Children Laughing In the Rain

It’s been two and a half years since the intro guitar class I took at the Princeton Adult School, and I’m thinking back now with fond memories of the first class.

I had signed up for “Folk and Popular Guitar 1,” which went for about an hour on Tuesday nights and which was immediately followed by “Folk and Popular Guitar 2,” which also went for an hour. The level 1 class was at or near capacity, while the level 2 class apparently only had a few people. The same person was also teaching them both, the wonderful and energetic, CM (I’ll use her initials).

Towards the end of the first class, she had us take turns introducing ourselves, saying why we were taking the class and if we had ever played before. At one point, when someone would say they had played in the past, she started to respnd by saying enthusiastically, “You’re promoted!”

 

Even though I had only tried playing briefly (for a month or so) many years ago, I got the same response when it got to my turn.

“Have you ever played a chord before?”

“Yeah, but it was a long time ago…”

“You’re promoted!”

I decided to stay for the level 2 class that followed that night, and though the pace seemed a little fast for me, I figured I would go with it. So I switched. I’d be learning more, and fewer people in the class would mean more attention from the teacher.

Both of these things turned out to be true, as did the following experience: the experience of me getting frustrated many times when I wasn’t picking something up right away, like a new strumming pattern, a new chord progression, or whatever else. I was like, “Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I do it right away? Why can’t I keep up? I should be good at this immediately and never have to struggle or get frustrated or make any mistakes along the way in order to learn and get better!”

I know – it’s the height of unreasonableness to expect something for nothing.

I did keep at it though, and I kept learning and improving with each class and with the practicing between the classes. I’ve kept it going since then too, as I’ve continued to play, practice, write songs, and let go a little. I wouldn’t say irrational thoughts are completely gone, but the wall of perfection isn’t quite as high as it used to be.

The point is to relax, trust yourself and where you’re at, and keep going. Keep working at it, and see what happens. It’s hard to imagine my life today without all the things that playing guitar, playing with words, and being musically creative bring.

I wrote this song last fall, but it’s a spring song, and here we are still in spring. I used to hate listening to the sound of my recorded voice, but listening to this song makes me smile. It also makes me want to sing along, which I will admit I have done several times.

I love how it feels to sing it, and now also, how it feels to read the words from top to bottom with the melody in my mind.

Thank you too, CM, for the strumming start, and thank you to the many others who’ve provided inspiration along the way.

Children Laughing In Rain (mp3)

Butterflies in the wind,
See how they move,
Floating here and there,
Dancing as they choose –
Moving higher
Spreading wider
Flapping happy and
Smiling all around and,
Searching meadows and
Sending hellos and
Loving clovers and
Going flower by flower and

Can you see it here,
Can you leave the ground,
It’s all around us here

Children laughing in the rain,
Skipping on their way,
Puddles without umbrellas
Favorite kind of day –
Bounding on and
Showers of fun and
Loving jumping and
Running all around and,
Telling secrets and
Making keepsakes and
Loving feeling and
Greeting everyone and

Can you see it here,
Can you hear the sounds,
They’re all around us here

Playing music in the park,
Singing lullabies,
Every day a melody
Of seasons passing by –
There’s winter warming and
Flowers forming and
Spring on tour and
More there to come and,
Weather wither and
Brother sister and
Loving whispers and
Kisses every day and

Can you see it here,
Can you hear the sounds,
They’re all around us here

And summertime and whipoorwills and
Ice cream days and evening thrills and
As the days come fanciful and
Say ‘Let’s go’ all whimsical,
The winds are full and filling sails all true,
Wishes real and coming back to you

The winds are full and filling sails all true,
Wishes real and coming back to you,
Children and all their kisses too,
Wishes real and coming back to you –
Wishes real and coming back to you

Odds and Ends and Pots and Pans

Odds and ends
And pots and pans,
Champagne pops
And starts and stops,
Plants and things
And in between,
Tabletops with
Art and feeling.

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And art on my brother’s driveway.

Oh, assonance… And consonance…  And rhyme…  And half-rhyme… Happy new year, and new post, to you too.

Yes, a new year has begun (plus a few weeks now), and I’m happy to be starting it here with words and art, and to be sharing them with you. Words and art, yes, sounds like a good start. That’s one of several thoughts, or odds and ends, that I’ve been collecting. And here are a few more. They follow below, shared as always as a gift for me and you, to peruse and read and at your own pace go through.

1) Pots and Pans: I usually make a few resolutions at the start of each year (any time is good though), and this year was no different. On the afternoon of January 1st, I found myself creating a new note on my phone, a five-minute exercise that left me with some old favorites and general reminders.

Among the highlights was the perennial, “Learn how to juggle five” :), written more actionably and meditatively this time though as, “Juggle five – practice every day for five minutes, relax, and have fun.” (I’ve practiced a few days so far, but not quite yet…every day.) A few general feel-good reminders included, “Be kind every day” and “Be grateful every day.” And then there were some healthy environment ones like, “Do the dishes at least every other day.”

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They can really stack up after a while, right??? This was a week’s worth, and actually the first week of the year’s worth. To be fair though, I was sick and wasn’t doing much of anything that week. How about that After picture though?? Yes, thank you very much. (Two weeks later, I’m still kind of working on the ‘at least every other day’ part of this one…but details.)

2) Planting Plant Plans: I have a lot of starter houseplants and a lot of pots waiting for them, so one of my goals over the next few weeks is to bring them together. I have a vision for a garden apartment, with the garden on the inside.

Meanwhile on the outside, I planted some garlic.

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Planting garlic and growing and harvesting it is one of the easiest, and most satisfying, garden things you can do. It practically grows itself. It’s like magic – each clove that you plant turns into a full head of garlic.

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If you’re interested, and I hope you are :), here’s what to do. First get some garlic bulbs at the farmer’s market (the bulbs at the supermarket might have been treated to prevent sprouting). Then pull the cloves apart, leaving the papery husks on, and plant the cloves right side up about 2″ deep and 8″ apart. Usually, you plant them in late fall, but I’ve planted them as late as December…or also now, well, January 8th according to my notes. We’ll see how it goes! I also planted them in pots for the first time.

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The outer five, they got the garlic

It’s okay if the ground freezes after you plant the cloves too. The new plants should come up in the spring if not sooner. Then in April/May/June you snap off the garlic scapes (the green stems that start curling around themselves) to force more energy into the new bulb, and in June/July you harvest (dig up) the new bulbs when the leaves start to brown.

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Future houseplants, modeling

3) Freezer Files 

The fridge in my apartment came with a freezer (I know, pretty cool, right?), and over the past three years I’ve been doing my best to fill it.

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This was the actual view as of two weeks ago. The thing is, this was also essentially the actual view as of five months ago.

I’d filled it over time, and then I got leftover and other-frozen-food usage paralysis. I knew what I wanted to do, which was to go through everything, use it all, and write about it at the same time. It seemed so daunting though, so I never got started. What would the rules be? Would I have to eat only from the freezer until it was all gone? (Meaning no cooking, i.e., not doing something I like?) How long would it take? Would I write a single post at the end about the process, or also one at the beginning? Or should I write several along the way? What if I started and it didn’t go like I thought it would? What if it didn’t work out? What if I messed it up??

Okay, brain, let’s hold the phone for a second there.

What if I just started and saw how it went?

So that’s what I did (and recalled that, yes, that has worked many times in the past (ex. 1, ex. 2)). The beauty and the truth is that of course it’ll work, and that’s what it’s doing now, working out. Now a few weeks in, I’ve eaten or combined into new dishes several freezer items. I’ve also tossed a few items, a temporary affront to my ‘never waste anything’ ideal, but otherwise it’s going great. And it feels great. Item by frozen item, I’m cleaning up the freezer. I’m putting things to use, and I’m simplifying and letting go. Less is more.

Mmmmmmm, no longer frozen and so tasty again eggplant rollatini

Food is meant to be eaten. And you have to start somewhere, so start where you’re at. Get going.

The rules are There are no rules. I’ll use as many things as I can, cook and combine them whenever possible, and take notes along the way, leading to probably a final post but perhaps some interim ones too. I’ll figure it out as I go.

4) Marathon Miles

I signed up for the New Jersey Marathon! Yay!

That decision, made two months ago, was followed by me starting to increase my miles and do some speed workouts. Also yay, except that my doctor had advised against doing the latter workouts so as not to aggravate a minor hip injury. After about three weeks, I realized I should have followed his advice. Boo.

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So I bought myself a foam roller (thank you, Princeton Running Company) and have been doing some eggplant side-rollatini-ing. And doing way fewer miles. And going slower. I also starting some physical therapy (diagnosis: gluteus medius strain (yup…weak cheeks)).

The calendar reality is that I don’t think I’ll be doing the marathon now. Maybe I could still do the half, but we’ll see. My freezer file mind is reminding that it’ll all work out, and that once again, as always, I should start where I’m at.

If you can’t run 10 miles, run 3.
If you’re injured, do PT.
If you have an itch in the middle of your leg, scratch your knee.

Okay, that last one was just for the rhymes 🙂

5) March Saneness

This one deserves to go in the opposite direction of alliteration.

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There was nothing mad about the Women’s March on Washington this past Saturday. It was solidarity, love, inspiration, and the opposite of hate and madness. I can’t think of a more right place to have been that day than right there with a number of friends, and with everyone else who marched there in Washington and also around the county and the world. We all have our own steps, and for me there was no decision to make but to step out of my own quiet kitchen and start going. The following is what I shared on Facebook that evening:

“We will not go from being a nation of immigrants to a nation of ignorance” – America Ferrera
“Courage will not skip this generation” – Roslyn Brock
“Sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are.” – Gloria Steinem

– Words heard and felt today in Washington, D.C.

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6) The Art of Food and Life

How lucky are we, how lucky am I, really.

I have friends I can march with. I can take care of my body, and my mind. I have a freezer full of food. I have plants. I have a kitchen. I have words, and I have art.

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There is art on driveways (thank you, artist sister-in-law). And there is art on my kitchen table, a rotating temporary art installation. The current view includes tomatoes from the community garden at work, grapefruit from my mom, and odds and ends from myself and friends.

The view, the backdrop, also includes one of my grandfather’s watercolors, a gift a few years ago from my great aunt. There was a time I thought I would hang it up one day, but I’ve realized I like where it’s at. Along with everything else, it helps make for a full table. And it feels good.

Applesauce Brownies

Thank you Trenton Farmers’ Market.

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Where else can you buy a bag of apples for $6 the day before Thanksgiving?

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There were also 55 apples in the bag, but who’s counting.

It took me exactly 30 minutes to peel the 55 apples, which means I peeled about 1.8 apples/minute, but again, numbers.

What is important is that with this many apples, you can make a fair amount of applesauce.

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How much applesauce, you might ask? Ah yes, another number!

Several numbers actually. By the time I had finished making the applesauce, it was time to eat Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house. So I borrowed a tape measure from my mom and made a few quick measurements. And then a week later, I did the calculations, and made some new art math.

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Yes, that’s right. I made a gallon and a half of applesauce.

The great thing about applesauce, though, is that you don’t have to make 194 ounces to enjoy it. You can make as much or as little as you like, it’s really easy to make (one ingredient!), and it tastes so good and naturally sweet. If you’ve never made it, give it a try – here’s the recipe.

Applesauce

  • 10 apples (or more)
  • (Optional) 1/4 cup apple cider or water
  • (Optional) Cinnamon
  1. Peel the apples
  2. Chop the apples into pieces (discard the cores)
  3. (Optional) Add the apple cider or water to a pot
  4. Add the chopped apples to the pot and cook over low-medium heat, stirring occasionally
  5. Cook until the applesauce is the desired consistency (smooth, chunky, or in between)
  6. (Optional) Add a little cinnamon

As the apples heat up, they become soft and release some of their juices. Then they do all the work  themselves and cook themselves into applesauce. If you want to speed things up, you could add a little apple cider or water at the beginning, and you could also cook them covered for a bit. Towards the end, you could use a potato masher too, if what you want is smoother applesauce more quickly.

Whatever you do, make sure to stir the apples occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. There’s nothing like having to use a second or third pot on a single batch of applesauce, and then having to do a multiple-pot-cleaning (scrubbing) afterwards. I mean, hypothetically speaking of course 🙂 My last note is that all types of apples are good to use. For the sweetest, richest applesauce flavor, I’ll use several different types of apples together.

But what about the brownies? I thought there were going to be brownies! Applesauce Brownies!! And while we’re on the topic, what is an Applesauce Brownie???

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Yes, exactly! I was wondering what an Applesauce Brownie is too, so I made some.

I’d actually been wondering this for a while, as I remember having eaten them once as a kid and having been amazed that they tasted like brownies despite having applesauce in them. Lucky for me, I now had one of the main ingredients on hand, and in abundance. So into the kitchen I went: Curiosity plus surplus equals creation.

I looked up a brownie recipe in a printed cookbook, searched for applesauce brownie recipes online, and then on the advice that applesauce is a big ingredient in vegan baking, I searched for vegan applesauce brownies too.

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Applesauce brownie batter, Version one

The vegan suggestion, combined with my further searching, got me thinking. What is the fewest number of ingredients I could use and still end up with brownies? The Google auto-fill in the search bar was pointing me in this direction too, listing among other things the following:

  • Baking substitute applesauce for eggs
  • Baking substitute applesauce for butter
  • Baking substitute applesauce for oil

Could applesauce be that versatile? And in the same recipe??

I thought, Let’s find out! The short answer to both questions is yes. The long answer is it took me two tries to come up with a recipe that I liked. For the first version, I used the following: applesauce, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, vanilla, and flour. It turned out alright, but it also came out a little flat, literally, and had an interesting chocolately, apple tangy flavor.

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Version one (with b/g apples from a different purchase)

When making version two, I included the three ingredients I figured had been missing in version one: baking powder, baking soda, and chocolate. And the result?

So good.
So rich.
So chocolatey.

Here’s the recipe 🙂

Applesauce Brownies

  • 1 1/2 cups applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  1. Mix the applesauce, sugar, and vanilla
  2. Melt the chocolate, and add it to the applesauce mixture
  3. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda
  4. Add the flour mixture to the applesauce mixture, and mix
  5. Lightly oil an 8″ x 8″ baking dish
  6. Add the batter to the baking dish
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-45 minutes
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Love that chocolate melting

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And love that final chocolate brownie product

It’s not easy to predict the future, but I do believe mine will include the following: additional apple purchases, more applesauce making, and now also vegan applesauce brownie baking.

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And if you want, you can even have them side by side.

Thank you applesauce.

Espresso Lemon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Espresso Lemon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

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Or as I like to call it lately, my housewarming gift. In the past month or so, I’ve made it three times, each time for a party. I’m not a big drinker, but I do like making and bringing food. And that food being dessert. And eating it 🙂

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I’m actually eating a few chocolate chips right now as my dessert. (Thanks, Dad.) The chocolate chips above and the ones that I’m having now are also leftovers from last spring when I made chocolate covered matzoh (also good). The chips were on sale, and I, well, may have bought several bags. They still taste good though.

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It also wouldn’t be Espresso Lemon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread without the lemon! We need the zest!! Plus, saying four rather than five words before getting to “Bread” would also not be as fun.

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And finally there’s the espresso powder. I’m currently working on a 11-ounce bag that still has the majority of its ounces despite a printed ‘best by’ date that’s best gone by. But hey, I’m not a big (coffee) drinker. I do like dessert though. And eating it 🙂

And with that, here’s the recipe!

Espresso Lemon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 Tbsp espresso powder

Steps

  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in one bowl
  2. Mix the sugar, butter, lemon zest, eggs, and bananas in another bowl (I used a handheld electronic mixer for this step; I also softened and cut the butter into pieces and cut the banana into pieces first)
  3. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, and mix until smooth
  4. Add the chocolate chips and espresso powder, and mix them in
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan
  6. Bake for about an hour at 375 degrees

(Adapted from the Banana Bread Cockaigne recipe in The Joy of Cooking. I changed a few measurements and also made the coffee and chocolate additions :))

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So far the feedback’s been very positive, as it also was a few months ago when an espresso powder and frozen blueberry brainstorm resulted in the similarly titled, Espresso Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake, which itself followed from the equally if not more awesome, Lemon Chocolate Chip Pound Cake.

The espresso powder definitely gives it something extra. It’s hard to place – sort of like a hearty, dense smoky sensation that doesn’t at the same time give it a smoky flavor. If you have two pans, make a double recipe with the espresso powder in one, and see what you think!

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And there it is, Espresso Lemon Chocolate Chip Banana Bread!

Yum!

Now to eat a few more chocolate chips 🙂

Coming Home

All the lessons of my life
Come out in song and sung and rhyme,
The trick is hearing what you sing
And dancing to it all in time.

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A note of hope all through the art,
A time to tell and time to start,
Feelings felt through voice and strings –
Each time, a lullaby for the heart.

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These stanzas may or may not make it into a future song, but they’re true.

I wrote the first one a few weeks ago in a five-minute bit of inspiration, and the second one came a few days later on my bike ride home from work. Exercising and not driving is good for that, songwriting and soul-rising and half-rhyming  🙂

I actually gave a small preview of the song below in a post a few months ago, Orlando in words and pictures – Part I. I was singing it then, I was singing it a year ago when I wrote it, and I’m singing it today.

The difference today is that today I’m sharing it with you. I’ve written several songs in the past close-to-two years since I started playing the guitar, and I’ve only played a few of them, in a few instances, for other people. They’ve mostly been mine and for me, and they’ve served a purpose, but I’ve been feeling a little more ready to be a little less selfish 🙂

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The flowers are blooming all the hours, the rivers are running on, and it’s time to share a song. The lyrics are below, and the voice and the guitar, me singing and playing, are in the link. Enjoy! 🙂

Coming Home (mp3)

On the road and I’m a
Coming home and I’m a
Thinking how I’m gonna
Rock and roll again and
When the stars turn in and
Wake the sun again I’m
Gonna see the light in your eyes

Once upon a time I
Had a dream and I was
Flying high up in the
Amber sky and I was
Trying to find a piece of
Pie and ice cream and I
Found it when I woke in your arms

Clouds are passing by and
Here the sun is shining
On the path that leads to your heart,

Rivers running on and
I’m a swimming, coming
To the grand parade for my part

Steps and notes and fanfare
On the road and my hair
Mussed and tussled wildly
Worldly I must go there
Cares are there behind me
Like a run that’s finally
One touch closer to my old home

Memories come and go and
Stir the love that’s flowing
Like a spring that rises and falls

Water ever pure and
Nourishing the thirst for
More of what’s to come and recall

Images of learning
How to ride and turning
This and that way wildly
On my hands and scraped knees
Tears are falling and I’m
Up again and rolling
On my way to where the heart is

***************************

Rolling on and I’m a
Walking on and I’m a
Talking to the sun a-
bove and down below the
View I’m coming to and
Once again I’m choosing
Going to the hills with my dear

Daylight coming and I’m
Waking up and moving
With July and August
Days that heat us up and
Meet us where we’re at and
Bring the joy and laughter
Of the road right into our hearts

Hundred miles and counting
Down to the old fountain
Where we shared a drink and long kiss

First of many more and
Then I went out touring
Looking for what I thought I’d missed

Wishing wells and daisies
Pushing through the hazy
Skies to find the light and
Shine it on the fields and
Feeling like it’s time to
Greet the rushing tide and
When it comes I know I’ll be there

Everywhere the day is
Singing our good graces,
Feel the breeze upon your soft cheek

And there comes the sunrise,
Morning dew and our eyes,
Misty with all that we do seek

Open to the wind and
Going through with vintage
Shades that let the light come
In like joy from children
Laughing and all playing
And I know I’m making
My way back to where the love is

**************************

On the road and I’m a
Coming home and I’m a
Thinking how I’m gonna
Rock and roll again and
When the stars turn in and
Wake the sun again I’m
Gonna see the light in your eyes

Wandering far and wide and
Pondering on the time and
Watching mountains rising
And the eagles flying
All a part of life and
Loving the reminder
To look round and call you my dear

Clouds are passing by and
Birds are fast supplying
Melodies that sing of one love

Rivers running on and
Shaping stunning canyons
To behold from my view above

Lovely trees are swaying
In the breeze and saying
Come with me, we’re playing,
And the leaves displaying
Green right now and later
Red and orange and oh how
Like the sun they love the big stage

Colors come and go and
All along they’re showing
Spring and fall and all the new days

And I see the flowers
Blooming all the hours
Pedals ready and now awake

Steady was the dream and
Towards the love and gleaming
Did I go believing
In the wonders weaving
And now I can see the
Sun and clouds and streams and
With the light I’m shining my way

Shine the light and shine it
Nice and bright,
I’m coming

Shine the light and shine it
Nice and bright,
I’m feeling

Shine the light and shine it
Day and night,
I’m coming

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Kitchen tips and kitchen blips

From my kitchen lips
To your kitchen ears,
I share with you a list
From the past year:
Kitchen tips and kitchen blips.

Good things come in threes,
Melt and melt and sauce,
Take the heat a piece,
And cut your losses:
The truth is in the reading.

Which brings me to the following,
One and two and three,
Each with a tip, and
Each with a blip:
Now for all to see.

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The hot air vent: yes, located just below the “FRIGIDAIRE”

1) Did you know: You can use the hot air that comes out of the oven vent for more than just passively heating your kitchen??

Kitchen tip: When making pumpkin bread (or zucchini bread or lemon pound cake or the like) and waiting for the oven to preheat, you can put your 9″ x 5″ x 3″ loaf pan under the vent, and the hot air will melt a small tab of butter for you, for easy greasing and flouring of the pan.

Kitchen blip: You could also put your salad spinner under the hot air vent as a way to speed the drying process and save time, but then you might, well, happen to melt the plastic such that the the spinner no longer spins.

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My replacement Oxo Good Grips salad spinner that a friend gave me, same model as the original

2) Did you know: You can use the stove-top’s flat surface for more than just cooking food??

Kitchen tip: When doing the dishes, and when the dish-drying rack is full (and when the rest of the counter is covered with starter houseplants growing in pots), you can set the extra dishes on the stove-top as another place to let them dry.

Kitchen blip: This might seem like a good idea, and it is, most of the time. When it is not a good idea is when you might, well, mean to turn on the front burner but instead turn on the back one, which is fine until you realize you have a glass dish with a plastic lid sitting on the burner in the back.

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He’s not much, but he’s my plastic horseshoe crab

3) Did you know: Vodka sauce isn’t too difficult to make??

Kitchen tip: All you need is vodka, tomato sauce, heavy cream, and some other ingredients. And a little practice, to figure out the right amount of vodka, when to add it, and how long to simmer it off for.

Kitchen blip: Vodka sauce can help make a meal feel higher class – and penne vodka would go great with a big Italian-themed dinner, like the big fundraising dinner I did two weeks ago for the Anchor House. Vodka sauce can only help in this regard when it makes an appearance though, rather than remaining in the fridge because you might have, well, added too much vodka at the beginning or not let it simmer long enough.

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The vodka sauce, adjusted later for personal consumption

When I tasted the sauce while it was in progress, I thought, “Hmmm, it’s got a little too much vodka taste…I know, I’ll add some more crushed tomatoes!” I didn’t want to throw it away and start over, so rather than doing that and cutting my losses, I…cut my losses by adding more tomatoes. And then I added some more tomatoes. And some more after that. But it wasn’t working.

So into the fridge it went to stay,
Until I had more time another day.

When I came back to it a few days later, I found myself rewriting the script. This time rather than cutting my losses, I cut my gains. I started with some new crushed tomatoes, and then I added a smaller amount of the not-quite-right-yet vodka sauce to it. With some trial and error, I figured out that in this case, I needed 2 parts new tomatoes to 1 part old vodka sauce. Which is to say: I found my gains by starting a-gain, and the result wasn’t perfect, but it was perfectly post-party edible. And now, in the freezer at work (the one at home is full), I’ve got approximately 64 ounces of new vodka sauce, ready to go.

Which is also to say, bonus tip! Aka kitchen tip reiteration:

With practice, play, and iteration,
The over-taste, it comes and goes,
Have faith in trials and taste-sensations,
And tomatoes placed with some knowing.

And okay, what the heck, one more 🙂

Bonus: Kitchen tip and kitchen blip: There are many places in the kitchen you could place the plastic wrap. On top of the stove’s back panel works, but a little down below? Not so much.

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I mentioned that hot air vent thing, right???

Yes, a final kitchen tip,
And also kitchen blip,
As shared and told,
In words and pics.

Orlando, in song

Right now, in the present moment, I am sitting on the porch steps in front of my apartment.

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Orlando

I just re-read my last three posts, the story of my Orlando trip, and it’s time for one more, part four.

Part I – Orlando, in words and pictures
Part II – Orlando, in words, pictures, and art
Part III – Orlando, in words, pictures, art, and numbers

Part IV is Orlando, in song.

It’s all part of the story – the process and the progress, the love and the hope, and the bits in between where I fail, learn, and grow, and have the courage to share it for myself and others, to tell, turn, and show.

I’m doing my best, and I’m proud of the storytelling, and the story-living.

The truth is also that Part IV is the first one I wrote. It was the guide for the rest, and when you go back and read Parts I, II, and III, for the full artist’s statement, I have a feeling you’ll be able to see it. 🙂

I went for a run in my hometown this weekend, on streets I’d never been before, and found myself making up the route as I went and trusting that I’d make it back alright to my friends’ house. And I did make it back, and at the same time made it forward, with good thoughts including the one that All roads lead home. We all have it all within us.

With peace, self-love, hope, letting go, and faith, I share with you the next part: Orlando, in song.

Come Home Orlando (mp3 a cappella)

Walking in the park
And singing to the stars,
I feel them right
There within me,
Reflecting
A beating heart,
The trees above
And sand below,
A fire burning
A noble spark,
The path it comes
And on it goes,
And I’m there,
I’m there with you

Come home Orlando,
Where you been
Where you going,
It’s been a long time
Without you,
I’ve been waiting
And a knowing,
That the days they
Come and go and
Everyday you’re
Ever flowing
And I feel more
Where I’m going
And I’m there,
I’m there with you

Drawing in a bar,
All the lines
And the parts,
I see them right
There before me,
The model near
The model far,
And fast it comes
And also stalls,
The graph it grows
And homeward calls,
And on we play
Our growing roles,
And I’m there,
I’m there with you.

Come home Orlando,
Where you been
Where you going,
It’s been a long time
Without you,
I’ve been waiting
And a knowing,
That the days they
Come and go and
Everyday you’re
Ever flowing,
And I see more
Where I’m going,
And I’m there,
I’m there with you

Running in the streets,
And listening
To the beat,
The loop it grows
Fast under feet,
And continues
When I see
The Dinky Line
An orange Einstein
And the avenue
With the Shine,
And yes it’s time
A thrift store find,
To go and see
A show and be.

Come home Orlando,
Where you been
Where you going,
It’s been a long time
Without you,
I’ve been waiting
And a knowing,
That the days they
Come and go and
Everyday you’re
Ever flowing,
And I know more
Where I’m going,
And I’m there,
I’m there with you.

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Princeton