I chuck, you chuck

I rarely find – on my own accord – those wondrous things that others post on Facebook. But I do love words. And while perusing through tidbits saved over the years I found – with all apologies to Mrs. McWhinney, my Latin teacher back in 9th grade (one of my very most least favorite teachers)(and as second parenthetical - isn’t it interesting how a foreign language can make mundane words look important? Do other nationalities think that of English?).  I digress.  Again.  I found:

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

Which translates as – kind of – How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Our future in the hands of our kids??

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

Attributed to SOCRATES by Plato, according to William L.
Patty and Louise S. Johnson, Personality and Adjustment, p. 277

“I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on
frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond
words… When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and
respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise
[disrespectful] and impatient of restraint” (Hesiod, 8th century BC – probably a contemporary of Homer).

My Caveat for Quotes

I love good quotes and pithy sayings.  I steal them from everywhere – TV shows, bumper stickies, movies, books, conversation.  To the best of my ability I try to credit the author when I know who it is.  It is interesting to see that occasionally I will see a quote credited to someone but a little research will show that it was actually – or at least apparently actually – first uttered by someone years and years ago.

My first quote has been attributed to Socrates, Plato, and Hesiod (and who knows, maybe they stole it from someone else.)  In any event, what I like about this is obvious – it’s a commentary on the future of the world in the hands of today’s youth – -

End of Caveat.

A dictionary of bread –

Was at the store today looking for French to make bread pudding.  I do love good bread pudding – operative word being “good.”  Plan to try a new recipe for “Whiskey Bread Pudding” which uses French bread.  Have sourdough here, but no French, so off to the store.  Which started me wondering what exactly is the difference between several of the breads and what is substitutable for what.  Here is some good info I found at a cool site called The Cook’s Thesaurus at http://www.foodsubs.com.  According to the site French Bread can be swapped with sourdough in a recipe – which I think I’ve done – but I  think sourdough has a distinctively different flavor, and one of my ‘bad’ habits it that I try to make a recipe ‘by the book’ the first time.


bagel   Pronunciation:   BAY-gull   Notes:   A Jewish specialty, these ring-shaped rolls have a dense, chewy texture.  They’re usually served for breakfast after being sliced open, toasted, and smeared with cream cheese.  The dough is sometimes studded with raisins, blueberries, onions, seeds, or herbs.  Substitutes:  English muffin (not as chewy) OR bialy

baguet   See French bread.

baguette  See French bread

bâtarde  See French bread

baton  See French bread.

bialy   Pronunciaton:   bee-AH-lee   Notes:   These chewy Jewish rolls have indentations on top which are filled with onions.   Look for them in bagel shops.   Substitutes:  bagel

bolillo = pan blanco   Pronunciation:  bow-LEE-yoh   Notes:  These are crusty Mexican sandwich rolls.  Substitutes:   French bread OR tortilla

breadsticks = grissini = Italian breadsticks   Notes:   Italians serve these crunchy breadsticks before Italian meals, to keep their guests occupied without filling them up too much.  You can buy them plain, or flavored with sesame seeds, garlic, onion, or herbs.  Substitutes:  Italian bread OR French bread

brioche   Pronunciation:  bree-OSHE  Notes:   This rich, slightly sweet yeast bread is made with eggs and butter, and sometimes with fruit or nuts.    Substitutes:  challah (similar, but not as rich) OR croissant OR Kugelhopf

challah = hallah = challa   Pronunciation:   HAH-lah  Notes:   This Jewish yeast bread is made with eggs and butter.  It’s wonderfully soft and rich, and usually comes as a braided loaf.  Substitutes:  brioche (similar, but richer) OR Portuguese sweet bread OR croissant

ciabatta   Pronunciation:  chuh-BAH-tah  Notes:   Ciabatta (“slipper” in Italian) is a rustic bread with a heavy crust and a dense crumb.  Substitutes:  Italian bread OR French bread

corn rye bread = corn-rye bread  Notes:  A staple of Jewish delicatessens, this rye bread is coated with cornmeal.  It’s often paired with corned beef.  Substitutes:  rye bread

croissant   Pronunciation:  krwuh-SAHN Notes:   These French crescent-shaped rolls are made with puff pastry, so they’re wonderfully rich and tender.  They’re great for dunking into coffee, or for making sandwiches.  Substitutes:   brioche OR challah

crumpet   Notes:   These are moist yeast muffins that the British like to slather with butter or clotted cream and serve at teatime. You can buy them ready-made in larger supermarkets, or make them yourself with the help of a crumpet ring and griddle.  Toast them before eating.   Substitutes:  English muffin (very similar)

dreikornbrot  Notes:  This German bread is made with rye flour.

English muffin   Notes:   When split and toasted, these muffins have an uncanny ability to trap and hold butter and jam.  They’re often served at breakfast as an alternative to toast.  Substitutes:  toast OR crumpet OR bagel OR croissant

ficelle  See French bread.

French bread  Notes:  This is the traditional French bread that has a hard, dark brown crust and many large air pockets. The baguette = baguet  (bah-GET) is the standard tube-shaped French bread, about two feet long.  The bâtarde = batarde  (buh-TARD) is a bit larger than a baguette, while the baton (bah-TOH), is a bit smaller, and the ficelle (fee-SELL) is much narrower.   Substitutes:   Italian bread  (Usually shorter and rounder than French bread.)

Greek bread  

Italian bread    Notes:   Like French bread, Italian bread has a dark, hard crust and a slightly chewy interior.  Substitutes:   French bread  (French bread is generally longer and narrower than Italian bread, but otherwise very similar.)

kommisbrot   Notes:  This German rye bread has a fine texture and is often thinly sliced.

kugelhopf = kouglof    Pronunciation:   KOO-guhl-hopf   Notes:  This German specialty is a sweetened yeast bread with currants and almonds baked inside.  It’s usually shaped in a ring and served at breakfast.  Substitutes:  panettone OR kulich OR brioche

kulich = Russian Easter bread   Pronunciation: KOO-litch   Notes:   Russians serve this rich, sweetened yeast bread at Easter. It typically has raisins in it and icing on top.   Substitutes:  panettone OR brioche OR Kugelhopf

limpa bread = Swedish limpa bread = sweet rye bread = Swedish rye bread   Pronunciation:    LIM-pah  Notes:  This delicious and fragrant rye bread is usually flavored with molasses, anise seed, and orange peel.  Despite its exquisite flavor, it’s hard to find in the United States.   Substitutes:  pumpernickel bread

manaeesh  See zatar bread.

Portuguese sweet bread = pao duce = Hawaiian bread  Notes:  This sweet and tender bread is great for making French toast or for nibbling.  Substitutes:  challah OR brioche

Pugliese bread = pan Pugliese  Pronunciation:  pool-yee-AY-zee   Notes:   This simple, crusty bread hails from Puglia, Italy, and is great for making sandwiches or dipping into olive oil.  Some producers flavor it with olives or cheese.  Substitutes:  Italian bread

pumpernickel bread    Notes:    This heavy and slightly sour bread is made with molasses and a blend of rye and wheat flours.  It’s often cut into thin slices and used for appetizers.  Substitutes:  sourdough rye OR Russian black bread

raisin bread  Notes:  This bread is studded with raisins and often flavored with cinnamon.  It’s usually served as toast for breakfast.

Russian Easter bread  See kulich.

rye bread    Notes:   This is a favorite of Northern Europeans, who use it to make hearty sandwiches.  Most of it is made with both rye and wheat flours.  There are dozens of varieties, ranging from light tan to almost black.   Substitutes:  pumpernickel bread OR limpa bread

sourdough bread  Notes:  A San Francisco specialty, this is French bread made with a special starter of yeast and bacteria that imparts a pleasant, sour taste to the bread.  It’s especially good with seafood.  Substitutes:  French bread

starter breads = pain au levain = pane lievito naturale    Notes:    These are breads that are made with a starter instead of fresh yeast.  A starter is a mixture of flour, water, and baker’s yeast that been set out so that it can be colonized by airborne yeast and friendly bacteria.  Starters lend a special character to the bread–sourdough bread, for example, needs to be made with a starter to acquire a sour flavor.

Swedish limpa bread  See limpa bread.

zatar bread = manaeesh

- – -



Remember Me

Originally given as part of a required “gift of memory” talk at the “Graduation” for Hospice Volunteers, Anchorage, Alaska (circa 2004)

Someone once told me – to get a sense of your importance to the world, put your fist into a bucket of water.  When you remove your fist, the hole that is left represents how much you will be remembered.  I’ve always kind of believed that to be true.  I also found it rather discouraging.  Then one day, probably while folding worn out blankets, it occurred to me that there exists a huge population of women (and a few men), who live on generations later.  They perfected no new medical procedure to enrich and save lives.  They found no new way to provide heat without destroying the environment.  They made no name for themselves in politics or philosophy or medicine or science.  They sewed.  More particularly, they quilted.  Often at night after a day of work.  By fire light.  Or lamp light. (So unaware of Ott lights.)  Perhaps with leftovers from family clothing, or feed sacks.  Rarely from fabric purchased for a project.

  • They quilted to keep their family and friends warm.  They quilted to create gifts for marriage, remembrance, warmth.  They quilted for family, for friends, for soldiers.  They quilted out of necessity.They are not remembered for medicine or science.  Or discoveries.  Or inventions.  They were women largely uneducated, struggling to keep their families fed, clothed, and warm.  And while the idea of using time and money to create a quilt that was made only to admire on a wall likely never was even an idea (except perhaps to hang old ones to fight drafts and cold), these quilters had a sense of beauty, of color, of pattern.

    Look at the quilts they left behind.   Sometimes neither the fabrics nor the seams match.   The stitches are not always even, and the squares are not always square.  Sometimes the quilts are true masterpieces by any standard – hand pieced postage stamp quilts, intricate mariner’s crosses.  Some are nearly new.  Some are tattered and falling apart.    Some have truly been recycled – hidden inside a new quilt as the batting or interlining.  But whatever condition, these quilts have survived, often longer than the houses, and even the community, they were created within. Each represents its maker – a mother, or sister, or grandmother.   A woman quilting to ease a soldier’s chill in the war.   Sometimes we know her name – stitched into a quilt.  But even without a name, those women, each one an individual stitched into her quilt, is remembered   And the memory of each one lives on.  Every day.  Generations later.  Even in our present throw-away world, we hang on to these survivors.

    And women still quilt.  Women with no education.  Women with degrees and prestige.  Lowly women,  Powerful women.  Perhaps for the same reason we do.  Because perhaps, in the years to come, our daughters and sons, and their grandchildren, friends, people we have yet to meet, and people we never will, shall remember us through what we leave behind.

On Losing Weight


I was ranting today, and it was suggested that I carry on such rant in my new blog.  Hmmm, not sure how much I would want to read what someone else wrote on losing weight, but then, there’s no mandate that anyone has to read this one.  And it’s a little strange, because I prefer not to discuss my weight loss or yours.  That being said -

Losing weight has been a battle all of my life.  I remember when I was little – which translates as probably 6 or 7, that my Dad (aka my Hero) told my Mom (aka Saint for living with Hero) that I was getting a little pudgy.  Mom replied – don’t worry, she’ll lose it in the summer.

But I never did.

I remember standing at a church door waiting for Sunday School to start (which is a WHOLE ‘nother blog entry), and a tall attractive girl about my age told me she had just “gone over” 100 lbs.  I remember being completely relieved that there was someone in the world besides me that weighed more than 100 lbs.

And suffice to say, I have lost – and regained – hundreds of pounds since that day.  I remember when I would lose a significant amount of weight and be convinced that I would never put that weight back on.  And I didn’t – for at least three or four months.

There are, of course, books written about why that happens.  For me – I love rich, sweet, salty, greasy, fatty, food.  Did then.  Do now. That phrase “oh this is too rich to eat much” has never crossed my lips.  I am bored with most healthy alternatives I know.  Crunchy celery and crisp carrots just don’t cut it.  The crispy floured deep fried crusty skin is the reason I eat chicken.  The rich cream cheese chocolate pecan frosting is the reason I eat cake.  I would prefer that tofu not so much as enter my house.  Okay, wait, I DO like salads.  I also hate to make them.  (which reminds me of another issue – which is – why do I hate making salads for me, but really have fun making creative salads for B&B guests?  But I digress (again) ).

A second reason why I gain the weight back is one I saw explained elsewhere, and realize affects me – I didn’t gain back a lot of weight – I only gained back one pound.  It’s just one pound.  What’s to worry about one pound?  Except, of course, that I didn’t lost that before I gained another one.  But that’s okay, because – ready? – it’s “just one pound.”

This last weight loss event has been different.  It has been significantly more than a year and I have not gained the weight back.  I guess I am hereby announcing to whatever part of the world that wants to know that I lost 75 pounds.  As an adult I’ve been thinner than I am now but I started out this last time at my heaviest weight.

So what have I learned. Well, I’ll put that in a later blog, or maybe an addition to this one – but as I reminder to me, or perhaps a teaser to some future loyal reader (is that my ego?) -

Do it your way – why do people sabotage? – know your triggers – my favorite phrases – what about favorite clothes – should your friends be on board – eating just one bite (who am I kidding) – Cheetos and the economy bag – what can I keep in the house – cooking for others – no food discovery (hot grapefruit and quinoa) – the nurse at the doctor’s office and know your patient – here’s your sign) – up and downs – the five pound window – don’t dwell on how would life be different – I’m use to what I see – anorexia – those who don’t notice

Just Another Coincidence

I love coincidences. (Hmmm, almost sounds like the plural should be coincidi. Not sure what makes me think so – no relationship to words like octopus/octopi. Okay – moving on – - )

So this current thought has to do with dumplings. My mother used to make the best dumplings in the whole world. And recently I thought I needed to make some for guests. ‘(Eventually I’ll get around to waffling on about my bed and breakfast and cooking for guests). So, I found a basic dumpling recipe and created the most horrid – pasty – awful things ever. Serious yuck. And now for the past week or so I have been looking at recipes for dumplings – or more properly – dumplins. I find it intriguing that some directions say to put the dough on chunks of meat or stew that rise a bit above the water level and the dumplin a bit out of the water and allows it to steam more. Other say that the best dumplins are put directly on to a soupy base. But back to the coincidence. I have never mentioned the dumplin hunt to anyone and it not been the topic of conversation. Yet – tonignt I was talking to a good friend – we shall call him “Steve” for sake of convenience – and he tells me he made tonight – yep – dumplins – and that they were fabulous. Then told me about a video he had seen and indeed followed up by sending me the link. And – assuming I can figure it out, I will pass that link on here shortly. So THAT is the coincidence bit. I’ve spent a week searching for a good recipe, and friend calls and gives me one – out of the stark blue.

Even better – I have now watched the video multiple times in the past hour-ish. (Yes, I know, not good grammar and in my past life I was the grammar queen. Oh, well.) The video is clear, easy to follow, and makes me think I too, can make dumplins. But make the recipe or not – the man presenting the demo is just fun to listen to. He has a sense of humor that doesn’t make me laugh, but does make me smile. He brightens up the video without interfering with the plot line. He sounds like he would be a good person to know.

Ah – now to figure out how to insert link. http://foodwishes.blogspot.com/2012/05/chicken-dumplings-stewed-chicken-with.html

Thanks again, Steve.

And So We Begin

For the past year, I have wanted a blog.  My webmaster (because I’m computer illiterate, that’s why) warned me against the idea saying I didn’t have the time to devote to it.  And I listened for year, then said, “No, really, I do have time. I do, I do.”  So he set up my blog it’s two months later, and now I need to do the very first post.  It should be profound, entertaining, articulate, and set the stage for grand things to come, don’t you think?

The result is it’s been nearly a month and I still haven’t posted that first magic entry.  It occurs to me that maybe I need to address what I want to write about.  That’s easy – everything.  But it also occurs to me that no – I do NOT care if it is profound or entertaining.  Which begs the question, so why did I want one in the first place?  And the answer, I believe, is that I am a frustrated wanna be writer who likes to write but is too lazy to write something substantial enough to be published, or even to find a publisher for the things I have written, which tend to be short stories – very short ones.

So the next step is – what kind of things do I want to write.  Oh, let’s see  – whatever appeals to me at the moment.  Maybe a favorite recipe.  Or a favorite memory.  Or a great license plate I just saw.  Or maybe one of my pet peeves.  The great quilt I just saw.  A wonderful act by a teenager.  Maybe a question about whatever happened to my favorite movie actor.  Maybe a wonderful compliment I just got. You know, those ramblings of the mind.  Maybe I want a place to store all of those.  Maybe I want a place where you can share the same.  A non-threatening place to check in when you want to with no strings attached.  Something you can do if you want to.  When – because – you want to.

Perhaps the next entry will be a long convoluted one about the weekend I spent in Las Vegas with my Dad.  Or perhaps a short one about why is it I can’t recreate my Mom’s scalloped potatoes.  I can’t, of course, because she’s not here to say, that’s not enough milk, add a little more.  Well, Mom, what was the criterion (No, really, criterion – singular – sounds goofy, but ‘tis correct)– cover the first layer of potatoes?  Add how much more butter?  But the other bowl was bigger, doesn’t that matter.?  Or maybe that will lead to a story she told me about how HER mother made bread.  Or about how my Dad was responsible the success of every Thanksgiving turkey and every batch of Chex Party Mix.  And it occurs to me, maybe I am writing this for my grandkids in apology for all those things I wished I had asked my Mother about her life, and – stream of conscious here – for realizing too late that my Mother was a person who had a life I never knew, and hopes I never knew, a person who perhaps wondered about HER mother’s recipe = which reminds me about the story of her mother pouring boiling water all over the newly waxed floor so all the little kids didn’t fall down – one I have thought of for probably 40 years.

Or maybe I’ll stick in a one line reminder about something I like remembering – favorite words I forget, but like to say (Pergula – the word I can never remember but which I define as “you know that not quite an enclosed hangy-up place to have flowers hanging from” – which would lead to cold chills because that ends in a preposition, which reminds me of really important things in life – like – did you know that you don’t have to be “overwhelmed” – you can just be “whelmed”), because I love unusual words, but at this point would also be having apoplexy about my overuse of quotation marks.  Then I’ll worry if I should explain “whelmed” or leave you hanging. (The best definition I’ve seen is “satisfied” or “a pressing condition but one I can handle okay.)  Oh yes, and should I worry about irritating someone’s (mostly my own) sense of grammatical perfection, and leapfrogging to remembering a student in one of my poetry classes who asked where he went to get a license.  (Do I need to explain that?)

And I suppose the next entry will be a cast of characters in my life, maybe with some name changes to protect the guilty – because aren’t we all a little guilty of something.  So my webmaster’s name isn’t really Paul, and my best friend’s name isn’t really Vickie, but my name, depending on who you are, really is Jane and Jo and JJ and MamaDoc and Gah’l-doc and Josie and Josephine and Lady J and Mrs. Lady and – ‘tis true – Woman-of-Many-Names.  And maybe I’ll get around to explaining all that.  After the quilt show I’m headed to.  And before the next batch of sticky buns.  While the weekend B&B guests are here.  And certainly before I head to Ireland.  If I get to go. And I’ll let you know if I get the teaching position.  But first I have feed the hummingbirds, and send in my entry for  – well, maybe you don’t need to know about that.  Yet.

So, meanwhile, Paul – hit go and make this live.