Life Long Passion for Food Part 9: Puffed Pancakes

The other day I posted a picture of our Thanksgiving breakfast dish. I have made this dish on days I deemed special over the last 30 plus years. The Marlene Sorosky cookbook, Cookery for Entertaining,  is falling apart! I’ve also made her Frozen Lemon Cream served in hollowed out lemons. Marlene Sorosky had a cookware store and I had attended a class there with French chef, Jacques Pepin. What a delight he was. And during the class Danny Kaye dropped in and showed Jacques how to make these special Chinese Chicken Lollipops, made from the wing segments. read...

You Are Enough Just As You Are!

Everyone needs to stop right now disapproving of the way they look, especially the young people of today. No, you don’t need to look like the models or the photos in the magazines or like the movie stars. Truth? Most of the movie stars don’t look like their own movie star image without the hair, the makeup or the clothes. Maybe a couple do. Just like there are a few common people who look pretty spectacular whether they wear makeup or not. There was a video on the internet that shows how they make the models look better than they are. The photos we see don’t represent real people at times. read...

Being Sad and Feeling Sad: Is There a Difference?

Have you ever stopped to think about this? The difference between being sad and feeling sad? You may say there is no difference. But I believe you are wrong. What brought all this up? I see posts where people respond to something tragic with “I am sad” or “This makes me sad” and we accept that so easily. We don’t stop to think of the word “being”. Being means “the nature or essence of a person” according to Wikipedia. The free on-line dictionary says it’s “The state or quality of having existence”. read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 8: Avocados

Taking a break from my food history and writing about avocados. Why you may ask? I got an amazing package in the mail from a woman, Brenda Cusick, who calls herself the Avocado Diva. And that she is. She can give you so much information on avocados. It’s amazing. I never knew there were so many varieties of avocados. My knowledge of avocados is pretty basic. I probably first had them in a Mexican restaurant in the form of guacamole. I’m familiar with Fuertes (not a favorite) and Hass (favorite).  When we bought our house many decades ago, we acquired an avocado tree. Until we moved here and had a tree, I didn’t know that avocados have to be picked and put in paper bags to ripen. We kept waiting for them to ripen on the tree! read...

Life Long Passion for Food Part 5: Holiday Cooking

Holidays always meant lots of cooking in our families. I say families because my mom had two sisters nearby and we often did joint dinners but not always.  Sometimes the out of state siblings came in as well. And Italians can be so noisy! Christmas cookies were a must. Mom always made thumbprint cookies and sugar cookies and once again, I was begging her to teach me. I remember the first thing she let me do was put the thumbprint into the cookie where the jelly would be put. She made the thumbprint cookies with nuts. I would help with the Christmas cookies. One of my aunts made these Nut Crescent cookies and my other aunt or mom would make the ricotta cheese pie. read...

Day 4: Feeding Your Joy

What was I thinking getting into a month long blog challenge? Yes, that means 31 days. I know I could stop or I could keep going and do what I can. I can make the effort to write every day. Maybe I’ll do 31 blogs and maybe I won’t. One decision I made was to not beat myself up over this. I will do what I can. I have never joined a month long blog challenge. I have joined a month long writing challenge but it wasn’t anything you had to share. Thank heavens because some of it was raw, too raw to share. Now I see them as just stories, past stories that can be looked it and let go. When you focus on the past and past hurts, you just keep feeding the same circuits in your brain and relive the hurt, the pain and soon you create new situations to keep that same pain alive. read...

Nature or the Cacophony of Man?

One weekday morning a few weeks ago, I went out on the deck to have coffee. I sat and closed my eyes. And the following came to mind about the experience. “As the wind brushed across my face, hair began to tickle my cheek. My body was enveloped in the warmth of the morning sun. Birds twittered and chirped. Soon the world awoke. Man made noises soon overwhelm the sounds of nature leaving only the soft touch of the wind and the warmth of the sun to sing the song of nature.” j.case I had done this a few years ago but I had done it on a Sunday morning and the difference was that nature prevailed. I wrote a blog about meditating with the wind. The sounds of nature were more prevalent and man made drumming interrupted for a bit but faded away. It’s the quieter times I cherish, the times when nature comes through more insistently. read...

Final Collaboration of Paintings and Poetry with Gwendolyn Lawrence Alley

The last collaboration Gwendolyn Lawrence Alley and I did for the VCAC art show called Collaboration was with my painting called Water Ballet which is pictured on the left. It wasn’t one of the paintings I had chosen to go into the show. However, when Gwendolyn came over to see the paintings, it was one she was immediately drawn to. I had had it in a prior show so I emailed to ask if it could be resubmitted. They said since it was coming in with a written body of work, that it would be a new body of work so we could submit it. read...

Plum Surrounded Painting and A Poem about Calla Lilies by Gwendolyn Alley

In my last blog I explained how my friend and poet Gwendolyn Lawrence Alley and I collaborated for an art show put on by the Ventura County Arts Council. This is another of the three which we submitted for the show. Gwendolyn had a larger poem she had done for Calla Lilies. She sent me the link to it and we collaborated on it and reduced it down to two stanzas. It was an interesting experience to collaborate on an art project. You need to listen to what the other wants to do or their take on something you’ve chosen. There is a give and take going on that results in a different end result from the pieces that came together individually. read...