Saturday, January 29, 2011

Anne Lamott

Hers was a face anyone would naturally want in the kitchen, a combination of fresh peach and aged potato.You could see the weight and warmth and softness of her cheeks - that tender part a mother would cup in her hands - now grown so old. I love that she loved fats too much, and cheeses; I love that she would not let you eschew either. She was just about the last of the food people who did not get caught up in any modern madness, insisting instead on staying in the luxuriousness of taste and texture and communion.

Anne Lamott, M.F.K. Fisher A life in Letters

Vanessa Valliere

I knew when I saw the machine at the end of the hallway that I would be getting mini Oreos. Some things are just like that.

-Vanessa Valliere

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Corn Tortillas

This week I saw that Stop and Shop had Maseca brand masa harina corn tortilla flour in the bargain aisle. On impulse I bought the 4.4 pound bag and just made a batch of tortillas. They came out great! All you need is masa, salt, and water. You start with a golf-ball sized piece of dough. My first few tortillas stuck to the tortilla press, but then I finally followed the directions and used plastic wrap on the tortilla press and they came out perfectly. You can also use a rolling pin or a bottle as a rolling pin. Roll them out between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper. Then, when flattened, place the tortilla on a hot skillet and cook for a few minutes on each side. This is a fast and simple and healthy food.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ice Picnic

My inner cowboy wants to go ice fishing - just to be out there on the iced pond prairie. I want to make a fire on the ice and sit on my wooden kitchen chair and have a picnic with my dog.

Jack Lalanne

Would you give your dog a cigarette and a doughnut for breakfast every morning?
-Jack Lalanne

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Salvaging Toasted Walnuts

I toasted walnuts a few weeks ago and wasn't so sure I liked the results. So I put the walnuts in brownies which may have made the brownies slightly strange. Yesterday, after shoveling snow, I decided to try salvaging the remaining walnuts. I took sugar, cinnamon, salt, and a pinch of cayenne, and mixed them with a bit of corn oil. I heated the spicy mixture slightly. Then, I added the sweet and spicy topping to the walnuts and mixed them all together. Delicious!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Window of Meat

We wandered along William Street and came across this glorious sight in the window of Golden King BBQ restaurant. We’re proud carnivores and were powerless to resist the savoury siren song of the window of meat.
- The Food Pornographer

Link here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Grandmother Wisdom

When I don't get a full night of sleep I feel like an observatory with my head open to the stars. I used to think my need for sleep was a weakness, like my desire for food, chocolate, coffee, or meat! Instead of listening to my body I would reinterpret or ignore the signals. In my fiftieth year I realize it is helpful not hazardous to trust your body's wisdom. Happiness comes from listening to your body, even when you wish it were telling you something else! My body carries grandmother wisdom within me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

William Matthews

. . . pain and joy eat off each other's plates. . .
-William Matthews

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ruth Reichl

My idea of good living is not about eating high on the hog. Rather, to me good living means understanding how food connects us to the earth.
-Ruth Reichl

Julian Stannard

Soup is God's younger brother.
Soup is Corinthians.
Soup is patient, soup is kind:
it does not envy, it does not boast

-Julian Stannard

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Inhale Deeply

Yesterday I realized I had dropped my asthma inhaler somewhere. It must have landed in the snow on my jaunt through in the cemetery with Lily. I even went back to look for it, but neither Lily nor I could find it. Years ago I had a black and tan coonhound and when I accidentally dropped my keys one day we returned to the cemetery and she picked up our scent and was able to find them. Perhaps I should carry my inhaler inside a duck decoy, perfect for a Labrador retriever! I was a little worried about my lungs so I made several pots of tea, which is an excellent bronchodilator in a pinch, and that held me over until I could get a new inhaler a few hours later. I never take breathing for granted anymore. While I was waiting I made a new inhaler pouch by salvaging the back pocket of an old pair of black denim jeans. It's a perfect pocket pouch! There's just enough friction to keep it from sliding out of my coat pocket and I can wear it around my neck in the summer.

Ham and Beans

Smoked ham and peanut butter sandwich!
Don't knock it until you've tried it.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Biscuits for Tea

I love Carr's whole wheat biscuits with strong black tea but I always feel compelled to to duplicate the foods I love rather than have to buy them. I have discovered that the wheat biscuit taste can be made by making a whole wheat oil pie crust and cutting it into weird shaped cookies.

I use a medium grind whole wheat flour, corn oil, skim milk, kosher salt, and sugar to taste. I press the crumbly mixture into a clay pie pan and then bake it at 350 for 25 minutes. You can bake the crust in a Pyrex glass or in a cast iron frying pan or on a baking stone. Try it, they're delicious!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors.
-Alice Walker

You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.
-C. S. Lewis

I got nasty habits; I take tea at three.
-Mick Jagger

Cowboy Song

I wanna be a cowboy
tall and lean, drive

a rusty white truck and eat
kidney beans from

an open tin can squeezed
between my thighs with

the music on the radio,
sad and high. I

will drive down the road with
my tablespoon and

my dog in the seat and
the big round moon.

Frying Pan

I woke up dreaming about my twelve-inch cast-iron frying pan.
I was drying it with a blue dish towel so it wouldn't rust.
After ten years it is finally black, shiny, and seasoned, a culinary
Football field for onions and garlic, tackled until exhausted and scooped
On my toasted bread. A fast pizza for an impatient home cook who eats her lunch
Standing in the kitchen.

How can I be a painter, I have no attention span past twenty minutes?
My energy is focused, then zing.
This has always been true.
The dyslexic editor, the stuttering actor, the newscaster with a speech impediment;
We are attracted to our most difficult challenges.
It takes years to be seasoned enough
For things to cook fast.

We Slept Inside the Chicken

I sold a painting, and the check finally cleared last night! We ran out and bought a spiral-cut ham, 2 big cans of coffee, orange juice, sauerkraut, a head of cauliflower, two heads of broccoli, a bag of fresh spinach, a bunch of sweet potatoes, a fat roasting chicken, dried split peas, and dried red kidney beans. We cooked the chicken for later in the week while eating spinach salad and ham. The strong scent of the roast chicken rose all the way up to the bedroom. In bed we felt as if we were sleeping inside the chicken.

Snow Ice Cream

Last night we poured a cup of leftover eggnog over a quart of freshly fallen snow. It became instant and delicious eggnog ice cream!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Open Face

The origin of the open-face sandwich is the European Middle Ages, when thick slices of stale bread, or trenchers, served as plates. The trenchers absorbed the juice and flavor of the toppings and then were discarded. Over time, the bread was incorporated into the meal because the food-soaked "plate" was often the tastiest component.
- Lynda Balslev, NPR

Fast Wholesome Quiche

Preheat oven to 350. First, make your own simple pat-in whole wheat oil crust. Take a few cups of whole wheat flour, pour a good amount of corn oil onto it and add a splash of water or milk to moisten it and a dash of salt or favorite savory seasoning. Taste crumbly crumbs with your fingers to adjust seasoning. Then gently mix crumbly mixture and pat and shape it into the bottom of a pie pan. Bake the crust for ten minutes to slightly harden. Meanwhile beat 6-8 eggs in a big bowl with a dash of milk then add some raw broccoli, cauliflower, chopped onions or leftover ham, you can even add grated cheese if you have it and pour the whole mixture into the slightly hardened crust and bake for 50 more minutes. Let cool for a minute and then slice it like a pie! It's so good you'll want to carry it for breakfast, lunch or supper. I didn't measure anything but I will next time so I can give more details here.

Easy Creamy Dressing

Take a tablespoon of your favorite mayonnaise (I love Stop and Shop's generic Hellman's) and add two or three tablespoons of plain yogurt. Sprinkle Adobo seasoning and stir. You can thin with a dash of balsamic or your favorite vinegar. This makes a fabulous dip for raw vegetables or a quick spinach salad dressing, it also makes an excellent chicken salad dressing.

Friday, January 7, 2011


by Sharon Olds

When I eat crab, slide the rosy
rubbery claw across my tongue
I think of my mother. She'd drive down
to the edge of the Bay, tiny woman in a
huge car, she'd ask the crab-man to
crack it for her. She'd stand and wait as the
pliers broke those chalky homes, wild-
red and knobby, those cartilage wrists, the
thin orange roof of the back.
I'd come home, and find her at the table
crisply unhousing the parts, laying the
fierce shell on one side, the
soft body on the other. She gave us
lots, because we loved it so much,
so there was always enough, a mound of crab like a
cross between breast-milk and meat. The back
even had the shape of a perfect
ruined breast, upright flakes
white as the flesh of a chrysanthemum, but the
best part was the claw, she'd slide it
out so slowly the tip was unbroken,
scarlet bulb of the feeler—it was such a
kick to easily eat that weapon,
wreck its delicate hooked pulp between
palate and tongue. She loved to feed us
and all she gave us was fresh, she was willing to
grasp shell, membrane, stem, to go
close to dirt and salt to feed us,
the way she had gone near our father himself
to give us life. I look back and
see us dripping at the table, feeding, her
row of pink eaters, the platter of flawless
limp claws, I look back further and
see her in the kitchen, shelling flesh, her
small hands curled—she is like a
fish-hawk, wild, tearing the meat
deftly, living out her life of fear and desire.

-Sharon Olds


by Sharon Olds

I have heard about the civilized,
the marriages run on talk, elegant and honest, rational. But you and I are
savages. You come in with a bag,
hold it out to me in silence.
I know Moo Shu Pork when I smell it
and understand the message: I have
pleased you greatly last night. We sit
quietly, side by side, to eat,
the long pancakes dangling and spilling,
fragrant sauce dripping out,
and glance at each other askance, wordless,
the corners of our eyes clear as spear points
laid along the sill to show
a friend sits with a friend here.

-Sharon Olds

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Gloopy Soup

I get excited when I can find leftovers and make them into a delicious meal. I had three previously cooked leftover Yukon gold potatoes that had hung out in the fridge for a few days so I sliced them up. I chopped some onions and sauteed them in olive oil. When they became translucent I added the sliced potatoes, more bloops of olive oil, leftover cauliflower water from steaming, a mound of freshly-grated (dyed -orange) cheddar cheese, and then let it all simmer slowly until it became a fabulous gloopy soup.

Julia Child

Life is the proper binge.
-Julia Child