roasted Halibut with Apple Chutney

1 tablespoon butter

2 Lady Alice apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1/4 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 jalapeno chili, minced

1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

4 (6-ounce) Alaskan halibut fillets, about 1 inch thick

4 teaspoons chopped fresh mint

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the apples. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until the apples begin to soften.

Add the orange juice, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt, ground coriander and ground cloves. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, sitting occasionally, until the apples are tender and juice is thick, about 10 minutes.

Add the mango and cook about 5 minutes or until the mango softens. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

Place the halibut in a lightly greased baking dish. Drizzle each piece with olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook 18 to 20 minutes or until halibut is cooked in the center. Serve with the chutney.

Cook’s Hint: Large pieces of halibut will require additional cooking time.

Photo by Braiden Rex-Johnson

The Dead Celebrity Cookbook

January 20, 2012

I am bombarded daily with press releases, new-product announcements, and updates on new books, especially cookbooks. I often read the subject line and quickly delete the item if it doesn’t pique my curiosity or have anything to do with an article I’m working on or plan to write.

Some of the emails and cover letters I receive are particularly inane or funny, and not intentionally! Here’s the funniest one I’ve received in a LONG time, about a new book entitled, “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen.” The cover letter says:”

<<Frank DeCaro reminds us that many Hollywood celebrities enjoyed cooking long before it was “cool.” The man everyone knows as the movie critic on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has compiled recipes from over 145 of Hollywood’s favorite stars who are no longer with us and included them in “The Dead Celebrity Cookbook.”

<<People are breaking tradition and inviting their favorite “dead celebrities” to their Christmas dinners via their recipes; in fact, having “dead celebrity cooking parties” is fast becoming the latest Hollywood trend. This has huge appeal for Hollywood trivia buffs, foodies, or anyone who loves great recipes spiked with hilarious commentary, such as, “feasting on Sinatra’s barbecued lamb, taking a stab at Anthony Perkins tuna salad, or wrapping your lips around Rock Hudson’s cannoli” (and really – who hasn’t?).>>

Are these people for real? Only in Hollywood, sigh.

Here’s the entire release, in case you just have to read more, along with a recipe for Peter Falk’s Pork Chops:

The Dead Celebrity Cookbook – A Collection Of Favorite Recipes Of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Stars

Los Angeles, CA, December 28, 2011 – For anyone who loves Hollywood memorabilia, is an entertainment junkie, and loves to eat and cook – they will treasure Frank DeCaro’s ‘The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen’ (HCI Books). Frank compiled favorite recipes from some of Hollywood’s biggest names, including Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Sonny Bono, Liberace, Michael Jackson, John Denver, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, Humphrey Bogart, and Peter Falk, just to name a few.

“I love these dead celebrities! They’re the stars I grew up watching, and they deserve to be remembered even if they were more talented on screen than they were in the kitchen. Frank clearly worships them as much as I do, and after reading ‘The Dead Celebrity Cookbook’ you will, too.” -Rosie O’Donnell

“Celebrities die–eventually–but their recipes live on, thanks to Frank DeCaro’s thorough and thoroughly delicious book. DeCaro’s dry wit is tasty, and judging from these yummy concoctions, most of these celebs died really happy!” –Michael Musto, Village Voice

Inspired by a “Dead Celebrity Party” during his college years, DeCaro thought the one thing missing from the event was the food of the dead. Since then, he’s been collecting recipes of the stars and lucky for us, he’s put them together in, THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen (HCI Books – October 2011- $19.95).

DeCaro, who is best known for his nearly seven-year stint as the movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and now heard weekdays on his own call-in radio show, gives us a giggle while feeding us treats from Tinsel Town, like Liberace’s Sticky Buns, Mae West’s Fruit Compote, John Ritter’s Favorite Fudge, and Bea Arthur’s Vegetarian Breakfast.

THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK is here to remind you that before there were celebrity chefs, there were celebrities who fancied themselves as chefs. They were whipping up culinary delights, and sometimes sharing them with us on shows like Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas or even Johnny Carson. DeCaro gives us some entertaining and informative commentary before each section of recipes in chapters that include: “Talk Show Chow,” “An All-Night Oscar Buff,” and “I Lunch Lucy,” a whole section dedicated to the red-haired TV goddess.

Says DeCaro, “I miss those days when celebrities still had mystery about them, and a glimpse inside their radar ranges seemed, for any fan, like a window into the world of glamour and excitement, which is why I put together this book.” This book delivers recipes that the stars are dying for you to make.

For more information, please go to: www.deadcelebritycookbook.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Best known for his years as the flamboyant movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Frank DeCaro is heard each weekday morning on his live national call-in program The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. A writer and performer, DeCaro pens the “Icons” column for CBS Watch magazine. The author of the pioneering memoir A Boy Named Phyllis, DeCaro previously wrote the “Style Over Substance” column for The New York Times. Visit the author at frankdecaro.com and on Facebook, and follow him at twitter.com/frankdecaroshow.

Available online or at bookstores or to order directly from the publisher, contact: (800) 441-5569 or www.hcibooks.com.

THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen

Frank Decaro

ISBN: 978-9-7573-1596-1– $19.95 — October 2011

###

TIP SHEET:

Brini Maxwell, author of Brini Maxwell’s Guide to Gracious Living and creator of felixpopuli.com: “I adore this book so much I find myself on the horns of a dilemma–make the recipes or kill myself so I can be in the sequel.”

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough,, bestselling authors of more than twenty cookbooks including Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them and 100 Other Myths About Food and Cooking: “Hankering for star-powered recipes? With this laugh-out-loud encyclopedia of Hollywood culinaria, Frank DeCaro brings out the real ‘celebrity chefs’ in spades. Or with a spade.”

Lisa Lampanelli, comedienne: “Frank DeCaro has the most delectable treats I’ve ever tasted — and the recipes aren’t bad, either! My dying wish is to have one of my recipes in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook II. Anyone for the Queen of Mean’s ‘So-Good-You’ll-Slap-Yo-Mama Chicken ’n Waffles’?”

Bob Smith, author of Remembrance of Things I Forgot: “Frank DeCaro’s two obsessions–food and the famous–have been hilariously united in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. Reading Frank is like breaking your diet with your funniest best friend.”

SAMPLE RECIPE FROM THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK

Peter Falk 1927-2011

He was one of the great ones–appearing in films as disparate as The Princess Bride and Wings of Desire in the same year, 1987. But no matter what Peter Falk did (and he did a lot), he will always be remembered as the police detective in the rumpled raincoat on the mystery series Columbo. The character, one he played for more than thirty years beginning in 1971, is one of TV’s most indelible portraits. Among Falk’s most beloved films were the cult hit The In-Laws, the one-two Neil Simon punch of Murder by Death and The Cheap Detective, and six pictures with his buddy, the director/actor John Cassavetes, including the 1974 classic A Woman Under the Influence. The Emmy- and Oscar-nominated actor published his memoir Just One More Thing in 2006, and it wasn’t a moment too soon. Falk was diagnosed with dementia two years later. Just one more thing: His pork chops are as toothsome as he was.

Peter Falk’s Pork Chops

6 pork chops

1 medium onion, finely chopped

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup white vinegar

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon thyme

1 cup water

½ cup liquid from jarred vinegar peppers

1 cup (or more) vinegar peppers

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown pork chops in olive oil in a heavy frying pan and remove to a casserole. Cook onions until translucent in same oil and add to casserole. Deglaze pan by adding white vinegar and stirring up all brown bits. Add to casserole along with all remaining ingredients except vinegar peppers. Bake for 1½ hours. Add vinegar peppers and cook 15 minutes more. Remove pork chops and peppers to a warm serving plate. Add 2 teaspoons corn starch to pan drippings to make gravy. Pour over pork chops and peppers and serve.

Cutting Room Floor (sidebar):

You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Idris Elba, the hulking British actor best known as Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire, has said that his edgy detective character on Luther owes a debt to Falk. Luther, a childhood fan of Columbo and creator Neil Cross, explains that both the classic American mystery show and the smoking hot BBC crime series are “howcatchems” not whodunits, and no one did that better than Lt. Frank Columbo.

Halifax and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

November 18, 2011

Continuing our Fall Foliage cruise diary, once we left U.S. waters, the weather took a decided turn for the worse, as the Eurodam started playing hide-and-seek with the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia that was working its way up the Eastern Seaboard.

The result was 40-foot waves and unsettling groans and moans of the ship all night as the expansion joints in the windows and walls moved back and forth ceaselessly.

Communications with the Mainland (or any land!) also became dodgy. As expected, the moment we entered Canadian waters, our cell phones quit working unless we paid odious data-roaming charges. So I broke down and bought a computer plan at 55 cents a minute so I could stay in touch with my work and family as needed.

Our first port call in Canada–Halifax, Nova Scotia–was underwhelming. After we trudged up the hill to The Citadel, a Canadian military outpost (from where the photo above was taken), we went back downtown in hopes of finding interesting shops and a good place for lunch.

Finding neither, we went back to the boat and enjoyed delicious salmon and lamb burgers. Oh, well!

The storm was so serious that our scheduled stop in Sydney,Canada, the next day was cancelled! This is referred to as a “blow-by,” and really upsets the local economy and residents of these other-worldly places who rely on tourism to scratch together a meager living.

Our next port call after Sydney–Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada–was in question due to Ophelia’s wrath. It’s a place I’d always wanted to visit since I’d heard a lot about, and even sometimes eaten the famous PEI mussels.

But after another rocky night, we got through to Charlottetown okay. Even though we were greeted by extreme wind and cold and weather that ranged from hail to sleet to sun and even snow (!), it was VERY nice to be on terra firma once again.

We enjoyed a long bus ride through the countryside en route to the Anne of Green Gables house and a lobster lunch at a local jam shop and restaurant–the Prince Edward Island Preserve Co. This shot was taken through the bus window as we were leaving–it was so cold and drizzly we didn’t even want to get off the bus for a better shot.

Our lobster lunch was fun and tasty and the shellfish was from local waters. We shared our table with a Dutch couple who were very experienced mariners–the husband had worked for Holland America for many years, although there was a bit of a language barrier and we never could figure out exactly what he did.

Dessert–Raspberry Cream Pie made from local berries–was to die for.

Driving back to the ship, we marveled at the wild waves (turned a dramatic rust color from the hurricane!) on the Island’s north shore.

Our guide pointed out the mussel beds. But sadly for this foodie, we never did get to taste the Island’s most famous export.

New York, New York

November 4, 2011

Some of you know that Spencer and I have been anticipating a Fall Foliage Cruise on the Holland America cruise line for well over a year now. We actually signed up (and chose our cabin!) last year during our cruise of the Scandinavian countries, St. Petersburg, and Estonia.

The Fall Foliage Cruise finally came to fruition right after a significant birthday for me (I’ll let you guess which one!), as well as a milestone birthday for Spencer en route.

The cruise began in one of our favorite cities in the world, New York City.

So we stole 36 hours before it began to celebrate my birthday with dinner at the legendary Jean Georges.

We also tried Mario Batali’s new paean to all things Italian–Eataly–get it?!?! for lunch, then our final dinner at Eleven Madison Park–a stellar experience all-around.

Photo from our hotel room

Here is a photo from our centrally located and LOVELY hotel–the Renaissance Times Square. Highly recommended.

In subsequent posts, we’ll give you updates on our port calls and notes from the journey–high winds, a hurricane, all sorts of nautical tales, and “lobsta.”

So please stay tuned!

Food (and Wine and Sweet Peas) as Restorer

October 7, 2011

As mentioned in my October 1 post, I am taking a little time off from my Northwest Notes blog this month and reprinting a few of our favorite posts from the past.

This is the reprint of a post that first appeared in July 2007. Hope you enjoy it!

On July Fourth, my husband Spencer and I celebrated in our usual way—out to dinner and with a good bottle of wine. You’ll be reading about that amazing evening at Steelhead Diner in a future post.

After dinner, we found a special spot to watch the Fourth of Jul-Ivar’s firework display along the Waterfront. When we got back to our condo, we noticed water coming in around our washer/dryer and figured the washer hose had sprung a leak. After mopping up the mess, we went to bed.

The next morning, our elderly next-door neighbor called to say he had left the plug in his kitchen sink, turned the water on to do the dishes, forgotten about the water, and gone to see the fireworks display.

Two hours of gushing water later, the damage was done to our condo, his condo, and two other condos below us. The Servpro reclamation team (experts in water damage who did a lot of work during Hurricane Katrina) arrived early Saturday morning to assess the damage and put up their equipment–huge wind blowers and a dehumidifier that now dominate our bathroom and bedroom. Spencer left Saturday afternoon for a week in the Middle East, and so for the past several days I’ve been living with the blowers and dehumidifier to try to dry out and save our maple floors and drywall.

I have been alternatively angry and depressed by this total turning upside down of my life, especially since I not only live here, but work out of my home office.

Yesterday, I just had to escape from the (very nice and concerned) workers and from the fans for a few hours, so I went to work out at the gym and run a few downtown errands, then took a stroll through the Pike Place Market. Living the bachelorette life for the past four days, I had let my larder grow empty, about as empty as my drooping spirits.

And, for once in my life, I didn’t even really want to go to my beloved Market.

But once I got there and picked out my fresh produce (including Oh My God! peaches), and shared my saga with produce monger and food-and-wine photographer Mark at Sosio’s Produce, I began to feel better. Side note, and please don’t tell his boss, Susie Manzo: Mark, dear man that he is, gave me a box of local strawberries—my favorite fruit—for free, he felt so sorry for my plight.

After I bought a loaf of Grand Central Campagnolo Bread—still my favorite artisan loaf about town—at Three Girls Bakery from the happy guy who looks like Groucho Marx, treated myself to some Plugra European Butter at The Creamery, and chatted it up with Walt and the boys at Pure Food Fish, I realized yet again that this little slice of heaven, our very own farmers’ market in the heart of downtown Seattle, is a special place not only for the fine fish, produce, dairy products and cheese, specialty-food shops, and plethora of interesting restos, but for the very special people who work along the cobblestones.

For my solo dinner last night I steamed thick asparagus and slathered it with low-fat mayo, chopped a yellow heirloom tomato and sprinkled it with Australian Sea Salt, and sautéed a quartet of fist-sized, super-succulent sea scallops seasoned with nothing more than Al’aea Hawaiian Pink Sea Salt and Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice) to soothe my senses. For dessert? Some of those baby strawberries with whipped cream and brown sugar, of course.

My simple summer supper made me smile, filled my belly, and sent my spirits soaring. A coupla glasses of winemaker extraordinaire Virginie Bourgue’s SBS–Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon from Cadaretta, a brand-new winery in Walla Walla, helped dull some of the pain.

The pretty bouquet of pristine white sweet peas I purchased from my favorite flower farmer in the Market, Carlita (Lita) Mendez, of John & Lita’s Produce & Flowers, sent me off to sweetly scented dreams on the living-room couch.

And I awoke early this morning, refreshed and restored, ready and eager to face a new day.

Gone Fishing!

October 4, 2011

This is an exciting time for Spencer and me when we both celebrate milestone birthdays in the next two weeks (55 for me, 70 for him!), then our 30th anniversary in December.

To mark the occasion, and since we skipped taking a summer vacation this year, we’re heading off for a few weeks of much-needed r&r.

So during this time, instead of new Northwest Notes content, I’ll be bringing back some of my favorite blog posts from throughout the years.

I hope you enjoy this window back in time as much as I enjoyed re-reading and re-posting them for you.

Happy autumn! Wish us happy leaf-watching as we begin our Fall Foliage cruise up the United States East Coast and down through the St. Lawrence Seaway in eastern Canada.

Back in the saddle late-October!

Compelling Cupcakes!

September 6, 2011

Huckleberry Cupcakes

Just before the Labor Day weekend began, I got a call from our doorman that a delivery had arrived.

“What is it?” I asked.

“Cupcakes,” Nick replied. “Do you want me to send the delivery man up with them?”

“If it’s cupcakes, then you bet,” I replied.

Turns our our good friends at Cupcake Royale had sent over samples of their September flavors–Huckleberry and (just in time for the start of school) Peanut Butter & Jam Cupcakes. (We wrote a Taste column about this fine company and visionary owner/founder Jody Hall for The Seattle Times Pacific Northwest magazine in February 2010.)

Resisting the mightiest temptation, I didn’t dive in immediately, but gave Spencer a call with the good news.

“I’ll be right up,” he said.

Somehow, I managed to deter his visit to my office and we both held of on sampling the compelling cakes until after dinner.

I must admit, the Huckleberry Cupcake, with its silky white body studded with berries and its icing so very, very huckleberry good, hit the spot when paired with a nightcap (just a wee glass!) of Australian Shiraz-Viognier we had left over from the evening before.

The Peanut Butter and Jam Cupcake

The PB and J went down nicely with a more “normal” accompaniment–a glass of cold milk. Peanut butter is one of my favorite foods in the world, and I go “nuts” for anything that’s salted caramel, so this cupcake flavor combo really rang my chimes.

You might have seen Cupcake Royale on a recent episode of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Here are more details on the company’s September offerings.

Huckleberry Cupcake

Say goodbye to summer and hello to huckleberries. It’s a fair trade-off in our book and we always celebrate September with our Huckleberry Cupcake (aka “the Huck”). We fold in fresh, local huckleberries (fresh, as in they were picked for us this past weekend) into our vanilla cupcake and top it with a huckleberry buttercream frosting. This cupcake brings all the bears to the yard. We have partnered with local farm Foraged & Found Edibles to provide us with our huckleberry crop this year. In case you don’t know what a huckleberry is, think of it as the little brother to a blueberry but with even more flavor.

Peanut Butter and Jam Cupcake

Peanut Butter and Jam, sitting in a tree. This classic combo has our vanilla cupcake, filled with fresh local strawberry jam (fresh, as in they made it last week) topped with a super fluffy, salty peanut butter buttercream. Sprinkled with chopped peanuts and a coarse sugar and sea salt mix.

Spider: 2, Braiden: 0

August 23, 2011

Last week we spent a few days on the Oregon Coast in Lincoln City, then two days in Astoria, a charming maritime-based town on the border between Oregon and Washington.

It was a good, if rather hectic, trip.

Last Monday  in our hotel room in Astoria, I woke up with two insect bites on my left forearm. We’d slept with our balcony door propped open, and I figured a hungry mosquito had made a midnight feast of me.

The “mosquito bites” itched like crazy and got very red and raised over the next two days. From the outset Spencer, who’s deathly afraid of spiders, said he thought they were not “mosquito bites,” but spider bites.

By the time we arrived home on Tuesday night, they were looking pretty angry. By noon Wednesday, there was a pink ring radiating out from the two bites and moving up and down my arm.

Spencer insisted I call our doctor. I did better and sent the iPhone photo (above).

Christy, the nurse, called back quickly with a bevy of questions and a concerned/worried tone in her voice.

Our doctor called a few minutes later and slapped me on antibiotics and Benadryl Anti-Itch Cream to fight sepsis!!!

As much as I hate taking medicine, almost instantly, I began to feel better.

Over the next several days, the puffiness and pink circle went away. I was so relieved. Thanks heavens for penicillin!

It’s been a tough couple of months for the left side of my body, between my run in with the tape dispenser in March, and now, a venomous spider in August!

Let’s hope these incidents don’t come in series of threes.

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