Food I Like


Photo by: Sarah Marie Miller

I try to make “Food I Like” lists on days I’m happy.  It’s much harder on sad days.  On sad days, I don’t like any food.  I’m an “emotional-starver” (as in I lack appetite, not starving to death).  I need these lists to help me eat on days when I forget how.

polenta and chard. salmon with leeks. french toast. tunafish pasta. caramel corn.

The lists do not have to be healthy, just remind me that I love food.

macaroni and cheese. latte. hamburgers. pesto linguine. salmon patties. mashed potatoes. peas. tajine. chicken tiki masala. bruschetta. chai tea. chamomile tea. lapsang souchong.

The way I see food is consequent of the way I see life.  Sometimes I look in the pantry and think there is nothing, NOTHING to eat.  Even though there is a grocery store 1/2 a block away.

ice coffee. tahini and chips. raw macaroons. kombucha. goat cheese wontons. spaghetti. goji tea.

On a sad day I’ll look to cookbooks for inspiration to eat but the food is all so complicated, it’s better just to consult my lists.

Sometimes I draw a picture of each food as I think of it.  By the time I finish drawing I usually have another food come to mind, then slowly, a list.  My options are there, things I love are there on paper for me to acknowledge.  I can’t say there is nothing when I’m looking at a list of everything.

fish taco. baked chicken. chicken salad with golden raisins. black bean burritos. bagel with tomato and cream cheese.

I feel empowered writing down the food I enjoy. I think making a food list would make anyone happy.  Certain food brings to mind family, events, parties, nights on the couch alone knitting… the notion that you are what you eat.  What are you?

Here’s another song by Local Natives from their latest album, Gorilla Manor.  Love these guys.

… and something about 10 times more up-beat by Voxtrot, Keenan’s latest fave.

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Mashed potatoes, salmon patties and peas

Mashed potatoes, salmon patties and peas

This is one of my all-time favorite meals.  Mashed potatoes, salmon patties and peas.  I remember losing teeth to this meal.  My memaw made it for me at least twice a month growing up.  It reminds me of Halloween, Kentucky, the woods behind my memaw’s house and my family when we were joined at the hip.  This meal is perfect for fall-time dinners with the ones you love.

Mashed potatoes

4 russet potatoes
1 stick butter
salt
milk
an electric mixer with whisk attachment

Peel potatoes, rinse and cut into 1 inch sections.  Boil potatoes for 10 minutes or until you can easily cut them with a fork.  Strain potatoes and pour them into the mixer.  Add butter and salt.  Mix on low, then medium then high.  Slowly add milk until potatoes are fluffy.  Take it slow.  It’s easy to add more milk later, a lot harder to add more potato.  The ratio has to be juuuuust right.  It’s an intuitive thing.  You’ll just know.

Let the potatoes whisk around for a bit, remember to scrape the edges of the mixing bowl to make sure all the potatoes are being broken down and viola!  Mashed potatoes!

Salmon patties

1 can salmon
1 egg
1/2 pack Ritz crackers (This time I used rosemary flavored Triscuits.  It doesn’t really matter.)
Olive oil (any kind of cooking oil, doesn’t matter)

Drain and de-bone the salmon.  Add egg and crackers.  Put oil in a 10 inch skillet and set to low/medium heat.  Use your hands to combine the salmon mixture, form into 3 inch patties, place in pan.  Turn after about 5 minutes or until golden brown (like the one in the picture).  After heating on both sides, remove from heat and serve with your favorite catsup.  Yummy!

Peas

1 bag frozen peas
1/4 stick butter
salt/pepper

Defrost frozen peas by running cool water over them.   Place peas in a small pan over medium heat.  Add butter, salt and pepper to taste.  Once the peas are warm and drenched in butter, serve them with mashed potatoes and salmon patties.  So good!!

Great date food on the cheap too… and some date music.

I’m Having an Adele Day

…for the first time in months.  I woke up to the sound of Keenan’s early alarm and after a hug and kiss, I was home alone.

I put on my purple robe (nothing sexy, a terry-cloth fat-kid size with very short sleeves and a monkey playing bass on the back) and dug around the webs for new music.  I made some calls, did some work, put up dishes, made a peach pizza for noon-thirty breakfast and went costume shopping with Mary and Jesse on the Lower Haight shortly after.

Here’s when the good part happened.  Mary dropped me off a few blocks from my house so that I could walk home.  I passed by this mural full of black people singing, auras glowing.  There was a perfect fall breeze that shuffled the leaves on the trees and sidewalk.  The sunlight was twinkling all around and as if the good witch struck through my core I felt like, this is it.  This is right where I’m supposed to be.  I’m doing exactly what I should be doing in this moment.  My head was clear and I loved everything.  Then I just finished walking home, very slowly until I passed the mural of course.  I’m doing mundane tasks now but that feeling is still in me, that glow of, “Oh yeah, this is what’s up.”  This is what I am.  This is what I do.  This is what I love.  This is an Adele Day.

To commemorate this very special day, here is one of my favorite songs of all time.  Department of Eagles, In Ear Park.

Sun Songs

Wishing you a beautiful day…

ortigia.
by: Sarah Marie Miller

skeleton sailboats have the wings of a dragonfly and they shoot

(buzzards across the sand)

sun is shrouded in salt and sees me through tear fogged eyes set in glass.
i am the smallest sailboat dripping bright blue perched on the horizon

teetering on the edge of this flat world of rock and salt water.
filling my nose and greeting me with seaweed stained rusted air.

“The feeling that you get [when you hear me sing], I get first.”

– Lauryn Hill

Divine Caramel Corn and Idiot Glee

First, caramel corn is dooooooope!  Keenan and I wrote this recipe last night after messing up the one I took off the Food Network website.  Then I made a picture of it just for you.  Divine Caramel Corn is delish!  Mmmm… Have a go.

1/2 cup honey
1t vanilla
3T brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/2t salt
10 cup popped popcorn (plain)

First preheat you oven to 300 degrees.  After popping your popcorn, set it aside to rest while you make the caramel.  Combine honey, vanilla, brown sugar, butter and salt over high heat.  Boil for about 3 minutes.  Pour caramel over popcorn and toss until popcorn is coated and soggy.  Pour popcorn onto a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Let the popcorn cool completely, pour it into a goofy Halloween bowl.  Bon appetit!

And of course, some sweet sweet music.  A’cappella soul pop out of Lexington, Kentucky.  Idiot Glee!  So good.

Fall-time Dinner

Keenan and I are finding our rhythm in living together.  Positive:  I’m using my commuter-girlfriend and everyday-breakfast-date time to run.  I feel a little sore.  Healthy except that I’m smoking more often.  The smoking is giving me a little ulcer that feels a lot like IBS.  I’m trying to cut back.  Negative: nothing but the idea that some day some thing might go wrong.  We’re mindful not to nag each other.  There’s something about living with a lover that says forever, that you might be stuck with this forever and so you rush to change the flaws by nagging.  We’re trying not to do that.  I don’t tell him to clean up all the time and he doesn’t tell me to get out of the house more.  I’m home a lot.

Our room is full of cubbies and bins.  Almost nothing has a place and those few things that do are over-crowded with duplicates of themselves, the 5 peg door rack with 5 scarves, 2 towels, infinite jackets.  The 4′ closet with 6 dresses, 7 pairs of paints, 15 shirts, extra-infinite jackets.  We have a big sheet of space-board forming a sound barrier between our room and our room-mates’ nightly 3am bone.  We sleep sound, eat well we’re warm and we laugh a lot.  We have entirely too much of the wrong stuff but I think that will work itself out over time.  This is a far stretch from my Lexvegas minimalism.

In Lexington I had a huge room with 3 cardboard boxes for furniture.  I utilized the entire space as a studio pulling a sleeping bag from my closet at night to sleep.  The friends who stopped by were familiar and once removed from a best friend.  They felt safe.  Now every new person feels like some sort of invasion.  I don’t know why.  My mind is always looking for some reason to be on edge. This is the most people I’ve lived with since leaving the Burrow where I lived with Sarah and the bunnies.  I’ve been in cabins and closets for a while now.  The love and warmth of roommates and all the homey stuff is familiar yet overwhelmingly new.

I turned in my studio key today.  I officially live in Western Addition with my WONDERFUL boyfriend and Joshy & Kristen.  I’m excited.  I feel so blessed and happy.   Fall is here, we carved a pumpkin last night and we have a pot-roast simmering on the stove.  If only I can just stay here, in this moment and not the make-believe future moments of maybe Keenan will come home one night and say “This isn’t working,”  “I don’t love you anymore,” “I’m no longer attracted to you and I want to be with this other girl.”  That shit happens (remember?).  Trust me.  Out of fucking left field…  Fingers crossed, breathing in the smell of fall-time dinner.

Macaroni Necklace

Before the collecting, before the potted trees and the gun, Magil enjoyed macaroni necklaces and making films about her life in the forest.

Fresh reds were best, like when the newtles were squishy and soft and pulsing. Then she would dye them blue and careen as they eased into an earthen purple.

Lay them out and name them. You are my friends and I love you and you and you and you in your yellows. Fascinated by the detail she would watch them dry with splotches until an evenness in pigment declared them ready for adornment.

Red, blue, yellow, green, magenta, teal and oh the browns.  Magil licked the end of a rotting thread and shoved him through each macaroni, looping a long strand of pasta around her neck she looked into a foggy mirror.

So much ugliness in that mirror

But not you my loveys. You sing. You have so much heart and glory.

Magil shovelled the necklaces into 3 jars- one pickle, one jam and one peanut butter and plastic, lid them and left them to die.

Magil looked into the mirror, pulled off her dark green sweater and cried. She touched her neck carefully noting where each color had been before. Her body was dirty there and when she rubbed, mushy tan skin rolled onto her fingers. Rubbing long enough, the red appeared where it once was, then a purple, then an even deeper red.

Malibou (Magil) pretend*

Malibou was sitting in the window licking her paw clean, flicking her tail like some cheap whore.   Avery sprawled in the corner like a sea slug swollen with leeches. Parts of him spattered on the molding, glued down with deep red. Avery was my favorite pet so I had no choice but to teach Malibou a lesson.

I approached her slowly. I didn’t need to be stealthy because she trusted me.  I could tell even at that moment by the way she stopped grooming and raised her chin to greet me. I just wanted to be tender, because even though she did a bad thing, I loved her. She began to pur, a very calm chant that put me to sleep on so many nights. I placed my fingertips on the bridge of her yellow nose and felt as she tilted her head back even further to help my fingers along between her eyes, to the crown of her head, to her neck where I took hold of her pink rhinestone collar.

I slung collar, cat and all toward the pile of Avery. Cats always land on their feet but not if you throw them into a wall. They hit and crush and mangle just like any other natural being.

I sat at my vanity for a while studying my hair and imagining what people might think of me if I didn’t have to wear glasses. I had a chance at contacts once but I couldn’t get them in at the doctor’s office, then my family ran out of cash and I never got a chance to go back and try again. Now I’m on my own, no money for things like that. I guess the glasses will have to do.

I can see my two pets resting behind me in my reflection. They look so peaceful. If only they could have acted that way before, I wouldn’t have to put them in jars them today.

I will give Malibou formaldehyde but not Avery. I want to watch him decompose.

Magil and Michael

“Everything that I love is behind those gates. We have elephants, and giraffes, and crocodiles, and every kind of tigers and lions.”  –Michael Jackson

This is an illustration from a story I’m working on.  I plan to post it bit by bit on my blog as I fine-tune and illustrate until finally publishing with lulu.com.