Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pickle Mistress

Wearing nurses whites
under fluorescent lights
she carries a glass gallon jar
of Freudian greens

Monday, April 29, 2013

Maple Syrup

I just made maple syrup from the partially boiled sap our neighbors down the street tapped from their front yard maple. The smell of it boiling down was so amazing it reminded me of the scent of a New England farm house full of books in winter.

Thomas Jefferson

I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage with my books, my family and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which any human power can give.

-Thomas Jefferson

One More Cup of Coffee. . .

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee 'fore I go.
To the valley below.

-Bob Dylan

Iced Coffee with Molasses

Have you tried iced coffee with a tablespoon of molasses? It is delicious.

Bring me the Head of. . .

Price Rite sells lowfat buttermilk--and so I make a salad dressing with it for the unending heads of cabbage that roll through my kitchen. I should name them after politicians like our friends who named their pig Kissinger in the 70's.

Montreal Chickens


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Robert Anderson

The mission of the playwright is to look in his heart and write, to write whatever concerns him at the moment; to write with passion and conviction. Of course the measure of the man will be the measure of the play.
- Robert Anderson, playwrite

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Magnificent Minestrone

Today I simmered chick peas that had soaked overnight and when they were cooked I added olive oil, Adobo, salt, fresh garlic, two large cans of tomato puree, celery, carrots, onions, scallions, dried home-grown basil, parsley and red chili flakes. I kept it simmering while I took a long walk. When I came home the house smelled fabulous and we had this magnificent soup for supper.

Coffee with Maple Syrup

I have had coffee with molasses and liked it. Tonight I had coffee with home made maple syrup in it. Delicious!

Coffee Directions

For years everyone else's coffee tasted good and mine was lacking. Yesterday I followed the directions on the coffee can and my coffee came out exceptionally good. I used slightly more than one tablespoon of ground coffee for six ounces of water. So when measuring the liquid in my ten-cup drip machine (which is 45 ounces), I discovered that half a cup (8 tablespoons, or 4 coffee scoops) of ground coffee made a "nice" pot. Note to self: directions and recipes on product packages are generally tested and good!


I dreamed I was at a friend's family farm in Virginia and she offered me long shorts and an ironed 50's style blouse to wear. I put them them on over the clothes I already had on and everything clashed. Then she gave me a molded lavender-flavored chocolate lollipop.

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld talks about discovering his new ritual of having a coffee.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Peace Pilgrim

Make food a very incidental part of your life by filling your life so full of meaningful things that you'll hardly have time to think about food.

We are all cells in the same body of humanity.

I don't eat junk foods and I don't think junk thoughts.

There is something to that old saying that hate injures the hater, not the hated.

This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.

Praying without ceasing is not ritualized, nor are there even words. It is a constant state of awareness of oneness with God.

The purpose of problems is to push you toward obedience to God's laws, which are exact and cannot be changed. We have the free will to obey them or disobey them. Obedience will bring harmony, disobedience will bring you more problems.

-Peace Pilgrim

Jon Frankel

Jon has an amazing post about his mom and her friend. Dorie-May and Marge in the kitchen. Here.
And another must see here.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I dreamed I was petting two live baby pigs on the belly and they were so cute, but they smelled like bacon.
I thought 'uh oh.'

Monday, April 22, 2013

Turkey Stock

The all day simmer of the turkey carcass led to an amazing clear stock. I had added the large outer leaves of my cabbage, celery tops, red chili, and four large black skinned radishes when boiling the turkey bones. Now the stock has been strained and it is so amazing. The smokey taste is there. Last night I added fresh spinach, mushrooms, onions, carrots, scallions, garlic, soy sauce and jalapenos for a quick soup. Each day I take some broth and add a few veggies for a quick lunch. I could smoke a turkey just for the stock. One year our friend Tony smoked a pig and we made stock from the skin. It lasted all winter. I love vegetables more than life itself and I like meat as a spice!

Today is the first day my clothes are drying on the clothesline in the sun. It is a good feeling to look out of my office window and see them swaying and colorful like Tibetan prayer flags.

Henry Fielding

Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.
- Henry Fielding

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Csikszentmihalyi analyzed how a person enters the flow state, how one maintains flow (engaging in a task where the difficulty matches the ability), and the factors that cause one to leave the flow state — drifting toward other mental states of anxiety, relaxation, boredom, worry, arousal, etc. He was able to demonstrate that someone in flow loses a sense of self-consciousness: the activity is entirely rewarding in and of itself, as one gains a sense of personal control over the activity.

Teddi Scobi

Haiku for Morning Rain

Now, finally rain
The moss garden says thank you
How about some tea?

-Teddi Scobi

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wendell Berry

People use drugs, legal and illegal, because their lives are intolerably painful or dull. They hate their work and find no rest in their leisure. They are estranged from their families and their neighbors. It should tell us something that in healthy societies drug use is celebrative, convivial, and occasional, whereas among us it is lonely, shameful, and addictive. We need drugs, apparently, because we have lost each other.
- Wendell Berry, from the essay Racism and the Economy, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Runner’s Commandments by Joe Kelly

The 53 Runner’s Commandments of the Pine Belt Pacers by Joe Kelly

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Janice Taylor

14 from Janice Taylor

In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.
- Ram Dass

We know what we are, but not what we may be.
- Shakespeare

I seem to have run in a great circle, and met myself again on the starting line.
-Jeanette Winterson

We experience ourselves our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
- Albert Einstein

If you try to view yourself through the lenses that others offer you, all you will see are distortions; your own light and beauty will become blurred, awkward, and ugly. Your sense of inner beauty has to remain a very private thing.
- John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.
- John O’Donohue

Silent solitude makes true speech possible and personal. If I am not in touch with my own belovedness, then I cannot touch the sacredness of others. If I am estranged from myself, I am likewise a stranger to others.
- Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging

I am a person before I am anything else. I never say I am a writer. I never say I am an artist. . . I am a person who does those things.
- Edward Gorey

I’ve tried to become someone else for a while, only to discover that he, too, was me.
- Stephen Dunn

I protect myself by refusing to know myself.
- Floriano Martins

Be not another, if you can be yourself.
- Paracelsus

How do you know you are who you are? How do you know you’re not simply a clone of who you think you are?
- Jarod Kintz, $3.33

We are what we love. We are the things, the people, the ideas we spend our days with. They center us, they drive us, they define us to our very core. Without them, we are empty.
- Daisy Whitney, The Rivals

Not only is there often a right and wrong, but what goes around does come around, Karma exists, chickens do come home to roost, and as my mother, Phyllis, liked to say, “There is always a day of reckoning.” The good among the great understand that every choice we make adds to the strength or weakness of our spirits—ourselves, or to use an old fashioned word for the same idea, our souls. That is every human’s life work: to construct an identity bit by bit, to walk a path step by step, to live a life that is worthy of something higher, lighter, more fulfilling, and maybe even everlasting.
- Donald Van de Mark, The Good Among the Great: 19 Traits of the Most Admirable, Creative, and Joyous People

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Mantra for Disappointing Humans

A friend suggested I print this on a box of tea

They are doing the best they can.
Everyone is fighting a great battle.
Most people are bipolar to some degree.
Try to walk in their shoes.
They too are grieving and holding down a great loss.
Pay attention to the best in people.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring Sandwich

My bread toasted, fresh spinach, Hellman's mayo, raw onion slices!

Sometimes I like salt cured black olives and cubed and marinated tofu on the side.

This was a perfect sandwich.

Marinated Tofu:

cube extra firm tofu and add:
soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, "hot" rooster sauce.
cover and shake it.
enjoy! warm or cold on pizza or sandwiches or by itself.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Janice Taylor

One of my favorite stories that illustrates the importance of quiet is about Michelangelo, the great artist. It is said that one day back in the day, a prince visited Michelangelo in his studio and found him staring at an 18-foot block of marble.

Clearly, the rumors were true. Word had traveled throughout the land that Michelangelo visited his studio for four solid months, stared at the block of marble for hours and then would go home for dinner.

“What are you doing,” asked the prince.
“Sto lavorando.” (I’m working), whispered Michelangelo.

Three years later that same block of marble was the statue of David.

Michelangelo had stared at that block of marble for four months. He was imagining, conceiving, envisioning–divining. Michelangelo’s concept of sculpting: meant “to take away;” not “to add to,” as the sculpture already existed inside the block of marble.

It is the sculptor’s job to remove, to take away the excess, to strip away the superfluous that surrounds the marble.

Let quiet be your number one word. Sit, be; allow your excess to fall away.

All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
- Blaise Pascal

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Usually, when the distractions of daily life deplete our energy, the first thing we eliminate is the thing we need the most: quiet, reflective time. Time to dream, time to contemplate what’s working and what’s not, so that we can make changes for the better.
- Sarah Breathnach

Others inspire us, information feeds us, practice improves our performance, but we need quiet time to figure things out, to emerge with new discoveries, to unearth original answers.
- Ester Buchholz

It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you – the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This beauty will never disappear, and it is worth very much to God.
- Peter 3:3-4

A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.
- Bertrand Russell

In quiet moments when you think about it, you recognize what is critically important in life and what isn’t. Be wise and don’t let good things crowd out those that are essential.
- Elder Richard G. Scott


Monday, April 8, 2013

Yvonne Strumecki

I am excited to share Yvonne Strumecki poet and opera singer.

Cast Iron Cookware Fans

Spent part of this the morning reading ice fishermen commenting on cast iron cookware.


The sound of metal tools falling on asphalt and loud voices are unnerving when they're under your window. This morning I heard a cool sound when I was sitting outside with my notebook--the aluminum bat hitting a baseball!

My quaking Aspen tree is dangling pollen like a 1920's flapper dress. We have high pollen alert this whole week. I have taken everything in the medicine cupboard-- As my pal David Shiner says, God made the drugs. If I space out and miss an antihistamine I pay dearly.

We will defrost and roast our turkey as our special 28 year anniversary thing. Hopefully the neighbors won't ruin our backyard privacy. All night I dream of stockade fences.

I think I should sew dinner napkins but I never do. But when I do, I am unable to wipe my mouth on them.

Someone was throwing out a black leather chair. I almost stripped it for the leather. Anita, my 96 year old friend told me, during the Great Depression she fished out rags from the trash and sewed them into dresses for herself. Her two mean sisters and mean mother went to teaching college but made her stay home. Back then one child was always Cinderella, told to stay living at home.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Healthy Brownies

1 stick butter melted
3 (one oz) square blocks of Baker's bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 egg beaten
salt 1/2 teaspoon
sugar 2/3 cup
vanilla 1 teaspoon
cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon

baking powd 1/4 teaspoon
soda 1/4 teaspoon
dark molasses 2 Tbsps
evaporated milk to moisten
coffee to moisten
whole wheat flour one cup
rolled oats one cup
dried cranberries 1/2 cup
raisins 1/2 cup

Melt butter and chocolate. Let cool. Beat egg. Combine all ingredients and spoon into a greased square glass Pyrex pan. Bake at pre-heated 350 F for 25-30 minutes.

Spring Tips

I have a short fuse in transmit mode. This year it arrived in early Spring.
Here's some tips for myself that I have been contemplating.

Sitting at my round table and candle light and especially drawing the
drapes creates happiness during supper.

The white noise of my fan and closed drapes are a godsend to drown out
my inconsiderate neighbors.

Taking a long walk eventually dispels my anger reminding me of the
larger world.

In order to preserve my equilibrium I work to avoid abusive people in any fashion.

There's nothing better than finding a good book.

Bake versus Boil

Since my oven is on more often than than my burners due to baking bread every few days, I tend to bake my brown rice in a covered iron pot and my lentils and even my soups!


I burn more calories chasing after my hat and hunting for my reading glasses. How come nobody talks about those calories?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies


½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar or white sugar with 2 Tbsps dark molasses
½ cup natural peanut butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cups rolled oats
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup raisins, dried cranberries or chocolate chips (or mixture of all three!)


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Add the butter and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, until fluffy and lighter in color. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda and stir to combine. Stir in the oats. Gradually add the flour/oat mixture to the sugar mixture, using a wooden spoon to stir just until combined. Do not over-stir.

Scoop the batter by the tablespoon to form 1-inch balls and place them on a cookie sheet. Press down on each one with a fork to create a criss-cross pattern.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to sit for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.

Adapted from Daring Gourmet

Middle Eastern Breakfast

In some parts of the world this is a fine breakfast. Read here.

In a small bowl, combine yogurt with splash of olive oil kosher salt, fresh black pepper. Eat with bread.

Good Energy Brownie Bars

My recipe is pretty loose here. You can make substitutions and have fun. Feel free to write me with your results.


1/2 cup melted butter (1 stick) or half peanut butter
3/4 cup white sugar (or more)
2 Tbsps dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (or more)
1 extra large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup combination chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain yogurt or milk to moisten
cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the middle position.
Melt the butter in a double boiler or microwave.
Add the sugar and let cool a bit.
Add egg, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and vanilla.
Add flour and mix. Then add the chocolate chips etc, and oats and mix everything up. Add up to one cup of yogurt or milk to moisten the batter. Taste test for salt sweet balance.
Adjust if necessary. With a spatula spread dough evenly into a greased 8x8 baking pan. Improvise and have fun. I melted a square of bittersweet chocolate in with the butter.
The peanut butter gives this an earthy taste.

Bake at 350 for 25 – 30 minutes.

Cut into bars when cool.

Visibly Invisible

A good radio announcer like a good book designer, is invisible. There are so many who are dreadful because they must call attention to themselves destroying the magic spell of the the design and the music.

Found: Parking Lot Art

Police Cheeseburger was scrawled on a small four by six inch piece of thin day-glow orange foam with a sheriff's badge drawn below. There were four tire tread marks running diagonally over the foam. The other side was a scratchy drawing of a cheeseburger with the meat, cheese, and top and bottom buns spaced slightly for proper identification.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


The Secret of Great Bread: Let Time Do the Work


Staff of Life

When I was 15 I discovered the joys of making my own yogurt and whole wheat bread and it is still what I live on.

Dutch Oven Sourdough

I am hooked on baking my 7 cup whole wheat sourdough in my pre-greased Dutch oven. I stick with the 450 degree baking temp and I take off the cover after the first 20 minutes. The moisture stays in the loaf keeping it springy and delicious all week.

We were given a bottle of organic extra virgin olive oil for Christmas. I dip slices of the bread in a bloop of the oil sprinkled with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and it is divine.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hummus Repair

I walked Lily and the wind was blowing everyone's trash around so we did a lot of picking up. When I got home I made hummus from the chic peas I boiled this morning. I accidentally added too much cayenne to the mix and so I diluted the hummus with the fresh yogurt I made overnight and it is delicious.

Later in the day the hummus mellowed and was fine without added yogurt.

Environmental Thinking

I remember asking a friend who was an avid environmentalist why are you using plastic tampons? She never thought about it but immediately stopped. I want to ask folks who buy individual plastic cups of yogurt and folks who buy liquid laundry soap etc., why? When you can be saving the planet from more plastic, and saving fuel and money by buying laundry powders. As a child I would marvel at my mother who seemed incapable of washing and rinsing pots and pans properly. I figured it was because she had a live-in maid her whole life. Convenience is a myth we pay dearly for. Cake mixes and pre-made pie crust taste like the hands of robots and ten thousand other chemicals your grandmother wouldn't recognize - or willingly ingest. If your going to be phobic about food be phobic about the chemicals and the garbage we generate, and vital resources we waste. Pay attention!

Chocolate for Breakfast

Chocolate for breakfast is allowed during the week after Easter. In fact it's required!

Sap in Loins

Lily and I ran the loop yesterday. She is an amazing runner and never tires. She reminded me to give her a few dog biscuits as a reward when we got home.

Anne Lamott

I don't know much, but I can tell you this: if someone makes you a great chicken salad sandwich,it is because they did not skimp on the mayo.
-Anne Lamott

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Home Made Yogurt

I've been making home made yogurt again. I drink it thinned with orange juice. It is delicious re-hydrating and good for you too!

Sally Sampson

Sally's magazine CHOP CHOP is amazing. Visit here.

Mark Remy

Run Like a Dog
My dog, a shepherd mix named Cooper, doesn't care where we are or what time of day it is, or even what the weather is like. He doesn't know what his resting heart rate is and rarely bothers to wear a watch. He just loves to run. And every time he does, his face and his body telegraph one simple message: This. Is. AWESOME. I'm runningrunningrunningrunning!

The "Run Like a Dog" Workout (Including Warmup and Cooldown) Walk 8 seconds. Trot 4 seconds. Stop. Sniff. Sprint 7 seconds. Freeze. Walk 5 seconds in any direction but forward. Stare 9 seconds. Lunge at rabbit. Double back, walk 3 seconds. Urinate. Repeat six times. Collapse on rug.
- Mark Remy

Mark Remy

So I Went for a Run

by Mark Remy

I was angry, so I went for a run. And things got better.

I was confused, so I went for a run. And things got better.

I was exhausted, so I went for a run. And things got better.

I was lost, unsure, empty, afraid. Certain that whatever was left of my sanity had snapped, had come untethered and floated away, to a place so high and remote that I would never see it again, and that even if I did, I wouldn't recognize it.

So I went for a run. And things got better.

I felt like things could not possibly get worse, so I went for a run. And things got better.

(Another time, I felt like things could not get much better. I went for a run. Things got much better.)

After enough miles, over enough runs and enough years, I realized: No matter what, no matter when, or where, or why, I can find my shoes and go for a run and things will get better.

And that realization? Just knowing that?

It made things better.

Raisin Brownies

Last night I was feeling sorry for myself having had no chocolate on Easter so I made a pan of brownies. I used a double boiler to melt the chocolate and butter on the stove top. Also, I added raisins instead of nuts. They came out "smidgy" as Laurie Colwin calls them in her book More Home Cooking. Laurie Colwin cookbooks are my favorite bedside reading.

I am sorry the chickens law didn't pass in last night's city vote, I was all ready to get a flock!

I love raisins and chocolate together!


2 (one-ounce) squares unsweetened baker's chocolate

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup chopped raisins (or dried cranberries!)

Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan in double boiler, stir in sugar. In a large bowl, add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Stir in butter chocolate sugar mixture and add flour, salt and raisins. Mix well. Pour into a buttered 8-inch-square baking pan. Bake at 325° for 35-40 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

Émile Zola

The day is not far off when one ordinary carrot may be pregnant with revolution.
- Émile Zola

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mother of Yogurt

We are blessed to live three miles from Wright's Dairy farm. I buy milk and cultivate my own yogurt overnight. The results are delicious and so simple to achieve.

Heat milk in double boiler to 180 degrees. Use a candy thermometer if you own one otherwise just stop the cooking when lots of bubbles appear around the rim of the milk. Then cool to 110. This makes the milk receptive to the culture. After heating I like to immerse my jars of hot milk in a tub of cold water and they always cool off in ten minutes. Then add a few teaspoons of an active yogurt culture to the 110 degree (or wrist temperature) milk. The teaspoons of active yogurt serve as your starter. Place the covered glass jars of cultured milk in a warm place overnight or for about 8 hours. I use an insulated picnic cooler with a bottle of boiling hot water and two towels as insulation. It works every time. If your stove has a pilot light that environment works perfectly for incubating the jars of milk. When the yogurt sets, refrigerate it. Save some yogurt to begin your next batch.

Warning: If your local dairy uses a 'fast pasteurization' process the milk will not culture. I'm not sure why but it's true. Luckily this is not common.

Magic Sauce

Olive oil and wine vinegar, favorite herbs, fresh garlic, salt pepper and raw tofu! Blend in blender and enjoy on salad and rice.

Marinated Tofu

30 years ago I was a waitress at a natural foods restaurant in Chapel Hill NC and I remember you could order a side of marinated tofu to put on your pizza! I love marinated tofu on spinach salad.

Marinated tofu:
Cube tofu add soy sauce and vinegar dash of sesame oil and dash of rooster hot sauce. shake up and marinate. Enjoy cold or warm.

Yogurt Salad Dressings

Plain yogurt, salt, pepper, poppy seeds, honey, mustard, balsamic vinegar.
Plain yogurt, fresh minced garlic, fresh lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper, salt.
Peanut salad dressing:

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup creamy all natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Friendly Bacteria

Amazing article.
Here too.

Listen to your Body

Dancers are professional about listening to their bodies and knowing about achieving high performance.