You could easily call me Sugar Queen. I love all of it. Blowpops and MaryJanes, Milkduds, thin mints, blondies and lil debbies and skybars. I love ringdings and yoyos, babyruths, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, chunkymonkey straight from the box, applesauce walnut date cake with cream cheese frosting, apple pie, pumpkin pie. I love pumpkin pie. You could give me bittersweet or milk chocolate, jellybellys, rhubarb buckle..I would be happy. I don’t even have to eat it. I could just hold a bag of it and be happy.

And then there is that other sugar. I love that too. But that kind of sugar doesn’t always line up with what it talks about on the wrapper.

So I am off that. I am on a big fat That Other Sugar diet.

Here is the recipe for the applesauce walnut date cake. I would always ask my grandmother if she would make it for me on my birthday and she would always say, “of course I will.”

Applesauce walnut date cake

2 cups flour, 2 t soda, 1 t cinnamon, 1/2 t allspice, 1/2 t nutmeg, 1/4 t cloves. Sift the flour before measuring and don’t bang the cup. Swipe the extra flour from the top of the cup with a butter knife. Sift everything together. In a separate bowl: Beat 1 stick soft unsalted butter with 1 cup light brown sugar til smooth. Beat in 2 eggs. Combine with flour mixture. Add 1 cup hot homemade applesauce and mix. Add 1 more cup hot applesauce. Mix til combined. Add 1 cup chopped dates and 3/4 cup broken walnuts. (break them yourself.). Bake in buttered 9 inch round. Or split it between two cake pans. Frost with cream cheese frosting when cool. 1 8 ounces package cream cheese, 1 stick soft butter, nearly 1 box confectioners sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.

wanna go to Italy?

and take a cooking class with me?

it is your lucky epoch, as Giovanni would say. I have tried to tell him that we don’t say it like that. We say era, but that is the beauty of Giovanni.

I teach a menu from my kitchen inspired by a village that Giovanni wanders us through. I push my face into the computer screen so that I can make sure you are all right with rolling the pasta or simmering the cream for panna cotta. Giovanni can never believe it when I start to cry at the smell of a good piece of parmigiana reggiano or the site of a man making a ceramic pot in the same tradition that has been used for a thousand years. It happens.

Come with us.

Blue? Quotes from Ferd.

When Ferd was 4, he said to me:

“Hare you go, Pirate Pete..this should make you feel better.”

He offered me his treasure chest. 

I thought I was the fairy princess. I ended up Pirate Pete.

Either way, I love panna cotta.

Panna cotta

Bring 2 cups of heavy cream to the simmer with 1/2 a vanilla bean.  Add 1/4 cup sugar, and combine.  Stir until the sugar melts.  Don’t let the cream come to a boil.  In a separate bowl, combine 1 3/4 teaspoons of gelatin powder with 3 Tablespoons of cold water.  Make it this way first. If you would like it to be looser next time, try using 1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin instead. Stir to dissolve.  Combine the gelatin mixture with the cream.  Pour into 4 to 6 slightly greased custard cups and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Serve with pan roasted figs and honey.

I know it’s not cherry season

I like to buy what I need.

I was in the fruit aisle 

and the only thing that moved me

they didn’t move me really,

they just didn’t make me want to puke

were the cherries.

Because I am where I was again.

So I asked the guy

Is it okay if I buy like 3 or 4 cherries

He didn’t even look up

He said, go back to bed.

and so

when I woke up this morning I didn’t say a word until I saw the sun come up from behind the broken wall at the back of the garden behind the fig tree that after a long dry spell has begun to bear fruit. One fruit. Enough. Enough to show there is something in there.

I put the music on.

I said, “C’mon everybody, (that’s me) let’s clap.” My signal to move.

To get up.

I thought about hake with clams from the Spanish-French border. My sister wrote to tell me she had her DNA done. Cells from this border are apparently swimming in my blood stream.

Rinse your clams.

Rinse the bones and head of a hake body and bring it to a simmer with a bay leaf, a parsley sprig, and a spill of olive oil. Keep it going for about a half hour. In a heavy frying pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter and add 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 3 small cloves of finely minced garlic and 1 teaspoon flat leaf parsley and quietly give the garlic a hint of color. Add 1 level tablespoon of flour and whisk until the flour tastes like freshly baked shortbread. Pour in half a cup of a good sharp white wine. Simmer. Add a few ladlefuls of skimmed fish broth. Reduce for 2 minutes. Add 4 hake filets and very gently simmer, almost like the pan is holding its breath, for about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the fillets. Add the clams, tiny as you can find them, and cover without every leaving what is happening until the clams pop. Serve with the best bread you can get your hands on.


don’t bother looking for me

I have filled in the cracks

you might see an ear or an eyeball

that looks familiar

a look that you remember

but that is not me

It is a look alike.

I gave her the script.

leftover yogurt
an Italian plum
old cake
boiled egg

A Nathan’s hotdog

food is all the same at the moment. I could as much eat a box as an apple.

cooking feels like someone’s punching me in the stomach.

I can’t get my glasses to sit on my nose and sleeping is an exercise in

how to be a hot dog at Nathan’s.

The ones that are kept on rollers and spend their time turning.

On the days that rain

I had a hat on because it was threatening rain early this morning
as I was walking by the river
in a pair of shorts and my green boots
and a sweater
even though it wasn't cold

you don't only wear sweaters because it is cold

I could see up the hill, green, completely green the grass,
the trees that grew above it and below it,
the word


suspended in the branches

written in gold ballon letters

I walked towards it with a mission and then I started running
but in my green boots I can never go fast enough.

I was after

something I could keep

A man came along
He must have been the man who had the party 
He untied love first from one branch and then the other
and he carried it to the bench to pack away 
with the rest of his things.

I was too late.

Right from the bottom
Deeper than green boots.