Archive | September 24, 2013

On the recipes

Just an FYI on the recipes, these are all as far as I know family recipes from my mom, grandmother and great grandmother and assorted aunts and friennds. They are all well tested. Some are Swedish and some are Scottish that being my main heritages. I’m just now realizing just how much of the Swedish crept in to the food we ate. My mom was first generation and her mom was a Scot who immigrated from Canada January 1 1901 when she was 11 and my grandpa’s family was Swedish who had a short stop in Duluth to learn English before my Swedish great-grandmother moved the family to Los Angeles around the same time with the assertion that she was not going to live someplace colder than Sweden.

The ones that aren’t Swedish or Scottish were invented by family like Mom’s desperation supper. If it has a book source that I know of I will let you know also there is a high probability the cookbook is out of print. My mom had a huge recipe box. It was a 2 3×5 card wide library catalogue type file that was over a foot deep. That’s a lot of recipes, some with incredibly funny notes about the family or how the recipe originated if she or my grandmother knew where it came from.

A few are my Scottish great grandfather’s recipes from his bakery, first in Toronto and then in LA on Vermont at the turn of the last century.

Some predate calibrated ovens which you can usually tell from reading through the recipe. Some have ingredients that are different than modern ingredients like the ones that predate baking powder and have things like Baker’s ammonia. If it’s says that’s what you need to use, use it. You can get it on Amazon.

Also if it says use butter, do not substitute unless you want it to taste like crap. If it says shortening you can use margarine or Krisco or some other shortening but I still recommend butter. Butter at least has some food value which is why a lot of low fat things almost break your teeth.

Baking is chemistry and there is no getting away from it. Other kinds of cooking are more flexible. Baking tends not to be flexible and not following the recipe if you are not an experienced baker can have some pretty awful consequences. Make it once without changes and then you can monkey with the recipe. Even my mom had some pretty funny accidents like the time she made her chocolate crispy cookie which were normally a nice stiff mounded cookie made with chocolate chips and substituted butterscotch chips. She ended up with a cookie that looked like lace. It tasted really good but wasn’t what she wanted and it spread out all over the cookie sheets and melded into one big cookie.

What having a sibling teaches you and what I taught him

Was thinking about what having a sibling teaches you. Cameron, I still miss you every day.

What a having a brother like Cam teaches you:

That boys aren’t really that creepy
That sharing won’t kill you (cookies and popsicles can be split)
That you can live with violations of your personal space (He’s on MY SIDE! He TOUCHED ME!)
That love and like are not the same thing
That once he’s taller than you, you really shouldn’t hit him any more (So run faster)
That when he’s grown he can give you really nice hugs
That you if you’re really sneaky you can shift the blame and negotiate afterwards
That you can make friends if he breaks the way for you.
That it’s okay to be different and disagree with each other
How to make peace
To give
To keep trying
To have hope
To live
How to love

What I taught my brother:

Dirt won’t kill you
Long distance running can be fun
Just because he’s in the treehouse doesn’t mean I can’t get him
That girls are tough too
That people with a disability can do things too
How to love strange creatures like frogs and tadpoles and me
That I would do anything to protect him from others while reserving the right to pound him. And that all her crazy friends would defend him too when straight people were stupid enough to call him “faggot”.
Never to annoy a woman who is having PMS unless you liked being locked out of the house in your underwear
That he could never feminize his 2 dykey sisters, they were never going to wear a dress for him unless it was a kilt. No matter how “queer eye” he used to get on us.
That he had 2 people that no matter how different they were from him loved him no matter what
To be silly and play and not take himself so seriously
To laugh at himself and us
To love

I should also add that he showed me the graceful way to come out of the closet even if that isn’t the way I did it.

Today’s reading – hmmmm



It is time to face the inevitable, to let the bones be laid bare and acknowledge the deepest aspects of your fears and desires. Do not fear change, however, because this is also a time of purification and realignment.

This change may seem extreme and destructive, but old crops must be cleared for new growth to thrive and static or sterile modes and concepts must perish.

A celebration of the past or an acknowledgement of the passing of one part of life may be required.

Let the threads of the old slip from your fingers with joyful remembrance and enter this time of withdrawal and renewal with patience and calm.

You are confronting your essential self, without the secondary defences and protection of the mirror, mists and metaphors of reflection. (Mourning, seven of cups) will bring some relief. Seek comfort.

When you have managed to clear, process and thus lay to rest the issues raised by Death, you will feel a great burden has been lifted, and that you can turn towards life.

Schaum Torte

5 egg whites
1/16 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vinegar

Combine salt with egg whites and beat until light; add cream of tartar and beat until stiff. Gradually add one half of the sugar, beating continually.
Add vinegar and rest of sugar. Put into a lightly buttered,  7X11 inch glass pan. Place pan in a slightly larger pan containing hot water. Bake in a 300 degree oven in 45 minutes. Turn out on large platter so that browned part is on top. Cool and cut like cake. Serve with fresh fruit and whipped cream.
Serves 6-8.