Convos With An Addict, A Food Addict

Shhhh.  Quiet. My fantasy is about to come true.

I’m lifting the triangular tip of my slice of pizza right up near my mouth, slowly. It’s always the anticipation that makes it so exciting. The savory smell of the tomato sauce and oregano, garlic,starts wafting in the air, that smell that draws you in, the one you’ve longed for. You breathe in the luxurious scent with one long breath, you moan with happiness and then, finally, you pick it up and feel the rough, grainy texture in your hands that you stroke with pleasure.

I lift up the heavily anticipated slice (or 2 or 3) of pizza, blow on it gently, I want warm pizza not too hot to burn me, a little spicy, adding extra garlic salt and I open my lips and taste that first amazing bite.

This is only the first slice of pizza of the two or more I will eat tonight, my husband and I have looked forward to this night for days. We only use one pizzeria in town even though there many other options. But, this one, is our favorite and we have tried every one of four or five places, sampling each, several times.

In the past we ordered a slice of Sicilian pizza and a regular slice for each of us of us but I’m not sure which direction we will go tonight. We’ve taken chances on the Sicilian slices before, sometimes it’s a bit too doughy and the ratio is wrong.

I know what you are thinking there is no such thing as too doughy yet when it comes to Sicilian pizza there needs to be a balance and sometimes from this place, the balance has been off. It depends on our mood, we are never disappointed with their regular slices, plain or mushroom, I have a feeling I know what we will do.

I lick my lips in anticipation. They also serve (sorry if this is a bummer for pizza enthusiasts) the most amazing salad, (stick with me here) with kinds of lettuce, craisins, goat cheese and slices of avocado .Believe me I am not a salad lover but this seems like it should be outlawed it is SO good. It comes with some sort of silky raspberry dressing and we are not counting calories here.

This was yesterday’s dinner, I would happily eat the same thing today. This is one of my favorite (and most comforting) meals. It speaks to me of my youth and happiness, and Dani’s House of Pizza and André the Pizza maker and of course, the owner, Dani. It was a tradition when we were old enough to walk from school and go there for lunch. For one dollar we got two slices, a drink (grape, no ice) and had leftover money for candy.
Just thinking about it makes me nostalgic and very, very hungry. Maybe I will have the same meal again, Saturday.and toast to the old times when we were young and life was easy and uncomplicated.

 

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Haiku Horizons, Comfort

ballroom-style bluesLove, Two Ways

Comfort in his arms

soft kisses nuzzling my neck

Our backs arch to dance.

 

 

 

 

 

Becky and Rob

Thunder booms, fierce wind

Don’t be scared, my son, my love.

I will comfort you.

 

 

 

It’s Not Just Peanut Butter And Jelly Anymore (Food Cop)

I’m hungry, borderline starving. I know that’s a fairly regular experience for me but tonight I am ravenous AND I have to be careful ABOUT the texture of what I eat.

     

    a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, top slice ...I’m having a flare-up of everything that could possibly hurt, especially now with my jaw, teeth, head and neck.

    Having a vicious battle with TMJ  AND a cavity that needs to be filled, I thought I would be cautious and eat soft food. Since I was not feeling well, all day, light-headed, dizzy (reason still to be determined with the dreaded TILT test) my husband was kind enough to bring me a peanut butter and jelly (extra orange marmalade on the side to be mixed in) sandwich. For a side dish there was a tiny amount of mashed potatoes, leftovers from last night yummy restaurant. Oh yes, there was sour cream and butter in those “mashlers” as my dad used to say and as part of my family still says.

    The amount of peanut butter and jelly is crucial to any perfect sandwich, bearing in mind everybody’s personal preference. For me, more jelly and less peanut butter is the way to go. My husband and our friend John in the neighborhood, put staggering amounts of peanut butter on their sandwiches (“There IS NO such thing as too much peanut butter in our house”) John said. My husband, agrees. He slathers on peanut butter and measures it in inches. I disagree. I’m a more jelly than peanut butter kind of girl.

    I was having a bite of mashed potatoes, on the side, following a bite of my sandwich (the color of the jelly and the taste is carefully matched too) when I noticed a wonderful, soothing, comfort spreading taste in my mouth and stomach. After two or three bites of the sandwich and then the mashed potatoes I was sure that a combination sandwich would definitely ease my pain.

    Wait for it, my friend, Maureen, because you KNOW it’s coming….

    Hence, the peanut butter and jelly and mashed potato sandwich was born. Don’t prejudge, it is the ultimate in comfort food. The peanut butter and jelly or jam is cold or at room temperature and the hot mashed potatoes, sans gravy, are warm, buttery and rich.

    It was love at first bite. I finished every creamy morsel and would have eaten more if I had more to eat. I have had in the past peanut butter and jelly with cheddar cheese and once I had a peanut butter and jelly combined with tuna fish sandwich but those are a little too much and way less comforting than my new, favorite combination.

    Mashed Potatoes!!!

    Mashed Potatoes!!! (Photo credit: Manuel Alarcón)

    It’s a win-win situation. How could it not be fabulous? The greatest in comfort food.

    Sure, I make a mean chicken soup, or lentil soup, those are all   eaten mostly in the Winter. But this new combination?  Adding mashed potatoes as an ingredient? A genius idea of comfort in a bite. In every single bite.

     

    Kellie Elmore: Free Write Friday, Favorite Childhood Gift

    1231698_10151679670688763_1447105361_nFavorite Childhood Gift:

    My father bought my favorite stuffed animal, a monkey, in Lamberts, a store in New York City for my second birthday.I imagined Lamberts was a store filled with all kinds of wonderful things: police cars that flashed and made noise, doll babies with small pink bottles, cards for all occasions, all types of medicine including my personal favorite, St. Joseph Aspirin for children that tasted like an orange cream soda. I pictured them also having a formica counter with shiny chrome swirling stools where you could orders snacks and a black and white ice cream soda, or a frosty bright pink strawberry milkshake.

    My favorite love object is a stuffed animal whose name is Nokey.I could not pronounce “Monkey” at the time. If you noticed I haven’t used the past tense it’s because I will be 57 in the beginning of October and Nokey will be 55. Yes, I still have him, I will always have him. This special friend of mine, this lovey, has been all over the world with me, wherever my family took me, I took him.

    He is so important to me that my husband (and probably my grown-up children) know when I die, I want to be buried with him beside me or cremated with me. Nokey was always such a huge part of my life.

    I’m not sure why he was so important but I know he was the one object I could rely on, could trust. He kept my confidences and more importantly, only he could make me feel safe. I slept with him until he was too fragile to sleep with, he went to college for a semester but after that his inner stuffing starting falling out and ungainly wires started poking out. My father, seeing old friends, brought him to a small doll and toy factory in Germany (my father was an airline employee) so that Nokey could get a face and body lift. There was nothing in New York, they only accepted “dolls.” His colors were still the same, a yellow shirt and black pants, with white sneakers but his head was a little too puffy.  In time I forgot how he used to look.

    I have always imagined the toy shop high on a cobblestone street, on the second floor. The old, kindly toy maker with white hair and round glasses, looking out the window, smiling; and there would be red flowers on all the window boxes of the white house with brown trim.

    Nokey has ruby-red lips upturned in a big, happy smile and I used to swing his arms back and forth because I thought he liked it. His ruby smile faded a tiny bit as he became older just as all of us fade a little with age. It didn’t matter to me, it doesn’t matter to me.I love him for all the love, comfort and warmth he brought to me. I never cared how he looked with his bandaged hand, masking tape, in many places. Shouldn’t old age be treated in the exact same way? Do we really need all these vain people trying to look young forever? Why? Yes, I’m focusing on you, “celebrities. You send such a bad message to people.

    Nokey is now lying beside me with his bandaged white sneakers and his hand that was once burnt on the furnace that my dad lovingly wrapped in masking tape. I will not put him in the closet for another day, I will find a place for him where I can see him and smile and remember the comfort he gave me, as a little girl, standing outside, looking within.

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    Haiku Heights: Stone

    274/365 - 06/29/10 [365 Days @ 50mm] - Withere...

    274/365 – 06/29/10 [365 Days @ 50mm] – Withered Rose (Photo credit: Shardayyy)

    Her heart had curdled

    once innocent, now stone cold

    frozen blood, heartbreak.

    *******************************

    Silky, wet smooth stones

    orange and blue, organic.

    Stroke, let your mind go.

    Stones

    Stones (Photo credit: rkramer62)

    Plinky Prompt: Food Rut? Not To ME

    • English: Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink; Ten (10) 6.5...

      English: Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink; Ten (10) 6.5 fl.oz. drink boxes, in package. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    • Do you ever get into a food rut, eating the same meal over and over? If so, what’s your rut? How do you get out of the rut? See all answers
    • In a rut
    • Do I detect a note of negativity attached to the word “rut?” Because, frankly, I see it quite differently. To use YOUR term, perhaps I do go through “ruts” which to me are mere phases of delightful food choices. There are certain times when I eat the same thing for dinner, over and over again and it makes me happy or it makes me feel safe.
      These past few weeks I have needed comfort food so I have been eating a pumpernickel roll, butter and American cheese, Yoo-Hoo or Diet Vanilla Pepsi, Baked Lays and something, okay always something, for dessert (I AM flexible.)
      When I tire of this meal which could be weeks or months, sometimes days, I start on something else that captures my fancy. Another comfort food favorite: Scrambled eggs with cheese, a lightly toasted English muffin with butter and honey. (I had that several weeks ago.)
      Sometimes I feel like veggie burgers with cheese for a few days in a row. I have been known to go through a salad, goat cheese and avocado phase too. Sometimes I get a craving for a cheeseburger and fries (that’s a one meal sensation.)
      I have no interest in getting out of a rut when I am in a rut. Why, on earth, should I? It serves a purpose, for me. In the last few days all I have wanted were green grapes (in addition to the regular food) so I have had bunches of grapes satisfying my thirst.
      There is nothing wrong in being in a particular phase of eating, I know a particular young woman who ate nothing but grilled cheese sandwiches every day for several years in a row. I am so proud to call her my daughter. Don’t make a big deal about food, if they are hungry, they will eat.

    Leaving Us, Lost

    Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

    Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Children will always leave you, from the minute you cut the umbilical cord until the day that you take your last gasp of air. When your child is born you are swept away with joy. Is it a boy, a girl?  You cuddle that dear baby close to your body and cover its head with sweet, soft kisses. Your life has now changed forever. You try to inhale the smells and remember them. Unfortunately, like everything else, we hold precious in our hearts, memories fade.

    Babies turn into toddlers and their first independent steps they take away from you are greeted with great excitement and applause.”She’s walking!!” we say proudly to anyone who will listen but we don’t think about this as a step of independence, we are merely celebrating a milestone in our brilliant child’s life.

    I can say, with confidence, that as much as you want that uninterrupted night of sleep, it comes with a price. You will miss those sticky grilled cheese hands and arms around your neck and those sloppy grape jelly kisses a lot when they stop. One day you are swinging hands in public, the next your child is muttering “that’s embarrassing.” and they pull away. The rules have changed, your children have changed, now you have to change, quickly.

    Childhood is so important and then comes middle school and high school when your children are tweens and teenagers. Groan, I know. It is important for them to grow up and for you to let them. You will go through, as my husband called it “the teenage tunnel of darkness” hang on tight, folks, it will be a bumpy ride. The arguments, slammed doors, taunting, fighting, will probably make you feel like you wish you had the money to send your kids to boarding school, but they need to go through this to become independent and their own person. This is their way of leaving their comfort zone, by fighting and doing things you probably don’t even want to know about and they will lie as well. Your kid? Never! I said that too. Believe me, I don’t condone this behavior, but it smacked me in the face. Once, when I asked my son how he would describe high school he said : high school is one big lie.” I will never forget that. Ever. I was so stunned that I was speechless. Wrong time to be speechless, believe me.

    I am grateful that my two young adults, 18 and 20 are so independent and comfortable with other adults.  For that, I thank the strong sense of confidence we instilled in our children and sleep-away camp. Our children begged to go to sleep-away camp where their cousins went, we agreed to give it a try. They LOVED it and so did we. When it came to college, it was easier, for all of us, having been separated before.

    How we feel doesn’t matter in this equation anymore. It’s true and we need to accept it. My husband and I like being alone, together. It reminds us of the days before children without all the anxiety and stress. Staying home and watching television is date night, we don’t feel the need to go out, we can relax at home. Our babies are not babies anymore, they are young adults. Do we miss the love that they used to show us? Yes, I know I do. Things change, we have no choice but to adjust. It is not always easy; sometimes it takes a little longer than it should and yes, sometimes I cry in private.  Children will always have you in their hearts but they will leave to find and follow their own lives. When they leave, they are looking forwards to their new lives which leaves us, their parents, looking backwards for sweet memories.

    Free Write Friday: Kellie Elmore

    On the way to Spirit Caves

    On the way to Spirit Caves (Photo credit: Dru!)

    You wake to find yourself in a strange house and you cannot remember your own name. You roll over and see a letter by the bed.
    Is it for you? Who is it from? What does it say? Does it explain where you are and why?

    I am sleeping so peacefully in a bed that does not feel like my own, but I turn over, my head on a hard pillow, my long brown hair down my back. I start to stir and I feel a little uneasy but I don’t know why.  This isn’t my bed, as I pull myself up to a seated position I look around, I don’t think this is my room either but when I try to picture my room at home, I can’t. I am very confused, I start asking myself questions: “What did I do last night?” “Who was I with?” “Did I drink?” Nothing comes to mind, I don’t feel like I have a hangover, in fact I feel pretty good but I’m scared. I have no recollection of the past, I gasp when I realizze I don’t even remember my own name.

    What? I don’t remember my name. Oh my goodness, I am a stranger in a strange land, wait, wasn’t that the title of a book? It figures that would sound familiar to me; I must have like to read in my past life? My other life? I honestly don’t know. I can’t say I am freaked out totally because deep inside me there’s a feeling of calmness that i have never felt before. I wonder if I am dead. If so, it’s not a bad thing.

    I  roll over to my belly, exhausted from both the confusion and the calmness and I see a letter in qn envelope with no one’s name on it, since this place, this house, this farm? wherever I was, seemed so quiet, I opened the letter thinking things couldn’t get weirder than they were already. I had hoped that the letter might give me answers to where I was and most importantly WHO i was. Part of me cared a little bit, but most of me jst  was curious, interested as if one might feel when you are almost finished with a book and want to know how it ended. Not panicked in any way, just simply interesred.

    The letter inside said the following:

    Dear Guest:

    Wecome to our home, we hope you ar e comfortabale here and please stay as long as you wish. No one will be here to bother you, there is food in the kitchen, help yourself. You can leave at ANY TIME. Use your time well, we think that you will understand why yoou are here the longer you stay. We wish for you many blessings and utter peace.

    In peace and in love,

    Your friends.

    She had learned nothing about herself, not her name, where she was, why she ewas here but she wasn’t disappointed. She just had an inner peace ethat she was there for a reason. There was really nothing else she wanted to do, she didn’t want to fight it, to go outside and walk endlessly so she embraced it . She knew, in her soul, that she was sent for a purpose and she would learn the lessons she was supposed to learn on her own and in her own time.

    *Free writing, no editing, no corrections (that’s hard) but I did it.

    Haiku Heights – Home

    English: Love heart

    English: Love heart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    In my sleep, afraid

    my foot searches for his leg

    I sigh with relief.

    ******************************************************

    A short visit home

    Daughter pops out of her car

    Running for a hug

    **********************************************************

    Her tail wags with joy

    dog dashes and jumps on me

    rust- colored, grinning.

    **************************************************************************

    My heart is a pool

    for those that I love dearly

    Keep each other warm.

    **************************************************************************

     

    The Fox And The Wolf

    Rainy Golestan National Park

    Rainy Golestan National Park (Photo credit: brum d)

    I have a friend, a dear friend, a soul sister that I have forged a deep connection with and recently learned she is sick. I fear she is very sick and while I may write and sob, wearing my heart always, on my sleeve, she is calm and accepting and talks about life after death calmly. I am here, a long way from her, this friend I have never even met, and I am crying, my tears flowing down my red cheeks without stopping. I don’t even attempt to dab at the waterfall cascading from my green eyes, I could not keep up. In some way I don’t want to mop up my tears and have a clean face; it just doesn’t feel right.

    I try to put on a brave front but she knows me and can see through my pretenses. “You have lost many people and you just don’t want to lose your new friend, your soul sister” she writes to me as if to explain. I put my head in my hands and rock myself while she is trying to comfort me from afar. She is a brave warrior and I feel like a fearful, young, gray mouse yet we coexist in nature. I have learned more from this friend about life and yes, death, than from many people I have known a long time. People can call themselves “best friends” but it’s only a label, an artificial one.

    She and I connect, spiritually. She sent me a poem that used in one of her pieces of writing and it turns out to be the same poem (* see below ) I had read at my father’s funeral. It did not surprise me but as wonderful as the poem is, it does not quiet my heart when I miss my dad the most and that, she acknowledges,  is true. I wish I could wrap her up in a cocoon of the softest, silky threads and take care of her, feed her so she will stop losing weight rapidly, sing folk songs deep into the night, looking at the stars and making her tea with tupelo honey.

    We have never met, she and I, but we know each other well, like wildlife in nature, harmoniously living together, understanding intuitively what is good, what is bad, a friend, a foe.  I hope to meet her someday soon but even if I don’t and even if she does die, as we all will, I know now, that feeling connected to another person, is worth the sadness that might occur later. For everyone, for everything, give people your heart and appreciate whatever time you have with them. Because, without them you would have been a lesser person, a smaller animal in the beautiful green forest.

    Thinking of an anticipated good-bye is downright torture for me, it’s like squeezing blood from my brittle bones, without anesthesia.

    *Do not stand at my grave and weep is a poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye. Although the origin of the poem was disputed until later in her life, Mary Frye’s authorship was confirmed in 1998 after research by Abigail Van Buren, a newspaper columnist.[1]

    Full text

    The “definitive version,” as published by The Times and The Sunday Times in Frye’s obituary, 5 November 2004:[2]

    Do not stand at my grave and weep,
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sun on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    I am the soft star-shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.

    dedicated to my friend, with love. she knows who she is.