My Secret Passion

I believe it would very much surprise many of the people who know me to discover what my secret passion is. They could take guesses, but most times they would be wrong.  Even those friends who know me well.

Of course, there are many sides to my personality and over the years different aspects of who I am forges forward to dominate. When these distinct and different urges rumble, I give them the lead and allow them to show themselves to the world, be it painting, writing, fashion, music or whatever want rises forth for recognition.

When something is a secret passion it is usually not known by others, or acknowledged by even ourselves. Hence the word secret.  As a matter of fact, there are times when even we ourselves don’t know that it is a true passion until something triggers the awareness.  Today that happened to me.

I was speaking with my husband, Jim, about Thanksgiving.  My daughter and her husband generously invited us to her house for the day and the Thanksgiving day feast.  We accepted and look forward to the day with the family, however, something nagged at me.  It dawned on me, I would not be cooking a turkey, she would.  That takes something out of the holiday for me.  It leaves it almost two-dimensional.

Not that I love doing all the work it takes to putting together a holiday dinner.  Believe me over some 50 years I have cooked and orchestrated more than three hundred holiday meals for small or large crowds.  I know what it takes, and its exhausting to do it with a flair.  But I realized, and here is where I divulge the secret passion, I love cooking big.  Oh, not all the sides and salads, but a huge turkey, ham, pasta, gravy (sauce for American born), or anything that weighs a ton.

I love cooking a thirty pound ham or turkey that will feed a crowd, even when I need a strong person to help me pick it up.  My passion is that I loveeeee to cook big.  Put that fresh ham on a low heat and bake for six hours.  Baste that turkey every half hour all day and watch it go from a sickly white to a beautiful golden brown.

I am not going to try to psychoanalyze this passion.  I am just going to own it, enjoy it and find a reason to cook a humongous roast.

Buena Appetite!

The Month of August

English: Mascot_in_winter. Patchogue Dock phot...
English: Mascot_in_winter. Patchogue Dock photo by Stevan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Cooked mussels
Cooked mussels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here I sit on August first and I am shocked that I haven’t written a thing since the beginning of July.  Yes, it was uncannily hot in New York for at least nine days , and I did enjoy the company of my grandchildren for six days, but there were sixteen additional days, times twenty-four hours, when I had opportunity to write.

A vast number of topics crossed my mind, but I was unprofessional and did not jot them down as I thought of them.  A writer should never be without paper, pen, or iPad.  Those gems of ideas are fleeting and rarely recalled once your attention is pulled elsewhere.  The longer you hesitate to sit at the computer, the harder it gets to do so.

Today on the View (which I was watching instead of writing) was that prolific author, Danielle Steel, who has written 130 books.  She does this all on a manual typewriter.  She said she likes the sound of the click clack of the keys.  I can relate to this.  I remember writing on an old machine myself, very long ago.  The sound of the striking keys would mesmerize me and the words just flowed.  I will need to see if I can get this laptop to make that sound.  Anything to stir up those creative juices.

I have mixed feelings on this August first.  I am worry that the summer is flying by and I haven’t done one of the things I’d planned.  However. I am pleased that it’s still summer and the opportunity is still available to me.

Food defines seasons to me. Turkey is Fall, Ham, Winter, Cherries and Nectarines, Spring, but my favorite of all, Shellfish in the Summer.  Long Island Mussels, Crabs, and Clams.

I know you can get any of these foods any time of the year, but there is something special about eating them in season.  Yesterday I made my version of baked clams.  The day before steamed mussels with one of my own variety of juice.  I haven’t cooked crabs yet this summer, but it won’t be long.  Perhaps it’s not just the taste of seafood, rather the memories they bring with them.  Memories of youth, family, love, wellbeing, and being care free.

The shellfish, a trip to the beach, visiting with friends, and a short vacation will fill my August.  I’m not going to worry about the month past, but about the month I am living.  I will go in the pool, and smell the flowers.  Oh, and I am going to write down all those fleeting thoughts that will grow into profound blogs.

Happy August.