My sweetie made me bread pudding for my birthday. Is the dessert pan half full or half empty? Well, the GOOD news is that my belly is half full of Louisiana goodness, and you can’t go wrong with that. The other good news is that someone loves me enough to make me some of that Louisiana goodness. What a fine blessing. The other day he came home with cream and raisins. That was quite out of the ordinary, and it aroused my curiosity. I asked, “Honey, what’s that for?” He said he was going to make me something special for my birthday. I thought heRead More →

Why do you add flour to the oven bag when you bag baste a turkey? According to Reynolds Kitchens: to blend the fat and juices and to protect against bursting. That did not explain enough. Crowd-sourced answers say that it keeps the bag from sticking to the bird. Still not enough. Also, doesn’t make a lick of sense. Dr. Greg Blonder – physicist, inventor, scientist, entrepreneur, author, and all-around fascinating guy – did some experiments on various cooking methods that have to do with various meats and weights of wrap in pressure cookers, convection, oven bags, thermal whatevers, and blahty blahs with or without waterRead More →

homemade lip gloss

A couple of Christmases ago I decided to skip shopping, save money on presents, and make things instead. Plus, rejecting commercialized Christmas is always good. Homemade presents are more meaningful and contribute less to landfills and capitalists’ pockets. Ironically, I ended up spending lots of money; buying presents would have been cheaper. The supplies came from hobby shops with right-wing agendas and whole food grocery stores with dubious health insurance politics. I purchased obscure things like bees wax, shae butter, lavender essential oil, and rose petals. Still, I had fun sharing tea and hot chocolate with several women friends while we expressed our creativity onRead More →

As part of growing up dysfunctionally, I never learned how to cook. This is tragic because I was “reared” by two excellent Southern cooks, my grandmother and my aunt. I have sensory kitchen flashbacks of food and cooking moments that leave me physically and emotionally hungry. Despite finding recipes that might recreate lost knowledge, my skill level keeps me from making any effort – at least right now. I can’t make decent dough. Yet. I’m learning to cook. I’m slowly collecting internet recipes, exploring, experimenting. It’s quite fun. I’m not a foodie. I don’t want to be a foodie. The most “foodie” thing I’ve doneRead More →

Driving home to Baton Rouge from vacation in Tampa, and blogging from a wi-fi hotspot generated by a Palm Pre, we’re stuck in a traffic jam outside of Gainsville for almost an hour.  An 18-wheeler jack-knifed across two lanes.This makes me think about what I miss about Tampa,  a place I called home for ten years. In no particular order: 1. Disney – Grueling in August, when we usually go, but magical during the cooler weather. (Magical is cliche, but apt.) 2. Orange blossoms – Not only do they smell divine, they smell of divinity. 3. Cuban food – From the dive at the stripRead More →

It is our tenth year of making Valentine’s Day cookies. I can’t believe how long it’s been. Ten years of making nipple cookies. There’s something to be said for the holiday rituals of married couples. These things sustain us and keep us whole when the world outside is unstable and cold. To use one of our couple idioms, we protect each other from the elements. It’s a good thing to remember on this wintery Valentine’s Day. Nipple cookies make staying inside and warm just the thing.Read More →

No one knows the right way to peel a hard-boild egg. Ages ago I had a dispute with a friend over this issue. She swore by her mother’s wisdom that the freshest eggs were the easiest to peel. I swore by my grandmother’s wisdom that cold water does the trick. The debate was heated and emotional, probably due to our investment in our maternal relatives’ kitchen knowledge. Food and family, as we know, is a potent combination. So, this morning my hard boiled eggs came out sort of eh, reminding me of the disagreement with my friend. Time to turn to the eggsperts (lame pun).Read More →

1. Food, of course. Good food that you don’t normally eat. 2. The people who make the food. 3. Although I’m not the religious type, and I sometimes get impatient with people who are, I am thankful for their genuine expression of thanksgiving gratitude before the meal. 4. I’m thankful that my husband drove the whole friggen way to Florida. 5. The break from school. Much needed before hell week next week. 6. The cats. They are gracious enough to stay at home and poop and pee in their litter box (we hope). ∞Read More →

In Tampa last week, I saw the movie “Food, Inc.” at the Tampa Theatre.  The film made me feel sick to my stomach. After seeing it, I don’t want to eat anything ever again. Sort of like I don’t want to /buy/ anything ever again. Of course, I -will- eat, and I -will- shop, but I’m guilt-ridden about it. Food, Inc., was produced by Eric Schlosser, of Fast Food Nation fame.  The film is about corporate farming, the food industry, and its effects on animals, humans, and then environment. I learned some harrowing things about the food industry by watching this film. For instance, 1.Read More →

Every year for Valentine’s Day, my husband and I make cookies. We’ve done it now seven times. Of course, with each anniversary comes a recounting from the husband about the previous year’s events, including the cookie-making extravaganza. Twice when we lived in the Garden District bungalow and now five times in our current house. This Valentine’s Day our cookies came out perfectly. And when the news of peanut butter salmonella outbreaks hit the internet and the television, we blew it off, because we heard it was Peter Pan, and we buy the ghetto brand, Great Value. Well, lo and behold, we have two jars ofRead More →