Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Party's Over

Those fey gals from Jersey ended on a sour night the other night.  They took their dough and kneaded it into drama, betrayal and shredded families.  Why should I care?  Why should it matter?

Maybe cuz it was fun to eavesdrop 3000 miles away, gawk, cast aspersions and pronounce judgement.  But who are they if not a mirror of who we are? (Me, I should say, not you, gentle reader).  High dudgeon, righteous indignation, coupled with an incredible capacity to resist apologizing.  No one on that show was ever wrong, except to believe the better of someone.  It makes me sad to recognize bits of myself there.

Consolation Pasta
 (swiped, recklessly, from Food and Wine)

  • In 2/3 cup olive olive steep 2/3 cup peeled garlic cloves, on low heat, stirring until lightly golden (the smell, THE SMELL! will drive you wild with garlic desire)
  • In 3 cups of water boil 4 ounces sliced mushrooms until reduced to one cup.
  • Puree the olive oil and garlic in a blender with one 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, pour into heavy sauce pan.
  • Puree the mushroom broth (toss the shrooms) with one 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, pour into heavy sauce pan.
  • Simmer blended ingredients an hour, until thickened.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Ladle over pasta of your choice, garnished with fresh basil and parmesan.
 Devour.  Then click on the tv, because Dr. Drew's Rehab has been dvrd!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


What great nation has a populace that feels entitled to food, shelter and healthcare?

Food vs. hunger
Shelter vs. homelessness
Healthcare vs. illness.

Can't be us.  We have the highest infant mortality rate of any developed country.
It's our weird mythology, that the rugged individual who makes it on his own. (Yes, gentle readers, it is always a he). It never seems to take into account
the money or privilege certain rugged individualists inherited upon birth.  And the rest of us?  Lazy slackers, agitating about our share of the government pie.

Coping mechanisms, anyone?

Monday, September 17, 2012


 Childhood foods include:

4. Bugles

3. Doritos dipped in sour cream.
(Wanna go upscale? Add pickled jalapenos to the sour cream)

2. Homemade divinity fudge. We made it one New
Year's Eve-it was so wonderful I ate it until I got sick.  I haven't touched the stuff since.

1. Underwood deviled ham on soft white bread, interrupted by mayonnaise and a leaf of lettuce.

What about you?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

NPR, Where Have I Been?

I have been listening to NPR for years.  How then, have I missed this?
That's right, a short story contest.  Readers!  Join me and submit!
Grand prize?  Story read on air and PUBLISHED in the Paris Review.

Nice work, if you can get it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


The problem with alcohol is that it neither cools nor refreshes; it makes you drowsy then it disturbs your sleep.  But, it is something to take your mind off of the heat.

Easy Cooler:

Fill a tall glass with ice.  Add 2-3 ounces sweet vermouth.  Fill glass with Diet (or regular) 7-up.
Sip.  Nibble with a few nuts.  It's too hot to cook, anyway.


Monday, September 10, 2012


NPR recently covered the benefits of eating organic.  The scientific evidence? None.

Kids, when I buy organic, it's not about what I'm putting into my mouth.  My background makes me think about the women and men picking the vegetables and fruits.  At times I think about the animal welfare, and their conditions before slaughter.  And that's when I buy organic.  Although, if you're Steve King or  from Arizona, the animals probably have the edge.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Seamus Heaney


Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer's blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard's.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn't fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they'd keep, knew they would not.

Seamus Heaney

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Stage direction:
Lanky 17-year-old male scooping more ice cream into bowl, speaking to weight-obsessed mother.
"Can you imagine having to be on a diet? That must be miserable."

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Forty Percenters

A 2009 study recently caused an explosion of media attention on how much food Americans waste.  If you haven't heard, up to 40%.  Counter-intuitively, as soon as I heard this I raced out to Super King and stocked up on those most perishable of items, fruits and vegetables.

I had just used the last of the fading string beans in a cold summer salad.  I had fed the cucumber and zucchini skins to the bunnies.  So, I like to think there's not a lot of waste in this household. 

But  forty per cent is a mind-boggling number!  It makes me think of the time a couple invited us for dinner.  They had ordered in boxes and boxes of Chinese food.  When we were done I thought appreciatively of the meals ahead they faced, of delectable leftovers.  I then watched the hostess rinse all the food down the sink.  Speechless, I couldn't muster up a plea for a doggie bag.

How about you?  Do you have tales of the 40 percenters?  Pardon me while I throw out the avocado the ants tackled last night, and toss the brown Mexican rice from a previous meal.  Are those blackberries sprouting fur?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Note to self

The night before the college girl returns to NYC for the year sucks.

  • Knowing that I would be stressed and resentful if I had to prepare something, we all cheered up with the thought of takeout pizza and antipasto salad from Domenico's.  Too bad we drove over there, not realizing they're closed for Labor Day weekend.
  • Plan B, cheap and cheerful Chinese, only to open the plastic bags at home and realize one of our main courses was missing.  Thus ensued a ten minute phone conversation trying to explain our plight, more and more vociferously.
  •  Dr Who, season premier, the family entertainment standby, appeared to have been written by a plot-addled Dalek.
All this translated into an early bed time to me.  Good byes are just too damn hard.