Monday, January 16, 2012

Beach Chowder
What’s cooking? Beach Chowder

The Kitchen Goddess must have been all worn out from writing at the time of the original posting, in which she forgot to include the potatoes in the directions. It’s now corrected. 

I’ve spent the last four days on a “writing retreat” with my best friend, Joy, from high school. We lost touch for many years after graduation – we both left Texas, but she went west and I went east. But aside from a few minor details (she has one more marriage and three more degrees than I have), we’ve remained strikingly similar in our directions in life; and the fact that we both became writers still astonishes me, as neither of us had such inclinations as teenagers.

We go to a place called Port Aransas, a tiny fishing village at the north end of Mustang Island, off the Texas coast. It’s where we went to blow off steam in our teens, and aside from the movie theatre closing and a few decent restaurants finally appearing, not much there has changed. It’s still the sort of place where “dressing up” means a clean shirt and leather sandals instead of flip-flops. The sort of place where you can truly disconnect from the world at large.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Labor of Love
What’s cooking? Fennel Flounder

My son and daughter-in-law are having a baby. And when I say “having,” I mean as I write this post. So naturally, I have to find something to do while I wait nervously, and this post is it. My husband, Grumpy, has already called twice from the golf course (remember, we’re in Texas, which is a great place to be in January), and he’s only on the 11th hole.

Hardly anything would convince me to visit New Jersey this time of year, but the arrival of my first grandchild qualifies as that anything. So I’ll be heading north soon, and have promised to cook dinner for the little family for a week. I’ve been rummaging through my recipes for food that I can comfortably fix in their kitchen, to avoid spending all my time looking for a slotted spoon, and a few recipes I can make to be frozen for when I leave. I’m remembering how difficult life was with a newborn – realizing at 4pm that you’re still in your nightgown and haven’t got anything for dinner and how the thought of dressing both you and the baby for a trip to the store was only slightly less painful than having all your fingernails pulled out.