Thursday, April 23, 2015

Robert Duvall's Mom and Her Famous Crab Cakes!

Recently the house where I work was lent out to a special event, which is nothing unusual around here. It's just a thing rich people do by way of non-involved charity - and maybe a little publicity within the community and a degree of good will to boot.

It was for some kind of professional business club and certainly nothing splashy to speak of - no diamonds, expensive watches or furs. Just lots of people running around with name tags on their polyester suits - something a little shocking and rarely seen around here but I'm dealing with it right along.

In any case, it required little on my part except to be here during prime gym time. It was fully catered of course - a chef, waiters, valet parkers out front, even a bartender. While I wasn't familiar with the caterer engaged for the evening, they turned out to be wonderful. The type who are smart enough to bring plenty of food not only for the party but also for their own employees and the house staff here as well. I mean, if we're all supposed to give up our evenings and work the damned party, the least is that we all get to join in and sample the food, don't you think?

Anyhow, the caterer made the best crab cakes I've ever tasted, honestly! When I inquired about the recipe she somewhat smugly said it was Robert Duvall's mother's recipe. I naturally assumed she knew the Duvall family personally and didn't question her further.

However, as the evening dragged endlessly on we became more chummy and gossip finally raised it's ugly head - normally reserved for those of intimate acquaintance, right? But we were all so tired and bored by this dreary unfashionable event that there really wasn't much else to do except spill the beans about some of the quirky people we've worked for.

Finally she admitted she didn't know the Duvall's at all, that she'd found the recipe on the internet. (Which would explain her beat up old catering van outside, I guess.)  But it didn't matter. I adored her and loved the crab cakes.

If you like crab cakes too, here's a link to Mrs. Duvall's appearing on the Food Network. The secret is out!

Thanks for dropping in this evening, and happy dining.


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Holy Year of Mercy!

You may have heard last week that the Vatican announced a Holy Year is coming up! And the first thing I want to say is don't anybody PANIC!

It's called the Holy Year of Mercy. But it's not like the forty-six days of Lent when you're supposed to give up something you enjoy - like drinking, smoking or too much time surfing the web. Nor is it like the New Years resolutions we all make, then abandon after a week or two.

It's just a year of celebrations, festivities, and forgiveness. Originally it was held just once in every one-hundred years, then it became a Jubilee Celebration every twenty-five years, but nowadays it's basically "at the will of the Pope" for events he deems worthy and important.

The fun thing is, a Holy Year is the time when the mysterious Holy Door at the Vatican is unsealed, unlocked and shoved open by the Pope himself. And when you walk through this holy portal your earthly sins are miraculously absolved - without going to Confession, without doing Lent or anything like that. Just walk through the door, all is forgiven, and you're good to go!

Actually there's four of these Holy Doors at the Papal basilicas in Rome, there's also one in Spain, and there's one in Quebec City in Canada, the first one outside of Europe as far as I know.

This all starts on December 8 of 2015. So there's still plenty of time to make airline and five-star hotel reservations, in case you've been really bad and need to walk through one of those doors. My rich employer certainly needs to, I know for a fact!

I'm even thinking about it myself, although going to Confession is a whole lot cheaper - no matter how humbling and embarrassing. Just don't go on Easter Sunday when the damned line is two or three blocks long.

Before you leave this evening, here's a link to the Vatican's awesome and mysterious Holy Door.

As always, thanks for dropping in,


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Best Shopping Streets in the World!

From the beginning of this blog I've had many inquiries about the shopping habits and favorite stores of the rich, and it's been terrific fun writing about Tiffany's, Saks, Bijan of Beverly Hills, Neiman Marcus, and on and on.

As you might expect, many of these luxury department stores and specialty boutiques are clustered together in areas where rich people live and travel. (You think?) My favorite is Fifth Avenue in New York of course, not just because I lived in the city but also because of the avenue's unique history in evolution and development.

Clustered near the enduring Plaza Hotel on 59th Street and Fifth Avenue, you'll find Henri Bendel's flagship store, the world-famous toy emporium FAO Schwarz, Bergdorf Goodman's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and all kinds of high-dollar boutiques tucked in between. The original and time-honored Abercrombie & Fitch for sophisticated African safari outfits and travel gear is still there as well - although as you probably know it's now become a silly and somewhat-bizarre national chain, catering to teenage libidos.

And then, if you need to pick up a few silver, gold or diamond trinkets for Christmas and birthday gifts you've got Tiffany's, Harry Winston, and Cartier all right there close together within a couple of blocks from the Plaza. Your'e in. You're out. You're done!

Of course, there's wonderful shopping places for the rich all around the globe. Perhaps not as unique and quirky as Fifth Avenue, and perhaps a little more obscure and esoteric for those in the know, but all of them wonderfully fun and dazzling. Here's a current look at what the New York Post recently called the nine best shopping streets in the world.

Special thanks to Luxe Tiffany on Twitter for bringing this to our attention. As she's a world-wide luxury hotel expert, you can bet that wherever these high-dollar stores are located, fancy 5-Star hotels won't be far away.

Happy shopping. And don't blame me when the credit card bills come in!