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

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

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

Believe

In Faith, Family, Food, Photography, Writing on December 29, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Some of My Favorite Things.

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1.  Bright Red Wreath on White Front Door.  

This summer my husband spent many a day refurbishing things around our home.   Read the rest of this entry »

Faded Fields

In Photos, Spiritual, Writing on December 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm
Image

Thanksgiving Hike. McDowell Woods.

Cool wind whispers soft

Autumn’s scattered light retreats

Winter’s ground fallow

Rests, hushed beneath cover cold

Waiting, undefeated–still

   © suebthefoodie.com, 2011-2013.

Baby Bella

In Family, Food, Photography, Writing on October 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm
Hungarian Mushroom Soup Garnished with Sour Cream and Sprig of Dill.

Hungarian Mushroom Soup Garnished with Sour Cream and Sprig of Dill.

My family begins to gather around the table for dinner. The way we do most nights. One by one, each boy wanders into the kitchen. Waiting on his brothers, both younger and older, my middle son softly taps out a tune against the worn farmhouse table. The tines of his fork leave behind an interesting pattern of divots in the soft wood.

Early in my mothering, the patina of raising young boys was under appreciated. Not always welcomed on furniture or otherwise. Somehow back then, the shiny and unblemished gleam of the new and unchanged appealed to me. But children bring perspective. They also bring laughter and so many Legos. And then there are the lines. The worry ones worn on my brow and on some days, the dry-erase but permanent ones discovered on freshly hung Thibaut wallpaper. Sweat and tears; they bring it all.

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Béchamel

In Family, Food, Photography, Writing on September 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

My Dad introduced me to my first Béchamel.  Growing up it was his signature lunch special, one that he’d prepare for us on weekends. His technique was not precise and often prepared in a too small a saucepan. But it always worked and made our house smell warm with garlic.  More times than not and when I wasn’t looking, he’d toss in some minced clams.  It wasn’t until many meals later that I learned the little lumps in his white sauce weren’t a technical error.  Rather a culinary decision.  The man liked his linguine and white sauce WITH clams.

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Beckoning Sea

In Faith, Family, Writing on September 6, 2013 at 10:44 am

sea beckons

Open your mind, dream,

the mighty ocean beckons me.

But who am I, small,

grain of sand on this vast beach?

Reach for the stars, dream, it repeats.

Open your heart, sing,

the warm wind whispers to me.

But words do not come.

No rhythm beats, nor note sounds!

Sing joy, sing, echoes the breeze.

Open your arms, love,

the bird soars on outstretched wings.

But I am one, alone,

one heart not two. How to love?

Love, you are loved, the bird’s call.

Close your eyes, believe,

the setting sun draws me near.

Radiant gem rests,

tucked beneath horizon’s line.

Believe, when you do not see.

Waves rise and waves fall,

washing down upon my feet.

Standing in the surf,

peace envelops me. You’re here?

I am.  Trust in me–always.

© suebthefoodie.com, 2011-2013.

Morning Snowfall

In Faith, Family, Writing on January 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Sometimes it is in the waiting, that the ordinary and expected are graciously transformed into the memorable and treasured.

In this part of the country we have been without snow. Sure we’ve been teased with the whimsical dance of snowflakes that hover. Witnessed skies that howl with the promise of winter’s fury. But still, we find ourselves waiting. Waiting for winter’s first appreciable snowfall.

No snowmen have been built. No snowforts have been defended. No snowballs thrown. Somehow I find myself wanting snow. Lots of snow.

I know. Crazy talk. And from a midwest gal–a Chicagoan. Dreams of tropical umbrella drinks, crashing waves and white sand beaches should be dancing in my head this late in the winter. Yet, I wish for snow. Just one large snow storm.

Then this morning it begins. Snow falls. Gently. Modestly. Quietly collecting on rooftops, branches and walkways. It comes and it goes. Without pomp and without circumstance, the wait is over.

My boys scramble to find their boots and winter gear wanting to clear the scant covering of white from the drive before they head off to school. And I am beautifully reminded that the season of wait sometimes is a gift by design.

© suebthefoodie.com, 2011-2013.

Photos by suebthefoodie.

November’s Song

In Photos, Spiritual, Writing on November 6, 2012 at 10:17 am
McDonald’s Farm. Pavement’s End.

 

Summer’s green fields gone

Quiet now, plowed under dark

Abandoned pastures

Set ablaze, life reflected–

Autumn trumpets, spent leaves fall

 

© suebthefoodie.com, 2011-2012.