Maraschino Kisses from My Baby

Maraschino Kisses

Maraschino Kisses

Anne and I bicycled together on Saturday and I biked by myself today, while Anne sewed on the front porch, because the weather was so nice, sunny and warm. On Saturday, we rode over to the CWE for lunch at Gringo, a Baja themed upscale taco bar. We’ve eaten there before and I’m always surprised at how small their tacos are. I had two, a beef brisket and a lamb taco. Anne had a normal sized burrito. I also had their winter special margarita. It was infused with a blood orange, giving the drink a reddish-brown color and instead of the lip of the glass just being coated with salt, this drink had both salt and cinnamon. It was good.

On Saturday night, we attended Smokin’ Joe’s annual Christmas cookie party. In preparation for this event, Anne made Maraschino Kisses. This cookie recipe uses a whole jar of maraschino cherries and calls for Hersey’s special dark chocolate kisses, but we decided to substitute kă•kā•ō dark chocolate buttons instead. They turned out pretty [good | well] and I helped. [Anne says that pretty well is correct English, even though pretty good is a Missouri colloquialism, so could be considered correct English if written within the state’s boundaries. No one faults Mark Twain for his use of language, so why me? Anne said that her parents drilled her pretty well and good in this. I’m left to wonder if any fracking was involved.] We were the first to arrive at the cookie party, which was a little awkward. We were on time, but everyone else was stylishly late. We had a good time though!

Sunday morning, we drove over to the Loop for a little walk. The Loop doesn’t really do mornings and especially not the morning after a Saturday night. Most of the stores were closed, so we were left to window-shop. We grabbed breakfast at a new place in the Loop, the Peacock Diner. This is another Joe Edwards property and it is a beauty. It is modeled after a ‘50s diner that only a Hollywood musical could have envisioned. It is both spacious and bright. I kept expecting the help to break into a chorus line of song and dance. Maybe if I had put a quarter into the juke box that would have happened. We ate at the counter, which has ever-changing bands of lighted colored panels all around it, but where I really wanted to sit was in the Peacock Carousal of Love. Yes, it really rotates. Anne didn’t want to though. I guess that she doesn’t love me anymore. “I don’t love you any less”, she says. Anne had red velvet waffles, which looked great. I had their biscuits and gravy, which was fantastic! They’ve substituted chorizo for the sausage and add a touch of tomato to give the gravy a more appealing color than bleached white.

I’ve got to go now. Anne wants to go shopping for our Christmas tree. Its 63 ˚F out in mid-December, I think that shorts and a t-shirt is appropriate Christmas attire for today. We will of course go to Ted Drewes and of course order concretes, which we will consume on the lot, while selecting our tree. So surprise me, Le Marquis, what flavor of frozen custard will you order? “How about my usual, a small chocolate-chip concrete?”


Nepenthe is a medicine for sorrow, literally, an anti-depressant.  Homer mentions it in the Odyssey when Helen of Troy is given a magical potion called Nepenthe by the Egyptian queen, with this prescription, “It quells all sorrows with forgetfulness”.  Nepenthe is also a restaurant in Big Sur, California in the heart of the central coast.  The restaurant has been around since the sixties.  Chris and my folks went there for lunch on Saturday and sent these pictures. 

The property was once owned by Orson Wells and Rita Hayward.  They bought it on a whim while they were in Big Sur on their honeymoon.  Wells was researching his magnum opus, Citizen Kane at the time.  The real life subject of this movie, William Randolph Hearst lived just down the road in his castle at San Simeon.  Big Sur was probably as close as Wells dared to approach the powerful Hearst; Citizen Kane was none too flattering of Hearst.  “Rosebud”

We launched relatively early on Monday morning, ten o’clock.  We cruised through the Park, retraced our route up the Hill, site of Sunday’s bike races, passed by Francis Park again, site of Saturday’s bike races and stopped off at the Chippewa Ted Drewes.  We only had mini-concretes, which later became a problem.  Anne had this year’s new pomegranate flavor and I of course had my usual chocolate chip flavor.  Anne met a young couple from Montreal that was on vacation.  They were tracing the route of Old Route 66.  They wanted to go to the transportation museum, because a portion of the Coral Courts Motel had been moved to there.  Part of their adventure westward is staying in the old Route 66 era motels.  In its later years the Coral Courts became a bit, let us say notorious.  The most distinguishing feature of the Coral Courts was that each room had its own, fully enclosed, attached garage.  This feature became invaluable to lovers in illicit relationships.  Except for the moments that it took to rent the room and park the car, no prying eyes would know who was there.

At this point in our ride we decided to head to Benton Park, the site of Monday’s bike races.  This is the first time for this venue.  We watched a couple of races and then stayed for the kids races.  Watching the kid’s race was a hoot!  They staggered the kids by age group, starting with the big wheel crowd closest to the finish line.  Each age category would race and then be cleared off the road before the subsequent and older category could begin.  It was fun to see a ten year progression in just about ten minutes.  On our way back home we stopped at Saint Nicholas, the Greek Orthodox Church and site of the best Greek Festival in town.  I loaded up the messenger’s bag with gyros and we headed home.  We got 30 miles.  Monday was a nice day in a great weekend.

As we were outbound through the Park, Anne spied this kite flying over Art Hill.  She pointed it out and suggested that I zoom in on it.  I responded that it we really wanted to get a good shot we should climb Art Hill.  Well she was fired up, so we climbed up Art Hill and I got the shot that made the preceding movie.  Traffic caused Anne to lead us up Government Hill next.  This Saturday we begin the big ride, the 2010 MS-150.  Wish us luck or better yet, donate.