Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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 Today I am taking part in Wednesday Hodgepodge. Here are this week's questions and my answers.

1. Share something you loved about your Christmas Day.

Well, we open our presents on Christmas Eve so Christmas day it more of a relaxing day. We went to church, cooked a nice meal, and just did whatever we wanted. I enjoyed having time to spend with my husband and daughter.

2. You get to put five items in a time capsule to be opened in 100 years, what items would you choose and why?

Well, what is going to last after 100 years? Yeah, yeah...I know...don't put too much thought into it, just answer the dang question. OK. Let's say this is a time capsule that stays within the family. I would put in a copy of the family tree, newspaper clippings, photos, a journal, family recipes. Yeah, I know...not very creative but what do you want from me? It's almost midnight and I want to go to bed.

3. What do you like on a cracker?

Lots of things. Cheese. Hummus. Mushroom spread. Peanut butter. 

4. Do you make resolutions at the start of a new year? How'd that work out for you this past year?

Yes, I do but never expect them to work. This year was not a complete success in that respect but also not a complete failure. I made it part way to my goal.

5. What's a song or song lyric you'll associate with 2011? 
Hmmmm...I love music so not just one but many different songs come to mind. Picking just one is an impossible task. I'll give you two for starters:

English song: Christina Perri's "Jay of Hearts"
I love the line "you're gonna' catch a cold from the ice in your soul"

German song: Andreas Bourani's "Nur in Meinen Kopf"


6. How will you ring in the new year?

Each New Year's Eve we celebrate by making raclette, shooting off fireworks, and enjoying a bit of bubbly. 
7. What is something you look forward to in 2012?

Each new day :-)

8. Insert your own random thought here.

No wisdom here this evening. All I keep thinking is "what am I going to cook tomorrow?" Eggplant rollotini? Curried chicken and rice? Bouillabaisse? Help me out. You can leave your suggestions in the comments section.

That's all for now. Good night!


Head over to Joyce ( to check out more about Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Time again for January Stones

Would you like a 2012 with more colour, more clarity, more deliciousness?

During January, Kaspa and Fiona Robyn from ‘Writing Our Way Home’ will be encouraging you to pay attention to one thing every day and write it down.  You don’t have to be a writer to take part. You just need to have three minutes to spare a day, and a notebook or a blog, and the desire to slow down and fall in love with the world a day at a time.

Here you can find one of my favorite "stones" from last January.

Interested in opening your eyes to the world? Do jump here to find out more. Kaspa and Fiona hope to see you join in the river of stones. Here’s how last year’s "small-stoners" found the experience:

“I have to tell you, readers, I have loved writing a small stone every day for the last 31 days. It’s the most glorious exercise in mindfulness, in pulling yourself into this moment, and if you haven’t tried it yet please give it a go, if only for a week.”
~Rachel Hawes, writer of small stones

“…I keep finding that [writing a small stone] doesn’t eat up time or mental space; on the contrary, time stops and a new space is created.”
~Jean Morris, writer of small stones


“Writing small observations daily was like a spiritual experience for me. I felt happy, joyous and free. I looked forward to my daily meditation. As a result, I feel awakened and alive; and I am truly thankful.”
~Laurie Kolp, writer of small stones

The Language>Place Blog Carnival - Edition #12 (Food)

It was a pleasure to be the host for the "Food" issue of Language>Place. I received a variety of links, some which are directly related to a specific food, others feature food in a broader sense, and some merely make reference to a food. The contributors this month offer us visual posts, true stories, flash fiction, and poetry--something for everyone.

I'm not going to waste space with a lengthy introduction. After all, does a mother offer a long description or explanation when serving something new? Of course, not. She just says "Try it." So dig in! We've got a smorgasbord of delights for you to sample.


Terri French (The Mulling Muse) tells us the story “Cóndor azúcar” which takes place in Peru. It features a young boy, a mighty condor, and granular goodness.

In "Jogged Memory", Sandra Davies (lines of communication)  shares her thoughts on the discovery of an old photograph  of her Sunday lunch.  I won't reveal what she had for lunch, but what a lovely picture it is.

Jonathon Khoo (Things that Make me Go Hmmm), has tried anything from wax moth larvae tacos in California to blood sausages in Germany, but the best meal he's ever eaten was in India. Find out why it haunts him today.

Former resident of Puerto Vallarta, Margo Jodyne Dills (It's Always Something) shares her poem “The Secret Life of Jasmin Garcia Guadalupe” which features “one small plastic bag filled with water, nectar, jarabe,” and a whole lot more.

Smoky Mezcal, anyone? Steve Wing (Delinquent Dispatch) shows us the variety of foods offered at a market in Oaxaca.
Brigita Orel (Do the Write Thing) shares her flash fiction piece entitled "Language Misadventures." Lavender, parsley, basil, and other herbs appear in this Danish/Slovenian story.

Stefan Hofke (My European Life) highlights the Swabian pretzel (Brezel) which can be eaten at any time of the day.


Michelle Elvy (Glow Worm) shares memories of her years spent sailing in Mexico, experimenting with Mexican chilies, and one hot and spicy situation you might want to avoid.

Ever gone fishing for herring eggs? If not, let Vivian Faith Prescott (Planet Alaska) explain how it works. “This is the same technique that my husband's and my children's Tlingit ancestors have used for thousands of years.“

Marilyn Braendeholm (Misks Cooks) explains why she no longer hates a certain food. This post comes complete with a recipe for one of my favorite European breakfasts, photos of Hannover-Müenden in Germany, and a Danish translation.

In Repas d'un midi lointain, Jean Morris (Tasting Rhubarb) shares memories of culinary and emotional life in France in the 1970s. The menu includes spicy sausages cooked long and slowly with finely sliced white cabbage and juniper berries.

"Rain, darkness, more or less constant wind, difficult food." That is what Beth Adams (The Cassandra Pages) heard about life and cuisine in Iceland before her visit. Join her as she recalls the culinary adventures (with wonderful photos) of Hákarl, grilled seabird, and even smoked puffin.
Dorothee Lang (Life as a Journey) offers an e-flection on multicultural mockings that starts with depictions of racism, and moves on to ethnical food, blacks and whites of thought and skin colour, to shades of political correctness and situational incorrectness.

What do Twain, Italy, and Tabasco have in common? They are all featured in the post "A curious old town" by Parmanu. A nice read with great visuals. I especially love the picture of the Italian woman taking a photo of herself.

Food as fish bait for learning? Laurie Kolp (Conversations with a Cardinal) shows how one can use food to teach children acceptance.  "Exposure to different kinds of food not only enriches our cultural awareness, but it also brings us together for a bigger purpose; peace."
Whenever a family member travelled, the first question always asked the traveler upon return was "What did you eat?" Whether it be creole shrimp, Indian curry, or Brunswick stew laced with squirrel, Linda Wastila (Left Brain Right) says her love of all things edible comes from her parents.

 Rouch Swalwe  (Fünffingerplätze) tells us about a special birthday, a cocotte ronde, and a bird tale, complete with photo of tasty chicken.

Delicious cornbread filled with arepa, cheese, beans, avocado, plantains and other vegetarian ingredients. Christopher Allen (I Must be Off!) shows us that finding a gluten-free lunch in London is not as hard as it seems.

The interview post "I just want to buy a sandwich" gives us a glimpse into the life of Nine (Abyssinia Henry) and discusses travel, heartache and his dire need of an "f'n sandwich".

Christiane Alsop (Beyond the Margins) introduces us to a fun word play with translation. Try doing this with a sentence or paragraph from one of the other carnival contributions.


Rose Hunter (Fotos del Dia) shares a poem that takes place in Acapulco. Included are jittering coffee cups and one very special man.

Siddartha Beth Pierce has a mix of items-- artwork and two poems. One features fresh blueberries, cabernet sauvignon, and cherry-stained mouths.


There is a symbiosis hard to explain.” Judy Roney (I'd Like to Say) shares her poem about writing in a coffee shop.

Sonnet Mondal (Sonnet Mondal's Official Website) tells us about more than Bengali tea in the poem “The tea stall outside the university”. 

Not only does Stella Pierides offer us a haiku about ruby wine, she also has 16 other food related haiku in her post.


Call Edition #13 
Edition #13 will be hosted by writer and Lebenskünstler Christopher Allen. A native Tennessean, Christopher has lived in Germany for more than fifteen years. When he’s not editing, teaching or writing fiction, he blogs about his travels at I Must Be Off! The feature theme for Edition #13 is “Lost in Translation: The Humo(u)r Edition". Submissions are open Dec 1-Jan 8. Posts should be humorous, on the theme of humour, an attempt at humour, or even a blatant rejection of humour. Your post can be prose, poetry, photos, jokes—but as always, a wide range of contributions is welcome. Edition #13 is planned for mid-January 2012: Guidelines.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wrapping it Up're all done with Christmas shopping and getting ready to wrap all the gifts, right? What's that you say? You haven't even started? You're way behind? Well, I know the feeling. Not with Christmas (though I am a bit behind. I've only bought a few gifts, have yet to send Christmas cards and haven't backed one batch of cookies yet. Okay. So I a more than a little behind.) But I am wrapping up the Language/Place blog carnival, edition #11. I've got all the links and material, just need to finish setting up a few things before I can post it (hopefully on Friday). I learned a lot by hosting the FOOD edition. There are certainly a few things I'd do differently next time. I certainly wouldn't take on the task again when I have company for a month, school responsibilities, and other issues going on. But all in all, it was a great experience; one I hope to repeat again in the future. There are some very interesting articles and stories included which you might enjoy reading as well as some poems, photo, and artwork. There is even a recipe in one of the post for a food that I love. I won't tell you what it is. You'll need to search the carnival to find it. ;-)

In the meantime, the call for the next issue is already posted. Here it is:

Blue Print Review, Language/Place Blog Carnival - Call for Edition #13 
Edition #13 will be hosted by writer and Lebenskünstler Christopher Allen. A native Tennessean, Christopher has lived in Germany for more than fifteen years. When he’s not editing, teaching or writing ficiton, he blogs about his travles at I Must Be Off!  (Link: )The featured theme for Edition #13 is “Lost in Translation: The Humo(u)r Edition". Submissions are open Dec 1-Jan 8. Posts should be humorous, on the theme of homour, an attempt at humour, or even a blatant rejection of humour. Your post can be prose, poetry, photos, jokes—but as always, a wide range of contributions is welcome. Edition #13 is planned for mid-January 2012. Guidelines:

As Christopher would say...

I'm off for now!

I'll be back on Friday.