Thursday, October 23, 2008


I'm a decent cook. Some days I consider myself a good cook; every once in awhile I'm inspired. And when I'm inspired as often as not it's for a meal that's cooked in one pot. You might call it stew or soup. I usually call it glop and no two glops are the same.

Last night I was inspired. I made what was essentially a chicken mole but kept playing with it. I dredged chicken in a mixture of flour and mole seasoning, sauted it, then added onions, garlic, potatoes, a can of black beans, more spices (including more mole, pepper, salt and some adobo) and water. I let this all cook for awhile and then tasted it. I found it to be a bit flat, so I added a little more pepper and the magic ingredient: molasses.

Once it cooked down it was wonderful. The sauce was rich and savory, wonderful to eat by itself with bread, while the chicken and beans were tender and delicious. I'm feeling pretty smug about the whole thing. It could have been disastorous, but ended up delightful and perhaps reproducible.

When I die I'll be remembered for my stories and my glop. That's not such a bad thing.

(c) 2008 Laura S. Packer

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day - Poverty

You're hungry. You haven't had a good meal in who knows how long. You're cold and tired and just worn out. You don't have access to a computer to read this blog - or to look for a job, or for a recipe if you had enough money for food anyway.

Poverty stinks.

On Blog Action Day bloggers around the world unity to make poverty history. You can too. Donate. Give time, give money, give your good spirit. Thanks.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fair Food and its remedies

This past weekend my sweetie and I went to the Topsfield Fair, a large agricultural fair. It was full of everything you'd expect - barns with beautiful livestock (it's good to remember where the meat we eat comes from)(there was one cow who was, I swear, a ham. She loved having her picture taken and got sulky when no one was nearby), giant pumpkins (the winner was over 1,400 lbs, yikes), a midway with games and rides, infomercials everywhere, and of course, food. Cider, fried dough, hot dogs, turkey legs, french fries, on and on and on.

My favorite bite was a hot cider donught and a cup of hot cider. The worst was a texas onion ring, covered with so much slightly-off batter I couldn't finish one. The smells were overwhelming.

When we got home all I really wanted was something clean and simple. The next day for dinner I made a butternut squash. I quartered it (actually, Kevin chopped it up with a cleaver for me - those suckers are tough), scraped out the seeds, then put it in an inch or so of water with salt and pepper. I microwaved it for about 12 minutes until it was tender then scraped out the flesh and called it done. It tasted clean and fresh, like autumn. The kitchen smelled like something pure. Not frying fat. As I ate it I imagined the long green vine that it grew on. The sound of the barkers voices faded form my mind, the texas onion ring finally left my palate. The fair was fun, but this, oh this was home.

(c) 2008 Laura S. Packer

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Today is Yom Kippur, the Jewish holiday of repentance. While there are many aspects to the observance of this Holy Day for the purposes of a food blog there is really only one point need to make.

Today we fast from sundown to sundown. It's a powerful ting, fasting deliberately as an act of sacrifice, so we understand deprivation. I felt my stomach growling, felt the emptiness, and remembered how lucky I am to have plenty.

At sundown I broke my fast with apples and honey, sweetness for the new year. I am cleansed, my mouth is sweet and I am reminded of the riches that surround me.

(c) 2008 Laura S. Packer