Monday, June 22, 2020

Family Visit during the Pandemic (I)

It had been a long time since we had any visitors!  No one made it here in January or February…and then the Pandemic came to visit, locking everything down!  Finally, more than 3 months after the stay at home order was issued, (actually it was just a request here in Tennessee), company arrived.  Even better, our visitors were family members who wore masks and had maintained social distancing for the last 3 months!

At our age (especially mine) and stage in life, none of us are in any hurry to gamble on the corona virus! 

Our visitors from Maplewood Missouri were Laurie’s sister Bonnie and her husband Bill.  It’s a long drive so we made sure that we had a decent luncheon spread available for them upon their arrival!

On the table we had 3 different kinds of salami, ham, dry coppa, prosciutto, both Gouda and sharp cheddar cheese, a fresh sliced heirloom tomato, lettuce, 2 types of fresh bakery bread, grapes, sweet and sour cucumbers, and potato chips with onion dip.  It was a good start for our 'food fest'!  

After our ‘light’ luncheon, we retreated to the screened porch to catch up on family happenings and current events around the USA.  The corona virus was a big topic of conversation…with all of us frustrated by the issues its causing the economy as well as us personally.  Despite the topics, everyone seemed content…perhaps influenced by the consumption of a couple of Moscow Mules.

FYI, a Moscow Mule is preferably served in a copper mug.  It’s made with crushed ice, vodka, ginger beer and lime juice, preferably fresh squeezed.

The idea was to keep everything simple…and to just enjoy our time together.  So we generally kept our meals simple or ate out at a restaurant where social distancing was feasible.

This particular evening meal consisted of a family size bag of Rana brand Chicken Mozzarella Tortelloni and a salad made with two different types of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and celery.  Laurie enhanced the pasta a bit with some spices and we added a little Alfredo sauce.  

Bonnie brought a recipe for zucchini pickles and the ladies decided to make them.  It was something that we'd never heard of before.  Laurie and Bill really liked it and Bonnie liked it after a few bites.  I wasn’t a fan.  It was a good sisterly project no matter how it was viewed…

Here are the four of us…posing for each other at Aubrey’s Restaurant in Lenoir City Tennessee.  We chose Aubrey’s because the food is consistently good and it is a huge restaurant with high backed booths and more importantly, big tables spread widely apart along the windows.  We secured one of those tables and ordered a couple of adult beverages.  They were a ‘steal’ cost-wise.  Draft beers were $3.00 and mixed drinks were $5.00 each.  

Bill and I shared this Fish and Chips appetizer. ($12.00) We forgot to take a photo until after we’d gobbled up most of the potatoes and had cut into one of the filets.  Both the fried potatoes and the fish were very good…and the next time I’ll order this for my entrée along with a salad.

I didn’t take photos of our entrees because I just forgot!  The ladies had side salads, (Laurie’s Caesar Salad is shown above), and then they shared an order of the Haystack Pasta. ($13.00) Their pasta consisted of grilled chicken, sautéed mushrooms, linguine, parmesan cheese and a mushroom cream sauce. 

Bill ordered a house side salad with his Rattlesnake Pasta. ($13.00) It consisted of grilled chicken, sautéed baby spinach, green peppers, linguine, southwestern spiced Alfredo sauce and cilantro.  I ordered the 12 oz. Ribeye Steak with steamed broccoli.  Everyone was happy with their entrees although my steak was medium instead of medium rare.

But then came the opportunity for a bit of dessert.  I skipped it but the ladies split an order of the Praline cheesecake served on a pecan graham cracker crust and smothered with warm caramel. ($7.00)  Bill went for the Key Lime Pie. ($7.00) Everyone was happy…and very full too!

Our server Nathan was very nice but when servers or others try to help each other, communications frequently break down and any additional requests by diners are too often lost in translation.  Still both the food and the ambiance were very satisfying and we had another nice experience at Aubrey’s.

All members of Aubrey’s staff wore face masks, a real positive for those of us of a certain age.  This Aubrey’s Restaurant is located at 401 Town Creek Road East in Lenoir City Tennessee.  It is part of a small local chain.  Phone: 865-986-3113.  Website:

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Stay Safe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Glad to hear you guys were able to spend some time together and you look very comfortable hanging out on the porch.

  2. Moscow mule looks appealing, I never tastes it...I should try.
    Happy family reunion...

  3. Nice you had some visitors ! Pandemia make me feel good here !.and many time we didn't received any visitors.
    Hope you and Laurie have more visitors

  4. visit and I love that Key Lime Pie, seldom see it here! Only outside dining here at some restaurants but some stores are starting to open now. Have a good rest of the week!

  5. Lovely get together and lovely food choices, friend David! We have those as much as possible here as well, especially now. Love, cat.

  6. Enjoyed reading about your doings! I love the positivity of your attitude and family during this covid19 mess. It mirrors that of my own in trying to find silver linings and keep on keeping on! Yummy foods..except I don't think I'd like zucchini pickles. I'd try it, but IDK. Glad to see the smiles and everyone healthy! Stay healthy, happy and terrific! Blessings, Dana Bee

  7. There’s nothing like visits with family and good food to life our spirits these days. It was nice to see your un-masked faces as well.