Daily Tea (Open Forum): Spoons

tea-for-life-2
It’s been a very hot couple of weeks and the natives are starting to get restless. The comment sections are a lot more aggressive than usual.  There are way more personal attacks toward the folks on the shows we are watching together and each other.  We are all very hot and bothered. So I thought this week we could talk about some things that make us happy. I’d love to hear from anyone who has a garden left.

As for me, I’ve discovered that a lot of what has been pushing me back into “the hole” lately is dehydration. Y’all know I am big on pushing the electrolyte water, but when I gets so hot I don’t bother to go replenish my supply as much as I need to because dragging home cased of water is a pain in the butt. Especially when it is hot outside. This of course is when I need it more. So I splurged on SmartWater rather than going all the way to Whole Foods, because I was feeling sickly. I also bought some organic soups. Wolfgang Puck chicken soups seem to fix anything. And I am on the mend.

While soup is one of the things that makes me happy, I wanted to mention spoons. When I was young enough to still be living at home,  my mother would go to a lot of garage sales.  This used to humiliate me greatly, but at some point at the end of high school, I sort of caught the bug. I started buying things for my future apartment that didn’t exist yet. At one sale that was in a fancy West Paces Road area I bought four spoons and four salad/soup bowls. As usual my mother criticize my choices.  Apparently, one should not buy used flatware, and the Homer Laughlin black and white bowls were “restaurant quality” which was also some sort of estate sale rookie error.

Photo Credit: RoadsofStone.com

Photo Credit: RoadsofStone.com

I tried to find some sort of photo of the Libyan souk that might give an idea of what the dish stall was like back in the 1970s.  I did not find anything similar, but I am now in love with this site, RoadsofStone.com that  is a travel site . The linked story is about the authors two trips to Tripoli, one n 1997 and the other in 2003.  I thought Margarett might enjoy the piece as well as any other traveling types. I plan to read all of their other travels ASAP. 

The four spoons are my absolute favorite utensils. They are Japanese stainless steel soup spoons that are sold in antique stores and on ebay. I love everything about them from their  heavy weight to their perfect circles.  When I am seeking comfort in soup or  soup like things, I must use these spoons.

The four shallow bowls continue to be the first things that get dirty after I was the dishes. Like my mother I am a bit obsessed with dishes. As a little girl I used to go to the souk in Libya with my mother. There was one stall that was all china. China was all just shoved in willy-nilly in stacks and mounds and we would sit there on the ground pouring through them all. Mother was trying to pull together a set of Rosenthal that was white with gold trim in a particular pattern. There were thousands of pieces and we would spend a lot of time there sorting through and picking out matching pieces.

This is probably why I have several, okay dozens of different sets of dishes. I have plates I use for southern food, plates for Asian food,  steak platters, plates for fancy food,  plates for Burgers and fries, plates for Christmastime,  bowls for every possible thing you could imagine.

I abhor paper plates and solo cups.

I got a lot of dishes done yesterday. That made me feel better.  Electrolyte water and chicken soup made me feel better. And having the perfect spoon and the perfect bowl? Well that was the most comforting of all.

I hope you will all do something to make you feel better this weekend. Let me know what you did.

105 Comments

Filed under Daily Tea

105 responses to “Daily Tea (Open Forum): Spoons

  1. Minky

    I totally feel you about the spoons TT. There’s nothing as unsettling in quite the same way as eating soup/cereal/pudding or what have you, with an unattractive spoon.

    I like large soup spoons for thin, broth soups. So I can shovel it in faster! And I love little spatulate gellato spoons for ice cream so I can scrape the ice cream into little tufts before I put it in my mouth. And I’ve been looking for a decent ramen noodle soup bowl for ages. They’re not easy to find.

    • Skeeter

      Believe it or not I have seen a ramen noodle soup bowl for the microwave! I thought it looked like a heavier version of a square black tray that something frozen would come in. It was in Walmart, but if you mean a china one, I’ve been looking for one myself. I got all excited when I saw the one I mentioned, until I really saw it. I put it back on the shelf, but, it did hold ramen noodles lol~

    • Dee

      Homer Laughlin bowls are my favorite! They bring back memories of vanilla ice cream with strawberries at Grandma’s. Nice summer memories, sitting on the back porch a breeze blowing as Grandpa gardened his vegetables out back. Thanks Tamara!

  2. SLM

    I kept nodding my head as I read how much soup is your go to comfort food – mine too! I make all my own soups only because I find the making part as cathartic as the eating aspect when it’s done. We’ve been in drought where I am, but I’ve spent more hours than I can count watering everything I’m my garden the last two months and we actually, FINALLY got rain last two days – so HALLELUJAH. My cucumber plants have gone bonkers this year producing twice as much as usual, but I can’t take any credit – I literally have no idea what I’ve done different. My tomato, pepper and eggplant plants are still making it, but they are really slow producing this year…as long as they are alive, I figure there is hope! I collect mid century melmac, specifically any pieces by Brookpark, so I loved hearing your story about pouring over sale stalls looking for dishes you liked. I need to get more electrolyte and coconut water – I think you are right about dehydration. I haven’t been paying enough attention to my own hydration in all this hot, dry weather.

  3. HazelHickory

    Hooked on “Queen of the South” -binge watching! The actor who plays Camilla’s husband, Joachim de Almeida, played in Clear and Present Danger with Harrison Ford.

  4. Queue

    Love your blog though sometimes your kindness drives me bonkers. I spent the day out in my garden. Weeding for the most part. My wrists feel like I jerked off the NBA all star lineup. Glad you’re feeling better and I truly appreciate the time and effort you put into TT!

      • Minky

        Queue!!! What the dilly?!!! Porsha eat your heart out!!! hahahahahaha!!!

        Speaking of which… I don’t do gardening, but my momma’s having a pretty okay year. Cucumbers as big as baseball bats! And the tomatoes are finally ready to pick. She prepared a large bag of them for me. Enormous. Slightly unripe, which makes them perfect for salad.

        Every year my momma worries like crazy about her tomatoes. She says, with a furrowed brow “I don’t think they’re gonna do too well this year, they don’t look so great” . And then she has a veritable bumper crop.

        I asked her what her secret is, just in case anyone is interested. Fertilizer!!! Lots and lots of fertilizer. And she waters them every other day.

    • OMgosh, my wrists and fingers have been killing me from weeding too. So painful. But I am OCD about weeds. This weather we’ve been having — over 90, sunny, with an occasion downpour, is just what the weeks love.

    • Navymommy

      Queue, there is a weeding tool sold by QVC for around $20 that has been an absolute lifesaver for my in my garden and flower beds. I live in southeast VA, on the coast, and am afflicted by what we call wiregrass. It is the bane of my gardening existence and laughs at weed block fabric. This little tool has changed my life. It has a slim, sturdy curved shank that is sharp and an ergonomic handle. It has cut my time spent yanking and pulling to a third and just pulls the suckers up by the roots and all. No more baller jack off wrists. As to my garden, we had a really slow start. It felt like we were living in the Pacific Northwest all spring. Very rainy and cool. Then BAM! Over one hundred degree days with the dew point. Thursday it was one hundred and twenty one.Yikes. My cukes are finally starting to come in. My Big Boy and Early Girl non-GMO’s are finally thriving but my heirlooms are struggling. My peppers are finally blooming. My watermelons are taking over the back area but not one single, damn melon yet. They are not pollinating and it’s August. I have been watering every morning and feeding once a week. The last three summers never got above one hundred with dew point and we would normally have tomatoes until the end of October, but all bets are off this year.

  5. ZenJen55

    My Mother collected for me tea cups and saucers, that I still have. I also have my bedroom suite and every ceramic knickknack she made. That was her ceramic phase in the 70’s! It’s been the same for 50yrs. I’ve never changed it, smile!

    TT it’s been so hot that I’ve sought the river almost every day, to encounter afternoon showers. It was too cloudy to watch the meteorites that been traveling through the night sky. I hope you keep plenty of fluids and very glad that you’re feeling a little better.

  6. Glad you are feeling better, TT. We went into monsoon weather here, though no rain, sadly. Weird, misty cloud cover and heat. Bleach. I’ve been craving watermelon and lemonade, so probably dehydrated too.
    I have two more weeks of training and then I go part time. YAY.
    I am still really happy with the new job. My stress level is way down.
    Kids, parents, boy friend, and cats are all breathing, so happy.

    • Margarett

      I am so happy that much of the stress at your job has let up now. Enjoy!!

      • Thanks Margarett, 😘

      • Thanks Margarett, 😘

      • Minky

        Yay Lisamia!!! You’re awesome!

        I wish I could give everybody here a glass of my special Arnold Palmer recipe over crushed ice. IT’S SOOOO GOOD!

      • Yum, Minky! I love the Trader Joe’s light pink lemonade. It’s only 30 calories a cup and not too sweet.

      • More Tea Please!

        Minky, please share your special Arnold Palmer recipe!

      • Minky

        Well, if you insist…

        Get a large pitcher. About 3 quarts. (Why are all my recipes “volume” recipes? 😂)

        Between 2-3 quarts water
        5-7 tea bags. Any tea you like.

        I’m a traditionalist when it comes to iced tea, so I use black. Sometimes, however I’ll combine black and green tea bags (4 black, 3 green) Lipton is my brand. But TAZO makes a great extra large tea bag that you can use for this recipe. Any flavor; passion, blueberry, citrus, what have you. If you decide to use TAZO, use only ONE of those bid ass tea bags.

        1 cup of granulated sugar. (Yes. One whole cup. Sweet tea is called “sweet” for a reason)
        1 cup lemon juice (bottled is fine)

        Ice for serving

        Bring most of the water to a boil in a large sauce pot. Reserve about 1-2 cups for your simple syrup (as described below). Put the tea bags in and let it steep with the lid on for anywhere between 30-60 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea. If it turns out too strong for your taste, that’s okay. You can always water it down with ice or more cold water later. (Or tequila or vodka…😜)

        For the simple syrup/lemon juice mixture: In a separate smaller saucepan combine the 1-2 cups of water, that are leftover from your pitcher that didn’t get used for steeping the tea, with the 1 cup of sugar. Bring that water/sugar mixture to the boil, and let it go for about a minute. Cut off the fire and pour in your cup of lemon juice. Let it cool while your tea is steeping.

        After your tea is done steeping, fish out your tea bags and don’t forget to squeeze them so you don’t waste a drop of that tea flavor. Into the steeped tea pour in your simple syrup/lemon juice mixture. Pour all of that into a large pitcher or one of those barrel servers with the spigot. You can add a load of ice to it right away if you intend to serve it immediately to company, or you can put it in the refrigerator to cool for later.

        When you’re ready to serve your Arnold Palmer elixir please do so as follows:

        Step 1. Fill a glass up to the top with ice.
        Step 2. Add Arnold + the optional spirits.
        Step 3. Sit on porch and drink your Arnold while fanning yourself and laughing at your crazy neighbors or gossiping with friends.

        Perfect for sweltering hot days and nights. ENJOY!!!

  7. I also love dishes and spent the early years of my marriage cruising yard sales and thrift stores for good things. For some reason I am addicted to clear cut glass and have a dinner and salad plate set in addition to my Franciscan Apple set (made in CA, not England when it got crappy). I gave my Lenox fine china to my daughter and my crystal to my daughter-in-law for them to use as they wish. I keep two sets of flatware; one for eating (a pretty, plain Oneida pattern) and one for using to cook. The latter is a mish-mash of my husband’s old stuff and yard sale treasures like my German stainless forks and butter knives.
    We are watching Sharknado back to back in celebration of Sharknado 4 coming tomorrow night. My new Laura Mercier Fig body and hand lotion and perfume spray arrived today so I am happy about delicious scents. Hot as hell here in Lynn Haven/Panama City metro but thank heaven for the breeze we get from the Gulf…

    • Margarett

      Cat azure, have you tried Laura Mercier’s stickgloss? It is moister than lipstick but not sticky the way some gloss is.

  8. Coco

    TT, there is a website that we order bottled water, juices, toilet paper and paper towels from that delivers right to our house. The prices are lower than most discount stores and the shipping is free.

  9. Mindymctx

    I absolutely share your love for dishes–really any and everything to set the table. I’m pretty sure my husband thinks I’m crazy, but too bad for him. I have no allegiance to a particular style–so this translates to lots of options. My new obsession is finding the perfect set of vintage high ball glasses from the 60’s–I’m thinking black and gold, but we shall see. Thanks for starting the fun post.

    • Minky

      I love a good highball glass. They’re so dignified and old-timey. Remember 7 on 7’s from back in the day. I know it’s not a proper highball, but I loved the smell of those things. Like a slightly sweet turpentine. Ah, the 80s!

  10. BeetsWhy

    I am sooo flipping happy!!! Season 4 of Wentworth is up on Netflix! So my plan of going to bed early and sober are shot to hell 🤓

  11. Pitypat

    I pretty much live on soup, the ultimate comfort food. I like to make it but hate to chop stuff so mine is usually kind of chunky, like me.
    A pho place opened a few miles from here and it is wonderful, they serve it with the bowl like spoons. It is fairly cheap and lots of little bowls of things to put in it. My china passion is blue and white china.

  12. KaraW

    I loved your story of sorting through the dishes at the souk market — Thank you, TT! I have some pasta bowls that make me very happy, so I can relate. But my main go-to for happiness is reading. I love those rare Sundays where I can lie down in a cool room around 4 PM and read.

    As far as gardening, we recently returned from a trip, and our neighbors were kind enough to water our tomatoes and a couple of hanging baskets while we were away. When I got home, I plucked off all the faded & dead blossoms, so now everything is coming back to life all at once. It’s nice to see. I also have some balloon flowers that are almost done blooming. I love those. The grass is crunchy though. We could definitely use some rain. Stay cool everyone!

    • Suigeneris

      The Souk market sounds fascinating. I wish it was something my mom and I could have shared. Mom did estate sales now and again but went with her friends. It wasn’t til college that I got interested. Once a year on our girls trip we go to a particular area of the city we meet in and walk several blocks of a really nice area having their yearly sale.. Half the fun is seeing the estates and talking the owners. The same weekend there is a fashion show put on by the Art School, several blocks with twinkle lights and runway under the stars. About a dozen of the students show their collections. Sooo creative.

      Ahhh, pasta bowls. I’ve become obsessed. I’ll eat almost everything in one. My favorites are robin’s egg blue, tag brand. Since my kids have grown and moved I’d begun eating my solitary meals in pasta bowls with tablespoons, in front of the tv or laptop. I also began eating with a tablespoon almost every meal, I guess to get bigger bites. Feels piggish so I don’t do it in front of people. I also double the sauces of recipes and and amts of butter and onions and garlic. Now I have co-custody of a non related 8 yr old so I have been setting a better example. My new little girl loves my blue bowls.
      Our weather has been blistering to chilly to rain to gross humidity. I’m not telling about my gardening. ug.
      I read here lots and hadn’t seen anything from TT a few days ago and worried a little. Happy all seems ok.

  13. Went to see the new Star Trek movie despite my fear to see Anton Yelchin on screen. He was recently tragically killed and I thought I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I loved the movie, the popcorn, my husband’s reassuring hand and Anton’s final performance. Sometimes life is better than we hope. Sometimes.

  14. Tamra tx 4 sharing yur issues that u had wth yur mom, as there are times that I feel like I am amongst the few ppl that deal wth backhanded remarks from my mom. She is really good @ it especially my weaknesses. I even tried therapy because I felt like I again was amongst the few ppl that didn’t enjoy the relationship with her. What a waste of time that was as therapist went on & on about how both her mom & herself do everythg together & couldn’t imagine not get along with her. Yea that really helped, got up & said tx u but I got this. Mayb it’s true wht they say abt psychologists that they are often more screwed up than the patients. For me I am better off just writing about it & every now & again I run into someone who has issues wth their mom that parellel mine which makes me feel better. Also wanted to share with you a really great source of instant electrolyte replenisher, strange as it sounds but pedialyte electrolyte drink which as u can see it’s made 4 kids but i have noticed on 2 recent reality shows they were drinking it for the very reason mentioned restoring your electrolytes. I saw Lionel Ritchie when he did a cameo on Nicole’s show drinking it & Nicole asked why & he said excellent source of vitamins & electrolytes. Then I saw it on that marriage boot camp. I have been drinking it 4 a couple years u may want 2 give it a shot. I even mixed wth my limearita’s lol.

    • blaine

      I’d like to pop in to suggest making your own electrolyte drink: water (plain or coconut) honey, salt, optional fresh squeezed fruit juice (lemon, lime, or orange) and optional concentrated mineral drops. That’s it. It lasts for a week and is super cheap and easy. :-)

    • tamaratattles

      Everytime I post about my mother I get comments like we had the worst relationship in the world. We were actually very close. She was just hypercritical. I wasn’t an issue at the time as she was just always that way. It was only during perimenopause therapy that all the critical comments explained a lot of things about how I turned out.

      Pedilyte is electrolyte water with lots of dyes, and sugar and artifical ingredients. It’s Gatorade marketed for children. Water is always the best hydrating option.

      • Cat

        I throw a few chunks of watermelon into the blender, with a little water and ice.

        That’s it. No added sugar or juices. Watermelon is full of electrolytes, and is sweet and tasty. Cheap, too.

        Yum!

      • Cat

        You can add a little salt, too. I don’t.

  15. I spent the day assessing the damage a god awful hail storm did Thursday night. The hail was huge, twice the size of a golf ball. Need a new roof, fence, window screens, patio table,and assorted other damage. Any car parked outside was damaged, thank god we park in the garage. Now I have to deal with the insurance company and various contractors. Good news is we’re ok and it’s just stuff. Colorado Springs Co really got nailed in that storm.

  16. G.

    Consider electrolyte drops, way easier!

  17. Tha Riddler

    While you love spoons & dishes, I love bedding! While looking through old pictures I found a photo I took when I was in elementary school of my bed, perfectly made with stuffed animals arranged on my new comforter/sheets. i guess our passions start early. Glad to hear you are feeling better. Hugs to you & Banjo

  18. Dancing Matisse

    My mother gave me a set of flatware she owned which was the same as what I grew up with. It has the perfect weight in your hand and is sized well. It reminds me of my childhood and I’ve always loved my ‘heirloom’.

    My Aunt visited and asked why I was using the silverware that my grandma got for free at the bank. So not quite the heirloom, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. :-)

    • tamaratattles

      The flatware from the bank is TOTALLY heirloom. My grandmother gave all of her granddaughters a set of dishes that she bought with food stamps at the grocery story. My set of blue and white dishes with sailboats she gave me are in ALL the antique stores. You should Google that flatware, you would be surprised what it costs, now. Your aunt is probably just pissed she didn’t get them.

      • Minky

        Ah, the good old days. When the bank gave out dishes and gravy boats and toasters and the like. Now you’re lucky if you can get higher than 0.25% interest. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

      • Skeeter

        @Minky – I got an electric ice crusher free for opening up an account. I thought that thing was the shit. My daughter now has it (she probably doesn’t even know what the hell it is – she bought the house from me with everything in it. I’ll have to ask her if she has seen my ice crusher LOL).

      • Blue and white dishes are my favorite!

      • amisteree

        GREEN STAMPS!!! I remember my mother collecting those when I was growing up in the late 60’s/early 70’s. She got cases of cigarettes with them, and a sewing machine. It was so exciting to go into the store and look around at what you might get with the stamps.

      • Matzah60

        Ah, yes, green stamps from the A and P. I remember my mom getting dishes, one by one at the supermarket as well as some crappy encyclopedias. I am so old, I remember when gas stations gave out sets of glasses when you bought gas, also, one glass at a time. Gas was around 50 cents a gallon back then. I remember buying my first pack of cigarettes for 50 cents. At the time, I can only recall buying them or finding them available in a vending machine. I even recall back when my dad was still alive before 1963. There were no speed limits on the highway or a cop hiding in every nook and cranny with a radar gun. Those were the days, my friends.

  19. JoJoFLL

    I am obsessed with white plates. I can probably do a 20 course dinner for twelve without reusing a plate.

    It’s ridiculous.

    I also have a love for spoons.

    Thank you all for your condolences for losing my sweet kitty last Monday. It really helped.

    • Alexa

      I too am obsessed with white plates! I go to all yard sales and goodwill and collect milk glass and any copper I can find! Wish we could all share pics of our collections on this post!

    • Sabrina

      Jo JO, so very sorry you lost your dear kitty- I hope you know how important you were to make her life so special, and how much your love filled her days. God Bless each of you!

      I too love china- especially if it has been passed down from family loved ones, ,because it brings those people with the china, reminding us of moments spent together. I cherish lovely old patterns- have one Rosenthal in cobalt, gold and white- and a special Limoges in the same colors, Then several every day patterns – one that is just like my mother in law’s, to be used daily and bring her and my father in law back daily with us. Another is blue and while; they make me happy using them, cleaning them, setting the table- life at its best when we’re together, or remembering those we love.

      Thanks for sharing t his.

  20. DarkThoughts

    Things that made me happy today:
    1. My B12 vitamin from Costco 300 for only $15!
    2. Cold press watermelon juice also from Costco. A cup a day makes me feel great.
    3. My local Michael’s Craft Store has their Halloween stuff up.
    4. Kids go back to school in 3 weeks. Yay!!!!

    Miss you TT, I do stop in every day. I’m in summer lurker mode.

  21. blaine

    My second ever garden is doing pretty well; my Roma tomatoes have lots of fruit but are taking a LONG time to ripen. It’s the same with my peppers. Not that I know when to pick hot peppers anyway!

    My cucumbers, peas, green beans, beets are alive but our 10 month old puppy keeps chewing the darn leaves and vegetables despite me fencing in my little space ( he just pushes through – it’s not a great fence but it’s what i could rig up – when I leave him unattended in the yard and then looks at me like ‘what??’ when he’s caught).

    My patch of heirloom carrots are doing beautifully. I roasted some yesterday, yum! My neat rows were rearranged into a big section of garden thanks to the aforementioned dog. He’s lucky he’s cute. 😉

    • tamaratattles

      Tomato plants and leaves are HIGHLY TOXIC to dogs. Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family. Banjo loves tomatoes but only home grown ones. He won’t eat the ones that come on sandwiches from a fast food place that I pick off. But the tomatoes themselves have traces of the same toxin. Banjo is 80 pounds so he can eat a few slices here and there.

      • blaine

        Thanks, that’s good to know. I knew about onions but didn’t know about tomatoes. Luckily he’s never touched the tomatoes; I watched him sniff my little patio pot of tiny tims shortly after putting it out but he reacted like it was a stink bomb. He’s a lab, about 55ish pounds so far, and apparently has a penchant for legumes.

      • Minky

        I also read that both dogs and cats should never be fed raisins or grapes. They’re also supposed to be toxic to those pets.

  22. Minky

    Since we’re talking soup, here’s my recipe for the best chicken tortilla soup you ever ate in your life.

    1 boiled chicken + resulting broth (2 or 3 quarts)*
    1 large onion (white or brown)
    1 large red bell pepper
    1 or 2 carrots, depending on size
    1 or 2 stalks of celery
    1 zucchini, 2 if they’re very small
    Several jalapeños or Anaheim chills (fresh, not dried or pickled)
    Several cloves of garlic – I do 7 for good luck
    Whatever kind of seasoning you like. I keep it simple with salt & pepper. But you can add adobo or taco/fajita seasoning if you like them.
    Tortilla chips
    Shredded cheese
    Avocado
    Chopped cilantro (Optional. I know a lot of people hate cilantro. You can also do parsley)
    Your preferred brand of hot sauce
    (I’m a freak for Tapatio hot sauce! The one with a picture of a mariachi on the label. It’s an L.A. thing. You wouldn’t understand. 😛)

    Prepare your chicken meat by either shredding with a fork or chopping into small cubes. Discard chicken skin. Ew.

    Chop all of the vegetables into chunks, as big or as small as you like. I like about 1/2″ squares. Mince the garlic and jalapeños and cilantro.

    Sautee all of the vegetables in a big pot with whatever kind of oil you like. I usually use peanut or olive oil. Start with the onions and peppers (bell & jalapeño/anaheim), and then add the minced garlic and continue by adding the carrots, celery and zucchini. Let the vegetables get somewhat soft, but not too much. Season the vegetables with salt/pepper and/or your preferred seasoning. You can also throw in a very ripe tomato if you want your soup to have more color.

    Add your prepared chicken and your chicken broth. Add some water if you need to top off the ingredients. All of the chicken and vegetables must be submerged in the broth with room to move around. If you want a more chicken-ey flavor go ahead and add a bouillon cube. Be careful with the salt/seasoning if you do that. Let that soup come to a boil and cook for a little while, 30 minutes tops, and basically you’re done.

    To serve: Put a small mound of crushed tortilla chips (or deep fried tortilla strips if you have that kind of time, or if you can find them prepared) and a small mound of shredded cheese. Ladle the soup over the cheese and chips. Top off with diced avocados and cilantro, and more tortilla chips if desired. And, for the love of god, DON’T FORGET the TAPATIO!!! That what makes it!

    *If you have no time to boil a chicken, then using a roast chicken from the deli at the market and packaged chicken broth is fine too.

  23. Shay

    TT, are you recapping MAFS 4?

    • tamaratattles

      Probably. But I was waiting until the ceremonies. Not sure what to think yet.

    • tamaratattles

      The whole PEARL drama I found fascinating though.

      • Shay

        It seems like they aren’t even trying to match people for life. I just read neil’s AMA on reddit (his friend was on the show and on reddit) and it’s hilarious.

        His friend commenting on Sam and Neil’s wedding: “When they were at the alter she mentioned that she was into aerial acrobatics. I got super excited thinking she was a pilot like some blue angels shit or something. I thought, Neil is not going to be able to keep up with this girl… she was way more awesome than him. Then I found out she just swings around on long scarfs and I was disappointed for the next six weeks.”

        Also, TT, you have to watch Born This Way. Its like a singles show for Down Syndrome adults and it’s everything.

      • tamaratattles

        I almost don’t want to ask what you find hilarious. Because, really? Shut up.

  24. spk

    The souk adventure sounds so fun; like a hands-on murder mystery. It would be heaven. My favorite rounded-bowl spoons are out of production; a mid-century design. A client of mine has a full original set, which I covet. Your flatware/dishware preference is totally speaking my language.

    The tomato plants are languishing this year & only just realized why. I always used 1/2 good soil and 1/2 good compost. Then only ‘fertilized’ with compost tea midseason. They always thrived. Compost tea is magic. But no one makes the tea any more! Finally picked up Tomato Tone and some Kelp liquid today. Crossed Fingers.

    A girlfriend gifted me with the complete set of Army Wives. Never watched it before but for some reason am really enjoying. That and watching Brandy “learn how to date” on Famously Single.

  25. I share your love for special spoons and dishes. It just adds something special to the meal when you have a special bowl or utensil to eat it with.

  26. Paulie now telling to Paul. Paul asked if he puts Day up, will she definetly go? He said yes. Paulie is afraid that the fatal five actually exists. Because god forbid the girls were talking together.

    Paulie also just told Paul about Z telling him to watch out for Paul.

    I hate this season.

  27. Cat

    I, of course, collect cat figurines, etc. And in particular, black cats. The only time I can find black cat things is around Halloween (which is my favorite holiday…and my wedding anniversary), so my apartment is pretty much ready for Halloween year round.

    My favorite piece is a black cat “snow” globe, that has little black bats instead of glittery snow. The “globe” has a pretty glittery pumpkin base. And when you wind it up, it plays the theme from the old Alfred Hitchcock Show.

    Other than that, feeding the critters on my balcony makes me happy. And these new cats I adopted? They make me laugh. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard a cat purr. :)

    I am also finding myself dehydrated. Even though I rarely go out in the heat. I think maybe the air conditioning is drying me out? (Meowt?) I seem to be constantly applying lotion. And although I drink water throughout the day, I can’t seem to get enough water.In fact, that’s why I’m up at 3am. When I’m dehydrated, I have a problem with restless leg syndrome. I twitched myself right out of bed!

    I’ve been working on my “to do” list. There are things on the list I have put off for months…sometimes YEARS. I am slowly crossing things off that list. And that is making me happy, too.

    One item on the list was art related. I have a friend on Facebook who’s young daughter was seriously ill, and recently had brain surgery. She made it through just fine, but is now facing a very long recovery.

    Her mom requested a hand made get well card. It took me awhile, because I have issues of my own that make it hard for me to control a pencil, but I was able to create a little get well card for her. I will be mailing that to her on Monday. I am also sending one of my cat hats with the card. That really helped me when I was seriously ill. I’m hoping it helps her daughter keep her spirits up. Humor is so important to recovery.

    Wow, that’s all, for now. I didn’t mean to write so much! I guess I have a lot that makes me happy! Coming here makes me happy. I consider all of you not only my friends, but my extended family. ❤

  28. More Tea Please!

    I am days away from harvesting my very first Orange Jazz beefsteak tomato – yesterday it started turning orange yesterday and is the size of my hand.

    Friends who moved out of state came for an impromptu overnight visit and I kicked my kitchen into total food porn mode. They brought filets to grill, I made Watercress and Nectarine salad with white balsamic vinaigrette, Smashed potatoes roasted in duck fat until crispy and and Peach Blueberry almond tart for dessert.

    It warms my heart to go local as much as possible:
    Watercress – wild harvested by me
    Nectarines – from a local North Goergia orchard
    Potatoes – scored a 50# bag from my favorite farmer
    Peaches and blueberries – from a new farm stand we discovered

    I bought peaches and nectarines in quantity yesterday and will be making jam for the year. Ihave my eye on a Nectarine Habanero recipe.

  29. Donna

    I enjoyed reading your article, and remembered that my aunt would only drink tea out of bone china. Whenever she visited me my aunt was very happy that I had a special bone china tea cup and saucer just for her.

  30. Uptoolate

    Long time happy reader of TT, first time comment. Always too intimidated of your witty & funny followers to add my 2 cents. Love today’s blog “spoons”. I have my 27 year old bridal shower set of heavy Onieda Needlepoint cutlery. There amongst the spoons is a teaspoon from my parents first cutlery set that lives in my drawer. Most days I don’t notice it, other days I scramble thru the spoons looking for this piece of comfort. Funny until today I didn’t really realize this & now must share with my 3 grown daughters.
    Thanks TT bloggers, I love checking in with you all throughout the day

  31. It’s fun reading what everyone is collecting. I’m getting ready for a yard sale next weekend because I have to much stuff that I’ve collected over the years.

    I just hope I don’t lose it on yard sale day. People can be very obnoxious and rude. Hey, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it! I’m mentally preparing. Lol!

    • Cat

      Sounds like fun…maybe? I’ve been to many, but never had one of my own.

      Good luck! Hope things go smoothly!

    • Heidi

      I fancy myself a garage sale queen. I’ve hosted one for the last twelve years where we have at least four other families invited, if not more. Our rules: things marked in .25c increments only, no haggling on the first day – if it’s still there the last day then I’ll maybe go down, plants sell very well, yummy snacks to eat all weekend are a must – my favorites are tuna salad, various dips, fresh fruit salad, bars and candy. I’m already looking forward to ours in spring, lol! Good luck to you!

    • Blondesense

      Lime, I swear I have PTSD from the one yard sale I had. It was a nightmare! some people….. 😦 Good luck! I ended up getting into a few mimosas. I need to have another sale badly but I’m sober now and trying to work up the courage.

  32. Margaret Shepard

    Nice post Tamara! I need to check out whole foods. Its not too close but now I have a craving for soups lol. I have too much shade for an in ground garden but the heat has slowed my home depot tomato plants on my deck. Its hot as hades here in Atlanta so I am either watering plants or filling pet water bowls. Cool info on Libyan markets.

  33. StubbyG

    Growing up with not a lot of money, I was raised a garage sale kid. To me, there is nothing more fun than finding a good deal on something. I have quite a few sets of dishes too, it is so much fun to switch out. The China I rec’d for my wedding has been used once in 17 years, but my “cheap” Corelle/Homer Laughlin/old Pier One Imports is used daily.

    Sadly, I didn’t plant tomatoes this year, but 2017 will see them.

    Many hugs and blessings to all, your writings make me happy.

  34. joanne

    Tamara, so glad you are feeling on the up and up. This summer’s heat has been unrelenting, and I rarely venture out in the 95+degrees + humidity. Even living a block from the St. Johns has provided little relief, as the river breezes have been few and far between, except for the sudden gearing up of a thunderstorm. On the up side, my Sweet 100 is living up to its name. I will be attempting a savory cherry tomato tart tonight!

    Something that brings me joy every day: many years ago, after my second divorce (from a mercifully short marriage to a sociopath) I started using all the ‘good’ china and sterling flatware (that I received as wedding gifts from my first marriage in 1974) every day. I think food, whether take-out or home cooked, just tastes better when served on bone china or fine English stoneware or the dozens of Chinese export plates and bowls I inherited from my mother. I am a visual being so I love using and looking at my granny’s silver art nouveau and deco pieces. I still buy china and silver at estate sales (speaking of bowls!) which drives the un-husband crazy, though I’ve noticed, he seems to have a real affinity for those uniquely shaped art deco fruit/salad forks!

    Hope you have a great week, TT, and the same to all your loyal readers. I need more recipes for cherry tomatoes!

  35. Finn

    My mother has China, dishes, cutlery etc. from her parents my fathers parents…so love it. Some of my collection is amber and green etched depression era glass. I think some of my collection is pressed glass that was included in laundry soap boxes as a buying gift..not sure. I use it as everyday and am enamored with the history and colors….I love colored glass.

  36. T D

    You always set a fine table. A feast of information and first picked tea leaves served scalding hot or ice cold.Either way it’s the freshest brew.

  37. SJ

    Love your spirit Tamara….I was a tour guide for many years and understand what travel does for the soul, every trip changes you in some way. Your description of the perfect spoon, china and meal made a big difference in how I ate this weekend and I thank you for the words you use to move my spirit.

  38. I like eating from nice table wear but during hot summer don’t really care. Easier to eat off cheap plastic forks, etc. and I don’t fell guilty about using (hot) water to wash up.

    It may be to early…I planted a few pumpkin seeds and today saw the first orange blossom 🍅

  39. Margarett

    I so understand about your mother. I struggle everyday with being hypercritical.

    Believe me I am not as hard on anyone else as I am on myself. (Even with those who are obviously misguided, ignorant fools 😉 I just refuse to speak with them.)

    I just hate myself when I realize I am “doing it again”.

  40. I like cheap plastic white spoons…JS

  41. Billie_bee

    I just finished up my assignment. On to my final paper and I’ll be done for a couple of week before my next course. Bathed the kids early, and we are on our way out in a bit for an early dinner. It’s my birthday :) I’m forgoing cake this year and opting for a nice big bowl of fro yo.

  42. misery chick

    Hey there! Been enjoying everyone’s posts, here’s what’s making me happy today:

    1-Got some real sleep last night, almost 9 hours, usually
    . just get 4 or 5. Feel like a different person 😁
    2-I have the house alone today except for my 24 yo
    “kitty” Leo who is sleeping on my back, SO grumpy
    and finicky, but SOOOOOO sweet 😼🐾
    3-Got a lot of adult SHITE done last week (paperwork,
    phone calls, organizing notes/thoughts for my
    upcoming Social Security Disability hearing in Sept)
    4-Going to see my beloved SIL after her foot surgery
    5-Baskin Robbins sale, $1.31 per scoop

    T, thanks for the community of wonderful people you have here 💕

  43. RHofND

    On the topic of china…. I married 5 years after my older sister. We realized that I had picked out the exact pattern of Noritake china she had. She divorced years later and asked me if I wanted all her china since I had the same pattern. I said sure. I divorced a few years after that and during that process, she decided to get remarry her first husband so I gave her back all her china plus all of mine since. That Noritake china has made the rounds.

  44. Most of my daily spoons, except for the iced tea spoons are just from my everyday stainless, though I like them a lot. What really does make me spoon-happy, though, is keeping them in glass spoon holders, one on the table all the time & the other on the kitchen bar where it is handy for cooking. My grandmother always kept her spoons that way & it gives me joy whenever I see my spoons in their convenient holders or pluck one to use.

    Tamara, I have collected many Fiesta dishes because that’s the type of dishes with which I always had to set the table growing up. However, Homer Laughlin quality is extremely haphazard. I’ve seen dishes I would consider 2nds or even 3rd quality sold as firsts in stores. For that reason, & because commercial buyers might be more picky,I think your “restaurant quality” finds might be even higher quality than some other Laughlin pieces.

    I haven’t had time or energy for growing tomatoes for the past couple of years, but my 80 yr. old “gentleman friend” is an avid gardener. We are looking for a house to share, so am hoping that next year I won’t have to go to the farmer’s market for the ingredients for our very favorite food, fried green tomatoes.

  45. Blondesense

    I am living on soup too right now. I had weight loss surgery (gastric sleeve) 18 months ago and am now underweight and malnourished – so I have to force myself to eat all day and late into the night. My absolute favourite is carrot and ginger, garnished with a scoop of Greek yoghurt and fresh lemon wedges.

  46. More Tea Please!

    Speaking of soup and tomatoes:

    IT’S GAZPACHO SEASON!

  47. I have been unable to comment. Am I in the wls?

  48. Jill

    I would love to get some new flatware but I’ve just found it hard to find something I like. Everything stainless at a reasonable price is either too cheap, too plain (square), too traditional or it’ll have a plastic handle or something weird and then way too modern. If I find something I like, then it’s $100 for 1 place setting and not even real silver. I’m sure I’ll find something someday, I’m not looking THAT hard, but I look almost every time I’m in a dept. store just out of curiosity. My flatware now is a hodge podge of cheap sets from college on.

    Off topic, I didn’t watch Flipping Out until about 2 weeks ago and read a recap. Now I joined Hulu and am catching up on all the past years. OMG! I’m in the market for buying a new house in the next few months and all I can think about is I want Jeff to do my new house! I like his style and it makes all the houses here in the Midwest look like the Partridge Family, even some of the new construction. Dated and traditional. I grew up on a farm but it doesn’t mean I want to keep living on one!

    • tamaratattles

      Jill, I have been looking for flatware too. I want a new set but there is nothing out there I like either. Plus how could anyone buy a boxed set without opening it up and holding it??? I’ve bought a few things at either Wal Mart or Target I can’t remember which but they sell single pieces that you can take home and try out.

      Are we weird? :)

      Don’t answer that.

      Sorry to lump you in with me.

      I’m sure you are perfectly normal.

  49. Jill

    Ummm, well, thanks, but I’m sure I’m as normal as anyone else I suppose. I feel everyone has their own special crazy in them and who’s to say what’s normal these days.

    But YEAH, I have bought the onsies, twosies too. I bet I have 12-15 different styles in my drawer. I’m sure if I started a cool new lunch counter, the kind that uses old mismatch-y plates, coffee cups, flatware, I’d be all set. I guess that could make us cool??

    When I was a kid, I felt like my mother used to look at all kinds of different sets, at least 15 different styles, in the stores. When I hit these same stores, there are literally 4-5 sets period with not much difference in style. My mother would get every day flatware a lot as shower or wedding presents.
    I’ve hit a lot outlet mall (Lenox/Mikasa) and in-person department stores (Target/Walmart/Penneys/Dillards/BedBathBeyond) and several online.

    I just can’t find a more “modern”, but not-too-traditional spin on flatware I’m craving. Now I do feel that last sentence may be a little weird…

  50. T D

    All that glitters may not be gold. but Oscar sure is shiny.

Please Read the COMMENTING RULES before commenting.