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Tag Archive: dinner


Grand Theft Dinnerware

spaghetti-warehouseA Meetup group I’m a member of, Dallas Ukulele Headquarters (DUH), is having a Christmas party at the Spaghetti Warehouse (formerly the Old Spaghetti Warehouse) in the West End. I’m not able to make the party, but it got me to thinking about the Old Spaghetti Warehouse (OSW for brevity). When I first went to OSW, there was no West End. There was a parking lot and car lot nearby. It was a warehouse district – hence the name. Which made it cool and unique, but could be a pain in the ass to park. And it was dark in the area.

In the early ‘70s, a bunch of friends and I decided to dress up and go to OSW. Just to do it for one thing. And for another, no one ever “carded us” to buy liquor or beer when we were dressed up. Mark, Brian, and myself would dress up and go down to Gatsby’s Bicycle Bar in the Hilton downtown and drink tequila sunrises (thanks to the Eagles song and it being a good drink). No one ever ask for our i.d. But that was a different time.

Anyway, we arrived at OSW, parked, and trekked to the restaurant. We were seated on the second floor, which was for larger parties – the DUH party is on the second floor. I think there were about eight of us. It was about even, male and female, but all mostly friends. If not, no one knew yet. The restaurant was busy and it took a while to get served anything other than water.

Keep in mind, we were teenagers on the loose, with time left on our hands waiting for the waiter. Small talk led to silly talk which led to strange thoughts. I said it was the ‘70s, right? A lot of giggling and outright guffaws ensued. For amazingly little reason.

Then we came up with a master plan. Someone had the bright idea that we could take the entire table of place settings without leaving a trace. I’ll cop to it being me because it sounds like something I would come up with (I was a writer even then), but I have no idea as to why. Probably because we were bored, left alone, and we could. I’ll also cop to it because what actually happened was excellent.

I put silverware up my sleeve. I would like to point out – just because – that I got a lot of wear out of that suit. I got married both times in that suit. It had a vest, so I think that was how I got plates. The napkin was easy. I think the girls got the glasses in their purses/bags. When we were done, there was nothing on the table but the tablecloth and centerpiece. And we did it in seconds – maybe almost a minute. And no other customer or waiter on the second floor noticed – like I said, it was really busy.

We sat there, full of pride and nervous as hell, and had a hard time acting serious. Finally, a waiter – I’m not even sure it was ours – walked by and actually turned around to gave us an inquiring look. And headed off, obviously intent on finding a manager. Which he did, of course.

In almost less time than it took to abscond with the dinnerware, we had the table set back up. Almost better than it had been when we arrived. The manager thought the waiter was a little off. That was one of the best spaghetti dinners I’ve ever had. I still feel a little bad about the waiter being “caught in the middle.” But other than that, it was one of the slickest thefts that never was.

Peace be with you.

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DSC07035[Re-posted from last year at this time. This year’s observations will be in a following post.]

It began years ago with the recipe on the Chex cereal boxes. Then everyone’s grandmother added their particular additional ingredients. It took on different identities: nibbles, trash, Texas trash, and others. Cyndy’s mom’s recipe is for Texas Nibbles. Our daughter, Jennifer, fixed several different varieties: no nuts, hot, not hot, really hot – you get the idea.

But the point is that – in any variety – the mix is addicting. It is the one thing left over that you don’t have to do anything for but grab a handful. No cutting a pie, no getting a plate dirty, no digging in the refrigerator. Just grab a handful. And it’s salty.

We give containers of mix to the family for Christmas. We also usually receive a container from Jennifer. Naturally, this year was no different. But some things have changed. We still go to my parents on Christmas. But we don’t have a big meal anymore. Mom is not able to cook and serve the meal any longer. Cyndy and I take the Thanksgiving dinner to them – just dropping off food for them and visiting a short while.

On Christmas day Mom and Dad buy snack trays and deli sandwiches. Cyndy, Conner, Cameron, J.D. and myself – often in more than one car – meet Jennifer, her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Kelley, at the grandparents house. This year, Chris’ daughter, Katherine, was able to join us. Rather than have the meal (usually brunch), we go straight to the gift exchange.

Then we all get our stockings from the grandparents, snack a while, and visit. Visiting is the most important part. It is the part that does not and should not change. The people may change slightly from year to year due to life’s circumstances. But the family fellowship does not change.

Our family is one that gets what they need throughout the year. We give gifts to each other all year. Christmas is not about the gifts. It is about celebrating Christ’s birth. And it is also about family – in all it’s facets.

But the one constant between Christmas and New Year’s in our family is the presence of Texas Nibbles. The mix goes quickly around Christmas and then slows down to a steady rate of consumption. The salty after the sweet. Just grab a little and go kind of thing.

I don’t know what Cyndy and I will be watching tonight while waiting on midnight. But I can tell you what we won’t be watching – the countdowns to midnight. I can, however, tell you one thing for certain. We will be eating Texas Nibbles from the bag I have stashed.

Happy New Year! Peace be with you!

12265942_1130941813597375_3354839115745609285_oI attended Colby and Janet’s wedding this past Sunday at 5:30 p.m. at Sweet Basil Restaurant at Midway and Trinity Mills. Colby plays bass with me and I went to high school with Janet. If you have never been to a musician’s wedding, it is an interesting experience (not odd, just interesting). Particularly, at an Italian Restaurant. The ceremony, of course, did not begin at 5:30, but no one really expected it to.

While we waited, we mingled. Most of the conversation – other than the usual small talk in a room where not everyone knows everyone else – centered around our latest projects and recent and upcoming gigs. Then there was the musical small talk. I’ve never looked at a wedding as a networking opportunity, but in this instance, it came about naturally.

When the ceremony was about to begin, Colby and the groomsmen, along with Jimmy Wallace – who was 12027192_1130941793597377_1622934888352586682_o presiding over the wedding – stood at the “front” of the room. Janet’s bridesmaids – her sisters, Lisa and Dawn (who was in my class in high school), walked up the aisle separately. Then Janet walked up the aisle.

In the wedding picture is, from left to right: Rockin’ Robert T. Tomberlin, Jim Webb, Jimmy Wallace, Colby Morgan, Janet, Lisa, and Dawn Gordon. Jimmy did a fine job of presiding over the ceremony. The verses were both fitting and appropriate, as were the few jokes, and spontaneous comments from the audience. It certainly qualified as a beautiful wedding.

J.W. Hammett, Janet, and Colby Morgan. I took this with J.W.'s camera.

J.W. Hammett, Janet, and Colby Morgan. I took this with J.W.’s camera.

Most of the people stayed for dinner. Jimmy had to leave to do something before the Stratoblasters show at Tolbert’s Restaurant in Grapevine that night. One of the waiters seemed to get confused, so it took a bit longer to get served the entree after the salad or soup. The food, however, was very good.

I ate some of the dinner and then asked for a container and my dessert to go. I needed to deliver my granddaughter, Kelley’s, birthday present. From the amount of to go containers being passed out, I would shortly be followed by others. I gave my congratulations (again), my hugs, and good-byes, and headed out. Of course it was raining again when I stepped outside.

But the rain couldn’t dampen the occasion. It was a beautiful ceremony surrounded by friends – old and new – to celebrate a coming together of two souls in love. Congratulations Colby and Janet!

Peace be with you.

Texas Nibbles It began years ago with the recipe on the Chex cereal boxes. Then everyone’s grandmother added their particular additional ingredients. It took on different identities: nibbles, trash, Texas trash, and others. Cyndy’s mom’s recipe is for Texas Nibbles. Our daughter, Jennifer, fixed several different varieties: no nuts, hot, not hot, really hot – you get the idea.

But the point is that – in any variety – the mix is addicting. It is the one thing left over that you don’t have to do anything for but grab a handful. No cutting a pie, no getting a plate dirty, no digging in the refrigerator. Just grab a handful. And it’s salty.

We give containers of mix to the family for Christmas. We also usually receive a container from Jennifer. Naturally, this year was no different. But some things have changed. We still go to my parents on Christmas. But we don’t have a big meal anymore. Mom is not able to cook and serve the meal any longer. Cyndy and I take the Thanksgiving dinner to them – just dropping off food for them and visiting a short while.

On Christmas day Mom and Dad buy snack trays and deli sandwiches. Cyndy, Conner, Cameron, J.D. and myself – often in more than one car – meet Jennifer, her husband, Chris, and their daughter, Kelley, at the grandparents house. This year, Chris’ daughter, Katherine, was able to join us. Rather than have the meal (usually brunch), we go straight to the gift exchange.

Then we all get our stockings from the grandparents, snack a while, and visit. Visiting is the most important part. It is the part that does not and should not change. The people may change slightly from year to year due to life’s circumstances. But the family fellowship does not change.

Our family is one that gets what they need throughout the year. We give gifts to each other all year. Christmas is not about the gifts. It is about celebrating Christ’s birth. And it is also about family – in all it’s facets.

But the one constant between Christmas and New Year’s in our family is the presence of Texas Nibbles. The mix goes quickly around Christmas and then slows down to a steady rate of consumption. The salty after the sweet. Just grab a little and go kind of thing.

I don’t know what Cyndy and I will be watching tonight while waiting on midnight. But I can tell you what we won’t be watching – the countdowns to midnight. I can, however, tell you one thing for certain. We will be eating Texas Nibbles from the bag I have stashed.

Happy New Year! Peace be with you!

Thanksgiving

This morning I did what a father does best on Thanksgiving – stay out of the kitchen. Not because I cannot cook, because I can. But Cyndy cooks Thanksgiving dinner like her mother did. Exactly like her mother did. Which means everyone else stays out of the kitchen. If you want something to eat, you have to wait until Cyndy is sitting down waiting for something to cook.

The two of the three boys that are still at home wanted to help as they do each year. Fortunately, they have learned to wait until she calls them to perform their Thanksgiving duty. Video games have helped that situation. Cyndy knows that I’m available if she needs me – henceforth my job is to stay out of the kitchen.

The situation was enhanced this year because Cyndy fixed the entire dinner, with the exception of the rolls, because my mother is no longer able to cook as she used to. Mom did set the table and bake the rolls. My daughter, Jennifer, her husband, Chris, and daughter, Kelley, were at Chris’ parents and unable to join us. Even so, we had an enjoyable dinner and conversation.

Cameron, the middle son, helped collect the dinner plates and some of the silverware. Conner and J.D. helped themselves get to the den to watch football. They were watching the games with their grandfather and enjoying the time with him. Mom, Cyndy, and I continued the dinner talk about family at the dining table.

After a while, Conner left to get in line for a sale at Best Buy. I cleared the table of the remaining dishes and silverware while the three of us talked. Then Cyndy and Mom talked in the kitchen while Cyndy rinsed off the dishes and put them in the dishwasher. I went back and forth from football talk to kitchen talk. Then the second quarter of the Dallas Cowboys’ game was nearing an end and the Cowboys were behind.

So we packed up the leftovers and headed home. After putting most of the food up, we turned on the tv for the other family tradition – watching the Punkin Chunkin Championships.  We picked up on it a few years ago when we were avoiding the onslaught of early Christmas movies. Which was when it became a tradition.

I hope everyone else had a happy Thanksgiving as well.

Peace be with you.

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