Home. Back to reality. The upside of living here is the proximity to New York City. The downside is the proximity to New York City.

Back in my wild and crazy youth, we’d catch a flight from Boston on the Eastern Shuttle, bus to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and then risk our lives walking to the Grand Hyatt for our free rooms. That was back when Times Square really had an edge to it – not the Disney Ride it is, today. Third-run movie theaters and porn theaters competed with the legit theatres – and the legit theatres were showing their age. We’d be up and out all night and crawl back on the plane a day or two later – ready to do it all, again.

Lest it be said that I was always galavanting in bad company, in 1983 my parents came back to Boston and we did a trek to The Big Apple. They were doing a driving tour of the USofA and arrived right around their anniversary. After a few days in Boston, we drove down to NYC and I took the train back while they continued their trip. We got a suite at some hotel courtesy of my roommate, Jeff, who was Regional Sales Director for Seagrams, and scored tickets to 42nd Street at The Majestic Theatre. After several cocktails during and after the show, Pop and I put my mother to bed and we went out on the town. Rumor has it we had a great time. Couldn’t prove it by either of us. It really was one of the most fun times I ever had with my father – not that I can really remember any of it. Just that we both had a blast.

That trip ended with a week-long hangover – that train ride back to Boston was painful. This trip ended with coffee and danish at 7:30am, an early train back home, and grocery shopping.

My, how times have changed.

I wouldn’t trade those [lack of] memories for anything – but I am glad I’ve settled down, a bit. The warranty has expired on a lot of these parts…

What hasn’t expired, though, is magazine reading, grocery shopping, and cooking.

I prefer paper copies of my cooking magazines, but also get the digital editions for those times when I’m sitting in a train or otherwise ensconced with my Kindle. One recipe from Fine Cooking or Cooking Light was a dish of shredded chicken over sweet potato pancakes. I don’t remember the recipe, really, but the idea sounded pretty good. I like stuff piled on other stuff – this was right up my alley.

I made sweet potato pancakes by boiling a large sweet potato, mashing it, adding shredded cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, basil, garlic, and an egg to bind. I scooped it into a hot skillet nd fried them.

Meanwhile, I had boiled a chicken, pulled off all the meat, strained the broth…

I sauteed a chopped leek with shitake mushrooms and garlic, added some cauliflower and some white wine and cooked it down. Added some of the chicken, some broth, and thickened it with a bit of cornstarch.

Spooned it over the pancakes and dinner was served!

Really simple and really, really good!

And to bring it all back… In May, my sister Arlene and her two daughters are flying into New York. We’re going up to meet them and take them to see Phantom of the Opera – at The Majestic, where I saw 42nd Street with my parents 34 years ago!