Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Thank You
  for all my hands can hold--
   apples red,
    and melons gold,
     yellow corn
       both ripe and sweet,
         peas and beans
          so good to eat!

Thank You
 for all my eyes can see--
  lovely sunlight,
   field and tree,
    white cloud-boats
     in sea-deep sky,
      soaring bird
       and butterfly.

Thank You
 for all my ears can hear--
  birds' song echoing
   far and near,
    songs of little
     stream, big sea,
      cricket, bullfrog,
        duck and bee!

--by Ivy O Eastwick

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Reality Check

Driving down a busy street  I noticed a long line of people.    What was the draw?  What was the event?
A closer look and I realized it was a food bank.

Well, my lads and lasses, I consider myself a generous person.  I'm sure you are one, as well.  I respect the charities to which I send my funds; none of them, however, address hunger in the city where I live.  This week I'm dropping off funds at the food bank, so they can buy the foods they need to stock, and I gently recommend that you, kind reader, consider it as well.

(Although knowing my readers they're waaay ahead of me).

Friday, November 11, 2011


Faithful readers, please check out my story here, published today, on

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dr. Drew Shameless Shill

Yes, people die, people die in required surgery, people die from elective surgery. But the lap band deaths display an incredible disregard to medical procedures, monitoring and follow up.  The industry preys on those who face our cultural opprobrium of obesity--and I feel for people who think this operation is their salvation.

Dr Drew currently promotes it on radio ads.  What I want to know, doc, is would you really recommend it to someone you loved?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gourgeres, if you dare--

Pay no attention to the quantities of butter, cheese, and beating.  Keep your mind focused on the result, and an accompanying quaff of champagne.

This is one of those standard French recipes apparently everyone knows so well they can tinker with it--a tip of the toque to Dorie Greenspan.

Melt a stick of butter, along with one half cup milk and one half cup of water in a heavy saucepan.  Add half a teaspoons salt, bring to a fierce boil then add one cup flour.  Beat like a mad woman from Chaillot, over low heat, until the flour is fully incorporated, and a more or less cohesive mass.  Continue cooking and beating for a moment or two longer, then turn into a mixing bowl, where the mass needs to cool for a few minutes, before you begin incorporating the eggs.

One at a time, beating each egg in until it is fully incorporated, add five eggs.  Whew!!!  Now  add a mixture of grated cheeses: cheddar, gruyere, maybe some chives, perhaps a smattering of nutmeg, but around 6 ounces or one and a half cups of hard, flavorful cheeses.

Spoon the mixture onto your silpat or greased cookie sheet, a tablespoon at a time.   Pop into a a 425 degree oven, and immediately turn the heat down to 375.

If you have an uneven oven like mine, turn the trays after ten minutes.  Should take between 20 to 30 minutes.
Long enough to clean and dry the champagne glasses.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpking Cravings

 Our dining companions, clearly more sophisticated than us, for we scanned right past it on the menu, ordered it.  Out came the oven-toasted flatbread, covered with slivers of cooked pumpkin, feta cheese, prosciutto, arugula and a scattering of toasted pumpkin seeds. The pumpkin was tender and slightly sweet, a terrific foil for the bitterness of the greens and the crunch of the seeds.  An evening of good wine, food and friends, but even now all I can think about is that unexpectedly delicious flat bread.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The night of the living unread

When you pass on book after book, you have to wonder, is it them, or is it you? 
Here is an abbreviated list of books I have been unable to finish recently, followed by my excuses.

 Robert Harris, author of  The Ghost Writer, the basis of one of my favorite films from last year, also penned Archangel. BBC made a series out of this, starring Daniel Craig, another seal of approval.  Mr. Harris is an amazing writer, just pick up Imperium and you will find yourself privy to the mind and soul of Roman Cicero, and you will care, and care deeply.  Halfway through Archangel, set in Russia five years back, however, I still had no idea what the title referred to, nor why I should care. Nyet.

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson, whose book jacket details his many fellowships, awards, and a photo which reveals him to appear about 19; this is one of those novels that has been glowingly praised just about everywhere.  So hip and arty that if flies far above my pedestrian interests in plot and plausibility. Halfway through I finally realized I'd rather have an ingrown nail than follow their lives any further.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson.  Incomprehensible.  Intentionally so.  Put me right in my place and I returned said novel to its rightful place--somewhere between the potato peels and the coffee grounds.
Tattoos on the Heart by Gregory Boyle.  I'll confess, this one's all me.  The preface alone reminded me how little I've done with my life--and instead of galvanizing me forward I kind of got paralyzed, and was unable to turn to the next page.

Gentle reader, which novels do you admit to being unable to read to the very bitter end?