Monthly Archives: January 2013

Food, Glorious Food

Check out my review of Optimist Club cookbook in Myrtle Beach Sun Times today.

Homespun compilations such as these are  often treasure boxes of great recipes–some developed in families or communities,  some saved from times past and updated.

Have you made a recipe book of your family’s favorites? Consider it–more on that in coming weeks.


Preparing to Teach Poetry

Preparing to Teach Poetry.

Preparing to Teach Poetry

Getting ready to teach my poetry seminar at the library.

So excited about it! To be in the presence of children as they create is a very exciting thing!

I see myself as more of a guide, introducing them to their own creativity than a teacher, tho I will pass on to them any technique I have learned and certain aspects of poetry that can be”learned”. Mostly tho we will experience the creative process together.

Crissy, librarian at Hickman shared this book with me–if I had a textbook for the course, this is the book I would choose–it is written by Sharon Creech, award -winning children’s author of Walk  Two Moons.

The title of the book is Love That Dog and it explores poetry through the eyes of a reluctant poet, first as he learns to appreciate poetry, then to write it, then to share.

It is a small masterpiece.

Sunday is for Poets!!!

Sunday afternoon is the day the Brunswick County Poetry group meets. How fitting that the review of Alice Osborn’s book “After the Steaming Stops” ran in the Sun News.

Check it out–she is great!

What did you charge for that? Nothing??? What was it worth?

As a writer, I rarely write for free unless it is to publicize my book or the work of a friend–occasionally, a poem or story that has not been picked up for pay slips into a free mag because I want readers.

As a performer, I am often ASKED TO PERFORM WITHOUT CHARGE. That is a different matter. Here , in the world of performance, I often donate a performance for a worthy cause, to serve my community, to serve children, to serve (in the case of a workshop I am doing locally this winter) the cause of introducing children to performing and writing.

I have learned to pick causes and venues I love, that please me because I have learned that often, agreeing to perform free means you are not valued. That does not matter (in the case of the library workshop, they DO value me–in fact, so much I am humbled since I feel it is beyond my worth). I have to value what I am doing and the experience , That is the criteria–why? SO I can be a cheerful giver.

So, send your nine-year olds to Hickman Library in Calabash NC Tuesdays , starting Feb 12 to get an introduction to how to read, write, and read your own poetry.  I will be leading more than teaching, along with Amy Duncan one of the very talented and committed librarians who works there.

Our goal for those who come? To enjoy poetry and to see the library as a place for fun!

And it’s free!!! Why free? Because we hope that it will be beyond price!


Italian Onion Soup Inspired by a Recipe by Sara Moulton

Last week’s newspaper included an “Italian Onion Soup” by Sara Moulton, someone I admire in the food world.

So, I tried it–well, that is, being Italian, I used her recipe as a guide and came up with one of my own. A key factor in her soup is the use of a poached egg instead of the usual swiss cheese and crouton topping for the soup.

She wanted you to poach the egg in boiling water with some vinegar in it–I used an egg poacher. These litte pans are great! Ours can do six eggs at once but you can get smaller ones for not too much money. You could adapt further and do an over-easy egg to put on top, but that would add grease.

Here is my recipe, with thanks to Sara Moulton (serves 4)

3 pieces of thick-sliced bacon

3 pounds of onions sliced thin–I used two vidalia medium sized and three standard yellow

2 T flat parsely

3 cans (15 oz) of beef broth, low sodium. I use swanson’s because there is no MSG

1/2 cup white wine

3 T olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

8 slices of whole wheat baguette, toasted for serving on side

pecorino romano cheese

four eggs to poach


In a dutch oven, saute the bacon. When bacon is done, remove to dish, leaving grease at bottom. Add the onions to the grease along with the olive oil and simmer slowly for about twenty minutes. Keep dutch oven covered but stir frequently. When onions are soft add the broth and the  wine.  Uncover and let cook, even boil a bit for about twenty minutes. Let the soup rest for an hour or so and then heat to serve. While soup is reheating, poach the eggs. Spoon into bowls, add a poached egg to each bowl. Before serving crumble bacon and sprinkle some pecorino romano over each egg. The whole wheat “toasts”  should be served on the side.

Sara’s recipe calls for red wine and more of it. I like a lighter version, This soup has more onions to the bowl than my sister-in-law’s French Onion Soup recipe.

This  is a bit more rustic. I made it even more rustic with the whole wheat bread.


A Day to Remember and look ahead

We look to the past in order to pave the way to a better future.

Today is a day to remember the goals Martin Luther King put before us, including a nation united in equality of opportunity. This should pave the way for a stable, exciting, future for all of us. It’s a a double teachable moment today, with the innauguration taking place –a democracy peacefully putting in a new president.