Unique White

November 8th, 2013


I bought this wine, a Drew Family Cellars Albarino (white varietal), “taste untasted” on the recommendation of a vintner from another winery.  You can only buy it at the Drew Family tasting room, and apparently they never have it open for tasting.  No need, explained this vintner, because people flock to buy it.  I was initially hesitant.  A bottle was twenty-five bucks–not quite in my  “What the hell?  I’ll give it a shot” range.

Well, boy, am I glad I gave it a shot!  I almost cried when we finished the bottle.  As someone who is immediately drawn to the “Unique whites” section on any wine menu, I found this wine more than fit the bill in my constant quest for great tasting, drinkable whites that are anything but Chardonnay.  What made it so good?  Well, it’s a lighter style wine but still has a depth and complexity to it, without the hint of bitterness I sometimes detect in lighter whites that strive to go beyond Chenin Blanc-ness.  More floral than a Sauvignon Blanc (my first anything-but-Chard love), more robust than a Pinot Grigio…. so hard to describe without a glass of it in my hand!

And, aye, there is the the rub!  How do I get more of it in my hot little (well, actually rather large) hands??  A trip to the Anderson Valley where the Drew tasting room is located isn’t totally out of the question, but it’s a bit of a stretch.  And you can’t just call and order it.  The winery calls this gem “our little secret” and literally only sells it on site at the tasting room and only at certain times of the year.  I may have to practice that hideously adult thing called “delayed gratification” and wait until next summer, when we will inevitably make a pilgrimage that direction.  Until then I will just have to console myself with a little Champagne and my continued search for the next amazing unique white.  Have a unique white of your own to share?  Let me know!


August 21st, 2013

Oh, ok. Alright.  So I haven’t written a post in, like, forever.  So sue me.  (Don’t you love people who use defensive language and posturing to cover up overwhelming feelings of guilt and inadequacy?)

I have reasons.  I have excuses.  Most of them valid.  Really.

There was the small matter of a part-time job I started in ’09.  And the not-so-small matter of the voluminous amounts of volunteer work I dove into for Babyzilla’s school.  The volunteer work felt like a full-time job and made my part-time job seem like volunteer work.  Somehow in all of that I managed to do some good and make some money.

What is the picture like in my mad, mad whirl now?  Much the same.  Same kid, same house, same husband. Babyzilla is now eight years old and, for all intents and purposes, has shed his green skin.  He still breathes fire once in a while.  Hubby still wears glasses and still does mysterious things with power tools.  Sadly, The Laziest Dog On the Planet passed away in 2011.  (May he be resting on the fluffiest bed in the sky.)  His successor is a little Dachshund mix who’s almost as lazy but not nearly as smart.  What he lacks in intelligence, he makes up for in waggly-tailed optimism (except for when he gets that huffy, “something smells bad” look on his face).

So, now that Babyzilla is older and not nearly as incendiary, what will I write about in lieu of kvetching about parenthood?  Ok, that was a joke.  THERE’S ALWAYS ROOM FOR KVETCHING ABOUT PARENTHOOD!

I have upped my game in the cooking/baking arena the past few years, so perhaps there will be more posts with cakes and other delectables.  Maybe a few more poems?  And wine recs.  Always the wine recs!  (Nope, the boozing hasn’t changed either, except maybe with even more of a veer toward quality over quantity…. Most of the time, anyway!)

This is cool.  This is ‘Phoenix rising from the ashes’ type stuff.  Viva la Resurrection!

A Typical Conversation Between Mad Mama and Babyzilla

December 16th, 2008

Mad Mama: “Babyzilla, why do you always have to be so contrary?”

Babyzilla: “I’m NOT contrary!!”


And for those of you who read Sunset magazine…..

December 16th, 2008

… or just like cake, I give you the Cranberry Obsession Snow Cake, lovingly baked by yours truly:

I rawk.

I see bread people

October 31st, 2008

I pride myself on having a good memory. Or I should say, I used to pride myself on having a good memory. That was before Mad Mama Dementia set in. Now I need to make lists and lists of lists just to keep from leaving my own head somewhere. Babyzilla, on the other hand, has a memory that’s downright uncanny. It’s always been my understanding that before about the age of about four, kids just don’t have the capacity to recall events from very far back in the past, unless they experienced something particularly traumatic. And Babyzilla certainly doesn’t remember everything, my admonishments to “keep your hands to yourself” being a prime example, but he surprises me quite often with the recollections that come to his mind, seemingly out of nowhere.

About a month ago, we were getting ready to read a bedtime story –’Sasha The Sea Lion’, if my parenting-addled memory serves me correctly. I had just gotten through telling Babyzilla, that, no, I really don’t enjoy having his ratty stuffed dog shoved in my face, despite what he may think to the contrary.

Suddenly he asked me, “Where’s my gingerbread?”

Gingerbread? Whaaa?? Sasha The Sea Lion had a penchant for fish, but there wasn’t any mention of gingerbread. I had no idea where this was coming from, but being a parent who likes to encourage the intelligent and diligent exploration of thoughts and ideas, I eloquently replied, “Huh?”

“My gingerbread man,” Babyzilla said again. “The one with lots of frosting. What happened to it?”

I trolled through the scrapheap of my mind, trying to recall any recent conversations or events that concerned gingerbread men or even gingerbread or just any sort of comestible in human form. Nada.

And then I had a sudden inkling of what he was talking about.

“Do you mean a gingerbread man that you made?” I asked him.

“Yes, at the place with the sand toys and animals,” he responded.

About a year ago, Hubby and I took Babyzilla to a little Halloween fair being put on by a school out in a rural area of our county. It had attracted my interest because the theme for the fair was based on bringing characters from books to life. Most of the activities and entertainment centered on various classic stories, like ‘Alice In Wonderland’, with the participants dressed for and acting the part. Attendees were also encouraged to dress as their favorite story character. I’ve always been an avid reader and love the classics, so I thought this would be a great way to introduce Babyzilla to an essential part of every childhood. I imagined he would be enthralled by the whimsy and wonderment of it all.

Needless to say, he was unimpressed. The costumes and cute games and story themes were decidedly lacking in entertainment value for him. The thing that interested him the most was a sandbox in the back of the school that contained a nice collection of sand toys left out for kids who didn’t have an appropriate appreciation of literature. Babyzilla has sand toys and a sandbox at home, not to mention two parks close by our house that also have sandboxes and at least a few communal sand toys scattered around. You’d think that he’d have had more than his fill of sand toys, that sand toys would be old hat, while a re-creation of the Mad Hatter’s tea party would be, quite literally, new hat. But these sand toys were different. These sand toys sang an irresistible siren’s song because Babyzilla had not played with these specific toys before. When it comes to playthings, the new-to-me factor seems to rank high with the preschool set. Apparently the same can’t be said for a human-sized rabbit with a pocket watch.

So we spent a lot of “quality time” with the plastic shovels and pails and dump trucks and whirly funnel contraptions. The other activity of moderate interest to Babyzilla was a small petting zoo set up in the corner of the playground, across from the exalted sandbox. I paid a couple bucks so he could pet a chicken. Or try to pet a chicken. It seemed like he wanted to pet a chicken, but then another kid picked up the chicken he wanted to pet, and suddenly that chicken was an Untouchable. Babyzilla didn’t want to pet that chicken while the other kid held it. He didn’t want to pet a different chicken. All chickens were now taboo. In short order, poultry was out and a hasty retreat was made back to the sandbox.

I sat there withering in the heat of ‘Indian summer’ (Mother Nature’s evil trick on those of us who prefer the temperature to stay under eighty degrees and look forward to the arrival of Fall), trying to figure out how we could separate Babyzilla from Sand Nirvana and depart without him making a scene. There’s something about being at an event yet not participating in any of the activities whatsoever that I find wholly unappealing, especially when I have to sit in a puddle of my own sweat. If Babyzilla wanted to play in the sand, I could sit in my sweat in our backyard or the park near home.

Then Hubby decided we should take a shot at an activity that involved one of the only things more interesting than scrabbling around in the dirt with plastic toys: FOOD. Decorating a gingerbread man to be exact. The cookies were already made, so all the kids had to do was glob on the frosting, sprinkles, candy corn, etc. The obvious draw here is not artistic expression through high fructose corn syrup, but consumption during creation. Have to make sure those miniature marshmallows are of the highest quality before one is employed as a nose. Needless to say, this was the one “real” activity that Babyzilla enjoyed.

Shortly after Mr. Bread was all dressed up, we were able to leave. He was wearing at least a half cup of frosting, which immediately started to liquefy in the afternoon heat. Even the air conditioning of the car couldn’t save him –the final throes of departure and the walk through the parking lot did him in. I had his burial planned before we hit the main road. Surprisingly, my son seemed to forget about his sticky friend rather quickly (or so I thought), and Mr. Bread now has his final resting place in a landfill somewhere.

Whatever made Babyzilla think of this, how he ever remembered it at all –something that happened ALMOST A YEAR AGO –is beyond me. Nothing we were talking about at the time of his recollection had anything to do with gingerbread men, quaint school fairs, or anything of the like. It was September and Halloween wasn’t even on the radar at that point. And his relationship with Mr. Bread had been sweet but very short –nothing, in my mind, that would make a lasting impression, particularly because my son was essentially still a two-year-old back then. He didn’t even ask about the dearly departed after his hasty disappearance. But Babyzilla has done this on a number of occasions: Recalling things that I would never have imagined him remembering. Or even stranger, expressing knowledge of something about which there was seemingly no way he could know.

Really, the kid’s a little spooky sometimes.

Going to the….

October 12th, 2008

It’s one thing to talk to the dog. It’s another thing to talk to the dog with the vague notion that he’ll answer you.

Further Observations On Hannah Montana (Somebody shoot me now.)

September 25th, 2008

Why does her little friend look like a Polly Pocket on speed? It hardly seems fair. Hannah gets to sport the teenage tartlette look, while Lola appears to be channeling really bad ’80s New Wave crossed with Britney Spears in one of her manic episodes

Ok, I’ll stop now.


I swurr.

Acceptable or Unacceptable, Vol. III

September 23rd, 2008

Another two-parter:

1. You let your three-year-old watch ‘Hannah Montana’.

2. You let yourself watch ‘Hannah Montana’.

Acceptable or unacceptable?

Damage Done

September 20th, 2008

My husband gave me a kick-scooter for my last birthday. No, it wasn’t a subtle hint that I should get more exercise….. uh, maybe…… but really, it was so I could keep up with Babyzilla, who’s a mad, mad scootin’ maven. He goes so fast on his little Razor, it literally scares me. There’s no way I could just walk after him and yell, “Slow down!” the way I see other moms doing it. Nope –I scoot after him as fast as my aging mommy-bod can go and yell, “Slow down!!”

I’m pretty sure I’m the only scootin’ mom in the neighborhood, quite possibly the whole county. Of course I absolutely require that Scooter Knievel wear a helmet, but I give myself a bye.

Recently Babyzilla asked me, “Mommy, why do I have to wear a helmet but you don’t?”

Why?  Because Mommy’s a mommy, which means she’s already brain-dead. A sidewalk thump on the noggin ain’t gonna make any difference at this point.

Now, go make Mommy a cosmo, kid, and stop thinking so much. You’re going to hurt yourself.

And it’s good for you too!*

September 16th, 2008

My buddy Kris (aka Kristin –-I guess I really DO have a thing for Kristins/ens!) stopping by this humble blog reminded me that she had previously requested wine recommendations. Never the one to disappoint, I offer the following:

Sauvignon Blanc is my favored white wine,
A delicious drink that’s mighty fine.

Specifically, I like Reserve Brancott.
I like, I like Brancott a lot!

It’s fruity and dry, with a bit of flint,
And floral overtone, there’s just a hint.

A mid-priced wine that hits the spot,
Go and get ya some yummy Brancott!

*This statement has not been approved by the FDA… But what do they know?