Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Catching Up To Ourselves

We began flying home a week ago tonight. I am almost caught up with the laundry! Happily, paying bills during our two week absence was very convenient due to our on-line banking. Enduring thanks to all of you who encouraged us to take the leap into the 21st century last year! Other than purchasing perishables locally, I’ve been cooking out of the pantry and the freezer for the last week. Chuck’s sister and her family welcomed us to their table nearly every night for dinner, but breakfasts were at the hotel breakfast bar and lunch was mostly “to go” soups and salads from grocery stores. So cooking at home has been a pleasure. (Chuck wants me to point out that the pleasure has been his as well!)

Today we made our first major foray to the grocery store and ran several other errands. It felt good to be out and about in our home territory once again. But we were both struck by how incredibly convenient and accessible nearly everything under the sun had been to us out in Washington State. Our commute from the hotel to Chuck’s Dad’s place took us by Safeway, Top, Fred Meyer and Trader Joe’s grocery stores, along with myriad gas stations, drugstores, restaurants and shops. It truly was an embarrassment of riches. Our little town here in central Massachusetts has everything one could need in a pinch. What it doesn’t have is vast variety and super low prices. So while we dine and shop locally, we also schlep for big grocery shopping and other bargains.

This evening, at the end of running around, crossing many things off our to do and to buy lists, we went to Chopsticks in Leominster for dinner. Oh it was nice to look at the menu and know exactly just how yummy something was going to taste before we ordered it. And yummy it all was. And friendly. The staff at Chopsticks is always very cheerful and they greet us warmly whenever we stop in. Tonight we calculated that Chuck and I have been going to Chopsticks for 23 years - Chuck even longer than that. When we walk in the door, it’s not exactly like on “Cheers” to the sound of “Norm!” (well, “Chuck and Lee!”), but it’s close enough to feel like a wonderful welcome home.


dancingmorganmouse said...

Wow I'd love to have a place we've gone to for 23 years, it's amazing a place has lasted so long. It must be very good indeed.
(O, and how I wish the pleasure of home cooking was Mr Brown's more often!)

Sue said...

Phew - up-to-date on all your blogging now. Chopsticks - what a lovely name for what can only be a Chinese restaurant. I wish we had a good spot that we could say we'd been going to religiously for that long - how special!!


Pink Granite said...

Hi DMM -
Chopsticks is an institution. They have a smaller place in Worcester and the family owns a couple of other Chinese based restaurants in Central Mass. But the one in Leominster is our favorite.

Unfortunately, my comment about "the pleasure being Chuck's as well", was somewhat misleading. Chuck wanted me to say how happy he was with my home cooking!

Chuck does make a mean chili, very good baba ganoush and a delectable caviar pie. He also handles kitchen clean up, which leaves me forever in his debt!!!
- Lee

Hi Sue -
Yes, Chopsticks is a Chinese restaurant. But the Leominster location has a terrific sushi bar with excellent maki. And they recently expanded and now have a teppanyaki grill. It's nice that if one person wants some miso soup or California roll, you can order it alongside Moo Shi chicken and Lo Mein. Plus, the place is very casual and relaxed.

They also have a bar with live bands on the weekends, where Chuck and I used to occassionally cut a rug! Now we tend to watch the passing parade come and go!
- Lee

dancingmorganmouse said...

Ah, Mr Brown is the kitchen cleanup chap too - fair swap I guess :)