Life Long Passion for Food Part 2

In my previous post, I talked about getting started cooking. In this one, I’ll continue on with my lessons from mom. My mom was one of the cooks in the family. Her sister, Aunt Louise, was not.  Aunt Louise cooked but she did it out of necessity. Mom enjoyed cooking and loved to feed people who came over. We always had chops, cubed steaks, and ground meat. My aunt had a drapery shop. Between the decorators, workmen and sometimes clients, they would often get some venison too. I grew up eating lamb, pork, and beef. We ate liver and onions which I still love but rarely eat anymore (more on this later). read...

A Life Long Passion for Great Food

I always tell people I came out of the shute as a foodie. I have always loved food, good food. At the age of 10, I began begging my mom to teach me to cook. She finally gave in and by 12 I was making dinners for my mom, sister and I. Maybe it was a survival tactic, I don’t know. I suspect it may have been.  I firmly believe that food has a big impact on your health, too. My mother, who was Italian, did not measure things. When she taught me how to make her fantastic salad dressing, I remember her response when I asked how much oil (always olive oil) and vinegar (always red wine vinegar) do you put on the salad. She said “Your eyes and your hands will know”. Yes, that’s verbatim. 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...

“Serenity” Painting & A 3:15 Haiku Equals Honorable Mention

I have mixed feelings about entering  art shows. If validation comes from within, then the results of an art show can create counter productive emotions. The ego gets excited if you win and gets deflated when you lose. That is, until one is good with whatever happens and the ego is no longer triggered. So why do I enter art shows? That’s a good question. And I don’t have an answer yet.  Is it the idea of winning? Is it the prestige? Is it the belief that more people will take you more seriously as an artist when you win? Is it the belief that it would add to the value of the art? Or is it to be seen? Is it to get exposure? read...

Wine Blending by Rodney Strong Vineyards – Part 2

When I entered the room, my eyes saw a sea of wine glasses. I saw 8 glasses at each place. Five of them had small amounts of blending wine along with bottles to replenish the glasses. The sixth had the Rodney Strong Symmetry wine to give us inspiration! Two were empty: a water glass and a glass for the blend. Robert Larson, the Director of Communications at Rodney Strong Vineyards, gave us the information. He spoke about the history of Rodney Strong from his dance career to founding Windsor Winery to starting his own winery, Rodney Strong Vineyards. Rodney also saw great potential in certain acreage in Sonoma County, one being Chalk Hill which eventually became the Chalk Hill Appellation. read...

Seth, Time, Lack and Meditation

There actually is a relationship with these four words? I was reading Seth‘s blog about shipping versus rushing. I began to think about all the times I am racing to save those few minutes or I don’t take the time to read small, charming blogs or informative, thought provoking blogs like Seth’s. For me, I can get a fresh perspective on something or it makes me think about what I may be doing along the same lines. Most of Seth’s blogs are quite short, which I love, yet they are packed and insightful at times. Yet I won’t make the time to read them many times. I realized I need to take the time to read things that make me reflect. Simple, isn’t it? read...

Do You Know How to Blend?

So what is a blend? According to the free dictionary, a blend is “to combine or mix so that the constituent parts are indistinguishable from one another” or “to combine or mix so that the constituent parts are indistinguishable from one another”. And in this case, I am referring to blending wines. Will it be smooth and easy for a nice lamb dish? Or sturdy and vibrant for steak or spicy dish like Cajun meatloaf or flavorful Indian dish? Or fruity with some toast to create a dynamic  Chardonnay? Are there rules for blending? Or is solely a matter of what tastes best to the winemaker? What is the main purpose of blending? read...

Constructive Criticisms or Being Judgmental

A friend recently reposted a blog by a mutual friend. Her comments caught my attention since it started out with “Stupid, dumb, lazy, retarded…” (What’s that tell you about me? ) I continued to read which lead to reading the blog about people who criticize others for not using words like their, there, they’re in the proper context or using its and it’s incorrectly. These criticizers appear to also assume the writer is stupid or lazy or lacks education when, in fact, it’s a function of the way their brain works. They are dyslexics and I’m married to one. (Which may explain to many old friends why he married me!) read...