Sunday, April 17, 2011

Home Cooking

When I was in jr. high school, I got my first very own magazine subscription. I paid for it myself with babysitting money. I think it cost $2 for 12 monthly issues. I hesitate to name it. Since it is no longer in publication, the title is now being used by a publisher for what I can only describe as filth. I found this out by Googling to see if it was still around (or at least if there was any account of it on the web. (So don't bother to Google it...) I did find out that it was put out by Scholastic Books. It was called "co-ed", and I find a few issues for sale on etsy. There is an issue available with Donny and Marie on the cover, and with a poster of Shaun Cassidy inside! And there are dozens on ebay.One feature I habitually passed by was the recipes. But if I was particularly bored and looking for some more entertainment from an issue, I would go through it again, page by page. One time, I looked at the recipes, and discovered an interesting aspect. They featured recipes from foreign countries. I think the first one I took notice of was for Christopsomo, a traditional Greek Christmas bread. For some reason, this intrigued me, and I wanted to try making it. My mother was always baking bread, so raising and kneading a yeast dough didn't seem too daunting. Mum responded enthusiastically to my giving it a try, and agreed to get the needed ingredients for the coming weekend, (and be on standby for assistance). Waiting for the weekend, I looked at back issues and discovered that they too had recipes from other countries. I chose a German Sauerbraten recipe and suddenly had a menu for a meal for the family for Saturday night. I think it came out okay, as far as I remember. Mum still calls it to mind as "the time you made dinner for the family". That says it all right there, that I wasn't often in the kitchen, beyond washing dishes after supper. There was a glitch, though. The sauerbraten recipe required slow cooking in a sealed pot for a few hours. I had to make a flour and water paste to make a seal around the edge of the lid, to keep the steam in, I guess. I don't know if I did something wrong, but the paste became like cement, and my brother had to use a flat-head screwdriver like a chisel, and a hammer to get it open and in the process, put a chip in the lid of my mother's bean-pot.

Mum made a pot of baked beans about every week or two -- after all this is New England, and when the beanpot wasn't in use, it became a cookie jar. The first thing after school, we would check for cookies in the beanpot. Mum kept up a regular rotation of molasses (my fave), oatmeal raisin, and Toll House cookies. With a glass of cold goats' milk......mmmmmmmm. We raised goats and my brother and I took turns milking twice a day. Sometimes the cookies had a faint taste of apple. They stay fresher, moister in the cookie jar, if you place a small potato or apple in the bottom. Mum always used a small MacIntosh apple.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I'm always thinking about something. And sometimes I'm thinking that what I'm thinking might be the beginning of a good blog post.

When I finally sit my tired self down in the evening, I find the thought of trying to type out my thoughts, coaxing them into eloquent expression too daunting. And yet, all day long, they are bubbling, roiling, persistent in their desire to be developed from embryonic ideas into formed essays, like an op-ed piece Because to me, even the most trivial thought is like a tiny piece of an infinite jigsaw puzzle, unique to me, and representing who I am and how I interpret the mysteries of our world and our place in it. So, I'm going to try something a little different to try and capture the cool fresh running water of brilliance bubbling up from the fount of my brain in clay pots, discrete aliquots of moist refreshment delivered into the parched void of my blog.