It’s the first few days of spring, and the weather is chilly. It comes to no surprise of hearing about future snowstorms at this time of year in New York. I once experienced the four seasons in one day. The morning started warm as I left my apartment in a sundress with a raincoat that only looks pretty. 45 minutes later, I exited the train station in the city to a crisp and cold breeze, similar to the fall season. By lunchtime snow flurries larger than a quarter were drifting pass the office windows. Toward the evening, the day had returned to a pleasant warmer temperature with no evidence of snow or rain. Read more
Before he left our cozy, lovely nest for the warm waters of the Pacific coast, we enjoyed our last breakfast together, Sweet Potato Pancakes with Pomegranate Seeds. The orange from the pancakes and the magenta in the pomegranate seeds are visually entertaining and refreshingly different. Thankfully, this final breakfast was a success, before we briefly parted ways.
During the last two years we’ve been together, every dish made was either a failure or a success. He is the chief taste master. He kindly and patiently tastes various dishes, and he reminds me it’s not the end of the world if a recipe didn’t fare well. What people don’t see are the bad dishes, and the unlucky boyfriend who eats an ill-tasting dish as if it’s their last, choice meal in life. With failure, lessons are learned and a better dish is made than the last one. Read more
One day, a full Thanksgiving meal will be my personal responsibility. Until then, my friends rely on the sidekick dishes I contribute to their menu. And, if I’m feeling truly lazy, a good bottle of red wine is a peace offering to a disappointed host for not making a dish. Here’s another secret: This Sweet Potato Bread recipe makes two loaves. One loaf is immediately enjoyed, while the other is tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and zip loc for the freezer waiting to defrost after accepting a last minute holiday invitation. Read more
Someone said, “There goes the neighborhood’s intelligentsia,” upon hearing about a bookstore closing in the neighborhood. It was a quaint shop of diverse — mostly African-American — literature, music, and small gifts. The book store owner gladly ordered any book upon request, and she welcomed suggestions about upcoming books and authors. When I first moved into the neighborhood, seeing a book shop prominently display African-American literature, from the Nobel Peace Prize to the urban world fiction authors, warmed the heart. The shop had a cozy atmosphere with stained wooden shelves, framed autographs from notable authors, a painting of an angel reading a book that doubled as the shop’s logo, a play corner for young kids, and a long comfortable window seat. It was difficult to not stop in to say hello on the way to the coffee shop. Other times, a cup of coffee was enjoyed in the shop. Not only was the shop a place of literature, for it supported the community. It sponsored poetry events for young adults, introduced new authors, held reading workshops for children of various ages, and organized book clubs for adults. Read more
A couple snowstorms ago, a grocery-shopping spree was timed before the arrival of the first of trillions of snowflakes. In a fury of quickness, a few sweet potatoes were picked up along with the Southern propensity to buy excessive quantities of milk and eggs before a storm. Over time and periods of warmness that melted the snow, other ingredients for delicious recipes were consumed. The sweet potatoes sat still in darkness. It’s not as if they weren’t wanted or a bore, for they were the favorite taste among all the ingredients. One day, a father released a new recipe to the email winds of change. It was a simple cake calling for sweet potatoes. Quite easy the recipe read to be. The supporting ingredients, good for their purpose, tried to be difficult to the process of baking a cake. Read more