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Archive for October, 2009

Boo!

Halloween 2009Happy Halloween! My husband and I had fun dressing up like a bride and groom for a Halloween party last night. With my veil and his bowtie, we joked that perhaps we had more bride/groom accessories than we did when we got married a few weeks ago!

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My poem “Voyage Dream”  (page 10) was recently published in the online literary magazine ExPatLit.Com. I am particularly happy to have placed a poem here since it is a literary magazine after my own heart – a collection of pieces by or about expats. While I no longer live abroad, sometimes I still feel “abroad” in many ways. It is hard to describe where, with whom or what language contains “home.”

This poem, along with the image my mother, Melabee Miller, created for it, comes from our manuscript Cent’Anni. Cent’Anni contains poems paired with images that recount the story of our family emmigrating from southern Italy to New Jersey. It includes the story of our family history research and connection with Italian relatives a few years ago.

The poem “Voyage Dream” narrates the experience of Carmela, the daughter of my great grandmother’s sister. It is mostly based on research I’ve done about the boat rides to America, stories I’ve heard and what I imagine the experience might have been like for a young woman at the time.

If you are interested in reading other published poems, you are welcome to see my website ChloeYelenaMiller.com, which links to the online publications.

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Bridesmaids Fishs Eddy presents

I love New York City and so I love the Fishs Eddy designs with the skyline: 212 New York Skyline.

Since we were getting married close to New York City (I know, I know, New Jersey isn’t New York. It’s close, though. Maybe it is another borough?), I decided to buy the Wonderful Women a present inspired by New York.

I bought these crocks and put two packages of kitchen herb seeds in each one. Placed in a reusable tote, it fit the slight green theme to the wedding. 

Perhaps, however, it was too large of a gift. I didn’t pay perfect attention to the measurements when I ordered them online and they were larger than I expected. Since a number of the Wonderful Women had to fly to the wedding (one flew internationally from Italy!), I fear that they might have been less convenient than they were cute.

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Live Love Bead hair vine photo by Tony Richards

When I was thinking about how to do my hair for the wedding, I fell in love with a Swarovski crystal hair vine that I saw in a bridal magazine. A hair vine is a swiggly piece for your hair that can be wrapped around your head with bobby pins. The crystal part of it means that it costs hundreds of dollars.

I was surprised to find out how much it cost. I hadn’t been expecting that. After a quick search on Etsy.com and Ebay.com, I found this company, Live Love Bead, which makes “crystal inspired designs.” That is to say, affordable designs.

The one I ordered lasted through a styling test and the wedding day. It only lost one crystal in the end and I hope to find an occasion to wear it again. I’m open to invitations.

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Sparrow Meat Market Dinner fifth courseSparrow Meat Market Dinner fourth courseSparrow Meat Market Dinner third courseSparrow Meat Market Dinner second courseSparrow Meat Market Dinner first courseSparrow Meat Market in Kerrytown (Ann Arbor) hosts a semi-secret monthly feast. They take over the supermarket and Sweetwaters Café area with long tables covered in white tablecloths. They serve multi-course meals and guests share their BYOB wine with each other. The entire complex is closed except to those who made a phone reservation and know to enter through the only open door (closest to the parking lot.)

I’d seen flyers for it when I looked for it on meat counter after browsing the Saturday Farmer’s Market outside. There are no ads and no mention of it on the Sparrow website. Friends have raved about it, but mostly because they heard great things, not because they’d ever gone. 

After eating in the packed rooms filled with the aromas from the five dishes and the live music by Douglas and Andrew Brown, I understand why they don’t advertise. They don’t need to. Through word of mouth, this dinner is “legendary,” as one friend described it to me in an email.

Here was the menu:

1st course

Baby spinach with dried Traverse City cherries, toasted pecans, crumbled blue cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette. 

2nd course

Marinated tomatoes and zucchini served alongside a selection of Italian salamis.

3rd course

Seared scallops with cream sauce over roasted garlic and pumpkin polenta. 

4th course

Pork loin stuffed with fresh herbs, garlic, and grated pecorino cheese slow cooked in marinara served over braised escarole greens.

5th course

Fresh prepared Amaretto cannolis.

My favorite part of the meal was the pumpkin risotto. I don’t care much for scallops in general, but this polenta was perfectly seasoned. It wasn’t sweet or spicy. The pumpkin flavor was appropriately slight and complemented by the creamy sauce. This is something I want to try to recreate at home. Minus the cream sauce, this Epicurious recipe sounds about right.

The fresh basil on the zucchini in the second course helped to bring out the fresh flavor of the vegetable. The salamis were room temperature and their fattiness (a positive!) was offset by the light vegetables.

The salad dressing on the first course was a bit heavy for the light baby spinach leaves and the pork loin would have benefited from just a bit more spice (salt and even hot pepper), but considering the large numbers of people being served, I don’t think it should be held against them.

This dinner was something we’d like to repeat. And repeat.

If you need more convincing, you might enjoy this review on AnnArbor.com by Jennifer Shikes Haines. 

The menu changes according to the seasons. Be in “the know” and check out the flyers on the meat counter. The cost for the five course dinner is $45.00 and you can call for reservations/information at 734-761-8175.

 

 

Thanks to the Ann Arbor Chronicle for linking to this article.

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Dad and Chloe' before the wedding

 My dad asked me to write a Personalized Wedding Poem and he read it as a toast at our wedding.

At first, I had no idea how to proceed. How could I write a poem for my own wedding to be read by someone else? I was baffled. 

After he filled out the Questionnaire (which I created especially for this unique situation), I thought long and hard about what I know about his voice and the advice that he has given to me over the years. This is what I came up with and what he read at our wedding.

Thank you, Dad, for being you.

PS: I used to call my dad “Daie.”

 

 

 

From the Father of the Bride, Your Daie

 

Thank you for being you,

as I’ve told you so many times.

 

When I put my hand on your mother’s stomach

and felt you shift under her skin,

I lowered my eyes,

wondrous at life.

 

You’ve continued to grow

east, west, north, south.

I watch you tug on your dreams,

fall deeper in love,

turn a corner in this developing union.

 

You and Hans

care for each other in ways I can see

and ways I know.

 

Let the wind always be in your sails

as you move together through life.

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