Friday, July 25, 2014


Don't you just hate those stickers on fruit?  Grrrr!
It seems like most of the bloggers I follow, the ones who posted almost daily, are gradually posting fewer and fewer blogs - or they're stringing together a few photos and calling that a post. I too find myself bogged down with a dearth of blog inspiration, and quite busy with inspiration to do things elsewhere. Several years ago I started out like Gang Busters - with two or three posts a week. I've done over 350 posts. but I'm slowing down to maybe one a week. As far as the blog seems to be going, my get-up-and-go got up and went.

I will post from time to time - I've got several date-related posts ready for the future - but for now I will be on a hit or miss schedule. Meanwhile I wish all of you a lovely summer - be calm and carry on!

Friday, July 18, 2014


It’s summer and lots of great fruits are in season. A few weeks ago I couldn’t pass up the price of $1.99 for a pint of beautiful blueberries, so I devised this recipe for a tasty dessert. I use a packet of True Lemon to cut down on the liquid. Makes four servings – two today, two tomorrow (perhaps for breakfast?) and all delicious.

1 pint of berries, or about 2 cups of cut fruit.
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, depending on how juicy the fruit may be
1 packet True Lemon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt 

½ cup of flour
¼ cup of brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of salt
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter

Grease or spray four 1 cup soufflé dishes (or a 3 cup baking dish) – preheat the oven (better yet, in the summer, a toaster oven) to 375°.

Rinse, de-stem, and otherwise prepare the fruit you’ve selected.  Mix the other ingredients and toss them with the fruit. Divide the mixture into the four soufflé dishes.

In a separate bowl, using two knives or a pastry blender, blend the butter into the mixed dry topping ingredients until the pieces resemble small peas and will clump together when compressed.  Crumble the topping on to the four dishes of fruit.

Bake for 30-35 minutes. I think berries will take about 30 minutes, and harder fruits like peaches and apples will take a bit longer.  Couldn't hurt to put a bit of cream, even whipped cream, or some ice cream on top.  Cream is the word.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


in other words: eeny, meeny, miney, moe! 

(It's pronounced  ahm ba ra ba, chi chi, coco, and it is fun to say!) 
Eeny, meeny, miney, moe - what will you do with your day today? 

Choices, choices - make good choices!

Friday, July 11, 2014


I haven’t had canned fruit cocktail since I can’t remember when. Remember how rare it was to get many maraschino cherries in the mix?  I once kept a small can on hand to mix with maple syrup and some cinnamon for a sauce for ham, but I’ve dropped that one by the wayside and come up with some new ideas.

I was searching my (alleged) mind for a quick stove-top dessert for company dinner.  My oven just had gone on the fritz (second time in 6 months! Grrrr!) and I couldn't bake a thing until the repairman showed up. So – what did I have? Some apples, green grapes, oh, there’s a can of sliced peaches. How ‘bout we mix that all up, heat it, and serve it over the vanilla ice cream that I thank my lucky stars I bought yesterday.

So this is how I did it – and I didn’t forget to take some quick prep pix, but I did forget serving pix. Use your imagination.

3 small apples, peeled and diced
1 15 oz. can of sliced peaches
Green grapes
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. rum
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. – packed, dark brown sugar – see note

Melt the butter in a saucepan and begin to sauté the apples as you peel and dice them. Let them sauté until they begin to brown.

Drain the peaches and reserve the liquid. Cut the peach slices into dice.
Wash and slice a quantity of firm, green grapes about equal to the amount of diced peaches.

Then add the liquid from the peaches to the sautéed apples, put a lid on it, and simmer them for about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat; add the peaches, grapes, cinnamon, and rum.

Note - If you used peaches in light syrup, as I did, you may want to add about a tablespoon of brown sugar. 

This should keep for a few weeks – the alcohol in the rum hasn’t been cooked off – and you can make it ahead and reheat it when you want to serve it over ice cream.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Over the years there have been many things that have ‘spoken’ to me. Many of them, being affordable and, shall we say, utilitarian, found their way into my home. Many were beyond my means and so I had to dream on. I still dream about owning this wonderful example of the art 
of Steuben Glass Works.

For many years I built a collection around the small mouse my mother had bought for my father years before. I had big mice, little mice, fat mice, skinny mice, cloth, wood, metal, and ceramic. I still have that original mouse and one or two others, and I still have the page from the New York Times Sunday Magazine of November 16, 1969. Coincidentally, it was my 27th birthday.  There was no way on earth that I could spend $600 dollars on that mouse. That was several months’ rent.

When I checked in 2004, Steuben had it for $5,000. Corning Glass sold the works in 2008 and then it was closed a few years later. No more mice! But recently I did contact a dealer who has one for $6,000. I still won’t afford it, even if I in a stretch I probably could. I’m content to have the original ad in my scrapbook.

I kinda liked this one too.

Friday, July 4, 2014


What better picture for the 4th of July, Independence Day, than an eagle.
I'm so glad that Ben Franklin didn't get his choice of the turkey as our 
national bird.  Turkeys are great, for years we had them trooping through our rural New York back yard.  But there is nothing like a raptor, especially an eagle, to stir the soul.
In my picture files I call this the "beer eagle" as a reminder that I took the picture of this rescued bird many years ago at a Belgian Fair at the Ommegang Brewery in Cooperstown, New York.  His handler had him perched very conveniently in front of a large American flag. (I do wonder how many other photographers took the opportunity that day to take a good picture of him.) He might have had a damaged wing, but he looked proud as ever. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


In July I'll take a peep
Into the cool and fishy deep
Where chicken soup is selling cheap
Selling once, selling twice
Selling chicken soup with rice

This is the July stanza from Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup With Rice. I first heard this poem when my granddaughter Mollie came home from school reciting the September stanza, all the while undulating her arms like an Egyptian belly dancer and telling us about a crocodile going “down the chicken soup-y Nile”. Her body language and recitation were hilarious.

Each month they learned a new stanza, though I don’t know what happened for June through August. By that time it was old hat. But since then, Chicken Soup With Rice has become my second-favorite nonsense poem. Jabberwocky is first, of course.  So for a while, on the chicken soup-y Nile, I’ll send along that month’s stanza.  Be sure to memorize them all – there will be a “quickie quiz” later on.