Friday, April 29, 2005


Early morning bright with sleepy light
Dreams of neighbors walking on the street
Cigarette smoke
Empty lift
Carrying its own short term memory
Feet shuffling somewhere below
Beehive of separate lives
Different goals
No talk
A sense of starting

But evening
Dusty diffuse light
High laughter
Shouted conversations
Many cars
Coming and going
On a small street
Thud of a kicked ball
Crowded running feet

A neighbor nods
We walk to one another
Warm handshake

Dogs run
Children hop
Neighbors walk together
Couples seek
To pretend they are alone
An old woman walks slowly
Amid the confusion

Things nearing completion

Friday, April 22, 2005

Maybe I'll see you there?

Most of life is too cautious, too afraid of the rare within to give it birth. That's why I'm moving out to the fringes (no more just holidays). I'm fighting not to be afraid that not many people live there (I am always afraid of this loneliness). The little dog of joy lies curled beside my feet. She must be allowed to be where and how she is happy and healthy. For that I would risk everything!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

This is Russian soda like we cook with in Kazakhstan. I have tried to substitute regular baking soda for it in other parts of the world (guess I just cook all over the place!) without any success. Can anyone tell me why this is so? Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005


If i were to know love
would it remember me when i was old
unwashed pots leave an all too clear
record of our passing here
the fabric of time threatened
and straightened and fought with in vain
our cautious consciousness
peeking and blinking to see
if not too much mess has been made
if we could live here
if love is not buried in our history

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

This is for Roger! This is how I make blini. No half shell for this Venus. It needs to be turned once on my cast iron skillet to achieve perfection. Posted by Hello
This is Kyrgyze Balsam. It is 90 proof and is great to add to local cognac (just a few drops). It really add some interest to the already great taste! Posted by Hello
My trusty pasta roller. Wow, does this thing do a great job quickly! Posted by Hello
Fresh home made noodles, an art in themselves! My father would have loved them this way -- buttered and quickly sauted with salt and pepper. Wow, what a wonderful taste! Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Unitarian Jihad

Check out Julie's post. Pretty funny satire piece. You'll find it at:juliepachouli.My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Atom Bomb of Moderation.

Get yours.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Table tennis anyone? Posted by Hello
First sunshine in five days! The snow shovels have been busy this morning. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Spring Cookie Recipe

This simple shortbread recipe is my daughter’s favorite cookie. I have cooked this recipe in a number of restaurants as it is a wonderful compliment to a cup a tea for the discerning guest. A year ago I received a pleading letter from her asking for the recipe but, as luck would have it, the only thing I could find was the professional version I use to teach my kitchens. It is virtually useless to the American home cook unless they have an electronic scale which can measure up to a kilogram by increments of one gram. I knew she didn’t have such a scale and I was in a terrible quandary until I remembered I had published it in the “home form” quite a few years ago when I was writing a newspaper food column.

It took a little daggering around to find where it was archived but I finally found it and was able to send it to her. As Spring should always be greeted with the good smell of dough products cooking in the oven, I thought this would be a good time to post it. I hope you enjoy it! For all its deceptive simplicity, it produces something truly wonderful to be enjoyed with tea or ice cream (although my daughter swears it is a great treat just as a standalone)!

Scottish Shortbread

1 ¼ cups flour
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of potato starch (substitute corn starch)
Sugar to sprinkle the top with, use slightly larger than regular sized crystals, if possible

Mix all of the dry ingredients together and work the butter in them until completely mixed. If too dry to hold together, carefully add only a few drops of water at a time, being very cautious not to over moisten. Do this until the dough will hold together in a ball. Press the dough in the pan to form a layer of uniform height. Then take the tines of a fork and prick it evenly in a decorative pattern. Turn the tines flat and press around the edge to create another attractive pattern. Sprinkle the top with sugar and bake in a moderately cool oven at about 300-325 F. for about 40 minutes or until somewhat tan in the middle and lightly brown around the edges.

Cut in little wedges and let it cool. A few may break on the way out of the pan but the closer it gets to room temperature, the fewer broken wedges there will be. Enjoy!