Posted in fiction, food, writing

Fragments

Chèvre Cookies

Stop-and-go traffic. You inch forward. Maybe you see cars up ahead moving, and hope, and hope…but then realize you’ve been fooled. All of you creep and stop, creep and stop, creep and stop.

I’ve been chain reading. We’ve had several losses of dear friends in the past month, amid worrisome news about loved ones, and most of the books have provided a relief from grief and stress. I won’t bother you with the handful that did not, except to say that 80% of the prose in two of them was made up of sentence fragments. The remaining 20% was made up of simple sentences.

Creep and stop, creep and stop, creep…and I stopped reading on page 10.

Fortunately, the book I read after that put me securely back on the road to relief and enrichment. And, when I finished it, I baked.

The Chèvre cookies pictured above are my new favorites—rich yet light, tart yet just sweet enough, and altogether as satisfying as a work of nuanced and soul-nourishing fiction.

I was going to rant today about the overuse of sentence fragments. In fact, to illustrate how annoying they are, I was going to write an entire post in sentence fragments, but I’d much rather share cookies with you. The recipe uses gluten free flour, although wheat flour can be substituted in equal measure.

***

Chèvre Cookies

Ingredients

4 ounces softened Chèvre
4 tablespoons softened unsalted cultured butter
4 tablespoons softened Spectrum Organic Vegetable Shortening
1 scant cup gluten free flour mix**

Beat Chèvre, butter, and shortening until creamy. Beat in flour mix. When combined into a soft, yet firm enough to handle dough, shape first into a ball, then into a log about 2” in diameter, and 1 foot long. Wrap in parchment and refrigerate overnight.

The Next Day….

Preheat oven to 375º. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix 2/3-3/4 cup sugar with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.

Remove dough log from refrigerator. Unwrap and flatten the ends of the logs. With a sharp knife, cut the log into slices about 1/8” thick. Dredge the slices with the cinnamon sugar, and place on prepared cookie sheet about 2″ apart.

Bake for 10-13 minutes, turning pan halfway through, until the cookies are golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for five minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

**Gluten Free flour mix
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour
2/3 corn starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch

Happy baking. Happy eating. Happy reading.

©2021 All Rights Reserved

Posted in social media, Twitter

Limits

Lake Scene by Philip Froman

I will try not to be angry. Not to vent. Not to litter this post with expletives. But, well, there is this….

If you have followed me on Twitter, under the handle, KeyboardMaven, you may have noticed that my account is suspended. I don’t know how, but I broke their “Rules.”

What is particularly infuriating about their action is that they now want a phone number in order to let me back into my account. My response to this? NO (biting tongue) WAY.

Considering the state of the planet, the way the climate is warming, I don’t think Hell has frozen over.

Also, considering the way Twitter handles their accounts, why (biting tongue) would I give them this information? Why (still biting) would I think this is a good idea?

I ended my relationship with Facebook years ago, chiefly because of their bad, and worsening behavior, and a growing sense of self-disgust for supporting it. Then I did the same with other social media sites, because they had become a drain on my time and energies. This turned out to be a wise move. But I stayed on Twitter to be connected with a handful of writers and musicians I like, and share updates and new posts on my blog. Since I am no longer posting with any frequency, and do not feel the sense of importance regarding my creative output I once did, and have little to share beyond a few gripes and stray thoughts, it occurred to me that Twitter had become yet another drain.

I’ve written about this before—the idea that creative people need to be visible and connected on social media in order to be relevant, but I know wonderful writers and musicians who’ve stayed away from it, and I was approaching the conclusion they have the right idea when Twitter, in their infinite wisdom, decided they needed a piece of personal information from me. The truth is, I’m not angry about the fact that they’ve suspended and locked me out of my account. I’m only angry about their sense of entitlement to information I am unwilling to give.

We all have limits. And those are mine.

So, I’m done with them, declaring my independence from this last vestige of social media (removing teeth from tongue), and feeling calmer for it.

Stay safe. Be well. Choose wisely.

Peace.

Update: 9/18/21: I received an apology from Twitter saying that my account was mistakenly flagged as spam, and that they had unlocked it. I then logged in and deactivated my account.

Posted in art, Irony, poetry, women

Portrait

“Mademoiselle Boissiere Knitting” by Gustave Caillebotte

Old woman, bent with needle,
spinster, maiden, Mademoiselle,
intent on plaiting fictions.

Each stroke demands restraint.
She is compliant,
bound in proper bonnets, sturdy bows,
and stems an urge for wild unraveling.

Yet blushing cheeks,
nacreous rainbows in her purls,
their molten, platinum shimmer,
betray a piqued suppression.

Too late for one revolution,
too early for another,
she can’t escape the irony—
that immortality’s fabled truths are
are belied by deft impressions.

©2021 All Rights Reserved