Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quiche and Pie Pans

‘Quiche sounds fancy but it’s really a simple dish.’

‘Really? How do you make it?’

‘The hardest part is the crust. If you have a good crust recipe, you’re nearly finished with your quiche.’ She mixed the ingredients together in the bowl.

‘Which recipe do you use?’

‘Seems like a different one every time. I haven’t found one that I love & that will turn out the same way twice.’

‘If it’s the same recipe, why doesn't it turn out the same?’

‘I’m not sure. Part of it is the humidity or dry air and the other is because I’m a messy cook. I mean, I’m not exact with measurements. Use the recipe you like. Once you have the crust ready, add cheese, whatever vegetable, then pour the milk & egg mixture over then bake for an hour or so.’

‘It’s that easy?’

‘Afraid so, French cooking is known for being difficult but quiche isn't one of the hard ones.’

‘Does the pan make a difference?’

‘I have this quiche dish that a friend gave me and these pie pans my mother gave me. I haven’t noticed any difference except the diameter of the quiche. Ha!’

‘Is that funny?’

‘No, not really, I was just thinking about these pie dishes.’

‘They must be special since your mother gave them to you.’

‘Oh they’re special, but that’s another story.’

‘A story? Do tell.’

‘Only because you asked: when was it? Oh yes, Sammy was a baby when grandma came to visit. One of my Christmas gifts were these pie pans. She said she didn't need them anymore, she brought them for me. They were unusual in that they were Pyrex with a decorative black ring at the fluted edge. I never minded hand-me-downs. Ha! Most of what I have is a hand-me-down, I mean, antique.’ She chuckled.

‘So these aren't the same pans?’

‘Yes, they are, and I do really like them,’ she nodded. ‘Of course I washed them in the dish washer before I used them the first time. Made fruit pies, if memory serves. When the pie was done, I noticed some of the fruit had stuck to the edge so I hand-washed them.’ She stopped and sighed.

After a long pause… ‘you washed them, and??’

‘I discovered that the black ring wasn't a decoration, it was burnt food caked on over a long time.’ She wrinkled her nose and added, ‘my mother never was very good at cooking or housekeeping.’


‘That’s what I said,’ she laughed. ‘Then, I soaked them, scrubbed and scrubbed some more. Finally, I got the pie pans clean. They looked like new. The next time my mother came to visit, she noticed the pie pans and asked why I had bought new ones, didn't I like the ones she gave me?’

‘No way.’

‘Oh yeah, I told her these were the pans she gave me and that I love Pyrex. And thanked her for them again.’ She paused and looked sad for a moment, ‘it really does sum up two things in my life: what it was like growing up in her house and the relationship we had.’

‘I’m sorry.’

‘Nothing to be sorry about,’ the smile returned to her face, ‘and just remember everyone is an example, good or bad. Besides that, my dear, was a very long time ago. So, you roll out the crust like this…’ 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Pool

Deep within the pool, there is a secret door. Not any kind of door, it is a magic door. The door from one world to another. The door where children pass from the harsh cruel world to one of joy and laughter.

On the way to the door, one must pass by the guard, a great green creature with sharp teeth and terrible eyes. He sizes each person up for good or for evil, attaching to them, the shackles of sin weighing down by their deeds, they will not make it to the door but fall to the bottom.

But children, free from the burdens of daily life may pass from through the door, unrestrained. The fairy children they're called because they move from one world to the other, freely, effortlessly and back again.

The door swings wide welcoming the fairy children to the colorful world, bright and warm. They swim to the edge of the pool on the other side. Auntie greets them, wrapping them in a warm white towel.

Would you like a pastry? She asks with a grin.

Certainly! the children answer, it begins just the same.

From there each story unfolds as the children recognize... they're home.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In the Beauty of the Moment

In the beauty of the moment 
She sways with the breeze
Dancing to the tune 
Wind in the trees 

In the beauty of the moment 
She walks in the sun 
Gliding over green 
Corset undone 

In the beauty of the moment 
She stares so intense
Burning like fire 
Feeling each sense 

In the beauty of the moment 
She pays the fair cost 
Life's new beginning
Innocence lost 

In the beauty of the moment 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Five Reasons to Go to the Theatre

Having the human experience over the centuries has changed technologically but to the core of our humanness, entertainment particularly plays about life and love haven't changed much since the ancient Greeks wrote drama & tragedy. 

As a writer who has dabbled as a playwright, the process of developing a story into a form actors can bring to life is of interest. However, to the person who is not a playwright, why would watching a play be important at all? Why go to the play? 

1) Going to plays at a local theater supports local artists, actors, tech people, playwrights, theater owners & managers. When artists and actors get money, we know that they spend it, so your money finds it way into the local economy for a quick turn around. It's a win-win. 

2) Having a local theater in your area, or better yet more than one theater for competition to create great shows, brings culture and creativity to your hometown. Why is creativity important? Honestly, most of the world is in need of some serious work. Many places are dilapidated. Artists think of create ways to fix problems. It's what they do. It's what we need. 

3) Watching plays speaks to the soul. Whether the play invokes tears or laughter, a well performed play can change your life & perspective forever. Emotionally engaging with the actors, music, and story can move the audience through experiences that simply can't happen while watching a screen. 

4) Have you ever watched the same play with the same actors in the same theater night after night? While you can watch the same elements night after night, it's impossible to see the same show. With life theater it's never the same twice. There is an element of spontaneity that changes the play into a unique experience each night. 

5)  Many people are couch potatoes. You'll recognize them by their conversation: Wasn't TV great last night? Did you see the same TV show I watched? The process of attending a play gives you a variety of conversational topics to share with friends & co-workers, not to mention posting on your social media. 

Take the time to make it a full experience: Dress up. Go with friends. Pick a play with local actors, you may be surprised who you see. Some playhouses offers several one-act plays for the price of one ticket. Go for coffee after the play to discuss it with your friends. By the end of the night you'll have your own story to tell. 

And of course, if you have interesting stories, everyone will love you. 

Additional reading: 

How to Become a Successful Playwright

Reasons to Support Your Local Playhouse