A Tangible Sign Of Friendship

-1As everyone who reads the Webner House blog knows, we recently spent time on Peaks Island, Maine.  I was on this beautiful island four days before Bob and Russell joined me, so I had lots of ‘alone’ time, mostly spent walking, biking, reading and eating more lobster rolls than I care to admit.

On one of my trips walking the periphery of Peaks, I found this granite bench on the far, more remote back side of the island.  I was touched to think of the friendship that inspired this gesture — a lone bench, with this simple but moving message, with a beautiful and breathtaking view out toward the Casco Bay Islands and the Atlantic beyond.  I found myself thinking of the acts of friendship and loyalty that surely inspired this gesture, and how fortunate any one individual is to have made such a dear friend, or to have been the friend who inspired this special gift.

Here’s to Ric Rhodes, whoever you were, and to your friend who remembers you in such a special way.  May we all be fortunate enough to have such friendships of our own.

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Rendang Prada From Aromaku

IMG_4804Last week I took Kish to Dinin’ Hall for the first time, and already she’s hooked.  Today we again headed to the Hall, where we had the good fortune to find Aromaku — another one of many great food trucks found in our fair city.

Aromaku serves Indonesian food, and it’s fantastic!  I ordered the Rendang Prada, which apparently is a traditional Indonesian dish.  It was so good that it made me wish that I was raised in an Indonesian family.

Rendang is a beef stew — rich, dark, and full of spices and dripping chunks of beef in a succulent gravy.  It’s served with Prada, which is a chewy kind of roti bread.  You spoon the rendang onto the prada, roll it up, and eat it like an egg roll.  At least, that’s how I gobbled it down in an embarrassing display of gluttony.

IMG_4806Rendang prada is one of those dishes that Food Network shows would say reflects Indonesia’s mix of cultures and influences from neighboring lands.  If so, it’s an awfully good mix.  I loved the taste, and also loved that the dish was served piping hot — so hot, in fact, that the prada left a mark on the stryofoam container it was served in.  Having the prada also allowed me to greedily mop up every last drop of that awesome rendang gravy.

Kish got the bakmi ayam, a dish of noodles and minced chicken, and loved it.  We also tried the Indo-Dutch ball — no doubt the authentic,native Indonesian name for the dessert — that was a kind of pastry filled with cheese.  It also was terrific.

Not surprisingly, Kish wants to make our Dinin’ Hall lunches a weekly feature.  Why not?  There’s lots of food left to discover.

Dissing The Sneads

During our recent vacation, Kish and Russell had high times making fun of these tennis shoes.  Kish said they looked like golf shoes and called them the Sammy Sneads every time I put them on.  Russell, on the other hand, shook his head and sadly advised that shoes made by Skechers are per se uncool.

IMG_4800I bought the shoes at Kohl’s.  They were on the bargain shelf and cost a small fraction of the other gym shoes.  I didn’t know whether they are socially acceptable or not, because I pay no attention to shoe fashion.  I didn’t care whether popular people wear shoes with square toes, round toes, or pointed toes, or whether stripes on the sides are “in” or “out.”

What I did know is that I rebel at the notion of paying more than $100 for a pair of gym shoes that I wear around the neighborhood.  The prices of such shoes seem ridiculous for mass-produced rubber, plastic, and cloth creations.  Obviously, people are paying for brands and status symbols.

I could care less about that.  I admit I’m a cheapskate.  I’ll go for low cost and functionality over “branding” any time.  I’m not a runner.  I don’t play competitive sports.  I’m not trying to make a fashion statement when I go for a walk.

Give me durable shoes that fit and leave money in my wallet, and I’ll wear them happily — “Sneads” or not.