Kitchen Poetry

Well for sure, as I look at my calendar, 2013 is really flying by for me. My days of freedom are rapidly drawing to a close as I realize January 7th is just 4 days away.

My intent is to post daily while on break because when the halls of education reopen on the 7th, my time is no longer my own. In a perfect world, I would carve out time to blog daily…and perhaps I will. Right now my days are very tight and scheduled to the max … leaving home way before the dawn cracks and returning long after the sun has pulled up her covers and gone to sleep for the night.

Today, I am going in a direction this blog has not taken … food. I love to eat, think of myself as a true foodie, but more than eating, I LOVE to cook! Like most southern ladies of my vintage, I learned to cook holding onto the tail of my mother’s apron. Yes, until a certain point in her life, my mother wore a dress, different apron daily and full make up … holding it all together was the ever-present girdle and hose held up by attached garters. No wonder Southern Women were referred to as Steel Magnolia’s … they were dressed for battle daily from the skin out.

My Mother was an amazing cook. She could pull a meal together on a moments notice out of thin air and feed from 3 – 30 and no one could figure out just how she could do that on a regular basis. She was a “by the seat of her pants” cook. Whatever was available in the freezer or in endless jars of canned vegetables hiding under every be in the house became a feast from her finger tips. She rarely used a recipe except when baking, she just cooked from her heart.

As I grew older and really became a more serious cook, I instinctively followed her lead. Cookbooks and recipes are the kitchen version of poetry…to be read, enjoyed for their personal meaning, yet when executed, tweaked, played with, dreamed about until they are my own. Like my Mother, rarely do I use a recipe when pulling a meal together … a little of this, a pinch of that … oh wine would be much better than chicken stock for this, my own version of “cooking by the seat of my pants.” I still follow recipes for any baked goods more or less to the letter … baking is chemistry … cooking is poetry.

I have a twitter friend who is also a foodie like me. We chat nearly every Saturday and Sunday morning about what we are cooking for the day over a first cup of coffee … one of my only vices. He is going down the path of GF or gluten-free cooking to help out a friend with celiac disease and finding new ways for her to continue her love of good food and stay healthy. Me, I just pick his brain for ideas. Most weekends I have a plan and have bought what I need on Friday. Sometimes, though I turn to him for greater inspiration. Cooking is a luxury that I only have on weekends as I create something that can be lunch and dinner for the coming week. This keeps me out of the drive through at any number of fast food demons calling to me when I am weak with hunger and on that healthy path my body and soul really crave more than any hamburger.

Holiday leftovers are calling me today…do I make and freeze turkey enchiladas, or do I make turkey noodle soup? The New Year’s Day good luck black – eyed peas, ham and greens definitely will be my favorite Black – Eyed Pea Soup. I have pork short ribs teasing me every time I open the fridge just waiting to be simmered with peppers and onions … so good over pasta, mashed potatoes or wrapped in a flour tortilla to keep the mumbly grumbly tummies away! So many ingredients … so much poetry!

Musical Muse today … just turned on the iPod to the song list and let her rip … started with my Texas girl Nora Jones and Above Ground … now at the conclusion of this writing I have only gotten so far as Always with the Great Leonard Cohen.

Continued peace, love and light as you travel through the journey of 2013 with me.

My Love Always … Annie

This was originally posted on January 2, 2012 at


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