been in Michigan and just returned last night.
1. I use a dictionary once in a while if I am home. When I look up meaning, spelling or origin of words, the phone is usually nearby, so that is where I go first.
2. I usually use burgundy when making my recipe for the Beef Burgundy. I use Gallo brand if I can get it, which is relatively inexpensive, but I don't have any today to tell you the price. I will check where I buy it when I am out. However, I would say you can go ahead with a different red wine. As you know, I don't drink wine, so wouldn't know the difference in taste! But I have used merlot, shiraz, zinfandel, in cooking when it calls for a red wine, so I bet pinot noir would work as well. I assume you have made it by now - so how was it?
3. Never heard of those cookies at all! Are they store-bought or a Wisconsin recipe? The old TSR cooking site could have had a recipe for them!
4. The "good china" cups I have are supposed to be 6 ounces. In my former life (LOL! - dinner club and formal entertaining) we used those for coffee or tea after meals. Today, when we have dinner guests, we usually get out the mugs after the rest of the dishes are cleared away. Some of the mugs are huge, probably 12 ounces. I have not bought any of those. Most are from my daughter who can't use all the mugs her students give her for Christmas, Valentine's Day and end of the year. Most have a "Best Teacher" theme on them, etc.!
5. I don't use the mugs to warm my hands, but my friend Marlene does. And when she does, she never fails to comment: One of the things I remember most about Jill was that she always warmed her hands on her mug of hot chocolate." She remarks that you gave her the idea to do it and she does it to this day!
6. I don't get surprise company! Not just for a meal, but most people I know don't even stop by for a cup of coffee (or a Diet Coke in my case). My social life is planned out because everyone we know is too busy to drop in on someone who might not even be home. I wish they did though! Now, if you mean someone calls and says they are driving through and wonders if we will be home later today or tomorrow, I would probably make spaghetti and meatballs or chicken marsala, but I would spend an afternoon cooking.
7. When just cooking for Frank and I, I usually take out something from the freezer in the morning or the night before. But if I had a day of appointments, shopping. lunch with friends, or otherwise running around, I don't always know what I am having until later in the day. I might start cooking at 6 and have dinner at 7 or later! (I don't cook in a crock pot, Instant Pot, or anything else like that.) That is usually something like frozen filet of fish which thaws quickly or chicken breasts and I cook some rice pilaf and fresh beans or broccoli with it. Other times, I tell him I am not hungry and there are leftovers in the refrigerator for him and I eat a bowl of popcorn later on. Sometimes when I am cooking, he will ask me "what's for dinner" and I say "I haven't decided yet" - that is when I start cooking a chicken breast, ground meat, etc. and don't know what I will do to finish it off. Do I want it to be chicken scampi, honey mustard chicken, chicken marsala or chicken paprikash? He is pretty easy too and never complains that I am not feeding him.