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Liz Really Liked It!, BlackBerry Shots, vintage recipe card, November 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

It’s almost Thanksgiving, a time of gratitude for our many blessings. And a time for good food. I walked over to the fridge this morning and under a Morton Salt “When it rains it pours” magnet was this faded recipe card for Chicken L’Orange. Liz’s mother (oliverowl) mailed it to us after a discussion on Memories, Writing & Family Recipes.

She told us that Liz’s maternal grandmother, Frances Oliver Biggs, loved that Liz liked the Chicken L’Orange. So much so, that she handwrote her comment on the back of the family recipe card she sent to Liz’s mom:

Does Liz remember the recipe for “Chicken L’Orange” that her Nana sent me? I still have the card in my recipe box. At the end is her comment, “Liz really liked it!” (Sent after Liz’s visit to CA.) It is probably similar to what you had on the Cornish game hens.

My contribution to yesterday’s meal was Grandma Caroline’s Green Salad (OLD family recipe) and a Cranberry Sauce that had orange juice and a whole jar of Orange Marmalade cooked with the fresh berries!

Now the recipe card with Liz’s grandmother’s handwriting hangs on our fridge. I told Liz I want to try Grandma Caroline’s Green Salad this year. It reminds me of my family’s version of Jell-O salad with whipped cream. Below is the recipe that Liz’s mom Marylin dropped into the red Ravine comments.

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Grandma Caroline’s Green Salad

 
 

1 large box of Lime Jell-O
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 14-15 oz. can crushed pineapple, including juice

 
 

Take the cream cheese out of the fridge, so it begins to soften. Prepare the Jell-O, using 1 less cup of water than the recipe calls for. Chill it until it begins to thicken, but don’t let it solidify, or you’ll have a mess!

Since I only have one mixer, I whip the cream and place it in a small bowl. Then I cut the cream cheese in small chunks and place them in the mixer bowl and beat it well. When the Jell-O is a thick syrupy consistency, I add it to the cream cheese and mix until they are homogenized! (You’ll have to scrape down the sides of the bowl several times.) Next, the pineapple is mixed in and then the whipped cream, both at the slowest speed. Refrigerate until firm. Enjoy!

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We’re going to stop at the store today for last minute ingredients. What traditional recipes will you be sharing this Thanksgiving week? Are there any that have been passed down by your grandmother? Bob mentioned he’s making Aunt Annie’s Scalloped Oysters. ybonesy’s family always makes tamales for Christmas. And my family makes Southern Banana Pudding for almost every family gathering. Old recipes are invaluable to memoir writers. Family flavor.

Hope you enjoy Grandma Caroline’s Green Salad. And if you put together the two front and back photos of the recipe card in this post, you’ll have the Biggs family recipe for Chicken L’Orange — two great family recipes, one post. And any leftover turkey? Try Amelia’s Soft Dumpling Recipe.

 
 

Chicken L’Orange, When It Rains, It Pours,  BlackBerry Shots, vintage recipe card, November 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

 
 

Post Script: The Morton Salt girl has always been a favorite icon of mine. She’s officially called the Morton Umbrella Girl and according to the Morton website, the slogan, “When it rains it pours” first appeared on the blue package of table salt and in a series of Good Housekeeping magazine advertisements in 1914. The slogan is adapted from an old proverb, “It never rains but it pours.”

You can read more about the history of Morton Salt, view vintage ads, and see the transition of the Morton Umbrella Girl from the roaring twenties to the 1968 image that we still view on packaging today. They’ve also got a recipe section with Winning Kosher Salt Recipes.

 

-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

-related to post: Reflections On The Other National Bird*

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Continuity, BlackBerry Shots, pool near Clarks Hill Lake, Georgia, October 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.






streaks of Southern light
splash across concrete pool deck
sink to the bottom


wading through memoir
old gravestones crack and crumble
worn secrets revealed


John Cheever lives on
fine art of the short story
distant memories


pool to pool to pool
we have all been The Swimmer
fighting for our lives






When I travel to Georgia with Mom, we stay at my Uncle Bill’s place on Clarks Hill Lake. Mom likes the wicker room on the first floor with a view of the lake and grounds. This year I stayed in the only upstairs bedroom in the wing of the house dedicated to recreation, exercise, and watching movies. In the past, I thought it a little strange to be the only person sleeping on the whole second floor. But this year, I grew to love the room. It’s quiet. No widescreen TV on the wall, no noise. And it looks out over a sea of Georgia pines on the shore of Clarks Hill Lake.

The dividing line between Georgia and South Carolina runs right through Clarks Hill Lake. I stay on the Georgia side with my uncle; my paternal aunts, Annette and Brenda, live not far from my uncle on the South Carolina side. I reconnected with my blood father’s sisters a few years ago after nearly 50 years. They had not seen me or my mother since I was 2 years old. Small world.

One morning I awoke and saw these streaks of light pulsing through the pool below me. It struck me how they hit the concrete first, then jumped into the water and immediately sank to the bottom. One thing I like about outdoor pools is the way the sunlight plays through the water during the day. Another thing about swimming — you get really good at holding your breath.

My grandfather had a pool when I was growing up. It wasn’t far from the bomb shelter he built outside his new home; it was the 1950’s. Among the things I remember clearly are the few sultry evenings when we swam at night. I also associate pools with John Cheever’s short story, The Swimmer. Ever since Natalie Goldberg had us read it for one of her Taos workshops, I’ve never forgotten it. Neither has writer Michael Chabon. In Salon, he calls The Swimmer “a masterpiece of mystery, language and sorrow.”

Who is your favorite short story writer? Have you ever written or published a short story? What do you associate with swimming pools? Exercise, relaxation, water polo, relief from the heat, family fun? Do a Writing Practice on Swimming Pools….10 Minutes, Go!


Lifeline, Lightbending (3), BlackBerry Shots
of pool near Clarks Hill Lake, Georgia, October
2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All
rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, November 14th, 2009, with gratitude to Natalie for all the writers she has introduced us to and made us read in spite of our resistance!

-related to posts: haiku 2 (one-a-day), PRACTICE — Holding My Breath – 10min, The Vitality Of Place — Preserving The Legacy Of “Home”

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November Frost Moon, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


The moon is beautiful in the Fall. Maybe it’s because in October I traveled to Pennsylvania, drove down to Georgia and South Carolina, then flew back to Minnesota, that I paid more attention to the skies. Or because I’m out driving during the day and the Moon grounds me to the sky. Yesterday the sun set in a giant orange ball over three cemeteries on the way home from work. It sank before I could get my BlackBerry camera into position.

I’ve been enjoying the new BlackBerry. Have taken a few hundred photos with the phone camera over the last month. It’s quick and easy and I can post to Twitter as soon as I shoot. I like the grain of the nightshots. Not as clear as with my regular Canon G6 point and shoot. But spontaneous and fun.

I wanted to post these shots of the November Frost Moon. Liz and I were stopped by its beauty on the way to get a Redbox movie, drove off on a side road by a local park, slipped out and shot a few images with our cell phones. Do you take phone shots? What do you do with the images? I’m thinking about uploading them into a Flickr set.

I posted a series of Moonshots in 2008. Made it a practice to follow the monthly patterns of the moon. Back then, I missed November and posted Frost Moon (Faux November) instead. This is my way of making up with the Moon. On these dark Fall days, I’m happy for the light of the Frost Moon. Winter Solstice is just around the corner.

BlackBerry Moon, BlackBerry Shots,
Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2009, all
photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, November 7th, 2009

-more Lunar posts from over the years by ybonesy & QuoinMonkey in 13 Moons

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We buckled in Colby Jack.
(Monkey also came.
So did Wally the Platypus.)




We saw snow on the mountains.
(But where we were going,
there was no snow.)





It was down there somewhere.
Underneath all the smog.

   



Finally, we could see something.
Ah, yes, an airport parking lot.





We got our Ford Escape.
Look, the underside of a plane!





We drove our car to our hotel.
(Such a lovely place…such a lovely place.
Such a lovely face…such a lovely face.)





Threw down our bags and hit Muscle Beach.
But instead of showing our biceps,
we hung upside down.






Happy happy.
Spring Break for all!

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I get up at 4:10 am, the latest possible time I can rise and get dressed, make a cup of coffee, brush my teeth, warm the frost off the car, and still make it to the airport 45 minutes before my 6 o’clock flight.

The plane is almost empty. I sit alone on row 12, over the wing. Something about soaring west, away from the sunrise yet still into the light, away from freezing cold into a temperate environ — makes getting up that early all worthwhile.

We reach cruising altitude. On the tray table in front of me are:

  • pens and doodling journal
  • writing notebook
  • cell phone on airplane mode
  • coffee and cream in a styrofoam cup
  • plastic glass with tomato juice and ice

Plane acoustics are like large restaurant acoustics. A din — combination of the pressurized cabin air, the murmur of men talking a few rows back, the jets. It is perfect white noise.

I dread trips that contain any of the following: multiple stops, change of planes, crowded coach seats, more than two hours. But a hop in a near-empty plane from Albuquerque to Phoenix is perfect.

Even the stale plane smell is absent. Even the bumps are forgiven. Airline attendants are just the right amount of attentive when the passenger load is light. Everyone leaves everyone else alone.

The moon is still out as we bank over the sprawling city. I see it hanging just above the tip of the wing.

I am self-sufficient. I have everything I need in my leather case and rollaway bag. The plane empties quickly. Walking through the airport, I am still protected in my bubble. Strangers traveling don’t make eye contact.

In the three hours since leaving my home and driving my rental car to the exit booth, I have said only five words:

  • “Coffee, four creams”
  • “Thanks”
  • “Ba-bye”


Certain plane rides are so ordinary, they are special.


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Cranes in Cornfield, cell phone photo ©
2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.



Actually, I saw a crane yesterday
from seat 9F (window, over the wing)
of my US Airways flight into San Jose,
California.

I wondered if it was
the same crane
I saw last time I was in San Jose.

Last night I was at a restaurant
Pappizani or something Italian,
work colleagues.
Talk turned to family and before you know it
everyone whipped out their cell phones
and passed around pictures of their kids.

I’m not a photographer
But I am a talker

That’s how I got the shot of the cranes in a cornfield
one morning last week
on my way to work
stopping at the library to drop off an overdue book.
Otherworldly gutteral cooing of long-throated cranes
in the field next door
hundreds of cranes

Agh, where is my camera when I need it?

Cell phone camera shots can be art.
I’m not saying mine are.
Thou art art
AR-AR-AR

Off with me now.
I’m in San Jose
Just popped in to say Hey.

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-My Wednesday morning direct flight to PHX left ABQ at 7:45 am.
-My direct flight left PHX the same day and returned to ABQ at 4:05 pm.
-How many hours total did I spend in PHX on Wednesday?




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i saw a crane today
A Room with a View, downtown San Jose, CA, August 30, 2007, photo ©
2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

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Arriving San Jose, August 29, 2007, photo © 2007 by ybonesy, all rights reserved.
Arriving San Jose, CA, August 29, 2007, photo © 2007 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.


I don’t know if it’s my cell phone camera, the older airplane, or San Jose, but something about this photo reminds me of a bygone era.

We’re staying in downtown San Jose. I love it.

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