I've been absent for two weeks, Thanksgiving weekend was fantastic, had enough turkey on Thursday and again on Saturday to last me a year. Very convenient.

Last Saturday, Dina and I went downtown. The falling snow and relative warmth and little wind made it a perfect winter wonderland in which to soak up the holiday cheer.

We ate breakfast in a restaurant that faced the Chicago River, a young and very talented jazz guitarist, made our meal a sensation.

Breakfast was followed by a walk down to the Art Institute to welcome back the Chagall Windows, and I visited an old friend, the new wing now houses the Old Guitarist by Picasso.

From there we walked down Michigan Avenue to Nordstrom's, Dina needed new shoes. Pretty soon they will be knocking out walls in her bedroom to accommodate said shoe collection. She didn't buy any that day, but we had an invitation from Nordstrom's for a special event on Sunday, of course we went, and yes, she bought shoes, more than a pair. But I digress.

After Nordstrom we went to Navy Pier for dinner at Bubba Gump, my granddaughter's choice, and the Navy Pier Winter Wonderland. In the process by received a gracious tour of the Coast Guard Icebreaker, Mackinaw.

That tour was an incredible experience, the massive ship's utilitarian appearance had a few holiday trinkets strewn along and actually felt homey, but you never forgot this was a working ship, the people on board faced extreme and severe conditions to save lives, they had limited comfort and most likely would not be home for the holidays. It was a sobering experience.

We finished the evening with Navy Pier festivities, and it was fantastic, the decorations were stunning, with many rides for the kiddies. It was truly a Winter Wonderland.

And I might add by the time I got home, I did not want to move.

Now, I'm going to visit my kitchen and make rum balls, they are easy to make and delicious.

2 1/2 cups of Vanilla Wafers (About 1 box)

51/2 cups of ground walnuts

1 cup of honey

1 cup of dark rum. (I use Myers's)

1 cup of powdered sugar.

In a bowl mix all ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for a couple of hours. Form into small balls and roll in the powdered sugar.

I recommend frequent tasting.


Till next time,

Margot Justes


A Hotel in Paris

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Comment by Margot Justes on December 14, 2010 at 9:22am


They are indeed yummy, and I love making them.


Comment by Stephen Brayton on December 14, 2010 at 6:18am

I haven't had a good rum ball in a long time. Yum!

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