Cooking, Essays, House and Home, Memoir, Travel

Bread is my DOC (Drug of choice)

Pain au levain, a French bread
You just can’t find a decent loaf of bread in most American bakeries. | Pain au levain, a French bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I like bread. I always have. If you mention my bread lust around my mother, she’ll nod her head and say, “Yes, she always did like her bread.”

When I was a kid, my parents did most of our grocery shopping at Aldi, where the bread was mass-produced and over processed. We usually ate white bread because it was the cheapest, but once in a while, my dad would bring home several loves of oat bran bread when it was on sale and stash it in the deep freezer.

The oat bran bread was my favorite. It never lasted long, because I would sneak into the kitchen several times a day and snag a handful of slices that I would take outside with me and chew on while I wandered around the woods on our property. For some reason, I liked to pull the oat bran bread apart and roll it into little balls before I ate it.

Yeah, I know. I’m kind of a weirdo. Continue reading “Bread is my DOC (Drug of choice)”

Autumnal Equinox, Cooking, House and Home, Uncategorized

Welcome Autumn: How to make blackberry dumplings

blackerry dumplingsTo welcome autumn today, my sons and I are planning our own little at-home harvest festival, complete with a variety of cool-weather foods. We started the day off with a pan of my favorite blackberry dumplings.

My parents can’t seem to agree on where this recipe came from. My mom swears she got it from my dad’s grandma, Wilma Webster. My dad insists he never ate blackberry dumplings as a kid, so the recipe had to have come from my mom’s family. Either way, this has been a favorite recipe in my family throughout my entire life.

When I was a kid, my parents would bundle us up in long sleeves and long pants on some of the hottest days of summer. They dragged us out into the woods and shoved us into endless blackberry brambles where we would pick (and eat) until our plastic ice cream buckets were full and our hands were soaked with blackberry juice. Continue reading “Welcome Autumn: How to make blackberry dumplings”

Places to Write, Restaurants, Rivers

Places to write: Fiddleheads Café, Thiensville, WI

Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters - Thiensville WI
Here’s a nice view of the Milwaukee River from the dining room at Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters in Thiensville, WI.

Today I’m writing to you from Fiddleheads Café in Thiensville, WI. I first heard of Fiddleheads a week ago on the local news when the overflowing Milwaukee River was threatening to flood the café. I loved the idea of a coffee shop so close to the river’s edge and knew I had to check it out.

Fiddleheads is located in an old converted house that sits just feet away from a bend in the Milwaukee River. It’s a bit chilly to sit outside today (unless you’re here to snuggle up in a sweatshirt with hands clasped around a hot cup of coffee, then it’s perfect,) so my writer friend and I picked a large, round table inside.

The dining room where we chose to sit was a bit stuffy when we first came in, so I opened a window by our table and brought some outside in. Fiddleheads’ dining room is bright and airy, with white painted walls and lots of windows. It seems like a great place to sit and write in any season Continue reading “Places to write: Fiddleheads Café, Thiensville, WI”

Poetry, Poetry by Mandy Webster

Poetry Friday: Tackling teenage pregnancy

MAHS Poetry Out Loud competition 5
Image by Nic's events via Flickr

For today’s Poetry Friday, sponsored this week by Wild Rose Reader, comes from real-life. I remember how “everyone” in my 8th grade class talked about the girl who had a baby over the summer, and I also remember wondering if I was the only person who didn’t judge her. I only wish I’d had the guts to speak up for her. Continue reading “Poetry Friday: Tackling teenage pregnancy”

Uncategorized

Taste of Soda on Poetry Friday

Example of an American grocery store aisle.
Image via Wikipedia

My poem for today’s Poetry Friday is a commentary on the state of the American welfare system. As I was searching for related articles to share at the bottom, I found that Newt Gingrich has apparently made some interesting comments lately about people on foodstamps. Just to let you know, I just now learned of this and have not yet had the time to read what was said and develop an educated opinion. But I am interested in hearing what others have to say on the matter. So, please feel free to share your comments below.

With that said, here is my offering for today’s Poetry Friday:

Taste of Soda

When Mom and
Dad split,
we got food stamps
to feed our
newly-formed
family of three. Continue reading “Taste of Soda on Poetry Friday”