Monday, September 30, 2013

Fruitarian Vegetarian

My husband could easily be a fruitarian and for me, a vegetarian. There isn't a vegetable I don't like. I wish I had the patience of a farmer. I do have farmer's patience in the kitchen; baking, drying, canning, incubating, grinding, marinating, but not out in the blazing sun. I never minded a hot kitchen and I bake breads all summer but I can't handle the sun's rays for more than a moment. Being a fair-skinned, blue eyed person with left-handed red-headed genes is part of the reason.

Hairy Eyeball

HCP Dishes! source
Recipe of the Day:
Give ‘Em the Eyeball, Homemade Halloween Candy

Give 'Em the Eyeball Halloween is just around the corner (can you believe it’s already October?), so here at the HCP we’re gearing up for candy and other sweet treats. Of course, we’re always ready for candy and sweets, but Halloween makes us even readier. If you are feeling creative this year, get into the Halloween spirit by trying Dede Wilson’s Give ‘Em the Eyeball Candies from A Baker’s Field Guide to Holiday Candy & Confections. You can either pass these out to trick-or-treaters on the big night, or just keep them all for yourself! Hey, big kids deserve candy, too.

Give ‘Em the Eyeball Candies

When we say, “Give ’em the eyeball,” or, more usually, “Don’t give me the eyeball,” it usually carries a negative connotation, one of giving someone a look of disapproval or disdain. Here it is perfectly acceptable to hand someone one of these candies, which is a peanut butter “eyeball” decorated with “bloody” red-tinted chocolate. My son Freeman came up with this idea.

Okay, these are not health food, nor do they feature fine expensive chocolate or other ingredients. They are best made with the white chocolate coating, as suggested, as it is easier to work with. And this candy is all about the look, although if you like peanut butter, you will thoroughly enjoy the taste.

Yield: 20 eyeballs

* 1/2 cup hydrogenated peanut butter (such as Skippy)
* 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
* 6 ounces white chocolate coating (see below), finely chopped
* 20 round brown candy-coated chocolate candies (such as M&Ms)
* Red paste or gel food coloring


1. Line 2 jelly-roll pans with aluminum foil, smoothing out any wrinkles. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat peanut butter, butter, and confectioners’ sugar until creamy and smooth.
3. Roll into 1-inch balls between your palms and place on prepared pan; freeze for 30 minutes.
4. Melt chocolate coating in a double boiler or microwave and stir until smooth. Dip balls into chocolate one at a time until completely coated, using your fingers, 2 forks, or chocolate dipping tools. Remove balls from chocolate, let excess chocolate drip back into pot, and place balls back on pan. Press 1 brown candy into each ball; these are the eyeball’s irises. Chill until firm, about 30 minutes.
5. Tint the remaining chocolate coating with red coloring. Scrape into a zipper-lock plastic bag. Snip a small opening in a bottom corner of the bag and pipe bloody squiggles onto each eyeball. Chill until red chocolate is firm, about 15 minutes.

A variation: You could use any color of the candy-coated chocolate candy for the “iris.” I just think the dark brown adds to the sinister look of the bloody eyeballs.

A word on chocolate coating, or confectionery coating: This is a chocolate-like product that comes in white, milk, and dark varieties, but it does not contain any cocoa butter. Its fat content comes from various oils instead. It does not have the rich flavor of high-quality chocolate made with cocoa butter, but it is very easy to melt and use, does not need to be tempered, and has practical uses in child-friendly confections.

3:33 AM

All living things have circadian clocks which our bodies program without the use of external sources. Waking up at 3:33 am is a timed occurrence that the body is familiar with. For example going to sleep at 9pm is part of the circadian clock because leading up to 9pm the body starts to unwind, relax and drowsiness occurs.


Dreams: Awake and Asleep

I spotted the VFW motorized Navy Seal wheelchair and heard Roland's booming voice when I walked by. I wish I could join them. My 80 year old boyfriends at Nagla's, Moonlight House of Wieners having breakfast. I'd have a vegetable omelet and sit at the round table with them.

I am thinking of making my own publishing house, to publish my friends writings. Box Elder Books or Ghetto Palace books.

DREAM: I was at a party Mick Jagger was there. I was joking and flirting with him. He said, "I am not shy!"
I said. "I am!"

Man Cakes

I made my own version of a man cake yesterday and it was a dense cake resembling a hamburger with rolled oats, sunflower seeds, coarse yellow corn meal, whole wheat flour, Francine's home-harvested pumpkin puree, my whole wheat sourdough starter, low fat buttermilk, 2 eggs, a pinch of salt baking soda, and sugar too. We carried them with us on our walk and didn't get tired all day.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Apricots Grow on Trees

Today is a miracle. At 2PM taking a walk with Lily --the usual route up Rathbun to Ethel street and first left we go straight. At the house diagonally opposite lovely Sandy was FREE sign--three cases of glass canning jars with lids etc. We took them and stashed them with our friend former neighbor Philomena and her mom across the street (next to the Millerville Men's Club). We told them about the big green metal parrot yard ornament they might like. We kept walking and took Lily swimming at Harris Pond and I harvested apricots off the ground on Champlain ave. Then we came back with the car. Philomena's mom had adopted the metal parrot for her yard and the trash-pilers had put out a big black and white lidded enamel stock pot too. So we picked that up. I am ready to can-can! I need to ask my friends grandpa the apricot man if he is abandoning his harvest. The trees are dumping apricots overflowing and falling to the ground, on the verge of rotting and rolling down the hill.

Life is good.

If I had a way to keep warm I might be happy all winter. Someday we hope to put a wood stove in the back room (Bill's office) for cooking and heating.

Friday, September 27, 2013

George Orwell

One strong cup of tea is better than twenty weak ones. All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.
-George Orwell

Kiss the Bread

The Jews have a thing about kissing the bread that has fallen to the floor.

Holiday Bread

At Christmas and Thanksgiving I like to make a cashew, raisin, apricot and dried cranberry sourdough whole wheat bread. I get the toasted, salted and broken pieces of cashews and dried cranberries at job lot. I guess this is my version of a fruit cake. One year I added pumpkin puree and it was excellent.

Sometimes I make a poppy, flax, sesame seed, chick peas, soybean, mixture to blend with my six grain bread blend: oat rye millet wheat rice corn quinoa.

We can live on my bread. In fact, we do! My husband packs toast for breakfast and lunch along with fruits, seeds, chocolate and coffee.

Buttermilk Apple Corn Oat Pancakes

I used to hand grind all of my flour as a multi grain (and seed) mixture in my grain mill and let the batter sit overnight (to soften) and make these in the morning to arouse sleeping guests. But now that our ceilings are falling down and we can't afford to heat our home above 45 degrees, we encourage people to stay elsewhere.

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons sugar or favorite sweetener
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large eggs
chop apple into thin slices and place a few on raw side of pancake.

Combine flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, stirring; add to flour mixture, stirring until moistened.

Childhood Foods

When my father-in-law suffered a stroke he craved all of his childhood foods: fig squares, hot dogs, sauerkraut, fried fish with chips. All of his childhood memories came flooding back as well, traumas he began sharing with us about growing up in South Boston in a huge chaotic Irish family.

There were 4 overripe bananas in the fridge and I decided rather than throw them out, I'd peel them slice them lengthwise and fry them in a skillet with my eggs. This was a Sunday morning breakfast treat that my step father Tony made when my sister and I were 5 and 7. Usually accompanied by Tony's animal-shaped pancakes.

When we were kids we made home made hand churned vanilla ice cream and ate it with apple dumplings. We made hand pressed apple cider too when we visited friends in the country.

I still like to lick the bowl and the beaters when making pancakes or cookies. I love raw dough and batter.

All of my childhood memories came back having a bite of fried banana. The white floor to ceiling tiled kitchen, the overhead globe light, and the wooden table that my mother designed whose legs we banged into continually.

Yesterday I simmered a dozen chicken legs in cholula and chipotle hot sauce and olive oil covered in my crock pot and I went up and took a nap. I woke up to amazing good smells and Lily coming into the bedroom to remind me to get up.

I love to cook and bake. When my friends lived in an old jail turned housing co-op in Seattle they said there was a table in the lobby called the free table. Anyone could put anything on it and it was up for grabs. The day they moved in was 95 degrees. They were exhausted. They walked by the free table and someone had placed two glasses of ice cold beer on it. They were sold. This was the coolest thing.

I'd like a free table in my neighborhood. I'd put out breads and soups and stews because giving is as much fun as making, maybe even more fun.

The Dough has Risen

I feel like the pope I said to my husband as I lifted the lid off the buckets of risen dough. It's a miracle! A miracle I never tire of. The dough rose! I guess that is why I keep on baking day after day year after year.

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.
-Chinese Proverb

I would love to teach others how to perform this miracle in their very own kitchen! If we could make an outdoor bread oven in the neighborhood maybe we could get all of the kids learning how to bake bread. Now that would be my kind of miracle.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hot Chick Legs

chicken drumsticks on sale (69 cents lb)
olive oil
hot pepper sauce
Place the drumsticks in a slow cooker, with sauce, beer, Adobo,. Cover, and cook 225 for 3 hours, or until tender. Broil to crisp.

Beer and Bacon Mancakes

I sent this recipe to a neighbor as a joke and now I plan to try it.

I love to get up at 3AM and have a midday nap, thereby giving me two mornings and two breakfasts!

Beer and Bacon Mancakes


1/2 lb bacon (8 slices)
1/3cup packed brown sugar
2 cups pancake mix
1 cup of beer
2 eggs


1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with foil. Place wire rack on top of cookie sheet. Arrange bacon in single layer on top of rack. Bake 10 minutes.

2. Sprinkle bacon with half the brown sugar. Bake 10 minutes longer. Turn bacon over; sprinkle with remaining brown sugar. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until golden brown. Remove from rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Crumble bacon into small pieces; set aside.

3. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375°F; grease with vegetable oil or shortening.

4. In medium bowl, beat pancake mix, beer and eggs with whisk until blended. If batter is too thick, add additional beer until desired consistency. Stir in bacon. Pour by 1/2 cupfuls onto hot griddle. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until golden brown.


Greens Surprise Soup

I just bought many pounds of chicken legs for 69 cents a pound -- my butcher Jamie Sullivan SHAW'S MEATS NORTH MAIN STREET is also my art gallery. Yes, really! So I walk over and tie up Lily and run in for the bargains! I also bought a smoked pork chop on a whim. I came home and made a vat of greens: washed and chopped bunches of kale and swiss chard, I threw them in my largest soup pot. I added in my cooked chic peas and the broth, the cubed smoked pork chop, I smashed, salted, and chopped the garlic, threw in a few inches of whole ginger root, lots of soy sauce and I pan fried the chicken legs in olive oil and threw in some beer to deglaze the pan, and when cooked I added them to the vat of greens. So good! I was in a froth doing my chaotic kitchen joy dance. All inspired by this guys post. Meanwhile a guy I know took away our old washer for scrap metal. Life is perfect today.

Chicken Leg Soup

reposted from: A Man In The Kitchen

In your face, honest reviews of food and life

Recession Buster Chicken Leg Soup

Chicken Leg Soup? That’s right. It cheaper, cleaner and easier to make than the whole chicken.

It’s that time of year again for the flu, colds and the oldest remedy, Catholic Chicken Soup. Usually it’s Jewish Chicken Soup but I’m Catholic, so deal with it. As I was at the market I remembered my wife telling me that she was getting a cold so I decided that soup was the way to go but I was low on funds so I decided to be a little creative. This entire meal serves 4 people and costs about $2.00 a serving and has more nutrients than you got all day. No really. As I was going to the produce aisle I noticed a big bargain produce rack but of fruits and veggies that looked 98% perfect. For a total of $2.80 I picked up 18 huge organic carrots, 1 large onion, 1 large garlic, 2 tomatoes, a bunch of celery, 2 midget brussel sprouts, 5 mini squash and a partridge in a pear tree. The 6 chicken legs cost $2.30 and well, you do the math on the rest.

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6 Chicken legs

1 Tbsp Rosemary, finely chopped

2 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1 Large Onion, diced

4 Celery Stalks, chopped

3 Large Carrots, Sliced

2 Qts. Chicken Broth (64 Ounces)

In a large stock pot, heat oil on high, lay down chicken legs and sprinkle with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 4 min on each side until they are a nice golden brown. DAMN THIS SMELLS GOOD! Lower the heat and add the onions, celery, carrots and simmer 10 min, stirring frequently. Add chicken broth and increase the heat to boil for about 20 minutes covered. Now lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat, remove chicken legs and skim any fat that has floated to the top of the soup.

Serve soup in a large bowl with a chicken leg in each bowl with a nice thick crusty bread. This dish is fun, exciting and delicious. Oh yeah, and cheap.

Big Breakfast

When I get up at 3:30 AM I am hungry by 7:30AM

onion omelet
grilled over-ripe bananas
toast w/ peanut butter
black coffee


Right now my sink is filled with ice cold water and my kale and swiss chard are soaking. I love greens! I hope to make a vat of soup. This is harvest season and I don't mind filling the freezer with whatever I make because what follows the harvest is the lazy season.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jhumpa Lahiri

She watched his lips forming the words, at the same time she heard them under her skin, under her winter coat, so near and full of warmth that she felt herself go hot.
― Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

But she has gathered that Americans, in spite of their public declarations of affection, in spite of their miniskirts and bikinis, in spite of their hand-holding on the street and lying on top of each other on the Cambridge Common, prefer their privacy.
― Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake

Jhumpa Lahiri

Eventually I took a square of white chocolate out of the box, and unwrapped it, and then I did something I had never done before. I put the chocolate in my mouth, letting it soften until the last possible moment, and then as I chewed it slowly, I prayed that Mr. Pirzada’s family was safe and sound. I had never prayed for anything before, had never been taught or told to, but I decided, given the circumstances, that it was something I should do. That night when I went to the bathroom I only pretended to brush my teeth, for I feared that I would somehow rinse the prayer out as well. I wet the brush and rearranged the tube of paste to prevent my parents from asking any questions, and fell asleep with sugar on my tongue.
― Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

Though no longer pregnant, she continues, at times, to mix Rice Krispies and peanuts and red onions in a bowl. For being a foreigner Ashima is beginning to realize, is a sort of lifelong pregnancy -- a perpetual wait, a constant burden, a continuous feeling out of sorts. It is an ongoing responsibility, a parenthesis in what had once been an ordinary life, only to discover that previous life has vanished, replaced by something more complicated and demanding. Like pregnancy, being a foreigner, Ashima believes, is something that elicits the same curiosity of from strangers, the same combination of pity and respect.
― Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dust Spewer

We had a dirtying washing machine and now we have a dirt blowing vacuum cleaner!
Phoebe's old blue upright Kenmore vac has been a loyal friend but suddenly it spits out the dirt dust and dog hair! What to do?

Good Crazy

I love to write letters and sometimes they feel like vignettes.

I almost bought a mixer like jamie's back in 1997 and I almost bought a komado for grilling all year round~ food is love--and it runs in my family.
we can only talk food. all other topics are off.

luckily no money and no transportation slows these purchasing decisions down :-) but back then i did make wads at a time.
it is good that i don't have a car--but 2 people tried to give me cars recently. the cars were both in very bad shape.

i want a flinstone mobile powered on my legs.

I want to get little xmas lights at jahblah for predawn breakfast.
my friends hilary and jim had butter and toast string of lights --i have searched

i lit my jewish shabbat candles this morning--
breakfast: brown and wild rice topped with tomato sauce umeboshi paste and parmesan. with black coffee.

I hear jezebel meowing.

I found a highway dept orange rubber glove in the elks/ castle parking lot and took it home
to make a highway dept scarecrow. :-)

did you see? they put a bronze fence around the bronze elk --- so he can't escape?

my friend crazy liz has vintage pyrex dish full of cat food under a bush behind the ball field. yes, i am eyeing the dish!
perhaps i can replace it with plastic and tell her!

okay I want black coffee daytime, until 4 pm then i like one with cream and sugar.

cracked head bought sandwiches and hagen daz for all the kids. he really is a good egg.

i need rock salt and wrights dairy cream and I am ready to unleash my ice cream machine to make this with the kids on the sidewalk!
I have met the moms and like them all --pretty soon they will have invitations to come over for food making and drawing party.

I get to be the crazy lady. good crazy this time.
house of grandma and santa.

Stitching a Life

Sometimes I feel like a piece of thread strung through Lily who is the sewing needle, the vehicle. As we walk around the variety of city neighborhoods we are slowly over the days months and years stitching a huge patchwork quilt made of all of these little hellos and slow building relationships. Each person we meet is another stitch in the quilt keeping things friendly and keeping us cozy and warm.

Francine and Jeff who live down our street, who we met through our dogs, gave us the fallen apples, they gave us a washing machine left in an apartment. They delivered it to us and Bill and I just hooked it up! I am so excited. Our machine used to spit lint and rust onto the clothes.

The only way I can understand and forgive my mother and others is to see them as mentally ill. On most days I see the whole world as a mentally ill. We're all on planet psych ward. We're all the walking wounded.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Less is Less


Treat: Power Balls

Combine rolled oats, raw sunflower seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, honey, peanut butter and salt. Roll into tiny balls the size of large marbles. Refrigerate. They are a delicious snack.

Applesauce Factory

I decided to make applesauce from the four boxes (bushels?) of rescue apples from Francine and Jeff, rather than juice them. I couldn't stand the idea of the juicer's noise for hours in the kitchen.

I chopped out the bad spots and simmered the apples in a few inches of water. I used every large pot in the house. Then I processed the hot apple mush through my Foley food mill.

The smell was fabulous and the taste and color was divine. The sauce was naturally sweet. No additional sugar was added. I have filled my chest freezer with full containers.

I love to eat applesauce and home made yogurt combined. I love mush!

I am already dreaming of warm applesauce during our next blizzard.

Applesauce was the first food I learned to make when I was 2and a half and attending Mrs. Weatherbee's nursery school held at her home in Mamaroneck NY.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Raw Onions

I love raw onion sandwiches on my sourdough toast with mayo for breakfast with black coffee. This is also why I am enjoying lots of solitude.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Who Moved the Tomato

"Who moved the tomato!" my mother shouted, rummaging through the refrigerator. She had the fridge interior and its contents and placement memorized, just like my favorite card game 'concentration.'

"I did," I confessed. Another demerit on my permanent record. I could feel her seething with rage, hating that I existed, breathed and took up space in her house. I tried to stay hidden but she always barged into my bedroom without knocking and found me.

"I made you an artist" she once shouted. "All those terrible things I did to you caused you to be an artist," she screamed, standing in the doorway.

She had taken me to many specialists: school psychologist, dentist, family doctor, orthodontist, hair stylist, radiologist, therapist, psychiatrist, chiropractor, skin doctor, gastroenterologist. And she wasn't finished - she planned more.

Another time: "You eat too much yogurt, I can't afford to feed you!" This in spite of loving to throw lavish parties for my step-father's prospective advertising clients.

I stopped eating, and wouldn't join the family at mealtime. I was terrified of her. I was rapidly shrinking. I would make my own home-incubated yogurt and sit in the dark kitchen and eat it late at night. My mother went to bed early, so I thought I would be safe. Somehow she could feel that I was eating and she would swoop downstairs into the kitchen wearing her long sheer nightie, scaring me half to death.

I scrambled to find a place to be safe, sleeping on the floors of friends' living rooms, hiding, hoping nobody would mind. "She can't stay here" my friends' parents would finally say. I realized they were terrified that their children might do the same thing. So off I'd go to the next house.

Someday I would have my own kitchen in my own apartment in my own state. I had already collected a few cast iron frying pans at yard sales and flea markets and stashed them in my closet. I was ready. I imagined having hanging plants and a cat and a dog and a record player.

I loved the comfort of rainy days. I wanted to live where it always rained.

Three Fortune Tellers

The three seven year old little girls across the street set up a lemonade style stand on the sidewalk and asked me if I wanted a poem, my fortune, a foot or hand massage, and my nails painted black, blue, beige, red, maroon with glitter, or six shades of pink.

At first I said no thanks to the nail polish, and yes to the illustrated poem:

Summer is the best
Umbrellas are the best
Nature is full of animals

Then I went inside my house and thought about it. They were so adorable! I went back out and let them paint my nails.

I was their only customer for a while but then people started to stop by.
The girls forgot to write in the fortunes (origami style fortune telling)--so we thought of stuff and I wrote it down on the inner flaps of the folded paper:

put lipstick on your nose,

wear your hat backwards,

eat a spider,

a wolf bites your face,

werewolf in your house,

spider bites you while sleeping

drink water and sing a song

sit at the table backwards

sing upside down

Then a neighbor they know from the building came out and sat in the big brown barcalounger on the sidewalk. She ate a chicken dinner with a white plastic fork and knife. She told them she was leaving the leftover roast chicken for the girls, and I put it in the shade so it wouldn't spoil. When they took a break from selling poems, two of the girls hid behind the Barcalounger squeezing against the chain link fence and they picked apart the roasted chicken. There was a lot of food there but they only had one fork.

I ran in and got them another plastic fork. This is our breakfast Arianna said. Nadalia wanted to try sucking the marrow out of the bones. "There's lots of vitamins in the marrow," I said.

If they're outside this weekend maybe I will bring out my baby red Hohner accordion and see if they want to make up songs.

The new Dominican-American market opened on the ground floor on Monday. Now the kids can go downstairs and get anything they want! Candy, candy, candy! And ice cream!

They all live in the same building - summer, weekends, nights, rain, snow, anytime they have each other. Their fathers work odd jobs and their mothers hang loads and loads of laundry on the porches to dry. They beat the rugs clean, against the porch pillars and they shop and cook. They have lots of children to manage.

Everything is audible here - the fights, laughter, yelling, barking. It is a neighborhood with invisible walls. Like a doll-house.

I would love to do art projects, right on the sidewalk so the parents are nearby. We could make apple dolls, papier mâché puppets, pizzelle-making, sew costumes etc. I have two folding card tables, paper scraps, and fabric scraps.

I hope for a long Indian summer season except that Lily is itchy from ragweed pollen even with her pond swimming and generic Benadryl tablets taken in peanut butter, she is scratching.

Our new neighbors have three cats and they are house cats that they have decided to not let back inside. They put out food and water but the cats cry all night in the alley which is like a microphone.

Most two bedroom apartments here have 6-8 people living inside. The poverty in the 'hood is phenomenal. I see it when my neighbors hang up their towels and sheets -- they are worn-through like gauze.

Luckily our city is not afraid of poverty. There are no snobs here. We have a great Salvation Army and bargain stores and loads of charities. All you need to do is ask for help and the generosity is there.

Some days, I feel like Margaret Meade watching, studying peoples lives.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Midnight the Cat

Midnight was blamed for my stepsister's asthma attack when she visited one weekend. My parents rushed her to the hospital. Later my mother said she almost died. So she decided Midnight had to go. They drove one Saturday to the Westchester Humane Society with me and Midnight in the ugly brown Ford wagon. I took Midnight inside and placed her on the counter. It was raining hard. My mother and stepfather stayed in the car. I was sobbing. I was 8 years old.

When I went to adopt Lily, we drove three hours to the Humane Society in Elmsford, NY. "We don't adopt out to people outside the tri-state area: NY, NJ, CT," the woman had said over the phone.

"But I am from this area," I said. "And I've had the same vet for 30 years in RI - Dr. Belinsky. Would you like to talk to him?"

When we arrived, I had a déjà vu feeling. Standing and looking at the low gray cement building, waiting for it to open, I thought, "Oh my god this is where we left Midnight."

Eggs in a Hole!

I toasted my bread and cut a circle and fried and egg in the hole. So cool! Try it. Directions

Sweet Apple Cider

The full moon woke me at 1:30 AM. I finally got up at 2:22 AM. After reading the New York Times online, I dug out my 1970's stainless steel Acme juicer that Grandpa Nat bought me when I lived on Mott Street NYC. Grandpa's fans and motors store, UNITED BLOWER was on Centre Street around the corner. I visited him daily. We would sit together at his big wooden school teachers desk and he pulled out the sliding wooden panel and I would eat my apple and orange for lunch. I was a fruitarian.

Grandpa signed me up for telephone service on my black rotary desk phone (back in those days the phone came with the service!) and he had the electric company turn on the lights. I was 17, in 1978, still technically enrolled in high school in Mamaroneck NY although I wasn't attending. I was on my own living alone in Chinatown NYC and getting school credit for it.

I didn't know anything about anything but I was trying my best not to be afraid. I got a job as a cashier at Gillies 1840 on Bleeker Street in the village. I got off work at 11:30 PM and ran home through Little Italy, to my Mott street apartment in Chinatown. The gods protect the innocent and I was very lucky. More to come on that adventure.

I am making apple cider from bushels of fallen apples that Jeff and Francine harvested from Northern New Hampshire. They filled four gigantic boxes the size of washtubs, almost too heavy to lift and hauled them over here in their big pickup truck. They live 1 mile down my street but you have to cross state lines to get there. Everything is different in Massachusetts compared to RI. For example, they can have chickens in their backyard.

Spontaneously I sweetened my morning black coffee with cider and it was delicious. I have three more bushels to go!

from Jon Frankel: I remember the old machine and gizmo shops on Canal Street well. It was amazing walking down the broad sunny street packed with small stores and people, the boxes of oscilloscopes, meters, and electrical devices, tools stacked up outside of the stores, which were themselves crammed floor to ceiling with obscure machinery. And Mott Street! Chow Fun for $1.69….old mafia guys in cadillacs, and dark social clubs with flaked gold lettering on the windows.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Black Coffee

Black Coffee

by K. D. Lang (Lyrics)

I’m feelin’ mighty lonesome
Haven’t slept a wink
I walk the floor from nine to four
In between I drink
Black coffee
Love’s a hand-me-down brew
I’ll never know a sunday
In this weekday room

I’m talkin to the shadow
One o’clock till four
And lord, how slow the moments go
And all I do is pour
Black coffee
Since the blues caught my eye
I’m hangin’ out on monday
My sunday dreams to dry

Now man was born to go a lovin’
But was a woman born to weep and fret
And stay at home and tend her oven
And down her past regrets
In coffee and cigarettes

I’m moonin’ all the mornin’
Moanin’ all the night
And in between it’s nicotine
And not much heart to fight
Black coffee
Feelin’ low as the ground
It’s drivin’ me crazy
This thinkin’ ’bout my baby
Might maybe come around
Come around

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Late Summer

Late summer ragweed pollen causes my hands and feet to burn. I am holding two frozen bottles of water, one in each hand and standing in a bucket of ice water.

Harvest Joy

Last time I was waking at two am from joy bubbles, was in the spring.
This morning at 4 AM I made sesame scallion ginger spicy peanut garlic noodles while listening to French radio classique.
C'est bon!
I threw in frozen corn and red bell peppers for color!
I mixed everything with my fingers.

Matthew W. Sanford

My life has taught me that there is a wealth of strength within us, there is nothing we cannot handle. Life presents it's purpose and beauty in all sorts of ways. The trick is to stay open to one's strength, to not deny or strive to prove it, but rather to simply have it.

If nothing else, my life has taught me one thing: The mind and body that I have are the only mind and body that I have. They deserve my attention. And when I give it, I receive so much more in return. Learning to fall gracefully through one's mind-body relationship is not a submission. One learns to fall gracefully in order to roll.

There is still so much to realize. My experience tells me that the silence within us can be experienced energetically as a nourishing sap. When this happens, consciousness changes shape. For example, I have never seen anyone truly become more aware of his or her body without becoming more compassionate. A mental state like tolerance can deepen into a three-dimensional state of true patience. Nonviolence can become more than a moral principle, it can become an integrated state of consciousness that includes the body. And, of course, for good or for bad, the silence within us also contains the opportunity for choice.

Silence is the word I use to describe the empty presence we experience within our experience — between our thoughts, between each other, between ourselves and the world. We feel the silence when we daydream, when we appreciate the beauty of a sunset, or when the love of our life truly walks away. It is an inward sense, often experienced as a longing or an ache. It is a feeling of emptiness and fullness at the same time. The silence is the aspect of our consciousness that makes us feel slightly heavy. It is the source of the feeling of loss, but also of a sense of awe.

As I wake up to the horror of traumatically induced body memories, I am forced to feel death — not the end of my life, but the death of my life as a walking person. I absorbed death as I watched that young boy having screws twisted into his skull. The silence within which I found refuge was a level of dying.

In principle, my experience is not that uncommon, only more extreme. We all experience different levels of dying throughout our lives — the process of living guarantees it. As each day passes, especially in our later years, we become increasingly aware of our own mortality. If we can see death as more than black and white, as more than on and off, there are many versions of realized death short of physically dying. The death of a loved one sets so much in motion: grief, a sense of loss, tears, anger, a transcendent sense of love, an appreciation of the present moment, a desire to die, and on and on.

Then there are also the quiet deaths. How about the day you realized you weren't going to be an astronaut or the queen of Sheba? Feel the silent distance between yourself and how you felt as a child, between yourself and those feelings of wonder and splendor and trust. Feel your mature fondness for who you once were, and your current need to protect innocence wherever you might find it. The silence that surrounds the loss of innocence is a most serious death, and yet it is necessary for the onset of maturity.

What about the day we began working not for ourselves, but rather with the hope that our kids might have a better life? Or the day we realized that, on the whole, adult life is deeply repetitive? As our lives roll into the ordinary, when our ideals sputter and dissipate, as we wash the dishes after yet another meal, we are integrating death; a little part of us is dying so that another part can live.

-Matthew Sanford Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence

listen to interview online

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

True Confessions

I love to touch my food. I eat with my fingers.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Delia Ephron

Read article here.

Impromptu Biscotti

My accidentally puddling like pumpkin cake turned into biscotti with my help. I sliced the cake thinly and baked the slices on my ribbed cast iron pan at 350 turning the slices over after 10 minutes. Delicious with black coffee.

The Whole Way in the Dark

When I called, my aunt said "Do you know what day it is? Jewish New Year!"

Eighteen years ago I had just bought my house and I still had a car. I cooked up a feast: roasted red peppers, apple crisp, tofu whipped cream, spicy kale cooked in olive oil and garlic with corn niblets for color, and a basket of my whole wheat bread. I packed the food in my beloved cast iron dutch ovens, loaded up my old silver Subaru wagon, and drove west an hour and a half to my parents country house, a 1750 farmhouse with a view, out in the middle of Massachusetts. It was a surprise but my aunt and uncle knew I was coming with a feast. They were driving up from Brighton Beach to converge.

When I showed up there was a scarecrow displayed out front leaning against the barn. It was wearing my mother's old hospital-beige neck brace, which made my stomach turn. I went inside and my Aunt Irene and Uncle Ron were glad to see me but my parents weren't thrilled by the surprise. They like to be in control but I didn't understand that back then. I set the table and we ate my banquet lunch in their designer kitchen. When we were about to have dessert my mother said "What are you on?" "What? Nothing!" What was she talking about? I was so insulted. After the meal as I packed up to leave my mother said "I am keeping all of the food." I explained that I was hoping to bring some food back for my husband's dinner when he got home from work. She reluctantly parceled out a portion as if I were twisting her arm - there was plenty of food. I drove home angry and sad. I missed the highway exit and ended up taking the local road the whole way home in the dark.


I have been craving seltzer lately. I found this great blog by Jessica Leshnoff called Lunch at 11:30. She has a great post about seltzer. She is a professional journalist.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This morning when baking my pumpkin bread recipe I used a double sized can of pumpkin, adding coffee as liquid and I got a pudding texture as a result. I love it. I am calling it pumpkin-bread-pudding. I am not sure the neighbors will understand so I won't give this one away. Perhaps if I slice it and bake the slices flat on a tray it can be pumpkin biscotti! Stay tuned!

Recycling Joy and Dust

With my new found transmit energy, I'm tackling the dust, washing the cat and dog hair off the couch cover, washing three pairs of sneakers a friend gave me, and dismantling the mountain of cardboard boxes: 18 years worth, piled up in the cellar. Dust city! Eventually, God and dog willing, I must tackle the teetering paper stacks in my studio it is now a health and safety hazard.

I dug out my little red wagon from underneath the boxes. It is a wooden wagon with detachable sides for grocery shopping or attaching Lily to haul stuff - a joke. This wagon is just like the one I sent my brother down the driveway in, when he was two and a half and I was seven. He turned at the bottom of the hill and hit gravel. He got a weensy cut over his top lip the size of an ant, in the shape of a musical rest. I am forever blamed for his cosmetic imperfection and it went on my permanent record. When my mother introduced me to his girlfriend, she said "Oh, she's the one who gave Peter the scar above his lip".

I'm baking pumpkin breads for neighbors - new and old, cleaning the crumb tray in the toaster, vacuuming the dog hair. This is what shrinking daylight does to me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Savory Sisters

I love savory food: meat muffins and mashed potatoes on a cone!


How many loaves of my home made sourdough bread do you need to cut my grass?

Meat Muffin

When I made meat loaf last night I added five cups of oats and two cups of chic peas to my regular formula. It is more like a Thanksgiving stuffing or a savory muffin, a meat muffin!

Monks Hours

We are back to monks hours here at the ghetto palace. Bill's alarm goes off at four AM and although I have not been able to get up at that hour the past two mornings, this morning I was on his schedule. I made coffee, clipped the cats nails and ate two bites of cold leftover meat loaf. The neighborhood is quiet. When I poured a shot of milk to heat in the smallest size jam jar for my coffee the cat leapt over to it and Lily made one loud baritone bark. I glanced over to the window above the sink, luckily it was closed. The new neighbors bedroom windows are four feet away. They have small children, and I don't want to wake them. In our town when two people rent an apartment six people move in. Families spill out onto the street playing, shouting, fighting, barking. It's the opposite of the town I grew up in but I wouldn't trade it for the world. My unemployed neighbors spend the day watching their kids, and the traffic driving by, and I spend the day watching them.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Jim Sollisch

Jim Sollisch article. Cooking is Freedom!
The Art of Repetition article here.

Alley Cat

Sammy has a new friend, a black cat with white whiskers who sits on our windowsill in the alley and meows at him! This cat moved in with our new neighbors next door. This is the first time Sammy has not paid attention to our toast making. It must be love.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Dirtying Machine!

My washing machine is rusted and now stains our clothes. A washer in reverse. A dirtying machine.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Skunk Alert

Last night I put Lily's leash on and opened the door to the back yard. Lily pulled and I could see that it wasn't a cat she wanted to chase, it was a black skunk with a white stripe and its tail was up. I yanked her back inside. Luckily she didn't get sprayed.