Sweet Strangers in Ballard

I hope to see your smiling faces in Ballard tonight, sometime between 6 and 8 pm. If the rain stops, we can make Happy Spots on the sidewalk in front of the store! If it doesn’t, we can make paper Happy Spots inside!

When I walked in right off of the street,
The two strangers I happened to meet,
In their colorful store,
Full of candy galore,
Booked an author appearance there — Sweet!

Sweet Mickey'sIf you’re in the Seattle area, come see Meps on Tuesday, Sept. 23 from 6 to 8 pm at Sweet Mickey’s Candy Shoppe in Ballard (next to QFC on 57th). An autographed copy of Strangers Have the Best Candy won’t rot your teeth. And the fabulous candy and fudge Sweet Mickey’s carries is worth a trip to the dentist!

A balanced meal

There once was a lady named Doeri,
Who wanted to eat cacciatore,
She broke her routine,
By eating poutine,
And posted the pic and the story.

This was inspired by a friend’s photograph on Facebook. Barry and I ate poutine with Kris a number of times, because it was the cheapest food item in the Lunenburg pub. “It has carbohydrate, protein, and fat,” I said. “A balanced meal!”


Classic Poutine


Still Life With Fruit

There are critical foods that I lack,
So I pedal with trailer and pack,
To buy berries and greens,
And some snappy fresh beans,
And it’s only 12 miles, out and back.

I admit, I ate a few of the strawberries while I was making the drawing below. I bet Cezanne and Caraveggio were sometimes tempted to eat the stuff they were painting, too. You can find thousands of beautiful fruit still-lifes on Google Images.

Drawing of fruits and vegetables

Fresh local food

Two wheels never fail her

There once was a practical sailor,
Who went off to pick up some kale. Her
Pink bike was too small,
For fruits, veggies, and all,
So she shopped with her bicycle trailer.

The picture says it all — sailboat, dinghy, two kayaks, and a pink folding bicycle with a trailer. Who needs a car?
My pink bike and trailer

It's the economy, stupid

Three eateries here went away,
As I crossed the entire U.S.A.
If I’d bought just one meal,
From Ralwiggie’s, I feel,
They might still be in business today.

In that great spot across from the park,
I found Taylor’s all shuttered and stark.
So I walked down to Cru,
Just to purchase some brew,
So that they will not also go dark.

But I found, on that sad recent drive,
Though the good food in town can’t survive,
If the service is cursed,
And the food is the worst —
All the baaaaad Chinese places still thrive.

Not even the crabs would eat it

While I was away, the boatyard had a potluck so memorable, people were still talking about it 5 weeks later:

Now, Miss Manners would never say, “Eww,”
So Miss Audrey knew just what to do.
With a smile so polite,
She spoke out with no spite,
“Oh, how nice! Ken brought turkey that’s blue.”

Someone tried to give the turkey to the cats, but they wouldn’t touch it. Barry says it’s probably still on the bottom of Core Creek. Eww.

Cooking a loose moose

A Newfoundland lady once bet,
That she’d find, somewhere, out on the ‘net,
A recipe page,
For wine, moose, and sage.
She won! It’s on Foodie Gazette.

A little limerick to celebrate the spinoff of The Foodie Gazette, Meps’ new food website, with over 700 recipes and articles. Sage Moose Braised in Wine from the St. John’s, Newfoundland, newspaper, is one of the more intriguing recipes on the site.

Two turkeys pardoned by a third

I wrote this during the Bush administration, to celebrate the annual pardon of two turkeys by the president. Six years later, two turkeys get pardoned, but is the pardoner still a bird with a tiny brain? It all depends on your political persuasion and reaction to the third line:

I just heard that two turkeys’ demise
Was avoided, to their great surprise.
The Big Turkey in power,
In the eleventh hour,
Gave them pardon, along with the pies.

My blender, my teacher

I picked up my first blender from a yard sale while I was in college. It was an ugly avocado-green 1960’s model with a heavy motor and a heavier glass jar, but it did a great job pureeing soups and whipping up milkshakes.

That year, for Christmas, my brother got me a brand-new in-the-box blender. It was pretty and white and a lot lighter, with a plastic jar. I loved the “new blender” smell.

I immediately wrote an ad to sell my old blender, offering it for the $7 I’d paid for it. Right away, someone at my workplace called to say she wanted it. “I’ll bring it in to work tomorrow,” I told her.

The next morning, I packed the now-unloved green blender in a paper grocery bag and carried it to work, putting it under my desk. Selling the blender represented over two hours of work to me: My hourly wage back then was only $2.95.

Around noon, a coworker told me I had a phone call from my blender-buyer. I eagerly leaped to my feet, and then I heard it: The unmistakable sound of breaking glass. With a sinking feeling, I looked in the paper bag. The glass jar was in two pieces. In the process of getting up, I had kicked the blender and destroyed it. It was a long, sad walk to the telephone to tell my buyer there was now no blender.

I nearly cried at the injustice of it. Especially the loss of the $7.

Back at home, I began using the pretty new blender, and I found it almost useless. The wimpy motor could hardly blend an overripe banana, let alone an ice cube. The plastic jar soon cracked under normal use.

As soon as I got out of college, I bought myself a shiny, new, heavy-duty blender with a glass jar, paying full retail price. I had to pay for it with my shiny, new credit card.

In hindsight, I learned three valuable life’s lessons from my blenders:

  1. Don’t count your blenders before they’re hatched (Blender One)
  2. Blender beauty is only skin-deep (Blender Two)
  3. A new college graduate and her money are soon parted (Blender Three)
  4. One day, a very special man came into my life. He shopped carefully, read Consumer Reports, and for Christmas, he gave me a top-of-the-line Cuisinart food processor. As a result, I learned a fourth valuable lesson:

  5. When it’s time to buy a kitchen appliance, let Barry do it!

(For things to do with blenders, see the recent Foodie Gazette piece, Spring into Smoothie Season.)