Tuesday, May 3, 2016

a careless acolyte

[I wrote a poem for the first time in 9 years? Better post it before I start to hate it!]

Monday, January 4, 2016

Twilight II

Once upon a time, I was occasionally a poet.  As the years have gone by, I've lost the habit, but I'd love to start again.  The hardest part of writing is "killing your darlings" - well, it is at the time you're writing it.  Going back seven years later, it's easy to delete everything you've ever written with a keystroke because you're embarrassed by it.  But I still like this one, so I'll post it.  I don't remember what Twilight I was, but I do remember I submitted this to my poetry class with a disclaimer that it had nothing in common with the then-presently-popular trilogy.  Has it been long enough yet that we can say a time of day without invoking sparkly vampires?

Sunday, December 20, 2015

It's just one of those things.

So I've mentioned here before that I have fibromyalgia, and I want to write a little about the really confusing experience of having a chronic, invisible illness. It's gonna be a really long one, so bear with me.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy Winter Solstice

Finished early enough to send these out this year.  Have a wonderful holiday season, everyone!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

to the Cold and the Dark

It's our last night upstate.  It's not long enough.  It's never enough when I'm here.  The moment blue shadows of distant mountains start to come into view as we crest a hill on the highway, the tears spring up.  A tunnel of gold trees frames the road and I lose my breath.  All the things I am, but can't be when I'm not here, start flashing into life again. But it's more than I can feel, more than I can do to fulfill it all: the urge to run without direction into the trees and see every inch of Nature, to worship, to create, to live with energy and purpose.

Monday, August 24, 2015

If I had an orchard

Soooooooo, hi, internet!

It has been, as usual, a while.

I know what you want from me if you're here, and it's not a high school-esque prompt that belongs on Livejournal in 2002.  (But oh, if the internet could be so glorious again!)  Bear with me, though.  Cause that's coming.

I know.  Recipes.  Foods.  The goods.  The thing is, when you're busting your butt on those up to 55 hours a week, and you also have fibromyalgia, the whole coming home and making more and taking pictures of it thing.... doesn't really happen.  Maybe someday I will be less employed, or medicated, or both, and I will come back to posting regularly.  I want that to happen.  Because this blog has been something I was really proud of, and worked really hard to make an expression of myself, to hold onto all the things that make me happy and share them with the world.  Or, as it so happens since the traffic drop-off after last Christmas, to share them with a bunch of Russian porn sites, apparently.  Sometimes google analytics can be cruel.

But anyway, here is what I think you should do, dear reader, and why.  I think you should make a soundtrack that tells the story of your life.  I think you should do that because I did it a year ago, when I was just coming out of the worst year of my life, and it remains extremely therapeutic to me a year later when things are pretty great.  Maybe the songs that talk about the joys and heartbreaks of your childhood weren't written when you lived it, and you can write those memories onto the music now, and when you listen you'll be back there, and you'll understand a little something more about the path you've taken to today.  Maybe you'll feel like reaching back through time and talking to someone you used to be, who you thought you'd never see again.  Maybe you'll find that in putting the pieces of your life story together in a different way, it becomes an exercise like Tarot, and you can see the themes and archetypes at play.  Maybe it will just be fun.

And maybe you'll share it with me, cause I want to hear it.

If I had an orchard from lindenoak on 8tracks Radio.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Impossible, Everything-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello, blog!!  As ever, it's been a while.  What can I say.  Life is busy and having the perfect confluence of natural light in my very dark kitchen and time to snap glamor shots every time I make a recipe... does not always happen.  Rest assured, however, that I have been hard at work mixing and baking and tweaking and inventing, and somewhere in this process, magical things have occurred.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Late to the Party: I saw Interstellar and I need a hug.

...it's just been raining... on my face

So, yeah, that just happened.  Oh my gods.  I need to mentally process this here.  The last time a movie smacked me in the face and heart and gut like that it was The Fountain but then it had that INFURIATING NON-ENDING and I will never get over that so okay let's just not get onto that tangent, let's keep to the matter at hand, shall we.


Sunday, November 30, 2014


I start this new post on an old topic with a sigh.  Is there anything more to say?  For this hippy in the city, the theme of isolation from nature comes back around each year to bite me again.  In the summer I don't want to go out anyway - I'm a Stark.  I don't do well with sweltering.  So I just save it all for the dream of a cold fall wind, or that rare heavy storm that brings a fresh breath of clean air in the thick summer heat.  

In fall, we have our brief bit of joy visiting the mountains I want to call home.  I run in forests and look out from the peaks and remember what I feel like when I'm where I'm supposed to be.  And then we come home to the city, and the few leaves that we have fall, and winter starts to seep in through the windows.  The days are all shades of grey clouds and slanting gold sunbeams and long shadows that make morning and afternoon seem frozen in the moment before twilight.  Bare branches show their intricate designs, where there are branches to be seen.  I love these days, because in my childhood so much of the year was this way.  But it's not the same here.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Grandma's Carrot Cake

So when my job told me they wanted a carrot cake, I knew there was only one choice.  My grandma's been making this cake for longer than I've been around, and it's always moist and carroty and perfect.  Well, I only made some teeeeny tiny adjustments.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


I often debate whether brioche or challah is my favorite bread.  They share many similarities, for sure.  But brioche has that perfect illusion of lightness that can only come from a TON of fat.  Like slicing into a rich, buttery cloud.  Here I'm using Peter Reinhart's brioche recipes from his classic book The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I say recipes, because I made both the Rich Man's Brioche and Middle-Class Brioche, the difference between the two mostly just being the amount of butter.  The rich man's brioche has a full pound of butter, resulting in an extremely moist bread with a more open crumb and a very intense buttery flavor.  Great for eating as-is, toasted or untoasted, or with jelly or preserves (my favorite accompaniment is actually a sour cherry compote which I sadly don't have at the moment.)

The middle-class brioche has only (hah) a half-pound of butter and is better suited to sandwich buns than its richer sister because the dough has a little more stretch and thus the bread holds together more, while the rich man's will pretty much crumble between the pressure of sliced meat and teeth.  It's excellent for French toast,  too.  The middle-class brioche is also a little easier to shape, because working with a really high butter content dough is kind of like trying to make pottery with clay that melts when you touch it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rose-Scented Plum Crumble Tart

Good News, Everyone!  I'm a baker again!!  As in, professionally.  And also, much more frequently personally too.  It's amazing how doing what you love and feeling happy with your life puts some pep in your step to do more things you love... after a nap, of course.  I do often work at 3 am.  Expect to see a lot more recipes in the near future! Starting with this beautiful, easy dish from Martha Stewart, which I knew I had to make when a coworker made it and brought in a slice, and I had some plums wasting away at home!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Fudgiest Flourless Chocolate Cake

This recipe calls itself a cake.  It thinks it's a cake, I mean - it has eggs!  But let's be real.  It's oven-fudge.  Whatever it is, it's the most decadent thing you can make for a chocolate lover.  A few bites and you'll probably be set, so it makes a great little treat when you don't want to eat a lot of dessert.  And pairing it with some tart berries, a glob of ice cream, or a very big glass of milk will balance the richness.