The Revealing, Secret Diaries of a Not-So-Secret Foodie

Cookbooks on my Shelf

In Essay, Food, Garden on January 20, 2016 at 2:58 pm

cookbooks

Marcella's Italian Kitchen by Marcella Hazen

The paperback edition of Marcella’s Italian Kitchen was gifted to me over twenty years ago. It was a thank you from a student who was doing a rotation through the research lab where I was working at the time.

I remember a day when I met her ten year old son.  Sick and unable to attend school he accompanied his mom to the hospital.  I offered to look after him while she attended a biochemistry lecture.  One she couldn’t miss. Unexpectedly, I had an assistant.

For an hour or so we had fun viewing slides under the microscope. While his mom scribbled notes on the chemical processes of life, with a little light and a lot of magnification, he and I looked at cells where it was all taking place.

She returned grateful.  I was in my twenties at the time.  Not yet a wife, nor mother.   She was both.  And a first year medical student in her early forties attending a most prestigious school. She had been an artist.  Later I learned a close friend’s sickness and death had inspired her to enter a new career late in life. Read More

Tomatoes

In Faith, Family, Food, Garden, Photography, Writing on January 6, 2016 at 5:15 pm

Garden Harvest of San Marzanos

Spring’s ground holds such promise.  Black earth rested.  Ready for new life. Working the soil, strong hands turn heavy dirt. Broken free from winter’s hold, it tumbles loose through pitchfork tines.  Falling first, but landing soft and crumbling fine.  Good earth; the sower’s open canvas. Painted in strokes of hope, patience and endurance. Loved into yields of multiplying abundance.

tomatoe closeup
I’ve always been an organized gardening type. Drawn to admire the formal gardens of centuries old.  Clipped and hedged to absolute perfection.  Box woods in neat rows outlining secret mazes.   Or a prized, but hidden rose garden. Perhaps those imagined or more likely inspired into my consciousness.  Sprung to life off the worn pages of a beloved English novel or two. Read More

Dates

In Faith, Family, Food, Photography, Writing on January 31, 2014 at 7:49 pm
Irish Date Cake with Whipping Cream

Traditional Irish Date Cake with Whipping Cream.

Sticky cake clings to the edge of the plate. Clinging tight, refusing to let go.

“You missed a spot,” the youngest sister notices. French porcelain thin, hangs fragile in her hands. The rose-covered plate moves back towards the dish-filled sink.

“It’s a poor dish dryer that can’t help the dish washer,” the older sister reminds, elbows deep in bubbles.
Inherited bone china, held quiet, between them now.

Side-by-side sisters, sleeves rolled and cuffed clearing the mess left behind. Together in the mess; this time cups and saucers, stacked and balancing high on the counter. Beside the dessert forks and plates, cleared and bouncing in the soap. Read More