Tag Archives: Cooking

What She Had Cookin’

What She Had Cookin’

A wizard in the kitchen, she performed well her thaumaturgy
by transforming  porridge into fine cuisine for me.
Each dish she served just seemed my hunger to inflate
as she put spells on my stomach and magic on my plate.

Her stew pot made by blood boil, her milk pudding made me purr,
every single dish a symbol of my love for her.
Then lying in her oaken bed, my hunger still intact,
She finally quenched my appetite. And that, folks, is a fact!!!!!

Prompt words today are: oak, intact, stomach, thaumaturgysymbol and porridge.

*Pronounced thaw’ muh tour gee,  with the accent on the first syllable, thaumaturgy is the performance of miracles; specifically : magic.

Say hey, good lookin’ – what ya got cookin’?
How’s about cookin’ somethin’ u
p with me?
Hey, sweet baby – don’t you think maybe
We can find us a brand new recipe?

I got a hot rod Ford, and a two dollar bill
And I know a spot right over the hill
There’s soda pop and the dancing’s free
So if you wanna have fun, come along with me
Say hey, good lookin’ – what ya got cookin’?
How’s about cooking somethin’ up with me?

I’m free and ready, so we can go steady
How’s about savin’ all your time for me?
No more lookin’, I know I been tookin’
s about keepin’ steady company?

I’m gonna throw my date book over the fence
And buy me one for five or ten cents
I’ll keep it till it’s covered with age
Cause I’m writin’ your name down on every page

Say hey, good lookin’ – what ya got cookin’?
How’s about cookin’ somethin’ up with me?

Mugfin and Coffee


I ran a sharp knife around the side of the mug, so I actually didn’t have too much trouble getting my microwave muffin out of its mug, although the bottom 1/4 inch stuck and had to be removed with a spoon. The next time, I’ll oil the bottom of the cup a bit. The muffin isn’t bad and actually isn’t that sweet. I think a lot of the powdered sugar fizzed off onto the bottom of the oven during those initial 12 minutes of time spent in the oven. Once I put them in the microwave, they rose fine, although the mugfin is a bit heavy.

If you don’t know what in the heck I’m talking about, go HERE for an explanation.


I then decided to take a slice of the mugfin and add some of the bran concoction I made last night. It was very sweet and I think I prefer the muffin just by itself. I think the bran/banana/sugar concoction would be good on a blander white poundcake or shortbread cookie–or perhaps toast.

Okay.. I promise. No more banana bread/mugfin posts.

Whatcha Got Cooking?

Themes on blogs seem to be falling into categories lately. Travels home, shopping lists, isolation activities, pets and what’s cooking! Here is what was being cleaned, chopped, combined, cooked and/or eaten today at my house. No, I didn’t eat all of this. Some of it I just cooked.

(Click on photos to enlarge and read the details on what’s cookin’.)

Strangely enough, when I copied the above photos onto the media file, this song just added itself. I promise. I had nothing to do with it, but since it has to do with food, I’m letting it stay. I was just thinking I wish I had some chocolate as I used the last of mine on the popcorn above. Words to this song are by me. Music and performance by Christine Anfossie. Click on URL below to hear “Chocolate.”



The Corona Diaries: What I Did on Day One of My Sequestering

Please click on first photo and arrows to enlarge photos and to read the story of my day.

Nearly 2 a.m. now and Forgottenman says it’s time to go to bed. I’ll use this as an excuse to free you from a longer recital of my day’s labors. What did you do during your first day of voluntary isolation??? Stay safe. See you tomorrow. (Uh, later today, I guess.)

Kitchen Queen


Kitchen Queen

Her souffles are a marvel and her cakes a work of art.
Every single thing she cooks, a product of her heart.
Her kitchen full of luscious smells and openness and levity,
every disaster solvable and noted for its brevity.
She surmounts each problem, opens every stubborn jar,
locates each ingredient, no matter how bizarre.

When she puts on her apron and dons her cooking cap,
she conquers national cuisines from all over the map.
Marinara and béchamel, curries and doro wats—
sauces from every culture simmer in her pots.
From kreplach to pot stickers, she has mastered each cuisine.
When it comes to ruling kitchens, our Dolly is the queen!


Go check out Dolly’s blog at koolkosherkitchen. She is presently telling wonderful stories about her grandmother and sharing her recipes as well. One of my favorite blogs.


Prompt words for today are marvel, surmount, bizarre, levity and map.

Healing Gloria (and How to Easily Core a Strawberry)

The doctor says Gloria has to have 5 little meals a day, but naughty Gloria didn’t want to eat even three.  The solution? Culinary seduction. (Click on first photo to enlarge and see captions.)



I hate dealing with garlic! So, I’ve devoted a bit of research and a few dollars to resolving the problem and would like to show you my process for dealing with those little cloves more efficiently.

Click on first photo to set up slide series with explanatory notes.  Continue hitting on the arrows to proceed through the series:



Baked Beans a la Sciatica with a Slight Digression to Pueblas Magica and other Threats to Back Comfort

Fresh from two weeks of sciatica’s debilitating influence, it is a novel experience for me to be able to walk to the kitchen, let alone to work in it. I enter the kitchen this morning armed with two tennis balls in a sock tied off at each end. Whenever my back wears out, I position the balls on either side of my spine and press against the wall, pushing the tennis balls against the sore spots.  One yoga friend says to roll them up and down. Another says to press in one spot for 30 seconds before moving on. I alter my technique, and it seems to work. 

I’m trying to build up my stamina for the visit of my twentyish grand-nephew, freshly graduated from college and coming in six days for a big Mexican adventure.  I’ve planned a one-day trip around the 60 mile long lake I live on to see the thousands of white pelicans that congregate around the local fishery. That day will be mainly driving.  No problem. A four-day trip to Guanajuato has me more worried, but I’ve resorted to booking us places with a small tour group, with guide, to see the Diego Rivera museum, the mummy museum, gardens, haciendas and a dozen other pleasures of the colonial town that is one of the few Mexican towns designated as a puebla Magica—a beautifully preserved town of a bygone era. I figure with 15 compadres, I can always flake out and send him on with the group.

In another excursion, we are visiting the round pyramids an hour and a half distant from my house as well as a few haciendas, and for that occasion, I’m hiring the son of a friend to drive us so my nephew will have someone younger to scramble around with.  I look back in my albums and see the tallest pyramid in Sri Lanka that in my twenties I climbed to the very top of, think of the twelve-mile trek through the jungle and mountains in Portuguese Timor and remember that even then such long walks tested my endurance, but now I worry about holding him back and so I plan adventures with younger friends to accompany us.  I hope it works.

I’d been trying to exercise my back by scrubbing algae from the pool and trimming in the garden, but then last night, a friend called to invite me to a pot luck this afternoon so all morning long, I have been creating a commotion in the kitchen, cooking what I thought was going to be an easy solution to tonight’s pot luck at the clubhouse.  I soaked beans overnight, but even pre-soaked, they have been cooking for four five hours and are not done. I’ve refilled the water four times, once after scorching the bottom layer and having to transfer the beans to a colander and another pot. 

I thought I’d be fancy and make American pork and beans from scratch, thinking it was a mere matter of adding ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and bacon, but after consulting the internet, it has turned into an 11-ingredient process with much chopping, frying and mixing, not to mention trying to locate all the ingredients (or near-substitutes) in my packed kitchen shelves and fridge.  Luckily, on a whim, I bought bacon yesterday.  Not a staple in my house. I didn’t buy fresh salad ingredients because I’ve found that cabbage, once shredded, goes bad quickly, but when my friend called last night to invite me to today’s pot luck, I was sorry I hadn’t. It would have been an easy solution to my problem. What did I have to make a pot luck addition that wouldn’t necessitate a trip to town? They were always overly loaded with desserts, so that was not a solution.  When I found the bag of white beans I thought I’d solved my problem, but after being in the kitchen all morning, I find it was not a very novel solution to the problem. Two and a half more hours until they have to be done enough to bake in the oven with the other ingredients added for 45 minutes.

Fingers crossed, twin tennis balls pressing into my back between my spine and my new desk chair, I finally have time to work on my blog. As a last resort, I may have to make a mad dash into town to purchase two cans of cooked beans, but it will break my heart—transform the richness of my pork and beans from scratch into a poverty of fast-food making-do.

I go to check the beans for the dozenth time since 8 this morning and when I give Yolanda a taste, she proclaims them done, but suggests a bit of salt.  Remembering that I’m cooking for other people, I mind her, in spite of the fact that I haven’t used salt in two years since I discovered my blood pressure was sky high. 

I add the beans to the other 10 ingredients, only to discover that after first swelling up to twice their size, they’ve now cooked down so much that they only half fill my large casserole.  I try graduated sizes of casseroles and baking dishes until I finally find the Baby Bear casserole that is “just right.”  But now my contribution to the pot luck looks so skimpy.  As I put it in the fridge to await the time when I put it in the oven for its final 45 minutes just  before the pot luck, I catch site of the bag of precooked Mexican refried beans on the shelf above it.  Just the slightest  suggestion of a temptation to add them to swell out the beans flashes through my mind, but my puritan ancestors tug me in another direction as I shut the fridge door.

It is 2:15. If I put them in the oven with bacon on the top at four o’clock, it should be just right. I set my alarm to remind me preheat the oven at three o’clock. With a Mexican oven, a thermostat, I have found, is not a true gauge but an approximation. I have two real thermostats purchased at a kitchen shop in the states that I hang on the oven racks to provide a truer gauge, but unfortunately, they always register about 10 degrees difference in different parts of the oven, so baking here is always a bit of a lottery.  Your number might be the correct one or it might not. 

After washing three pots, four casseroles, measuring spoons, spatulas, tasting spoons, measuring cups, mixing bowl and two large dutch ovens, I sit back down in my desk chair to finally begin my blog. My back twinges a bit and I adjust my sock full of balls. Tennis, anyone????


Click on first photo to increase size of photos and read captions.

Today’s words were novel, commotion, poverty, debilitate.
Today’s links, in case you want to follow one or all of the same prompts, are below:



https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/  poverty



NaPoWriMo Day 21: A New York Sorta Poem

Today’s prompt was to write a “New York School” poem using the recipe found here. The New York School is the name by which a group of poets that all lived in New York in the 1950s and 1960s. The most well-known members are Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, and Kenneth Koch. Their poems are actually very different from one another, but many “New York School” poems display a sort of conversational tone, references to friends and to places in and around New York, humor, inclusion of pop culture, and a sense of the importance of art (visual, poetic, and otherwise). Here’s a fairly representative example.

In following the recipe, you can include as many (or as few) of the listed elements as you wish.

(I suggest you click on the hyperlinks above to better understand the poem below—unless you are such a scholar of poetry that you already know what a New York poem is.)

A New York Sorta Poem

Okay, Dear Readers.
Linda Crosfield and Ogginblog and InfiniteZip
and all you poets and internet marketers
out in Cyberspace who deign to visit
my humble blog,
I am lying abed in San Juan Cosala,
Mexico. It is a fresh day and
thermal water spurts and sputters
into my pool.
This is not fucking New York
but neither is it fucking small town South Dakota,
population 700 and more people than trees.
(Pardon me, okcforgottenman, RepoComedy and Brian Marggraf,
since I have grown dependent on these daily prompts,
I am a prisoner to profanity this day, as it
is a vital ingredient of the recipe.)

It is Monday, April 21, 2014—my thirteenth year
in this same house on a mountain
over a dying lake.
Now, I want to ask you, Ann Garcia
and Patti A. and Shawn L. Bird,
have I ever told you about the day
my neighbors streamed down from the hill
to dance on the dome of my house?
Neighbors had complained about children
who had climbed over the wall and walked
up the outside steps to the upstairs patio and then
run up the dome to jump and stomp.
When they ran home to complain to parents,
the parents came, and older brothers and sisters
and an uncle, and in solidarity, they all climbed over the wall
to ascend the dome and dance and stomp and jump up and down,
but the bricks held and the dome did not suffer
as they faced off the neighbor and danced.
This was before I bought the house, when it was
sitting idle, but it was part of my house’s history
that it lived before it began to live my life.

Those children now grown and departed,
only my dog, Frida the Akita, rests or stands barking on that dome
so that she has grown in fame among passersby and
I have become the owner of the “dome dog”
more famous than me, like having a notorious
older brother or sister, I am more a part of her
identity than she mine.
But I digress (with a fine excuse for doing so—part of the
recipe) and would get back to the point
if there were a point other than using
profanity and giving numerous references
to this place as far from New York City as one could get.
(Actually, that in itself is not precisely true. Antarctica
is further away, and probably Katmandu.)
Which is a big coincidence, since the message
that just popped up on my screen is from my friend
Patty, who worked in Antarctica, and so is an authority
on the subject of being far from New York City, but being
born in Wyoming, was an expert on this subject anyway,
from birth. (And coincidentally, again, today is her birthday,
so I wish I could send her a giant macaroon like the ones
we bought at the beach in La Manzanilla just a few weeks ago.)

So dear reader, Brian Moore or Kavalcade Krew,
had you ever heard of New York Poetry and if not,
have you made any sense of what I’ve written so far?
One hour ago, I was sleeping and I, too, had never heard
of this curious genre. Two days ago I awakened
to an earthquake’s vibrations and then today,
I find this weird recipe for poetry awaiting me as a prompt
and I do not know which has been more the more discombobulating of the two.
And dear readers, Lena or eyewillnot cry,
Are you old enough to have heard of Glen Yarbrough
and if you have, would you be surprised to hear
he rearranged my sound system and offered to record
the musical versions of my poetry to include with my book
and would have done so if they hadn’t messed up his
vocal cords in surgery? This is the only famous person
I’ve met in Mexico, except for Barbara Kingsolver
who wrote me a letter in green ink.
Or perhaps I am imagining the color of the ink. I have
that letter somewhere, buried in a file or a pile.

Pop culture I may have to leave out of my poem,
unless you will accept my mention of my poetry group,
The Not Yet Dead Poets. We have three Pops and two
Moms in the group which makes us sound more like
a singing group from the seventies. And in not being
dead, we sing of life. Or I could mention the poetry wall
near the malecón in the pueblo down below. With poetry
all in espanol (which isn’t capitalized in Spanish),
I think I should add a short poem or two in English
(which isn’t capitalized in Spanish, either, so pardon me for inconsistency)
to declare solidarity with Mario Puglisi or Isidro or Eduardo
or any of the other fine artists and poets of San Juan Cosala
who have welcomed me and included me in their shows
for which I am grateful as it makes me just a tad less gringa
and a bit more cabrona, which they assure me is not a
derisive label when spoken in the correct context and tone of voice.

So, robert okaji, fine poet, and Andrea Giang of Cooking with a Wallflower,
are you following this prompt
and, if so, is your poem getting to be as long as mine? I have
this feeling that the real New York poets didn’t have a recipe
to follow and that their poetry was more like discovering
leftovers in the fridge and making whatever they could,

I feel this poem coming to an end
before all ingredients are added to the brew,
but since there is a tad more room left in my poetry bowl,
I would like to dedicate this puzzling poem
to Robert Creeley, Ron Padgett and Dorothea Lasky;
and to Thom Donovan I say,
“Like most renowned chefs, I imagine you have left one vital ingredient
out of your recipe that you may shine above your imitators
and be the only one able to create a perfect dish.
And so I lay the oddness of this poem and it’s probable failure to congeal,
at your feet, and in doing so, say it’s not my fault.
I followed what instructions you gave.
Perhaps the fault was in the mixing of my metaphors
or my obvious lack of sexual innuendo.
My failure to mention genitals or body parts
or to make drug references, legal or illegal.
Believe me, all of these elements are present in Mexico,
sometimes to an extreme degree, but that being true,
I would state the obvious in mentioning them,
and so I think I’ll pour this conglomeration
into a pan and put it on WordPress and Facebook and Twitter
to bake and then wait to see if it will rise.”

If you have made it this far, please tell me how it
tastes and take a chunk extra to wrap in a napkin
and put under your pillow tonight and perhaps
if I’ve done the recipe right, it will attract a real poem
which you will dream and remember afterwards
and bring into the world.