Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Spaghetti Song

I thought I would have some fun with today’s prompt to write about “things”.   I wasn’t quite sure what was being asked, so I started making a list of ingredients to make pasta marinara.  (Why my mind went there is a mystery).   Out popped this little ditty.

The Spaghetti Song

Salt the water,
Bring to a boil.
Heat a pan.
Pour in some oil.

When the water is ready
It’s time to ease
A pound of spaghetti—
Thin, if you please.

Garlic and onion
In a fine chop
Into the oil
They’re ready to drop.

Sweet tomatoes
Straight from the tin
Oregano, basil
Stir them all in.

The pasta is done.
It’s time to strain
Starchy water
Down the drain.

Twirl on a plate,
Ladle on sauce,
Sprinkle the Parm,
Give all a toss.

Come to the table.
We’re ready to eat.
Lift your wine glass!
Bon Appetit!

Ljg 2019

Leave a comment

Instant “Fyre Cyder”

Folk belief is that this concoction will make an immunity-boosting tonic that if taken by a teaspoonful each day possibly could prevent or even alleviate the symptoms of some of those pesky winter ailments. I would never, ever irk the powers-that-be by making such a claim. Oh no, what I’m making here is an infused vinegar that can be used as a base, if mixed with olive oil, for a potent, spicy, sweet, sour and savory salad dressing. Yeah, I’ll say that— a salad dressing.

The traditional recipe requires some of the ingredients to be fresh roots that, along with the spices, are fermented in vinegar for several weeks. Who has time for that? When you need that rem — er, that salad dressing right away, this version takes just minutes to put together.

1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground horseradish
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
the juice of one lemon (seeds removed)
1/2 cup of raw honey
8 ounces of raw apple cider vinegar with the mother

Combine all of these ingredients in a jar and shake until thoroughly mixed. This will keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator: however, if you keep the lemon juice separate and add as you use it, the mixture will keep for much longer. Also, make sure your spices are no older than six months.

Bon appétit or gesundheit— whichever.

If you want to learn a bit more, see this master herbalist make the traditional long version: https://youtu.be/JU8U0bDmXks

Seriously, if you’re really sick, get your butt to the doc!


When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Out the Food Processor

I’ve been stressed out this week. And when I get stressed out I like to cook. Obviously, there’s some psychological connection between food and stress, but I won’t go into that now. Needless to say I was engaging in a little “self care for the creative” this morning as I made this batch of harissa,  a North African condiment made of dried chilies, spices, garlic and oil.

My point here in mentioning this is that as creatives, we need to take the occasional mental or emotional vacation, if we can’t take the real thing.  Knit, fix cars, read books, go hiking, garden, do whatever it takes to clear the decks and prime the pump.

Here is the recipe I used.  I used all guajillos, the juice of half a lemon, and fewer cloves of garlic.


Appeasing the Muse

I have said it before: this is not a food blog. I’m write mostly about the creative process. But since my writing has been a little static for a few days, I thought I would take a little break from that and be creative in the kitchen.

What do you do with a couple of ancient squash?  OK, they’re only two months old, but for produce that’s a long time.   I roasted them, gutted them, paired them with an equally ancient pair of apples, an onion, and various spices and other seasonings. After pouring it all into a casserole, I glued it all together with big fistfuls of fontina and mozzarella.

Many times when I get loose in the kitchen, the end result is a disaster. Not so this time. It turned out quite tasty.

Who knew that one could overcome writer’s block by appeasing the Muse with mounds of hot, gooey cheese?  She’s easy that way.

Ljgloyd 2018


Huevos Rancheros, My Way

I love it when the Daily Post offers up food-related prompts. Serandipitously, I made Huevos Rancheros to brighten my gray and rainy Sunday morning.

There are many ways to make this dish.  My way is to crisp up a corn tortilla in a bit of hot oil and then layer it with refried pinto beans, eggs cooked sunny side up, salsa, a sprinkle of cheese, and a dollop of crema mexicana.

Oh yeah.   My eggs rocked this morning.

Ljg 2017

Leave a comment

Kitchen Sink Soup

Heaven forbid that a writer should be superficial, but every once in a while, when some of us can’t think of anything profound, clever, or worthwhile, we write about superficial things. In my case I tend to write about food and cooking when nothing else springs to mind.

Case in point: this morning I am clearing out some marginal vegetables from my refrigerator.  You know the kind of vegetables I mean– the ones that still have a little bit of life in them but not good enough to make a salad out of them. Into the slow cooker I tossed some frostbitten celery, slightly shriveled carrots that were buried deep in the back, a couple of ancient potatoes on the edge of sprouting eyes, and a bag of wilting coleslaw mix. I finished off the last of my lentils and spiced it all with pepper, thyme, veggie soup paste, and a shot Worcestershire. Fairly much of anything in my kitchen would have been eligible for this concoction– everything but the kitchen sink.

Superficial cooking, maybe. Superficial writing, oh yeah.




Leave a comment

A Spicy Winter Tonic

Every Autumn when the weather starts to cool down and I begin to interact with more people on the day-job, I inevitably come down with a bad head cold. This year I thought I would start early — last March to be exact — in developing ways to build my immune system. One of those ways was to make a batch of what I call “winter tonic.” This is an old folk remedy with many names. I am going to start taking a daily teaspoonful dose in hope that this spicy concoction will minimize my acquisition of a nasty cold.   Or is it decoction? Maybe it might be a type of tincture? Whatever… a jar has been sitting in my refrigerator all spring and summer so it is good and potent now.

When I made it last Spring, I mixed together chopped onion, garlic, fresh horseradish, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, honey, cayenne and star anise, put this all in a glass jar covered with apple cider vinegar and let sit in the refrigerator for a month. I then strained the solids out of it. At that point it was ready for consumption. I have to admit that at the very least it will clear sinuses — or be put to use as a salad dressing. I will see about the immune-boosting qualities as the season progresses.

I got this recipe from a master herbalist:



Farmers’ Market Creativity

I have been trying to eat in a healthy manner these days so I visited my local farmers’ market yesterday to get some ideas and ingredients for dishes that are fresh, organic, local and seasonal. I came away with a bag of produce that filled the bill, including several bunches of fresh herbs: basil, parsley, cilantro and mint. Mint was an interesting choice for me since I don’t often cook with it, but something about it said “Make something with me!”

When I got home, I started googling recipes and I ended up with selecting an Indian mint-cilantro chutney. Now I just needed something to put the chutney ON. Such a sauce is often served with samosas and pakoras, yet these Indian appetizers are usually deep fried. Also, I wanted to use cheap and handy ingredients. So the Creative Muse jumped into the situation and I ended up improvising my own oven-baked version of a potato pakora.  Using ingredients on hand, a creative moment ended up with a yummy and healthy result.

Mint-Cilantro Chutney

2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 inch of peeled fresh ginger
1 clove of peeled fresh garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

Put everything in a food processor or blender with a little water (about 1/4 cup) and grind into a paste.

Miss Pelican’s Improvised Oven-Baked Potato Pakoras

2 cups of chickpea flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 heaping tablespoon curry powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper powder
Pinch of salt
About 3 cups (or half of 2 pound bag) of frozen hash browns, defrosted
1 cup water

Preheat the oven to 450F. Mix the flour, powders, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add the defrosted potatoes and water. Mix until the potatoes are thoroughly coated with batter.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Drop spoonfuls of the potato batter on the lined cookie sheets, like you were making cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from oven, flip each “cookie”, return to the oven and back another 10 minutes. Remove and cool. The pakoras should be a little crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Serve with the



Tea and the Art of Slowing Down

Tea was meant to be slowly sipped and savored, unlike coffee which is usually grabbed on the run and chug-a-lugged in a hurry so that its rocket fuel qualities can ignite your day.

Tea is a gentle, quiet beverage.  Maybe that’s why Teas are at the end of the day, so that the drinker can relax and unwind.   The way tea is made is a slow affair.  Done correctly, you need to bring the water to a boil, pour it over the loose leaves, and let the leaves steep for several minutes.  You cannot help but chill out while you wait.

Since you are required to slow down to make a cuppa, you might as well make an art form out of it.  Oh, wait, that’s already been done:

Okay, so maybe you don’t want to slow down that much. Here is a another way to make it:   How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea

ljgloyd (c) 2017