Wednesday, November 26, 2008


People are not buying, said the produce manager at the GIANT. Nevertheless, I bought a fresh turkey, stuffing mix, sweet potatoes, sparkling cider, cashews, redi-whip.
$12.99 sparkling brut, but I do have a bottle of good stuff in the fridge. Tonight I’m baking apple pie. “See you tomorrow,” said the bagger. “you forgot something.”


Sift 2 cups flour with a teaspoon of salt.
Cut in 3/4 cup CRISCO shortening, using two table knives. Or a fork, till all the flour is coated, not powdery.
Sprinkle with about ¼ c cold water, a little at a time, till the dough is damp, but not gooey wet. Divide into 2 balls, one larger than the other. Chill. Also put the dough in the refrigerator to chill.

Coat the clean kitchen counter with flour and make a little mound of flour. Pat and squeeze the smaller dough ball like you’re warming up. Flatten it on the flour mound, till it’s pancake sized. Roll it out, from the middle to the edges, with a rolling pin, use plenty o flour on the pin, and under the dough. Lift the dough by rolling it up on the pin, and then set it on your pie pan. I think I may have to make you a video. Trim large, w scissors. Fill with apples, cinnamon, sugar, flecks of butter. Roll out the top crust, lay in on top, press the edges together in an artful flute. Poke some holes in the dough and bake at 350 for an hour. Mmm, hot apple pie. Happy thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Duncan contemplates the circle of life

who figured that out, anyway? i want my money back!
on the other hand, our green cherry tomatoes and red jalapenos are entering the pickled of life. maybe death on the vine isn't so bad.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Duncan is tired of greens and lean

Duncan Blitz had a big case of sad. His sadjolais nouveau arrived every year on the third Thursday of November. Magic light was at 4 o’clock, daylight done before 5, News at Ten.

Duncan ordered pizza for dinner, and a beer.

At home he felt ill, or ill at ease. He wondered if he was allergic to alcohol. His old dog Wylie heard him thinking, got up, circled, and plopped back down on the saddle blanket.

Duncan thought, I’m not a very good dad. They know I love them, I’m an okay dad. Then he tortured himself with every mistake he ever made.

Calories from Pizza: 920
Calories from Beer: 200

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Duncan Blitz cut a Valencia orange in half and squeezed it, plus three more, in the juicer. That’s how he started each day in Florida with his father, and that’s how he began today.

His father’s appetite had turned tiny, so Duncan made meals in miniature, serving portions that even his Pop could manage. “Duncan cooks dinner for me," Dad told everyone. Pleased and proud less of Duncan’s ability to make a lollipop lamb chop with a spoonful of baby peas and a sliver of petite potatoes, than happy that his son was there, loyal and loving to the end.

Today was his mother’s birthday, November 19. Mom had a joke at Christmas time, about an old jewish lady who’s caught in a snowstorm on Fifth Avenue and walks into St Patrick’s Cathedral. She finds a nice dry place to sit, and looking around her, realizes it’s Christmas Eve. Staring at the face of Jesus under his crown of thorns, she confidentially whispers, “Don’t cry little boobalee, tomorrow’s your birthday!”

Duncan lit a candle for his mother last night, whispered to her, and went to bed with his prayer.
God bless mom if she’s around, with dad.
And god bless my children, please.
If there were room for another blessing, Duncan would ask god to help him be a mensch and not a jerk.

This morning I poured espresso over hot foamy milk for breakfast and nibbled two skinny ginger cookies: 60 calories

“All my life I tried so hard to be thin, and now I’m supposed to gain weight,” said my mom, on the couch, with cancer.

I thought about my mom, who wanted us to be stoic, and fixed myself hot oatmeal topped with butter, brown sugar and cream, and three pieces of toast. There!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

a thousand calories per hour

Duncan Blitz was on a binge. For 13 weeks before his departure date, he had eaten his way through the kitchen. From the freezer, food he didn’t like: chicken, sausage, steak, frozen string beans, ice cream that was not chocolate. From the refrig, packaged cheese, soft cheese, cheese that was not goat cheese. From the pantry, salted nuts, linguine. With the last of the flour and crisco, he rolled a crust and baked an apple tart. He fried an apple and ate that. He broiled apple slices, and ate those with greek yoghurt. He put a blop of jam in a cup of yoghurt and at that too.

Duncan served himself at the dining table, picked up his plate, moved to the coffee table and watched Rachel Maddow, or Morning Joe, Andrea Mitchell or Colbert.

Then his trip was cancelled, and Duncan began to starve. He ate salmon trims on little square crackers. He made a plate of humous on chopped lettuce, with tortillas and olives. He squeezed four oranges. He baked a potato for dinner and drank a foaming mug of warm milk, injected with a double hit of espresso, for breakfast. But he had no paycheck and did not buy food.

For lunch, toast buttered with cinnamon and sugar, until he ran out of butter. For desert, nestles quik, several spoonsful, in an inch or two of milk, nuked.

Duncan Blitz made a hundred calls and stayed in his pajamas till he finally got a work. On payday, he bought a ton of food and ate every two hours. He made a turkey dinner, a roast duck, a baked ham with greens and sweet potato pie. He cooked crispy striped bass and a rack of lamb. He went back to work three and a half days later.