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Recipe Safari - 2014-07-31
Going to Pot (and Pan!) - 2014-07-24
A Herd of Iconoclasts - 2014-07-16
A short study in FURY. - 2014-07-13
Quiet Time - 2014-07-11

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4:11 p.m. - 2014-07-31
Recipe Safari

Right now a friend of mine is on a photo safari in Africa. One of those impossibly luxe ones with the teak and canvas 'tents' full of gorgeous upholstered furniture and formal afternoon tea served on linen covered tables right out in the bush. I'm wan with envy. Interestingly this is the second of my friends to have an African adventure of this type. Also interesting and quite telling, both friends are childless. One by choice, the other not so much but is making the best of what to her is a bad situation. I'm quite sure this latter friend would happily chuck over her cool job with all its travel perks and reviewing dinners in swank restaurants for a duplex in the burbs and a couple of rug rats. Heh. As the fabulous Erma Bombeck said, 'The grass is always greener over the septic tank.' Me? I am dreaming of safaris.

Can any of us have it all?

From where I sit it's an either/or. Either you go to Africa or you have kids. The odds of doing both boil down to exactly one person...Angelina Jolie. Everybody else has to choose.

Look, this isn't a treatise on why having kids ruins your life. Kids don't automatically preclude adventures, but they do have a way of changing your perspective about what exactly an adventure is.

No kids? Adventure is a trip to Fiji.
Kids? Adventure is a trip to Sesame Place.

And you do this gladly. Not wholly without regrets and 'what ifs', but the sacrifice of self and dreams is a small pinch compared to the delight in seeing your kid's face when meeting Bert and Ernie...........mostly.


So, LA, when you're not coveting your friends' adventures whatcha got going on?

It's corn season and I've been a corn eating fool.

I'm wondering how this bit of dialog in my current read got past its editor. '"What exactly are you inferring here?"' Inferring? Are you fricken kidding me????? One can imply something. The hearer infers. GAH!!! I self-edit this humble collection of blather and sometimes I goof it. But one would assume a book published by an actual publishing house would have one, two, maybe even three different people aside the author going over the text and catching shit like this. Pisses me off, it does.

Lest you think I'm a picky-pants grammarian for the joy of being a snoot you'd be wrong. I love language. Words are my religion. For those not blessed (cursed) with intuitive understanding of others' meaning as I am language is all there is. And the clearer the language the more understanding. To be truly clear in communicating the rules must be followed. The language must be respected. I admit I take hella liberties with language here in this place and to a lesser degree I do it with my other writing too, but it's always done for the purpose of clarity. When I deliberately flout a grammar or spelling rule it's because the 'wrong' usage serves better and NOT because I don't know the correct way to write something. With my words I sing a song, paint a picture, invoke a feeling. I know I do this well but am also always trying to improve my technique. I cannot be responsible for all the cross-cues and misinterpretations of my writing, everyone brings their own agenda to the reading, but if I am doing my job correctly most folks come away with something pretty close to what I meant to say.

Though one thing I've learned in keeping this blog for the past fourteen years is that once I put something out there my job is over. The lenses others read these words with are all kinds of jaundiced. Lenses colored, clouded, and smoked with the reader's own experiences and prejudices. I am not in charge of the axes others bring into my word house. Axes they gleefully grind against what I say. My responsibility lies in what I write. To be clear. To offer up this message in its cyber bottle the best way I can and all I get is to hope the finders are kind. Most often they are, but frequently they are not. Whatever. I held up my end and if someone comes away with wrong ideas about what I said or infers hateful subtexts and meanings which never even entered my head that's on them. However I don't think anyone can begrudge me feeling like this sometimes...


Now to pull back from the existential and return to the prosaic, as we speak I have a cobbler in the oven. Learning from the previous one (which came out fine) your friend, Ms Can't Follow A Recipe, has tweaked it some and is anxiously awaiting the result. Nothing too wacky, the basic chemistry is still in place, but I added cinnamon to the batter and upped the fruit-to-cake ratio a little. All of this cobbler-ing is in service to scones. Fricken scones! None of the recipes I've found online come close to the ones I get for Mick at the farmer's market. (Yeah, I know I said I was finished with Scotty's Bakery but my guy lurves their wretched scones.) The ones from Scotty's have wet fruit (think pie filling) in them and all the recipes I've found are either no fruit or use dried fruit like raisins and currants. I do know no respectable Englishman would think Scotty's product was scones at all. Oh they're lumpy and ugly enough, but these 'scones' aren't dry tough triangular hockey pucks to glumly gnaw on, they're cakier and sweet and besides the fruit filling are glazed with hard sugar icing. Americanized scones to suit our crazy pash for the sugary and decadent. I want to become proficient at all things cobbler, crisp, brown betty, and scone-y. I must.

Why bother when I can simply get Mick his fix every Friday at the farmer's market? For one thing the woman running the booth is that same cranky, crabby unpleasant jerk who was there last year. I have discovered she's not uniformly unpleasant, she seems to reserve her vitriol and whining for me. WTF? Lady, did I diss you in a former life? Do I offend you now with my pleasant manner and friendly smile? Watching you fawning and slobbering over that woman buying half of a peach crumb pie and then seeing your scowl return and being hit with your torrent of complaints about how harrrrd your life is and how TIE-errrd you are is in no way endearing or acceptable. When the hell did I sign up to be your whipping boy, agony aunt and therapist? All I want is some goddamn scones.

For another thing NOBODY is allowed to feed Mick something better than I can do it. I have no sexual jealousy. None. I never worry Mick's eyes, heart or dick will wander. Even now when I am so fat and saggy-chinned and such a blobby mockery of the slim sexy babe he met and married seven years ago. I know he's true to me forever and ever selah. But watching my man go rolly-eyed over someone else's cooking? Watch out! My inner virago and wildly territorial she-beast come roaring out and I want blood vengeance. So fuck Scotty's scones and the harpy who sells them. I will make Mick his scones and they will be AMAZING. My scones will blow Scotty's right out of the water and off my husband's taste buds. I will make my beloved such wonderful scones every bite will make him foodgasm. Right there. In the kitchen.

But first I need to learn to bake. Bake proficiently enough to master the science of the scone and then tweak it and make it my own. A fluffy bready/cakey thing filled with strawberries and glazed with hard sugar icing.


In the meantime the peach-blueberry cobbler I just took out of the oven looks and smells awesome. ~LA

3 Wanna talk about it!

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