1. On 01.27.1756 in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [the greatest composer in history] was born. Alles Gute zum Geburtstag, Wolfie! You and your infectious giddy laugh and fuzzy pink hair. If only I had some Cappezio de Venere to celebrate.

2. Between bites of a simple warm salad of cavatappi, steamed broccoli, plump raisins and toasted pine nuts drenched in fruity olive oil, flake salt and cracked black pepper, the woman several cubicles away shrieks above the low hum of the space heaters: “Goose foot??!” The silence resumed. Oh the things you hear over the cubicle walls

3. P.h.o. Three simple letters for one of the world’s best dishes. The broth makes the pho. You know you have a good bowl when you want to drink the broth. And slurping is encouraged. Sloppy and begged to be eaten loudly with passion… brilliant.

Satiny smooth broth

Tender strips of succulent beef

Warms my heart and soul

Traditional pho eaten in Vietnam [preferably made by a 60+ little Vietnamese woman with a generations-old recipe] is on my list of “Foods I MUST Eat.” The odds of that happening are slim to none, so I frequent the best* pho spots in Milwaukee and Minneapolis as much as possible. My pho cravings bubbled to the surface when I read a post for a cheat’s home version. I knew it would be light years below the high pedestal on which I hold the real version. Still I had to see.

“Cook udon noodles; drain, put in a bowl. Steep fresh ginger chunks in beef broth. Boil. Layer partially frozen, paper-thin slices of beef tenderloin on top of noodles. Pour boiling broth over. [The beef cooks in the boiling liquid.]

beef slices

Garnish with fresh basil, cilantro, slices of jalapeno, bean sprouts [didn’t have], scallions and lime wedges.”


Who am I kidding? I should have known it wouldn’t be great. I did not want to drink the broth.

The last scone(!) and my bed await. Tomorrow is another 9+-hour day at work, collecting dietary recalls and updating Ghost Busters cereal and muesli.

*Based on advice from Vietnamese co-workers and family friends in MKE.