Sunday, February 20, 2011

Chocolate Sauce and Honey and Salt

I have lived my life like an outsider - outside the bell jar - pretty much the most of it.  Never feeling at peace in my own skin.  Second guessing and wishing I had picked the door that has just now closed and locked itself forever.  But poetry.  yes.  I got it.  I got what the poet was saying usually at once and if not  - on the second reading  - that sigh - YES - Yes - yes.  yes.  I was always a Bloomsbury girl - Elliot and Woolfe and Lawrence and my dear sweet E.M.  But Sandburg and Walt.  oh.  my.  They took me to my core.  And it was Tim who brought Chuck into my life and he was like the dirty uncle you didn't want to know but you liked the way he rolled his cigarettes and were facinated by him. 

Poetry doesn't sell.  Unless it's amazing.  Strike that.  UNIVERSAL.  It just doesn't.  It's not the girl who kicked anything or had a tattoo - it's a poem.  But like a great sauce that you put on your ice cream. It can be great or just meh. 

And it may be great because it is from you or meh from a can or jar.  Or great because your daughter wanted to buy a chocolate cookbook at the used bookstore and you did buy it for her and then went to the store to buy the ingredients and then you made it together.  I am learning in my 41 spins on planet earth that as a mother just being alive doesn't cut it.  Just showing up isn't it.  If you want your kids to be engaged you have to bring your A game for who THEY are.  Not who you want them to be or who you think they should be.  I am NOT a model mom.  I suck so bad and so often it's not funny - but I do actually try.  I think.  a lot.  Who do I want to be as a mom, wife, woman, human, lover, person, citizen - cook, poet -  etc . . . .?

The chocolate sauce that is going on our ice cream is so simple but Trinity and I made it because it was her inspiration.  It's good in the natural but Great in the RELATIONAL.  Enjoy and following is Sandburg's Honey and Salt.  One of my all time favorite poems.  Because I love it and it's GREAT in the relational!

Chocolate Sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 t cinnamon
3 TBS of strong coffee or espresso

bring to a boil and boil for about 5 minutes
turn off heat and add half a bag of chocolate chips
1/3 cup whipping cream
and 3 TBS coffee liquor (Kahlua is the best but not cheap)

whisk like mad to melt the chips - if it seizes (sp) up do not fear.  keep whisking - it will let go and be lovely.  serve over coffee ice cream or vanilla - a can of whipped cream can be great too - add what you will to make it your own  cherries - banana's too - but it's good if you do it with your people whilst they don't hate you :D - I personally know I have nanosecond's before I am the antichrist with my kids!

Honey and Salt

Carl Sandburg

A bag of tricks—is it?

And a game smoothies play?

If you’re good with a deck of cards

or rolling the bones—that helps?

If you can tell jokes and be a chum

and make an impression—that helps?

When boy meets girl or girl meets boy—

what helps?

They all help: be cozy but not too cozy:

be shy, bashful, mysterious, yet only so-so:

then forget everything you ever heard about love

for it’s a summer tan and a winter windburn

and it comes as weather comes and you can’t change it:

it comes like your face came to you, like your legs came

and the way you walk, talk, hold your head and hands—

and nothing can be done about it—you wait and pray.

Is there any way of measuring love?

Yes but not till long afterward

when the beat of your heart has gone

many miles, far into the big numbers.

Is the key to love in passion, knowledge, affection?

All three—along with moonlight, roses, groceries,

givings and forgivings, gettings and forgettings,

keepsakes and room rent,

pearls of memory along with ham and eggs.

Can love be locked away and kept hid?

Yes and it gathers dust and mildew

and shrivels itself in shadows

unless it learns the sun can help,

snow, rain, storms can help—

birds in their one-room family nests

shaken by winds cruel and crazy—

they can all help:

lock not away your love nor keep it hid.

How comes the first sign of love?

In a chill, in a personal sweat,

in a you-and-me, us, us two,

in a couple of answers,

an amethyst haze on the horizon,

two dance programs criss-crossed,

jackknifed initials interwoven,

five fresh violets lost in sea salt,

birds flying at single big moments

in and out a thousand windows,

a horse, two horses, many horses,

a silver ring, a brass cry,

a golden gong going ong ong ong-ng-ng,

pink doors closing one by one

to sunset nightsongs along the west,

shafts and handles of stars,

folds of moonmist curtains,

winding and unwinding wisps of fogmist.

How long does love last?

As long as glass bubbles handled with care

or two hot-house orchids in a blizzard

or one solid immovable steel anvil

tempered in sure inexorable welding—

or again love might last as

six snowflakes, six hexagonal snowflakes,

six floating hexagonal flakes of snow

or the oaths between hydrogen and oxygen

in one cup of spring water

or the eyes of bucks and does

or two wishes riding on the back of a

morning wind in winter

or one corner of an ancient tabernacle

held sacred for personal devotions

or dust yes dust in a little solemn heap

played on by changing winds.

There are sanctuaries holding honey and salt.

There are those who spill and spend.

There are those who search and save.

And love may be a quest with silence and content.

Can you buy love?

Sure every day with money, clothes, candy,

with promises, flowers, big-talk,

with laughter, sweet-talk, lies,

every day men and women buy love

and take it away and things happen

and they study about it

and the longer they look at it

the more it isn’t love they bought at all:

bought love is a guaranteed imitation.

Can you sell love?

Yes you can sell it and take the price

and think it over

and look again at the price

and cry and cry to yourself

and wonder who was selling what and why.

Evensong lights floating black night water,

a lagoon of stars washed in velvet shadows,

a great storm cry from white sea-horses—

these moments cost beyond all prices.

Bidden or unbidden? how comes love?

Both bidden and unbidden, a sneak and a shadow,

a dawn in a doorway throwing a dazzle

or a sash of light in a blue fog,

a slow blinking of two red lanterns in river mist

or a deep smoke winding one hump of a mountain

and the smoke becomes a smoke known to your own

twisted individual garments:

the winding of it gets into your walk, your hands,

your face and eyes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate Covered Bacon

Cuz Damn - nothing sayz love like cardiac arrest on a plate :D  Okay - so if you are doing this life right you really shouldn't have to be worried about a few indulgence's here and there unless you are Martin Luther and then you nail stuff to doors with Worms in your Diet (okay nobody but my innermost got that)  BUT just sayin - if you do your life right and your people do it right chocolate and some pig shouldn't be the worst thing ever.  CUZ if the house is rockin don't bother knockin (finish this song B!) That's right - do your life right and just live right and take everything - including moderation in moderation and freakin enjoy it.

I gotta say - life with a certain 94 year old is a lesson in not killing someone.  She is difficult on a good day and I'm ready to push her in the street on a bad one!  She has more money than God - is pretty much closer in age than HE is - and YET is worried about getting fat!  Dear Jesus - if I make it to 94 -  being in a freakin beauty contest is the LAST thing that is crossing my mind besides - "where is the butter and can you bring me more?"  She can't see, can't hear and doesn't have a man.  But is worried about her girlish figure.  Ok.  Stop.  Her stuff hits her stuff.  There isn't a girlish anything in eyeshot and unfortunately for me - I've seen it!  Eat.  And enjoy.  I really hope I don't live that long.  Seriously - BUT if I do.  Get back and don't stick your arm in front of the donuts. 

No really - I know me.  I'll still be running.  I know I will.  I am me and will still be running.  I knit - on the elliptical while watching travel shows.  Can't just watch tv - or work out - NOOOOO  I need to use my hands (the devil's playground don't cha know) as well.

So if you love someone - or just love bacon - make this.  Crispiness is what makes the difference.  Do it right or just don't.  If you are going to cover something soggy in chocolate - don't make it bacon.  Just sayin. 

A bag of semi sweet choco chips.  The best you want - hell - make it cheap - you are puttin it over bacon - how bad can it be?

Take a pound of bacon.  Here's where if you want to spend a buck = do it. 

pre-heat oven to 350 (yes degrees)
line 2 sheet pans with 2 cooling racks (don't make me hurt you - yes do this)

put your bacon spread out on these two happy sheets

cook until done.  Yes you have to pay attention.  It's bacon dear LORD!  DO it.  We want crispy and DONE not limp and icky.  NO one NOT no one WANTS limp and icky.  just sayin

When super crispy - BUT NOT BURNT.  ONLY on the beach in Rio do we want burnt.  And frankly I'd take anything on the beach in Rio  . . . .

Take out and chill for a bit - here's where you will get dirty.  In chocolate.  You will.  Your fingers have to meet the chocolate and bacon so just deal.  It's so messy!!!!!!!!! - take the melted chocolate (micro is fine in short bursts - just don't burn it) take the chocolate and put it on a flexible cutting board and gently set the crisp bacon in it and cover.  Set on waxed paper.  My daughters said it was too much chocolate but seriously - what do they know of chocolate?  They can each eat a pound of bacon so it really was more about the bacon and less about the chocolate for them.  As a woman of years and experience I know it's more the chocolate and less the pig.  Just sayin.  Peace out!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Damn that's boring as a title and yet - so much is happening.  I am no longer unemployed.  I was offered a job with a company as the office administrator (yes - management!) in Manassas.  SMALL management though and that makes me happy.  I like to be the go to person but let me start this small and THEN I will rule the world :D  I know when I start and it's not for a bit -  so in the mean time I am crafting and decorating and exercising like a crazy person.  I have to share my HUGE score today thrifting!!!  OMG I got a pair of VERSACE pants for $4!!!  5 sweaters 2 of which are Cashmere and 5 nice dress shirts for Roger!  I spent like a dollar each!  I love thrifting.  Banana Republic wool skirt  - $2. 

SO - I am finishing - after frogging my birthday sweater - I hate following anyone else's directions for how to fit my body.  I've been knitting for almost 36 years  - I got this one!  I know my shape & what works - I still totally f' up things but it's my f'up!  I like to knit so much I don't even care.  Frog it and start over.  I will post when I'm done.  I'm a crazy person on this.  I have rules.  I knit on the machine.  AKA the iron man = the elipical.  I've been doing about 3 hours a day - knitting and reading and watching travel channel.  I'm figuring out how to get my new employer to get me a tread climber. 

So the new sweater is a great design = basically two tubes.  Arm hole - straight for back - arm hole then cast on for body - knit tube.  I love no sewing!  I am so so lazy with the sewing. 

Dinner was interesting the last two days = we had Trinity's birthday dinner yesterday - see Alton Brown's Taco episode on Good Eats.  That was dinner.  Yum!!!!!!!!!  Tonight - along with a bottle of Bubbly to celebrate my job and Roger getting a nice review - but I had some top neck clams to cook and besides 2 lbs of bacon for blt's (yeah - easy dinner for me - bake two lbs of bacon on racks.  save grease - done!) I had top neck clams that I steamed on an onion - sweated - jalapeno - sweated - garlic (a ton - sweated and some white wine - 2 lbs of top necks sweated with the stuff - I added some crushed green olives and some capers - only eat the clams that open.  Enjoy. 

I am so conflicted lately.  I tend toward the dark colors and yet - am so crow-ish in my bend toward sparkly things.  I - have a very deep dark secret that really I need to share.  I am now.  today.  a glee fan.

hides face.  I really didn't want to be.  but.  OMG - hello  high school for me!!!!!!!!!!!!  Glee is my freakin hs experience!  Add in Forensics and shit we got it  - Winneconne and all!   JR as Kurt - yup = ya think?  Yup!!!!  Bring it - and yes - I can sing thankyouverymuch :D baby you are a firework - make em' go oh oh oh!!!!!  LOVE IT - I am Kathryn Joanne Wenzel Sullivan-Howard and I am a Glee fan!!!!!!!!!!!!