I was alone last night. Fear of COVID kept me in. Rather than a sandwich, I wanted a meal. Something special.

I decided to prepare the meal myself.

I have been a bachelor for 15 years. Never did real cooking before the divorce nor since. If it can’t be microwaved or fried, I do not cook.

Decided to go for it last night.

Bought a filet mignon and frozen hash brown potatoes.

The oven was out of the question. Four years in this house and still have not used it. Needs a cleaning besides.

Tidbits of cooking wisdom have come to me this past year from Cocktails at Seven’s Cathy in Seattle. I went to cooking school with her yesterday afternoon.

Ok to pan fry the steak. A bit of oil and enough butter to to cover a piece of toast. Mix together while heating. Then comes the steak.

I read on the internet that medium was 130 degrees. I bought a thermometer. Cooking time 2-3 minutes a side.

Followed instructions precisely.

In spite of being my first self cooked meal, it was terrific. Not the 7 fishes. An excellent substitute, however.

I saved a considerable amount of money also. A filet mignon in any of the finer Key West restaurants runs in the $60-70 range. With the hash browns costing extra.

Though I drink no more, I even enjoyed a Beefeaters on the rocks before dinner.

Dessert was to be ice cream. Too full.

Opted for a cup of tea and…..You’re not going to believe this. I love Oreos. I enjoyed 4 Oreos with the tea.

I was proud of myself. Cathy was proud of me.

I will eat well again today. Lisa is dropping off last night’s meal. One item was Maine lobster. I shall enjoy cold Maine lobster tail and whatever she brings over.

I wanted to watch Midnight Mass on TV. Stayed awake. Watched Pope Francis celebrating Midnight Mass at St. Peter’s.

The mass well done this year. Francis obviously did the entire service in Latin. There was a soft spoken translator a few seconds behind him who softly translated Francis’ words into English. Made a huge difference in watching.

One negative, however. I have been doing midnight masses since I was in late grammar school. All long. Last night’s seemed extra long. The service took 1 hour 15 minutes.

The Citizens’ Voice spoke this morning: “Wow! Had a chance to go to Marathon and gas is $3.35 everywhere. Key West is 30 percent more and so close.”

I have found even where there is no gas shortage, Key West is significantly more expensive than the rest of the Keys till Florida City is hit.

New York Times columnist Eugene Robinson recently described the January 6 attackers as “an organized rabble.” Fitting words.

Robinson and his wife generally spend the month of January in Key West. I hope they are here again in the new year. Robinson walks around town. Talks with everyone. Gives some lectures. His wife is an artist. She spends a month painting at Studios of Key West.

I left home a few days ago for a manicure and pedicure at Tammy’s. Wore two masks to be safe.

A 40ish woman came in. Well known to Tammy and her husband Rick. She was near me. She told Rick she had 2 Moderna shots and Pfizer for a booster. She came down with COVID. Said it was no big deal and passed after a few days.

I get more confused each day. Three shots and people still are getting infected. Not complaining nor being critical. Merely making an observation. The virus overall is new and the whole world is fighting it like hell. Eventually the wonders of modern science will have the problem under control.

Just the News reported on an article CNBC carried on tuesday re fraud involving pandemic relief funds: “Nearly $100 billion has been stolen from pandemic relief funds, according to the Secret Service.”

Stolen money diverted from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, and a third program created to issue unemployment assistance funds.

So far over $2.3 billion has been recovered. Roughly 100 persons have been arrested.

The government has released $3.5 trillion in COVID-19 relief money since the pandemic began in early 2020.

The Secret Service reported a new national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator has been appointed to oversee the agency.

The new coordinator is Assistant Special Agent in Charge Roy Dotson. He told CNBC: “I’ve been in law enforcement for over 29 years and worked some complex fraud investigations for 20 plus years, and I’ve never seen something at this scale.”

Repeating myself again, Harry Truman loved Key West and Key West loves Harry Truman.

Over the years, I have read many books on Harry Truman. Some were clear that Bess was a difficult woman. She made Harry’s life miserable on many the occasion.

Some have described her as a “mean lady.” The President called her “boss.”

Bess wanted to know everything going on in Truman’s work, both before the Presidency and after. She considered herself an unofficial adviser to her husband. Their relationship developed to where Bess reviewed and commented on Harry’s work at the end of every day.

Daughter Margaret Truman wrote a book about her mother titled: Bess W. Truman. One portion involved her father’s order to drop the atom bomb. The news took Bess by surprise. Her husband had not shared it with her beforehand.

Margaret reported this made her mother feel like “a spectator rather than a partner in Harry Truman’s Presidency. That made her very, very angry.”

She immediately packed her bags and went back to Independence.

Margaret indicated her mother felt “she should have known about Harry’s decision to drop the bomb.”

Even President’s have marital woes.

Bess was Anti-semitic.

In 1961, David Susskind conducted a series of interviews with the former President in Independence. Susskind picked the President up every morning at his home and drove him to the Truman Presidential Library for several days.

Susskind asked the President why he had not been invited into Truman’s home. Truman replied: “This is Bess’s home” and there had never been nor would there ever be “a Jewish guest” in the house.

Enjoy your Christmas day!



  1. Merry Christmas Lou – Happy to hear you mastered a perfect dinner yourself after all these years.

    My I suggest you try another and different dish for New Years, Stone Crab and hash browns. Although harder to cook that your steak, but just as ellegan, just as expensive, yet maybe more appropriate to the keys?

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