Friday, May 30, 2008


Yesterday, May 29, was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 95 years old. If anyone who ever lived went on to a better place, he was the one.

Summer is the time for biscuits or muffins or toast and marmalade. Dad loved really good marmalade, and not just the orange kind, but that is an exquisite place to start. He favored Dundee brand in the clay pots.

This is a good traditional recipe, using a blend of Seville oranges and sweet oranges. If you want your marmalade less bitter, use more sweet oranges and fewer Sevilles. Also, most importantly, if you are using store-bought fruits, be sure to blanch them quickly in boiling water to remove the wax on the surface of the peel.


  • 6 Seville oranges
  • 3 Sweet oranges
  • 4 Lemons
  • 1 c. Sugar for each cup of fruit
  • 1 wine glass Spirits (I like to use Irish Whiskey)


  • Cut the fruit very thin. To each cup of fruit, add 3 cups water and let stand 12 hours. For each cup of fruit, add 1 cup of sugar. Simmer until syrup jellies when tried on a cold plate. Add one wine glass of spirits.
  • Pour into sterilized glasses; when cool, seal with paraffin.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

"Murder," he wrote. . .

I am currently doing research for a murder mystery set in post-Katrina New Orleans. This is problematic, as I want to lend the book a sense of being from an "insider's" perspective, avoiding as much of the turisto cliché as possible. Sadly, my most recent visit to that intriguing city was two decades back, making current knowledge unreliable, at best.

I have a query out through the fabulous Marja Claire Martin, currently of Santa Fe, New Mexico, formerly of New Orleans. She is doing some research for me, and I look forward to hearing back about what she has to say.

I have been out of touch with Marja since about 1988 – it is so hard to believe how quickly twenty years may pass! It was a delight to catch up with her again.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sour Milk Waffles

Mom was a great cook. In addition, she despised waste, and, given that we had two quarts of milk delivered daily, sour milk was not unknown in our house.

What follows is not her recipe, but it is very similar, and it is one of the numerous uses that she had for turned milk. Believe it or not, these are the best waffles you have ever consumed.

For 6 waffles:

  • 1 1/3 c. All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t. Salt
  • 1/2 t. Baking soda
  • 1/4 c. Shortening, melted
  • 1 c. Sour milk
  • 1 t. Sugar
  • 2 Eggs

  • Sift flour, measure, and sift with salt and baking soda.
  • Beat egg yolks until light and foamy.
  • Add sugar and shortening.
  • Mix well.
  • Add milk alternately with sifted dry ingredients to egg mixture.
  • Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites.
  • Bake in hot waffle iron.
6 servings. The Household Searchlight - 1941

Saturday, May 24, 2008

An Exciting New Journey!

Alright, to be perfectly fair, all new writers have to write something in their little locked journals about how they are starting an "exciting new journey" in their self-important little lives when they decide to fire up their writing careers. The typical writing career lasts about three months, then peters out in favor of their next "exciting new journey".

Nonetheless, this is something that I have been planning to do for the better part of three decades, and it really does feel like the start of a new voyage in my life. The voyage I have been on up until now has been more like floating about in a life-raft.

So, at the ripe old age of two score and five years, I am going to become a writer. Finally.

So far, I have produced some limited content for Associated Content, and little else. I am shopping for more markets - I will keep you informed of developments.