Friday, February 28, 2014

Roasting potatoes

I am roasting potatoes that I cut into wedges and then shook up in a lidded plastic tub with kosher salt, powdered garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, paprika and Adobo, then thrown into my cast iron pans roasting at 450 for 30 minutes. Fabulous!


My friend told me she wrote love letters on behalf of her friends in college. She just got a heart transplant February 14th.

Chinese Chicken Stir Fry

Boneless chicken breasts were on sale for 1.49 LB so we bought a five pound package. This was more chicken than we eat in a month! So I chopped the chicken up into small slabs and froze them. When we made spicy Chinese broccoli we defrosted a one pound container of the frozen chicken and chopped it further into cubes, and made the best stir fry ever! I sauteed in peanut oil: cubed chicken, fresh chopped onion, fresh chopped mushrooms, fresh broccoli florets, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, hot and spicy rooster sauce, and fresh garlic, and peanuts and toasted almonds, and whole wheat linguine noodles.


I like to use meat as a spice. Recently I bought three pounds of chuck on sale. I shaped the meat into muffin-sized blobs and froze them. The other night when we came home unexpectedly late from the dentist I had no idea of what to make for supper. I assembled a quick soup: frozen peas, frozen corn, one large can of crushed tomatoes, a pound of cooked chick peas with their liquid I had simmered that day, and a frozen beefcake that thawed out as I heated it all up. I added beef stock, Cholula hot sauce and Adobo and it was an excellent soup.

Accordion and Banjo

We played music at the community supper. It was a delight.

Cold Dough Rising

February is my favorite time of year. When the ground is still frozen and the light is coming back.

Cold dough rising.

The last few times I've baked bread I set up my previously refrigerated dough to rise as grapefruit-sized boules inside a cold oven, and then when it warmed to room temps (which is 50 degrees in my house), I turned on my electric oven to 450, rather than preheating. It worked! If you have a gas oven it might heat up too fast to do this method so try this: turn to 200 degrees place dough in oven for 20 minutes and then turn it up to 450.

The slow kill reminds me of my grandmother cooking lobster. She placed a live lobster in in a big pot of cold water and then turned on the gas flame below. As the water temps heated up the lobster became uncomfortable so he crawled out of the pot. You can't blame him! My grandmother, never having cooked a lobster before freaked out, she climbed onto her yellow dinette kitchen chair and stood there screaming in her Brighton Beach apartment until my grandfather rescued her. The fact that Jews are forbidden to eat lobster is another story.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Wonderful Crazies

One morning in late January, Jacques-André Istel woke up at his home in Felicity, Calif., did 100 push-ups and 125 squats, swam in his elegantly lit lap pool, then went back upstairs, where he took a light breakfast in bed, as has been his custom since his boyhood in Paris.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Washing Machine

In a dream
A guy named Shen was playing my baritone saxophone
I woke up in a sweat, and raced up three flights of red carpeted stairs
in my red-brick childhood home,
"Please do not play my saxophone without my permission," I said
taking my horn off his neck.
I feared a strangers teeth marks on my black mouthpiece.
"I speak from experience," I said.

"You were always stubborn, beginning at age two. Your sister was a
goody two-shoes"
Her one hand gripped me and the other tried to eviscerate me.
My self-portraits were a pile of body parts.
"Is this how you see yourself?" my teacher asked.
"Absolutely," I replied.

after a cold pond swim
hopping heart
black coffee and cinnamon toast
tongue dances
skin sings
mind shocked awake,
body is content, cozy
a vivid sensory world

a love affair with sky, wind, soap,
and clotheslines
I escaped prison in a laundry cart.

David Ignatow

The Bagel
by David Ignatow

I stopped to pick up the bagel
rolling away in the wind,
annoyed with myself
for having dropped it
as if it were a portent.
Faster and faster it rolled,
with me running after it
bent low, gritting my teeth,
and I found myself doubled over
and rolling down the street
head over heels, one complete somersault
after another like a bagel
and strangely happy with myself.

- David Ignatow from Against the Evidence © Wesleyan University Press, 1993.

Friday, February 21, 2014

We Read about Fire

She was staring up at the hundreds of starlings in the bare trees.
He's hungry, she said pointing to my dog Lily.
Make him eat them so they'll shut up. She grumbled.
I chuckled.
It's not funny, she shouted.
I locked eyes with her.
Her eyes black rings, like a raccoon mask. Her skin was translucent, hair disheveled and she wore next to nothing on this winter day.
She's been working the long street behind the abandoned park,
it cuts east west and is famous for drugs and prostitution.
And it's the only way home from the other side of town.

Yesterday a man waved hello from the stone house and we chatted since it has been months since we've seen each other. I heard there was a fire I said pointing to the high rise across the street. Do you know how it happened? How is he? The paper said burns over 75 percent of his body. I can't imagine how excruciating that must be.

It depends on what kind of burn it is; first degree second degree third degree. I was a fireman.
Really, around here?
No, up in Burrillville. I was a volunteer.
How did you deal with what you saw doing that kind of work? Did you get nightmares?
The worst were drowning victims when they pull a body from the water after months. Those were the hardest to see.

I dreamed of onions potatoes carrots and radishes sprouting

in my darkened room

a raised bed of dirt

my friend was going to help me plant.

I woke up thinking about Magritte whose mother committed suicide.
She was found in a pond with her nightgown over her head
Many of his paintings have this recurrence of the gown covering faces.
It all makes sense.

We read about fire and we dream of water.

Giulietta Carrelli

“Tables and chairs are not my thing. I want to make everybody coexist and make it so you have to talk to each other. I hate separating the masses.” This eye toward quirky artistry, environmental stewardship and community involvement, paired with a bit of off-beat nutrition, is the axis on which Trouble Coffee spins.

That, and the unique house breakfast special that Carrelli has eaten daily for years: the Build Your Own Damn House, featuring a cup of coffee, a whole Thai coconut and a slab of insanely indulgent cinnamon toast. “I’m an ocean swimmer. I wanted something that would warm me up, sustain my energy and not make me crash.” Pair it all with a vitamin-C-packed “Yoko Ono”–a shot of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice–and, she notes, “If you have nothing else all day, not even a cup of water, you won’t die.” Oh, and incidentally, it’s delicious.

Read more about this amazing and brave woman here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Delicious Napa Cabbage

Yesterday I took a whole head of napa cabbage and chopped it up and put it in our 12 inch frying pan. I added olive oil, soy sauce, and rooster hot sauce, and crunchy peanut butter as it cooked. It was an excellent lunch and delicious hot and cold. I will do this again!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Rolling in Dough

I have no idea if my bread baking with girl scouts for the soup kitchen will be canceled due to the upcoming snow. But I have prepared a boat load of dough. But this is what neighbors are for.

Luckily the supper was not canceled. The girl scouts and one cub scout showed up and they all helped braid the bread dough. They set the tables with place mats they had decorated with drawings and the caption Enjoy your meal. When the loaves came out they were all swooning over the scent and taste of fresh bread.

I got to break bread with my favorite homeless man who I have spoken to for years. We sat side by each.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Community in the Kitchen

When I was in college I got a job as a prep chef at LEO'S, a pub in downtown Providence famous for it's lofted ceilings, amazing art and excellent food. This was where I learned to cook as a prep chef. I made vats of chili, dozens of pecan pies, chocolate puddings, and spinach pies, salad dressings, tabouleh, hummus, and more. I made rib beef and chicken marinades, chicken white bean and spinach soup and best of all I had a lot of fun. The work was very physical with lots of lifting and pouring along with a healthy dose of joking and flirting. I loved it. I loved it a million times more than college. There was camaraderie and real support and endless banter. We were a family circus troupe. It was the first time people ever listened and laughed at my wisecracks. Now I'm back in the kitchen doing the dance of bread, salad and soup but this time as a volunteer for the community kitchen on my street.

Color on my Plate

In winter I want to eat cheerful YELLOW food. Corn bread! Corn, corn, corn, and red food! Stewed tomatoes. Sprinkles of frozen peas for polka dot soups. Spinach, red bell peppers, carrots! In Winter's black and white world I want color on my plate. It doesn't take much but it does take some to liven things up.

Kugels and Potatoniks

Soul food of my ancestors:

Perhaps it is no accident that the foods I gravitate towards are the foods of my ancestors. I didn't grow up eating cabbage, beans, dark bread, kugels kasha, matzoh balls and latkes but I have found my way to them.

For the Kids

My dream is to bake and cook for a parking lot block party. Home cooked food, home made music, maybe some basketball, sidewalk chalk drawing and conversation. For the kids!

It's Grounding

Something is brewing in my psyche. I realize my kitchen time is like what carpentry is for my actors and musician friends. It's grounding.

Red Heart Lazy Bake

I don't feel right unless I have something cooking metaphorically and actually. The ingredients are passengers on my great adventures in the kitchen. This morning at 8AM I set a pot of pinto beans to simmer. Then I sauteed a half pound of ground chuck, added a cup of frozen peas, a cup of frozen corn, Cholula hot sauce, some leftover potato stock, uncooked brown rice all set inside red heart-shaped iron "Le Creuset" pot, baking at 350. I love when the baking aromas climb the stairs and grab me. Stay tuned.

At noon I added the pot of baked brown rice, peas, corn, and ground beef, to the pinto beans and then added two big cans of tomatoes. Now it is a thick stew. I sprinkled Adobo and salt on it and it is very good.

A Memoir

Read the whole article, it's amazing!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

More Pancakes

I made pancakes again and this time I saved them on a plate in a warm oven. They are fabulous. They are made with buttermilk, whole wheat flour, eggs and applesauce. They are light and wholesome!

Shepherds Pie

I bought one pound ground round on Jamie's advice or if you use fattier beef like "chuck" drain it after you sautee. Place it in a dutch oven or a deep ovenproof pan you can add olive oil if it is too dry but it wont be. I added frozen corn and stirred it. You can add garlic or peas, or carrots. I layered my leftover cooked and goopy potato, blackeye peas goop that had occasional bite of chicken, and put it in the Dutch oven covered at 350 and I went out to shovel the roof. I came back an hour and fifteen minutes later. The aroma was the best reward. I was so overheated from shoveling I needed to shower and drink iced coffee. But when I finally recovered it was delicious lunch.

With this dish anything goes. Lori Colwin uses Worcestershire sauce and garlic. It's really meatloaf, in a geological formation. It is comfort food. We ate the leftovers stuffed inside red bell peppers warmed up, with raw carrots on the side while watching Law and Order reruns starring our favorite actor Vinny D.

New crack in ceiling leaks in living room, luckily not over the dining table!
Reminds me of my favorite kids book by Remy Charlip: Fortunately and Unfortunately.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Overdose Epidemic


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Eleven more people have died of accidental overdoses in Rhode Island this month, according to state health officials who Friday called on police to carry a drug that can counter the effects of a heroin overdose.

Kinda House

I want the kinda house where kids can draw at the kitchen table. I want the kinda house where nobody is in too much of a hurry to listen. I want the kinda house where visitors can drink tea and have cookies with our cat and dog. I want the kinda house where we read aloud from our favorite books. I want the kinda house where secrets can be shared. I want the kinda house that is warm in winter and cool and quiet in summer. I want the kinda house that shares delicious food.

Shepherd's Pie

After shoveling the double garage roof this morning I was glad to smell the amazing aroma of the shepherds pie baking when I came back inside. My version used leftover black eyed peas, chicken, beef, corn, potatoes. I am the shepherd's daughter. We are now ready for the storm.

We received a call from the local school giving away food due to vacation week. It is exciting that we can coordinate the soup kitchens with the school giveaways. Waste not, want not.

Shepherd's Daughter

This morning we are putting on our double layer snow pants to shovel the garage roof. I wear long underwear and bright orange sweat pants and hiking boots from 1980. It will take hours. We need to use the very long aluminum ladder to get up there. I am terrified of heights so I shovel blind, tossing the snow from 5 feet away. I've set up a Shepherd's pie using a pound of ground round we bought from Jamie last night and it is in the Dutch oven baking with corn and the potato-blackeye peas mush layer of leftovers on top. It will be ready when we are. I opened the door to the back yard and smelled skunk! Lily ran out, barked and looked around. I had to call her back in by shaking her biscuit tin so she wouldn't wake the neighbors. I convinced my husband to not go out on the road today. I have the urge to swim laps but shoveling will have to do. I have a great new book out Haldol and Hyacynths by Melody Moezzi. Hurray for Saturday. Last night I baked enough bread to feed an army. Maybe I'll bake a pumpkin pie during the storm. My new post shoveling beverage is home made iced mocha.

Breakfast by Joyce Sutphen

My father taught me how to eat breakfast
those mornings when it was my turn to help
him milk the cows. I loved rising up from

the darkness and coming quietly down
the stairs while the others were still sleeping.
I'd take a bowl from the cupboard, a spoon

from the drawer, and slip into the pantry
where he was already eating spoonfuls
of cornflakes covered with mashed strawberries

from our own strawberry fields forever.
Didn't talk much—except to mention how
good the strawberries tasted or the way

those clouds hung over the hay barn roof.
Simple—that's how we started up the day.

-Joyce Sutphen from First Words, Red Dragonfly Press

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day

Forget wine chocolate and negligees, I want a snow plow L.L.Bean snow boots, yellow rain coveralls, and fifty labradors to slobber me!

Pancakes for Supper

Last night we made pancakes for supper to celebrate the snow day. These are light and fluffy thanks to the chemical reaction of the buttermilk. Double the recipe if you have more than 2 people.

Pancake Recipe for Two.

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups of low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup applesauce
1/8 cup molasses and sugar combined
when we make this recipe for waffles we add 1/4 cup corn oil to the batter.

Combine ingredients and pour pancakes onto griddle!

Shoveling the Roof

The rain on top of the snow makes it very heavy and dangerous. We'll be spending the day shoveling the roof of the house and garage.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Snow Moon

February's full Moon is traditionally called the Full Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February.

Hunting becomes very difficult, and so some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon.

Other Native American tribes called this Moon the "Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon" (Wishram Native Americans), the "No Snow in the Trails Moon" (Zuni Native Americans), and the "Bone Moon" (Cherokee Native Americans). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.


Chopped mushrooms, fresh garlic, chopped onions, all sauteed in olive oil and soy sauce with some leftover brown rice and black eyed peas and fresh spinach.

Add peanut butter to leftover coleslaw.

Fears and Freedoms

My biggest freedom?
To read and write anything and walk anytime I choose.
Biggest fear?
Being trapped. And I fight this fear all the time.

Side Effect, Poetry

I am a cow. I need a morning milking and an evening milking. I am writing in my notebook each day so I don't cut off my head. Side effect, poetry

She lives in the ghetto she loves. She tries to get going before the sun. She writes standing up so she has a view of the dumpsters, drug dealers and prostitutes. She loves to have things marinating, simmering, incubating, fermenting, percolating, baking, or soaking while she works so at least something tangible is being accomplished. Her work grows out of her compulsion to write in notebooks. She loves to write letters and walk her dog all over town, stopping to listen to people tell their story.

I get up at 6 and work nine hours
Come home and cook dinner for five
When the dishes are done I go up to my attic
And if I am able, if my mind is alive
I write one or two pages, until the muse cowers
“I’m tired,” she cries, “I don’t feel ecstatic!”
It’s enough for one day, so I go to bed then
Tomorrow I’ll start over again.



Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ernest Ephemera

Ernest Hemingway was a hoarder. His own prose style may have been spare and economical, but he was unable to part with the words, printed or written, of just about anyone else. According to his fourth wife, Mary, he was incapable of throwing away “anything but magazine wrappers and three-year old newspapers.” A trove of some 2,500 documents collected and preserved at Finca Vigía, Hemingway’s farm outside Havana, and now digitized and newly available at the Hemingway Collection in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum here, includes diaries, letters, lists, telegrams, insurance policies, bank statements, passports, tickets to bullfights and the Longchamp racecourse in Paris, a brochure from a swimming pool filter company, a page of his son Patrick’s homework and seemingly every Christmas card Hemingway ever received.


I am Boring

I get headaches from wine, canker sores from chocolate and hard candy, and stomach aches from anything rich and oily. I get dizzy and nauseous when I see moving screens like ipads. I go to bed at 8PM, the same time as when I was 12. I hate to travel, I hate cars, jewelry and any blatant and loud signs of privilege. I despise perfume or scented soaps and I loathe boats, buses and planes.

I love cows, grain, cruciferous vegetables, black hot coffee, deep snow, bare trees, solitude classical radio, long underwear, and warm socks. I love urban neighborhoods, clotheslines, black and white photography, dogs, books made out of paper, cats, goats, chickens, baritone saxes, elephants, reading poetry, painting with oils, and baking bread.

I love people watching especially in the grocery store. I love reading about mental illnesses. I love staring at leaves on a tree moving in the wind. I love to swim across cold quiet ponds. I love to drink hot coffee while standing in the deep snow in my urban backyard at 4 AM.

Feeding the Multitudes

Laurie Colwin's recipe for Shepherd's Pie from Home Cooking

1. Have ready four large steam-tray tables – these hold around forty
portions apiece, more or less.
2. Chop ten large onions and four entire bulbs of garlic, peeled, the
larger the better.
3. Heat two to three cups of olive oil in an enormous skillet or low-sided saucepan, and begin to brown some of the meat (you will need 35
pounds of chopped chuck in all), adding onions and garlic as you go.
The browned meat should then be put aside while you brown the rest.
4. Season with black pepper and the contents of one large bottle of Worcestershire sauce.
5. Apportion the meat into the steam-tray tables and add, or rather
distribute, ten pounds of previously frozen, now thawed, carrots
and peas, and mix well with the meat.
6. Make about one gallon of instant mashed potatoes, stirring with a
whisk. Many people find instant potatoes nasty – I do not. You
would not want them as a side dish, but on top of a shepherd’s
pie they are just fine.
7. Spoon a thick layer of potatoes over the meat, sprinkle with fresh
grated cheese (not the stuff in jars) and bake in the oven at 300
degrees F for two hours.
This will feed 150 people, some of whom are children.

A Great Day for Prostitution

I couldn't wait to dig into a sample of the bargain chicken. I marinated a pound of chicken in 1/4 cup of wine vinegar, freshly peeled garlic cloves, 1/4 cup of olive oil, a tablespoon of Guilden's mustard, a tablespoon of honey, a splash of soy sauce. I buzzed it all in the old Waring blender. Then I chopped the marinated chicken into bits and cooked them in my small lidded cast iron skillet with some previously-cooked slices of Yukon gold potatoes. As the moisture steamed away I added some reserved potato water from the fridge and a few splashes of Cholula hot sauce. Then I recovered it and let it cook some more. When it was done, I added it all to a big bowl of raw spinach leaves and sliced raw onion. I topped the spinach leaves with a salad dressing that was the same as my chicken marinade formula.

I looked out the window and saw a woman in a sleeveless magenta tank top bare armed on this zero degree day. I jumped up to see. She wore nothing but black tights and her skimpy top and sneakers. She was going down the street workin' it. She stopped to ask a trucker for a light. She put her hand on his and thanked him, tossing her head back. Then she stopped at the intersection and watched the male traffic watching her. A great day for prostitution.

Running Rob Delaney

You’ve been open about your struggles with depression. Do you find that running has a mitigating impact there?
Oh, definitely. The runner’s high is real, so in the short term you feel good. In the long term, your heart is working better. Your mind is cleaner. And the mind and body are so intimately connected. If your body is in shape, you’re going to have a better shot at feeling well emotionally, so it definitely combats depression.

When do you know a runner takes himself or herself too seriously?
If they’re not having fun. If it’s interrupting your life. My kids are more important to me than running so I’m not going to palm them off on my wife for fours every weekend, and say, “Whatever, I gotta run,” and you leave her with two tiny kids without assistance. A person who damages their own relationships for running, which is a real thing I’ve seen.

You talked about writing jokes while running. How does running influence your creative process?
You want to have free flow in your head and your heart if you’re making stuff for yourself or for others to consume, if you’re doing it at the craftsman level, which is to say, whether you like to or not, it’s a really good idea to have your arteries and synapses in your mind flowing properly. So running just clears those passages so information and inspiration can flow more freely. So it’s very important to me to run.

Caleb Daniloff

My Intoxicant of Choice
by Caleb Daniloff

Caleb Daniloff is a Cambridge, Mass.-based writer. His memoir "Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past One Marathon at a Time" explores how he used running to navigate sobriety.

When I describe running as my sobriety tool, some recovering alcoholics tell me I’ve simply swapped addictions and that they’ll keep an Alcoholics Anonymous chair warm for me. They miss the point.

In fact, after 15 years of chronic drinking and drug use, I found running to be a powerful healing agent — a therapist’s couch, confessional and pharmacy counter rolled into one.

Sure, when I haven’t laced up for a few days, I can get jittery, dull-minded, even depressed. Seeing another runner on a rest day can spark pangs of jealousy. And there was a time when I got caught up with the numbers — on my stopwatch, on the scale. Does that mean I’m still self-destructive, out of control? "Addiction" is such a dirty word.

But running is so transformative that it flips the term on its head. Yes, there is the swoon of endorphins, but what I’m hooked on is forward motion and progress, on overcoming and becoming. With its demand on the body and mind, there’s no room for false thoughts. I sweat out my anxieties and insecurities and parse through job and family challenges instead of drowning them in booze. Grinding out miles has never turned me into a monster, never once filled me with shame or regret.

In fact, after 15 years of chronic drinking and drug use, I found running to be a powerful healing agent — a therapist’s couch, confessional and pharmacy counter rolled into one. The head space that opened up during my predawn runs allowed me to embrace all the people I used to be, even the ugly ones, replacing callousness and narcissism with humility and clarity. My apologies to those I’d harmed were all drafted at six miles per hour.

So, yes, a trade has taken place. Instead of drawing the shades against the rising sun, I hurtle toward it. Endurance is measured in miles, not empties. I’m feeding a need for well-being. In fact, my history with addiction—the single-minded focus, the internal deal-making, the ease with solitude — contributes to my running skills and I often channel them during a marathon. The run is my go-to intoxicant, whose only hangover is weight-loss, sculpted calves and triumph. I pound it every chance I get.

They Love Me in Estonia

This will be the name of my memoir. I love to see where my posts end up.

Cold House, Warm Oven and a Chicken

My freezing house inspires a lot of baking and cooking. Today I am dreaming about chicken the way K made it at the community supper. But I don't have bread crumbs. . . . I have bread, and cornmeal and all the ingredients anyone could want to make a breaded chicken dish.

I’ve talked about making homemade breadcrumbs before. I save all my bread ends in the freezer, and when I need breadcrumbs, I use my blender to turn them into fresh crumbs. If I need them to be dry, I toast them until the moisture is out before I put them in the blender. I’ll often add my own seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder or Parmesan cheese. I use my judgment for what seems appropriate for the dish I’m making.

Last night, I needed Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for a recipe, and I wanted something a little more specific than just adding garlic and oregano. After a quick search, I found a recipe that seemed to be just what I needed.

To each cup of homemade fresh or dried breadcrumbs, add the following dried herbs and spices:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
I put all the dried spices right into the blender with the breadcrumbs and whirled it around a bit to get it mixed up thoroughly.

Many jarred spices start to lose their flavor after six months, but most of us keep them for much longer than that. Using them up to make things like seasoned breadcrumbs or taco seasoning instead of buying pre-made versions of these makes a lot of sense.

You could also add these spices to store-bought plain breadcrumbs, but really you need to start saving your bread ends in a container in the freezer. It's so easy to make your own, saves you money, and there's no packaging to throw out.

Magically Moist Chicken

Last night I got paid, hurray! We went to PRICE RITE and got 5 pounds of skinless boneless chicken breasts for 1.49 a pound. I just sliced it all up and put them into five small packages labeled and into the freezer. We filled up our cart on all of the other items we needed. It was a great feeling.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Magically Moist Chicken

Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Mayonnaise transforms your chicken into a juicier, crispier, more delicious meal.


1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
4 tsp. Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with Mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
Bake until chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 20 minutes.
Also terrific with Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Light Mayonnaise or Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Canola Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise.

Timesaving Tip: Try making this dish with thin-cut boneless skinless chicken breasts! Prepare as above, decreasing bake time to 10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. TIP: Omit Parmesan cheese and have "Magically Moist Chicken" on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Green Tea Mochi

Mochi ice cream
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mochi ice cream is a Japanese confection made from mochi (pounded sticky rice) with an ice cream filling. Mochi ice cream is now an internationally available food, popular in North America, Europe, and Africa.

Mochi ice cream is a small, round dessert ball consisting of a soft, pounded sticky rice cake (mochi) on the outside and an ice cream filling on the inside. It is then dusted with corn starch. There are many flavors to choose from, but the most popular are green tea (matcha), vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and red bean (azuki).

More recently, a modification of the mochi has been introduced. Instead of using ice cream, gelato has replaced it as the new filling. The term coined for it is “Mochilato”. They are richer in flavor and creamier in texture.These can be found at restaurants with its namesake, located around Southern California.

Japanese daifuku and manjū are the predecessors to mochi ice cream, commonly featuring azuki bean filling. Due to the temperature and consistency of mochi and ice cream, both components must be modified in order to achieve the right viscosity that will remain constant regardless of changes in temperature.

An early, predecessor form of the dessert was originally produced by Lotte, as Yukimi Daifuku in 1981. The company first made the product by using a rice starch instead of sticky rice and a type of rice milk instead of real ice cream.

Frances Hashimoto, the former president and CEO of Mikawaya, is credited as the creator and inventor of mochi ice cream and introducing the dessert to the American consumer market. Hashimoto's husband, Joel Friedman, initially conceived the idea of taking small orbs of ice cream and wrapping them in a Japanese traditional mochi rice cake. Frances Hashimoto expanded on her husband's idea, inventing the fusion dessert now popular in the United States and elsewhere. Hashimoto would introduce seven different flavors in her mochi product lines.

Mikawaya began production of mochi ice cream in the United States in 1993, becoming the first American company to manufacture the dessert. Research and development took over a decade to realize the mass production form utilized today, due to the complex interactions of the ingredients.

Mikawaya's mochi ice cream products are now sold in major American supermarkets, including Albertsons, Trader Joe's, Ralphs, and Safeway. Mochi ice cream now accounts for the majority of Mikawaya's sales.
See also[edit]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mochi ice cream.

* Yukimi Daifuku
* Snow skin mooncake

Bacon Floss


Monday, February 10, 2014

Digital Detox

“There’s a secondhand-smoke effect from multitasking,” he said. “If one person at a table opts out of the conversation by looking at their phone, it affects everyone there.”

Ox Tail



I dreamed I was baking banana breads and making vats of soup. I woke up at 4AM.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hand to Mouth

I plan to sell my car to buy a few gallons of heating oil so we don't get charged a late fee again on mortgage. I hate cars anyway!

Marion Cunningham

He doesn't like homemade bread and he doesn't like vegetables. The only green thing he says he likes is money.
-Marion Cunningham

Amazing woman of food

Regina Schrambling

also appeared in Saveur

Cook, memory

Sometime after I got out of restaurant school and started writing about food, my next-older sister unexpectedly sent me the closest thing to an heirloom from my bleak childhood: my mom’s 1956 “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book.” Handling it brought back a world with a wallop. My mother had taught me to bake my first cake, calling out instructions to cream shortening and sugar from the bedroom where she lay in a cloud of nicotine and despair. When she went off to the state hospital, I was able to pick up her most valued cookbook and continue the lessons on my own, detailed photographs substituting for my mother’s voice. To open the book after 20 years was like being transported back to an age of innocence and possibility, the bad bits on my mental hard drive overwritten by margarine memories.

Marion Cunningham’s latest book, “Lost Recipes: Meals to Share With Friends and Family,” taps into the same wellspring, that intangible hunger for a world when mom and dad and kids gathered around dinner tables every night, eating beef stroganoff and just-frosted cakes, before television became the foreground noise and industrial food became the too-easy answer and children of divorce had to run among two and even four microwave kitchens.

Cunningham’s remedy is obviously heartfelt. She sets no less a goal than luring Americans back to the stove with recipes for “good honest food,” making her case with nostalgic graphics and quotes from other writers. And it’s a natural next step in her work. She’s the ultimate home cook turned icon: she had no professional training when her James Beard connections led to her being contracted in the 1970s to revise the Fanny Farmer cookbook, America’s kitchen bible before “Joy of Cooking” came along. She went on to compile five other cookbooks, never straying far from the first, and to collect enough accolades to make Betty Crocker look like a flash in the saucepan.

To me her best work is one of her shortest, a little volume called “The Breakfast Book.” Maybe because of its brevity, the blank prose (Betty’s ghostwriters were better) is overshadowed by Cunningham’s obvious strength: she does know how to bake. And, even more important, how to teach others to bake. I have never made a bad dish from that book.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Colorful Slaw

A good friend of mine gave me this wonderfully colorful recipe years ago, and I enjoy it every Thanksgiving. Created By Marion Cunningham - Chef



1 cup California walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups red cabbage, finely sliced
2 cups green cabbage, finely sliced
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion


1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed


This is the part of winter when I've had it with hot glop! I made coleslaw tonight and it is delicious. I remember the first time I made coleslaw from Marion Cunningham's recipe in THE SUPPER BOOK. I use an added secret ingredient: buttermilk.

Woonsocket's Winning Dynamite Recipe 2008

By Lynne Leroux and Michelle Marcotte

Brown: 5 lbs. of Hamburger (70/30); drain fat

Add: 12 cups of diced green peppers
12 cups diced onions

Cook: 15 minutes

Add: 1/8 cup oregano
1/8 cup basil
1/8 cup Italian seasoning
¼ cup granulated garlic powder
1½ tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
¾ tablespoon crushed red pepper
1½ tablespoon of hot sauce
2½ cups tomato sauce
2½ cups tomato paste
2½ cups crushed and concentrate tomatoes
½ cup of sugar

Simmer until peppers are tender
(Do not cover)

I found this recipe for Woonsocket's most famous food and used it as a guide for making a smaller quantity. I added celery because I had some on hand, and skipped the sugar and added leftover red wine in it's place. I also added more red chili flakes. You can't go wrong with this universal soul food. Make a pot of pinto beans to add mid week and turn the leftovers into a chili. Enjoy and consider sharing with your neighbors. World peace happens one meal, one song and one story at a time.

Giora Shimoni's Breaded Chicken Breasts

Breaded Baked Boneless Chicken Breasts

By Giora Shimoni

For families with hungry, growing children, these Breaded Baked Boneless Chicken Breasts are the answer to your prayers. Quickly bread and bake them in a large batch. Then store them in the refrigerator or freezer for the kids to warm in the micro or pack in their lunch bags. Referred to as not fried schnitzel in Israel and baked chicken nuggets in the States, these are an economical, healthier and tastier main dish for your kids than frozen fried chicken, hot dogs or processed sandwich meat.


boneless, skinless chicken breasts
seasoned bread crumbs
canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Grease, generously, a flat baking sheet with canola oil.
2. Set out three shallow pie dishes or deep plates: one with flour, one with beaten egg, one with seasoned bread crumbs.
3. Make sure your boneless, skinless chicken breasts are thin by either slicing them in half or pounding them flatter.
4. Dip the chicken first into flour, shaking off any excess. Then dip it into the egg, shaking off any excess. Finally, dip it into the seasoned bread crumbs.
5. Lay the breaded chicken on the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle some drops of canola oil over each chicken piece.
6. Then bake for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until the chicken is white in the middle. Bake time depends on the thickness of the chicken.


1. Use well seasoned bread crumbs so the cutlets will be tasty.
2. Be careful not to over bake so the cutlets will be moist.

1. In the breading process, it is not essential to coat the chicken with the flour before coating it with the egg. The flour is optional.
2. You can add great flavor by mixing the egg with a few drops of soy sauce. Some people mix the egg with some ketchup or mustard.
2. You can use just the egg white, rather than a whole egg, to cut down on cholesterol. If preferred, you can even use water instead of an egg to moisten the chicken before coating it in the bread crumbs.
3. You can make your own seasoned bread crumbs by adding some sweet paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper and parsley to regular bread crumbs.
4. For Passover, you can make these Breaded Baked Chicken Breasts with matzah meal instead of bread crumbs.

Cabbage Rolls

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES: 6 servings

1 medium head cabbage (3 pounds)
1/2 pound uncooked ground beef
1/2 pound uncooked ground pork
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon snipped fresh dill or dill weed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Nutritional Facts

2 cabbage rolls equals 260 calories, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 50 mg cholesterol, 694 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 18 g protein.


Cook cabbage in boiling water just until outer leaves pull away easily from head. Set aside 12 large leaves for rolls. In a small bowl, combine the beef, pork, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, onion, rice, parsley, salt, dill and cayenne; mix well.
Cut out the thick vein from the bottom of each leaf, making a V-shaped cut. Place about 1/4 cup meat mixture on a cabbage leaf; overlap cut ends of leaf. Fold in sides. Beginning from the cut end, roll up. Repeat.
Slice the remaining cabbage; place in an ovenproof Dutch oven. Arrange the cabbage rolls seam side down over sliced cabbage. Combine the tomatoes, sugar and remaining tomato sauce; pour over the rolls. Cover and bake at 350° for 1-1/2 hours or until cabbage rolls are tender. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Old-Fashioned Cabbage Rolls in Country Woman September/October 1994, p33

Shepherd’s Pie

I had the rare pleasure of meeting and dining with Marion Cunningham when we collaborated on a cookbook in the 90's.
Shepherd’s Pie was an ingenious way to use up Sunday’s leftovers. For some, it was even more welcomed than the original roast.
Yield : 6 servings

3 cups roughly chopped cooked lamb
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
1 medium onion, quartered
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ cup beef broth
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked, and mashed (about 3 cups)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together the lamb, garlic, onion, and rosemary. Put through a meat grinder twice or chop in a food processor until fine. Melt the butter in a skillet and stir in the flour. Cook for a few minutes until smooth and blended. Slowly add the beef broth, whisking to avoid lumping. Cook, stirring, until the gravy is thickened, at least 5 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add the lamb mixture, stir to blend, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon into a 1½-quart casserole or a deep pie pan. Spread the mashed potatoes on top and cover evenly to the edge of the casserole. Make a crisscross design with a fork.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the meat is bubbling hot and the potatoes are browned.

Source Marion Cunningham

Next Meal

I am always thinking about my next meal. Probably because if I don't plan it I don't get one. Laugh.

I'm boiling blackeyed peas for supper and baking a tray of molasses granola to go with defrosting homemade applesauce. The sun is bright bouncing off the snow. This week my students made bread, and next week at their request, we'll make shepherd's pie. I might have to rehearse.

Last night I made brown rice and broccoli casserole with 3 slices of pork chopped up and added. It will be good with the blackeye peas and fresh bread.

I might make stuffed cabbage

Bread Knife Karma

I sliced my finger for the second time on the antique serrated bread knife my parents gave me for Christmas 30 years ago! The first time my neighbor, a former ambulance drivrs, saw my finger bleeding onto the sidewalk as I was walking Lily, and he ran inside and got me a butterfly bandage. Such kindness! This time the cut wasn't as bad but there's still no more band aids. I used art-tape and healed in 2 days. Not going to touch this knife again.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Miracle Soup

The parish was thrilled about the donation of fifty pounds of KING ARTHUR bread flour and the plan to have live acoustic music to accommodate the community suppers.

The week after next on Tuesday February 18th the local girl scout troupe will bake braided breads with me for the Feed My Sheep community supper. Adorable! I can't wait.

Today I cooked in the Alice in Wonderland Kitchen- I had two new students and we made bread from scratch. One of my students has a dad who turns 94 Valentine's Day. Turns out I know him, he lives on my walk. Small world.

The meat raffle lady was unable to come so I prepped the ziti and tomato sauce supper she normally prepares for tonight. I made 10 pounds of ziti and added gallons of tomato sauce with 10 pounds of cooked hamburger cooked with basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic. It will be warmed up in 4 gigantic metal trays for the meat raffle at 5PM.

I made mocha and ate my applesauce and granola when I got home.

It feels good to teach and have a job as a volunteer.

Here In Bed

by David Ignatow

Here in bed behind a brick wall
I can make order and meaning,
but how do I begin? How do I
emerge without panic
to the sounds and mass
of people in the street?

Are they human who stare
as I pass by, as if sizing me up
for a mugging or a filthy proposition,
and am I human to have to be
frightened and on guard?

It's people I'm afraid of, afraid
of my own kind, knowing their angers
and schemes and violent needs, knowing
through knowledge of myself
that I have learned to resist,
but when I can't I have seen
the havoc I have made.

It's this, knowing their desperate motives,
as I have known mine, I'm afraid of
in them. I hide upon a bed
behind a brick wall and listen
to engines roaring up and down
the street and to voices shouting
to one another and find no meaning
or order in them, as there is none
in me when I am free of self-restraint.

The bed is my victory over fear.
The bed returns me to my self
as I was young and dreaming
of the beauty of the trees
and faces of people.

-David Ignatow

Two Ignatow Dreams

I Dream

I dream I am lying in the mud on my back and staring up into the sky.
Which do I prefer, since I have the power to fly into the blue slate of
air? It is summer. I decide quickly that by lying face up I have a view
of the sky I could not get by flying in it, while I'd be missing the mud.

-David Ignatow

In a Dream

at fifty I approach myself,
eighteen years of age,
seated despondently on the concrete steps
of my father's house,
wishing to be gone from there
into my own life,
and I tell my young self,
Nothing will turn out right,
you'll want to avenge yourself,
on those close to you especially,
and they will want to die
of shock and grief. You will fall
to pleading and tears of self-pity,
filled with yourself, a passionate stranger.
My eighteen-year-old self stands up
from the concrete steps and says,
Go to hell,
and I walk off.

-David Ignatow

For My Daughter

by David Ignatow

When I die choose a star
and name it after me
that you may know
I have not abandoned
or forgotten you.
You were such a star to me,
following you through birth
and childhood, my hand
in your hand.

When I die
choose a star and name it
after me so that I may shine
down on you, until you join
me in darkness and silence

-David Ignatow

If We Could Be Brought

by David Ignatow

If we could be brought to the surface
like a gleaming fish and served for supper,
if we could eat and swallow our own life
to make a good meal, if we could go fishing
for ourselves and feed on the gleaming
swimmer below the surface of our skin-
the fish that is our slippery life
and death.

-David Ignatow


plastic tampons?
iphones made in China under horrible conditions
liquid soap and juice; water trucked across america,
why isn't everyone thinking about the environment and people?

Refrigerator Theater

my refrigerator is a theater, a mirror of my body.
the cabbage and cauliflower brain are on the top shelf
the twin milk jugs are at my breast
the broccoli lungs and the cold coffee are close to my heart
the apples are in the drawer at my abdomen beside the drawer of rice and buckwheat flour
the freezer chest below is full of ice cubes, orange juice, my home made applesauce and Francine's blueberries

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Russell Edson

She had fallen in love with her doctor's stethoscope, the way it listened to her heart.
- Russell Edson

Pablo Neruda

Death is inside the bones
like a barking where there are no dogs

- Pablo Neruda

Dorothy Parker

What fresh hell is this?
― Dorothy Parker, The Portable Dorothy Parker

The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.
― Dorothy Parker

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
― Dorothy Parker, The Algonquin Wits

If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to.
― Dorothy Parker

Fancy Terrible

This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.
― Dorothy Parker

Tuna and Bean Salad

By Source NYT Martha Rose Shulman

They lurk in every pantry: cans of beans bought long ago for a forgotten meal, now dusty and unloved on a back shelf.

It’s a shame, really — canned beans are the closest thing we have to an instant health food, an excellent source of protein, low in fat (they contain no saturated fat or cholesterol) and exceptionally high in fiber. Beans also contain relatively high amounts of calcium, iron, folic acid and potassium. And they’re inexpensive, an increasingly rare virtue in today’s markets.

The next time you stock up, start with cans of chickpeas, white beans such as cannellini, and black beans. These versatile varieties can be used in a number of dishes, including the salad below. We’ll be showing you other ways to use beans this week, too, so get ready to clear those pantry shelves once and for all.

Tuna and Bean Salad
This easy, light meal salad offers both protein and omega-3 fatty acids. A more authentic version would call for tuna in olive oil, but I actually prefer water-packed tuna.

1 small red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
1 (6 1/2-ounce) can water-packed tuna, drained
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans or borlotti beans, drained through a strainer and rinsed
3 fresh sage leaves, slivered
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small or medium garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon plain low-fat or nonfat yogurt (or omit and use 4 tablespoons olive oil)
1/2 Japanese cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and sliced, for garnish

1. Place the onion in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the vinegar and cold water to cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, then dry on paper towels.
2. In a medium bowl or salad bowl, combine the tuna, beans, onions, sage, and parsley.
3. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix together the remaining vinegar, salt to taste, freshly ground pepper, garlic, and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the olive oil and the yogurt. Toss with the tuna and beans and serve, garnishing each plate with cucumber slices.
Yield: Serves two as a main dish, four as a starter
Advance preparation: This salad will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator.

Bread Blogs

Bread blogs with lovely pin up photos of bread.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Oven is On

I am always happy when the oven is on, even in July and August, I am in my kitchen baking bread, avoiding the sun. During the dreaded dog days of summer the hot oven dries out the humidity, making things feel taste and smell better. I will gladly garden but only in the dark, by flashlight.

Hot Black Coffee

Coffee became tied to what I called “The Art Life.” I loved to go to diners and drink coffee and try to catch ideas for the work. Coffee has always seemed to facilitate thinking and catching ideas. Not only that, but the flavor of coffee is beyond the beyond good. Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.

- David Lynch

A Literate Passion

Don't expect me to be sane anymore.

In 1932, months after first meeting in Paris and despite both being married, Cuban diarist Anaïs Nin and hugely influential novelist Henry Miller began an incredibly intense love affair that would last for many years and, along the way, generate countless passionate love letters. Below, in my humble opinion, is one of the most powerful examples, written by Miller in August of 1932 shortly after a visit to Nin's home in Louveciennes.

— originally from A Literate Passion: Letters of Anaïs Nin and Henry Miller, 1932-1953;

August 14, 1932


Don't expect me to be sane anymore. Don't let's be sensible. It was a marriage at Louveciennes—you can't dispute it. I came away with pieces of you sticking to me; I am walking about, swimming, in an ocean of blood, your Andalusian blood, distilled and poisonous. Everything I do and say and think relates back to the marriage. I saw you as the mistress of your home, a Moor with a heavy face, a negress with a white body, eyes all over your skin, woman, woman, woman. I can't see how I can go on living away from you—these intermissions are death. How did it seem to you when Hugo came back? Was I still there? I can't picture you moving about with him as you did with me. Legs closed. Frailty. Sweet, treacherous acquiescence. Bird docility. You became a woman with me. I was almost terrified by it. You are not just thirty years old—you are a thousand years old.

Here I am back and still smouldering with passion, like wine smoking. Not a passion any longer for flesh, but a complete hunger for you, a devouring hunger. I read the paper about suicides and murders and I understand it all thoroughly. I feel murderous, suicidal. I feel somehow that it is a disgrace to do nothing, to just bide one's time, to take it philosophically, to be sensible. Where has gone the time when men fought, killed, died for a glove, a glance, etc? (A victrola is playing that terrible aria from Madama Butterfly—"Some day he'll come!")

I still hear you singing in the kitchen—a sort of inharmonic, monotonous Cuban wail. I know you're happy in the kitchen and the meal you're cooking is the best meal we ever ate together. I know you would scald yourself and not complain. I feel the greatest peace and joy sitting in the dining room listening to you rustling about, your dress like the goddess Indra studded with a thousand eyes.

Anais, I only thought I loved you before; it was nothing like this certainty that's in me now. Was all this so wonderful only because it was brief and stolen? Were we acting for each other, to each other? Was I less I, or more I, and you less or more you? Is it madness to believe that this could go on? When and where would the drab moments begin? I study you so much to discover the possible flaws, the weak points, the danger zones. I don't find them—not any. That means I am in love, blind, blind. To be blind forever! (Now they're singing "Heaven and Ocean" from La Gioconda.)

I picture you playing the records over and over—Hugo's records. "Parlez moi d amour." The double life, double taste, double joy and misery. How you must be furrowed and ploughed by it. I know all that, but I can't do anything to prevent it. I wish indeed it were me who had to endure it. I know now your eyes are wide open. Certain things you will never believe anymore, certain gestures you will never repeat, certain sorrows, misgivings, you will never again experience. A kind of white criminal fervor in your tenderness and cruelty. Neither remorse nor vengeance, neither sorrow nor guilt. A living it out, with nothing to save you from the abysm but a high hope, a faith, a joy that you tasted, that you can repeat when you will.

All morning I was at my notes, ferreting through my life records, wondering where to begin, how to make a start, seeing not just another book before me but a life of books. But I don't begin. The walls are completely bare—I had taken everything down before going to meet you. It is as though I had made ready to leave for good. The spots on the walls stand out—where our heads rested. While it thunders and lightnings I lie on the bed and go through wild dreams. We're in Seville and then in Fez and then in Capri and then in Havana. We're journeying constantly, but there is always a machine and books, and your body is always close to me and the look in your eyes never changes. People are saying we will be miserable, we will regret, but we are happy, we are laughing always, we are singing. We are talking Spanish and French and Arabic and Turkish. We are admitted everywhere and they strew our path with flowers.

I say this is a wild dream—but it is this dream I want to realize. Life and literature combined, love the dynamo, you with your chameleon's soul giving me a thousand loves, being anchored always in no matter what storm, home wherever we are. In the mornings, continuing where we left off. Resurrection after resurrection. You asserting yourself, getting the rich varied life you desire; and the more you assert yourself the more you want me, need me. Your voice getting hoarser, deeper, your eyes blacker, your blood thicker, your body fuller. A voluptuous servility and tyrannical necessity. More cruel now than before—consciously, wilfully cruel. The insatiable delight of experience.


Oboe Radio

oboe radio
all oboe, all the time.
concerto in b flat major on oboe,
concerto in f# minor on oboe
all oboe all the time.

Sourdough in the Snow

This morning I baked cubed potatoes in my red heart shaped dutch oven in my home made vinaigrette. It's delicious and as simple as porridge.
Now I'm proofing two pans of sourdough rolls. The oven is preheating as the snow is falling.

Ovens and Kitchens

Some people want to get into other peoples pants, or beds, I want to get into other people's ovens and kitchens.

Shunned: The Amish Documentary


Groceries on a Fork Lift

Yesterday I went to my favorite place: JAR Baker's Supply wholesale on Crow Point Road in Lincoln RI., where we order gallons of molasses, buckets of peanut butter, 50 pound bags of rolled oats, King Arthur Special bread flour, whole wheat flour, sunflower seeds, 40 pound boxes of raisins, and you name it! Groceries on a fork lift!

Loaves Fishes, Hellmann's

I read the story of the loaves and the fishes but what about the mayonnaise? Not miracle whip! We like Hellmann's in the jar the size of our car. I read somewhere that you can't make mayonnaise before a thunder storm because the negative ions in the air keep the egg and oil from blooming. My first thought was do they close the factory on those days?

Feast for Thousands

"First you book the cook," she said. "There is always a fight for the cook," Article

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bread Baking Tips

from King Arthur Flour

Understanding the Brain

My philosophy is really based on humility, he said. I don’t think we know enough to fix either diagnostics or therapeutics. The future of psychiatry is clinical neuroscience, based on a much deeper understanding of the brain.

Hobart Mixer

We are scouting for a freestanding refurbished Hobart mixer that can handle mixing batches of dough for Loaves of Love. We can make 40 loaves from 50 pounds of flour. This would be a slice for each person five days a week at the soup kitchen.

Eldridge Cleaver: We will Build a New City

You either have to be part of the solution, or you're going to be part of the problem.
― Eldridge Cleaver

The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.
― Eldridge Cleaver

And why does it make you sad to see how everything hangs by such thin and whimsical threads? Because you’re a dreamer, an incredible dreamer, with a tiny spark hidden somewhere inside you which cannot die, which even you cannot kill or quench and which tortures you horribly because all the odds are against its continual burning. In the midst of the foulest decay and putrid savagery, this spark speaks to you of beauty, of human warmth and kindness, of goodness, of greatness, of heroism, of martyrdom, and it speaks to you of love.
― Eldridge Cleaver

Respect commands itself and it can neither be given nor withheld when it is due.
― Eldridge Cleaver

Ah, what sights and sounds and pain lie beneath that mist. And we had thought that our hard climb out of that cruel valley led to some cool, green and peaceful, sunlit place---but it's all jungle here, a wild and savage wilderness that's overrun with ruins. But put on your crown, my Queen, and we will build a New City on these ruins.
― Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice

Cummings Turkey Stuffing

A family recipe from my favorite student, a former operating room nurse who grew up here and still loves living here in the city.
Three loaves day old bread (white) (open and let dry out) cut in sm pieces.
3 lbs 95% hamburg
3 lbs blade meat (veal and pork combined)
1 lbs sausage plain (drain)
3 onions saute and add one to each of [the] above items
3 lbs cooked and mashed white potatoes
season each cooked item
combine in large pot
share with family and friends.
Freezing is O.K.
Bon Appetit

Katha Pollitt

English-professor husband ashamed of his wife—
Her love of sad movies, her budget casseroles
and regional vowels.

from the poem Mind-Body Problem by Katha Pollitt

Monday, February 3, 2014

Authentic Puerto Rican Rice and Beans

My friend Glenda is from Puerto Rico and she gave me this recipe.
By Boricua_Nena

1 (16 ounce) can red kidney beans - Habichuelas Coloradas or 1 (16 ounce) can pink beans (habichuelas coloradas)
1/2 teaspoon Adobo seasoning - a flavored salt used in Latin cooking.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 slice cooked ham or 1 slice salt pork or 1 slice Canadian bacon, cubed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (5 g) packet Aazon con Azafran seasoning - it comes in envelopes in a box, gives color and a distinct flavor to Latin dishes)
1 1/2 tablespoons Sofrito sauce - it comes in a jar, a necessary ingredient in Puerto Rican cooking)
1 1/2 cups white rice, uncooked

Made by Goya brand and can be found in the Spanish/Latin section of your grocery store Cook white rice as instructions on package of rice say to (5 minute rice is perfectly fine).
Make sure when you are done cooking to let excess water out of rice.
In saucepan, heat oil on low-medium heat and put in the ham, salted pork, or Canadian bacon.
Once it starts to sizzle, add the garlic powder and Adobo seasoning.
Then add the Sofrito and Sazon con Azafran seasoning, stir.
Next, add red beans drain most of liquid, just a little bit is needed to pull the sauce together.
Mix and serve.
In Puerto Rico, it is traditional to serve rice and beans with almost every meal, but mainly with pork chops cooked with a little sofrito and adobo seasoning on the side.
Enjoy (a wonderful recipe straight from the island).

Hard Times

It’s going to be hard to maintain strong economic growth with such a large proportion of the population falling behind. . .

Baked Vinaigrette Potatoes

We had three quarts of raw cubed potatoes from the feed the other night. I realized I better cook them and then share them with my neighbors. I made a vinaigrette dressing similar to my summer pressure cooker salad. I used olive oil, wine vinegar, honey, mustard, kosher salt, garlic and poured it over the raw cubed potatoes and I baked them in my big enamel coated dutch oven for an hour, at 350. I think I added a cup of water halfway through, to prevent scorching.

This morning I made baby omelets in my cast iron muffin tins. They were great with the potatoes and toast.

Cheerful and Fun

When you have a limited budget the key is to make food cheerful and fun.

Bean, corn and egg omelets baked inside greased muffin tins!

Home fries!

Round circles of toast.

Colorful dishes!


From Wikipedia

Allerleirauh (German "All-Kinds-of-Fur", sometimes translated as "Thousandfurs") is a fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm. Since the second edition published in 1819, it has been recorded as Tale no. 65. Andrew Lang included it in The Green Fairy Book.

It is Aarne-Thompson folktale type 510B, unnatural love. Others of this type include Cap O' Rushes, Donkeyskin, Catskin, Little Cat Skin, The King who Wished to Marry His Daughter, The She-Bear, Mossycoat, Tattercoats, The Princess That Wore A Rabbit-Skin Dress, and The Bear. Indeed, some English translators of Allerleirauh titled that story Catskin despite the differences between the German and English tales.

A king promised his dying wife that he would not marry unless to a woman as beautiful as she was, and when he looked for a new wife, he realized that the only woman that would not break the promise was his own daughter.

The daughter tried to make the wedding impossible by asking for three dresses, one as golden as the sun, one as silver as moon, and one as dazzling as the stars, and a mantle made from the fur of every kind of bird and animal in the kingdom. When her father provided them, she took them, with a gold ring, a gold spindle, and a gold reel, and ran from the castle the night before the wedding.

She slept in a forest of a neighboring land where the local prince hunted and his dogs found her. She asked them to have pity on her and received a place in the kitchen, where she worked, and because she gave no name she was called "All-Kinds-of-Fur."

When the prince held a ball, she sneaked out and went to it in her silver dress, and the prince fell in love with her. The next morning, the cook set her to make soup for the prince, and she put her golden ring in it. The prince found it and questioned the cook and then All-Kinds-of-Fur, but she revealed nothing.

The next ball, she went dressed in her dress of stars and put the golden spindle in the soup, and the prince again could discover nothing.

The third ball, she went in the golden dress, and the prince slipped a golden ring on her finger without her noticing it and ordered that the last dance go longer than usual. She was not able to get away in time to change; she was able only to throw her fur mantle over her clothing before she had to cook the soup. When the prince questioned her, he caught her hand, seeing the ring, and when she tried to pull it away, her mantle slipped, revealing the golden dress. The prince pulled off the mantle, revealing her, and they married. They lived happily ever after.

Among variants of this tale, the threat of enforced marriage to her own father, as here, is the usual motive for the heroine's flight, as in The She-Bear, Donkeyskin and The King who Wished to Marry His Daughter, or the legend of Saint Dymphna, but others are possible. Catskin fled because her father, who wanted a son, was marrying her off to the first prospect. Cap O' Rushes was thrown out because her father interpreted her words to mean she did not love him. The Child who came from an Egg fled because her (apparent) father had been conquered by another army. The Bear flees because her father is too fond of her and keeps her prisoner to keep her safe.

The motif of a father who tries to marry his own daughter is overwhelmingly found in fairy tales of this variety, ending with the three balls, but it also appears in variants of The Girl Without Hands. The oldest known variant is the medieval Vitae Duorum Offarum; it appears in chivalric romance in Nicholas Trivet's Chronique Anglo-Normane, the source of both Chaucer's The Man of Law's Tale and John Gower's variant in Confessio Amantis, and in Emaré. It also became attached to Henry the Fowler.

When the motive is the enforced marriage, many modern tales soften it, by representing the daughter as adopted (as in Andrew Lang's version of Donkeyskin for The Grey Fairy Book), the marriage as put forth and urged by the king's councillors rather than the king himself, or the entire notion being a fit of madness from which he recovers in time to attend the wedding. Alternately, the undesired marriage may be to an ogre or monster.

Variants of Cinderella, in which the heroine is persecuted by her stepmother, include Katie Woodencloak, where the heroine is driven off by the persecutions and must, like Allerleirauh, seek service in a kitchen.

The heroine does not always have to flee persecution; Tattercoats is denied permission to go to the ball because her grandfather had sworn never to look at her, but he has not driven her off.


Poppy seeds have long been used as a folk remedy to aid sleeping, promote fertility and wealth, and even to provide supposed magical powers of invisibility.
We decided we have a lot of invisible gold, and trip over it constantly.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Glorious Gloria

Dear Alice,

Hope this finds you well. I woke very early (12:45AM) and decided to come to my office and write letters.

Yesterday at 4PM I was walking Lily down Main Street and I stopped by my friend Gloria's. She used to be my neighbor living in the pistachio, now green pea soup 'happy house' on the corner of Academy and Privilege St many years ago with her extended family. She's now in her seventies and is wonderfully eccentric. I adore her. A few weeks ago she moved into a historic house on Hudson Street, that overlooks the whole city. I got vertigo climbing the huge outer staircase up to the third floor but the place had real charm. Every window has a view. She introduced me to her landlord a wonderful florid man with a deep voice who came by to fix her window shades. Gloria has a little rescue terrier named George that jumps up on his masters bed but is afraid to jump down. Gloria loves to help him. They have a perfect relationship. Gloria shops for and cooks dinners for George each night. My adopted step mother does this too with her black cat Penelope. Is this where we're all headed with our pets? Don't answer that!

Yesterday Gloria and I decided wars should be fought with cat urine, not bullets and bombs.

I am already hooked into bakers hours: The Community Center is going to let me into their kitchen at 4AM to bake bread for fundraisers. I can't wait. Renee my former student is going to bake with me. She lives 2 blocks away and has been working in the booth at the Shell Station nights, while she puts herself through school. She got a Pell grant! She wants to become an English and History teacher. She will be a great one.

The Nuns are making chocolate and the Monks are baking bread. The LOAVES of LOVE and the MONKS of BREAD.

Something must be titled Bakers Hours.

Love Always,



The ear disapproves but tolerates certain musical pieces; transfer them into the domain of our nose, and we will be forced to flee.
-Jean Cocteau

Cooking Feeding Grieving

Dodo’s son, Nodar, has been dead for four years. But she makes food for him every day, usually fruit or cake or meat but never soup, not even on the coldest days. Her son hated soup. When she finishes cooking, she brings the food into her son’s room and sits among the photographs and trophies and posters on the walls. After a few hours, she clears the food away and gives it to children who live nearby.

No Detours

As I told a friend, there are no detours and in a way it's refreshing. Wake up, drink coffee, write, walk, shower, bake, read, paint, weep, honk, dance, eat, laugh, sleep.

Sendhil Mullainathan

Research shows how cognitive performance deteriorates when sleep is inadequate: We have less capacity to remember, to learn or to be creative, and we become less optimistic and less sociable. And these consequences aren’t reserved for extreme sleep loss: Studies show that two weeks of sleeping only six hours a night can have the same impact as one or two nights of total sleep deprivation.
-Sendhil Mullainathan

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Reynolds Price

Even now, after whatever gains feminism has made in involving fathers in the rearing of their children, I still think virtually all of us spend the most formative years of our lives very much in the presence of women.
― Reynolds Price

From the age of six I wanted to be an artist. At that point I meant a painter, but it turned out what I really meant was I was someone who was very interested in watching the world and making copies of it.
― Reynolds Price

Baker and Seamstress Dreams

I woke up at 12:45 AM thinking of foods to bake as Valentine's gifts.

I would like to sew a long coat made from all of my scraps of torn jeans. If I could I'd keep all of the pockets in tact. This coat would be like the coat in the Grimm's tale Thousand Furs. My friend Anita used to sew dresses from all of the scraps of fabric she salvaged from the trash as a child during the Great Depression.

A Midwife

I tell people I am a midwife as a baker I just assemble the flour water salt and yeast and let the ingredients do the magic. I help with the birthing loaves. I never tire of the excitement of seeing the risen dough, golden baked loaves, or the scent of baking bread.

People always say to me, I can't learn to bake bread because I love it so much, I'd eat too much bread and get fat. I tell them no, you will adjust to your own baking and relax and not overeat.

Loaves of Love

We made a dozen beautiful braided loaves for the community supper and now we're talking about local arts fundraising possibilities.

Bread Baking

Cookbooks rarely discuss protein content of flour or the diverse kinds of yeast. I know how discouraging, and disappointing it can be to make a brick instead of a loaf! I always tell people in my bread workshops about why I love Fleishmann's Instant Yeast (not rapid rise) and King Arthur Bread Flour.
Conventional bread flour usually comes in at about 11.6% protein.
Conventional All Purpose flour is usually on the order of about 10.5% protein.
King Arthur All Purpose flour is 11.7% protein, and KA bread flour is 12.7% protein. Note these are both higher than "conventional" flour (where conventional is something like Gold Medal or Pillsbury).
King Arthur online Bakers Forum