Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Casting My Bread

The world is a mess. That’s an understatement, to be sure. Our problems are so overwhelming that it might be easy to fall into despair and think there’s not anything that can be done to fix things. The good news is that though none of us can fix everything in the world, we each can repair our small corner of it and be confident that it does make a difference.

There is an old saying that if you cast your bread upon the waters, it will come back to you many times over. In other words, I fervidly believe that if each of us do good in this world in some small seemingly insignificant way, then the effects are cumulative and magnified, and the results reach places we could never have imagined.

So where do I find my corner in this messed up world? I am finding mine in a garden. If you have followed me for a while, you know that I volunteer in a community garden that grows food for a local pantry that distributes to those in need. My creaky old knees don’t allow me to do a lot of heavy lifting or digging, but I can harvest, pull weeds, and water.

This work in a community setting has had an effect in my personal realm.   I am eating more healthfully by adopting a more plant-based diet. No, I have not become a vegan —yet— but relying more on plants for food is better for the environment.

Is my working in the garden going to eliminate hunger and poverty?  Well, at least for one person or two it may. Is my not eating meat going to end the global climate crisis?  No, but it may lead to one less cow emitting methane to the atmosphere– which might put a tiny, tiny dent in it.

Call me Pollyanna-ish, but inaction on my part is not an option for me. I am going to keep casting that bread.

LJG 2019




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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Goodness

My creativity took a detour through the kitchen today. I have been seeing posts and videos all over the Internet for “avocado toast “, so I had to try it out for myself.    I had the bread, an avocado, cream cheese, harissa paste, a lime, and Trader Joe’s Everything Bagel seasoning.    And there you have it:

LJG 2019



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

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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

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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.




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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: