Happy Pi Day from Mother Goose

We all know about the magnificent obsession Mother Goose has with pie…

Peach Pie

How can Mother Goose even begin to describe the joy of knowing that today is Pi Day? Please do not think that Mother Goose is ignoring her spell check when she types “pi” instead of “pie” today. Many of my dear and loyal readers will know that the date today is March 14th or 3/14. Many of my most mathematically inclined readers will also recognize this sign and this number…

National-Pi-Day

We will be enjoying Peach Pie this evening at the Perch Party Part Two. Does that make it a Perch and Peach Pie Party? Can it get anymore real than that? And is it even rational to consider that Mother Goose would rather eat pie and perch than anything else under the sun?

And by the way, Happy Birthday to my dear friend, Albert Einstein!

Albert Einstein

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”

The Perch Party

Mother Goose smiles when a small idea becomes a BIG production!

It is a fact of nature that people, plants and animals start out tiny and then grow into miraculous and wonderful living organisms, and it was a fact of life yesterday that a little plan blossomed into a wonderful and loving Perch Party.

Knowing that David (a U.S. Marine who has fallen on rough times and has no home) likes perch, the wheels in the feathery head of Mother Goose began to turn. What kind of perch is best to serve? How do I prepare it? Where will I purchase it? And can I even do this, having never cooked fishy things before except those easy and adorable fish sticks from Captain Gorton?

Enter Kevin, my comrade from Easter Seals and a lifelong fisherman and outdoorsman. His recommendation was to serve up Lake Perch as fresh as I could possibly muster. Of course, Mother Goose is NOT one to hold a fishing pole, especially in single-digit weather conditions.

However, a quick side note: Brother Goose and his dear wife have done MUCH ice fishing this winter in their really nice camper/ice house. With cousins and friends, they pull their camper out three or four miles onto some GREAT big lakes in nordern Minnesota and set up a little fishing town where they conveniently fish from the comfort of their warm rolling home and watch NASCAR races on the big screen.

But oh my gooseness, I digress…

Mother Goose happily added Kevin to the guest list, knowing that his cooking expertise would be valuable in the preparation of The Perch. And then the wheels turned a little bit more, and Mother Goose remembered her friend, Ms Murriel, who absolutely LOVES to cook for people and lives to see the happy faces of folks who have eaten more than their fill of a good dinner.

Mother Goose invited Ms Murriel who immediately offered to bake a lemon meringue pie. Everybody KNOWS how much Mother Goose loves pie…

All of the puzzle pieces for the Perch Party were in place — fish bought and breaded, spaghetti water boiling, salad tossed, pie chillin’ and we ladies chatting in the kitchen, waiting for the gentlemen to arrive when all of a sudden the phone of Mother Goose rang! I missed the call, but there was a voicemail from David saying that he was having phone problems, trying to reach Kevin, and would be on his way to meet him there.

But we didn’t know where “there” was, and we could not figure out where David was and would Kevin please find this man and please deliver him to the Perch Party SOMEHOW.

And Kevin did. Kevin always rescues somebody — he is one of my most special heroes, and you can go read more about him by clicking here…

Oh the food was delicious! If anyone ever asks, Lake Perch is about a thousand times better than ocean perch which is why Mother Goose capitalized it. And the meatballs and sauce prepared by Husband Goose — mmmmm, he’s got that recipe down just fine. And the bottle of German wine that Kevin provided was the perfect complement to the dinner. And I don’t even need to tell you how Mother Goose swooned at the first mouthful of lemon meringue pie…

But, my dear and loyal readers, what set this Perch Party apart and above and beyond all normal meals was the delightful and thought-provoking conversation and loving fellowship around the table. Sometimes the food can be tasty, the music playing softly in the background, the candles lit and glowing brightly, but the dinner falls flat because there is no love.

We enjoyed an abundance of love at our Perch Party. The Lord lavished His grace on us, and our conversations were sprinkled with the sweetest words of wisdom and kindness. There was much laughing and a little teasing and a heart-felt camaraderie amongst us.

Can a goose get anymore grateful?

Thank you for coming to The Perch Party of Mother Goose…

Brother David, Husband Goose, Ms Murriel and dear Kevin.

Brother David, Husband Goose, Ms Murriel and dear Kevin.

Juice with a Goose

There comes a time in the life of a goose when we must make a choice, to juice or not to juice.

There are the obvious health benefits to the practice of extracting the juice from our fruits and veggies. Of course, Mother Goose is much too busy these days to research what those benefits might be…..but you can probably just trust me on that.

We are told that the enzymes and vitamins which our bodies crave can be pulled out of the fibers of these veggies. It has been suggested that drinking the nutrient-packed juice causes these tiny yet explosive atoms of energy to be more easily quickly and easily digested and entered into our cells.

I would even go so far as to say that by the time I’m done washing up all of the juicing equipment, the energy from the juice has been transferred to my body and have exploded into a million various movements of dishwashing activity. In other words, drinking the fresh juice gives me the energy to wash the juice making machine. It’s a perfect cycle of caloric spin. Nothing wasted, not much gained…

Today's juicing recipe called for lemons, cukes, ginger, apples, pears, parsley, lettuce, spinach, kale,  celery and cilantro.  No animals were injured or maimed in the process.

Today’s juicing recipe called for lemons, cukes, ginger, apples, pears, parsley, lettuce, spinach, kale, celery and cilantro. No animals were injured or maimed in the process.

I am the proud owner of a Jack Lalanne Power Juicer! Note to self: Jack’s birthday is coming up on September 26th — he’ll be 99 years old. Who DIDN’T grow up watching Jack do his exercises on TV? Remember how Mom really loved to watch his show? Maybe your dad didn’t watch Jack Lalanne, but I bet everybody’s mom did…. Also, remember all of the urban legends throughout the years that Jack had died of a heart attack? All proved false — Jack actually lived until 2011 and then succumbed to respiratory failure as a result of pneumonia. He did his workouts up until the day before his passing.

Jack Lalanne in 1961.  Oooh la la.

Jack Lalanne in 1961. Oooh la la.

Oh yes, l threw in some little tomatoes at the last minute.  And oh yes, I DID grow them in my little goose garden...

Oh yes, l threw in some little tomatoes at the last minute. And oh yes, I DID grow them in my little goose garden…

Your mouth is watering, right?

Your mouth is watering, right?

It does not take long for Mother Goose to prepare the fruits and greens for the juicing experience. I have found that I can save approximately ten minutes of prep time by just skipping the “washing of the produce” step of the process… And if there are any bugs or small proteins caught on the fruit or greens, I simply chalk that up to bonus nutrition.

After you have extrapolated all of the juice and disposed of all the remnants of greens and veggies into your backyard compost pile, then you are ready to enjoy the distinctly natural and raw flavor of the juice AND you will begin to reap all of those benefits of which I haven’t quite yet googled…

As healthy and green as a spring meadow...

As healthy and green as a spring meadow…

Drink it fast. As fast as you can.

Now Mother Goose has the energy to wash up all the equipment -- the juicer and the strainers and accouterments -- and get it all ready for the next juicing experiment.

Now Mother Goose has the energy to wash up all the equipment — the juicer and the strainers and accouterments — and get it all ready for the next juicing experiment.

Thank you for stopping in to drink juice with a goose…

Juicify!!! Have you had your juice today?

Date Night Gone Awry

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” Woody Allen

Mother Goose doesn’t necessarily chase after the movies of Woody Allen, but the reviews for Blue Jasmine sounded interesting. I’m a modestly casual fan of Cate Blanchett, and Alec Baldwin’s Capital One commercials make me smile — good reasons to make plans to see a new movie.

With the film’s limited release on Friday, we could easily drive into the city, park near the Landmark Century Theater, catch a nice dinner beforehand at La Creperie and enjoy the movie together. What lovely plans! What a charming date night this could be!

We drove downtown in the Cadillac of Husband Goose and easily found a parking space on Diversey Parkway, just a block from the restaurant and theater. Husband Goose even checked with a Chicago policeman on his bicycle about whether this was a legal spot to park! The officer wholeheartedly agreed that this was a beautiful parking space.

We merrily skipped along to La Creperie.

We took this picture last year in June.  As I looked at the pix from that date night, I saw that I wore the same dress and we sat at the exact same table.

We took this picture last year in June. As I looked at the pix from that date night, I saw that I wore the same dress and we sat at the exact same table.

As you know, Mother Goose does not believe in accidents, coincidences or chance encounters…

I had read online that this quaint family-run French bistro would be closing its doors for the last time later this month. We wondered why they would close — surely business is always good with normal thirty minute waits on most nights. Forty-one years of serving delicious savory and sweet crepes, soup a l’oignon gratinee and an exciting array of fine wines — how on earth could they possibly be done?

While we waited to be seated outside on the back patio, we spotted the owner, Germain Roignant. He was acting as busy host for the night, not unusual at this long-lived northside bistro. Germain is an older gentleman, charming with his French accent and attentiveness to the ladies. We asked why he was closing his wonderful restaurant.

He explained that he had wanted to pass La Creperie on to his son, but after giving it a try, his son had decided it wasn’t for him and had moved to California with his wife. But then, the most heartbreaking…Germain told us that his son had now died, just the day before.

Of course, tears rolled down my cheeks as I listened to this news.

“Why are you here?” I asked.

“Somebody called in and couldn’t come to work, I need to be here,” he said with a sad shrug and then walked back towards the entrance to greet a new crowd of guests.

We stood speechless, absorbing this information and quietly relating it to our own families and children. How sad, how terrible to have to plan a funeral for a son… Germain’s wife Sara had passed away in 2002 — we could still read the grief on his face for losing his lifelong best friend and lover on the restaurant’s thirtieth anniversary.

How life can be so very short and confusing…

We had delicious food, of course, watching the precious proprietor rush back and forth through the restaurant, seating his company and receiving hugs and condolences from close friends who had heard the awful news.

When we finished our sumptious dinner crepes, our Bananas Sara and our coffees, we met Germain at the front door on our way out. “God bless you,” I whispered into his kindly old face. “Thank you, dear,” he replied and planted a warm kiss on my cheek.

Lost in our private thoughts, we walked silently to the theater…

But this was just the beginning. Incredibly, the date night continued to go awry. You won’t want to miss the next story where Mother Goose continues to describe the strange details of this night…

And Strawberry Leaf Smoothies For All

Over this past weekend, we had the wonderful Welcome Home turkey dinner for the sailor son of Mother Goose. (By the way, his name is Erik…) The turkey proved as tasty and generously endowed as we expected, and we were again most thankful for the stranger who paid for our dinner! As you may expect, Mother Goose is fond of side dishes. I prepared many of them to accompany the turkey bird to the table.

Some readers may ask if Mother Goose has any tender thoughts about eating fresh or frozen fowl.

And, of course, Mother Goose does not.

There was cranberry sauce to splash over the stove top stuffing. There was gravy from an envelope to moisten the somewhat dry mashed potatoes. There was plenty of corn niblets to scatter over the top of our platters of welcome home food. And here’s just a little story about the stuffing:

The oldest daughter of Mother Goose is an out of the closet Vegan and has been for years. One of the things that I try to do for her at mealtime is to adapt our foods to fit her stern and self-imposed dietary restrictions and requirements. As I prepared the stove top stuffing, I substituted her “butter alternative” product, Nature Balance, for the actual natural cow-milk butter. I patted myself on the back for this brilliant idea that would make the stuffing palatable to my precious daughter.

When she arrived at the table, I proudly announced that the stuffing was vegan and that she would thoroughly enjoy it.

“Really?” she asked excitedly. “Is it really vegan?”

“Yes, it really is,” answered the clever Mother Goose. “I used Nature Balance instead of butter!”

She happily loaded her plate.

As I watched her consume several servings of the stuffing, I thought about the stove top stuffing. I thought about the name, Stove Top Stuffing for Turkey. I began to wonder why they mentioned turkey in the title of the product.

But Mother Goose remained silent, smiling slightly as my daughter ate and ate the stuffing, the vegan stuffing which in my mind was suddenly not so vegan after all. Suddenly it all seemed a little too good to be true. The words “suddenly very suspiciously not vegan” came to the mind of Mother Goose.

Minutes after the meal was over, Mother Goose did read the ingredients of the stuffing. And it did contain the words, “turkey broth” and totally processed bits of real turkey meat”.

Probably not a vegan product even if you use Nature Balance instead of butter...

Probably not a vegan product even if you use Nature Balance instead of butter…

I have remained silent for three days, but now it’s all out there for the world to see — alas, I am such a goose.

Mother Goose had not prepared a dessert for this grand Welcome Home dinner. We had consumed large quantities of a bakery-baked cake the night before, but I had not cooked a pudding or rolled a pie crust or even filled a jello mold for the sweet ending of this fine culinary event.

But I did have four boxes of fresh strawberries which I quickly washed and cleaned. These were very large and mostly unripe strawberries. The produce man had assured me that this is indeed strawberry season in California and thus these would be the best strawberries we had ever eaten. The leaves of each strawberry were very very large — like a cluster of oak leaves atop the berries! When I had finished hulling and trimming the berries, I had more than a quart of green leaves piled on my paper towel.

We laughed about what should be done with them — a salad? soup garnishes? smoothies?

And before you could say “Jack Frost”, Mother Goose had the blender out and was dumping all of the strawberry leaves and hulls into it along with a cup of cold almond milk.

We considered adding other bits of refuse — potato peels, egg shells, coffee grounds and banana peels. We thought maybe not this time. Better to create a basic recipe before adding variations…

We poured the graying-greenish semi-smooth beverage into the glass of the vegan daughter — a nice tall glass of Strawberry Leaf Smoothie to top off her vegan stuffing…

She gulped it about halfway down and pronounced it “Good!”

We poured shot glass-sized portions for other family members: Ben, Erik, Husband Goose and yours truly.

Husband Goose took a small sip and made the most sourest of faces.

We all had a good loud laugh.

Like a good sailor, Erik tossed his strawberry shot back. And then it nearly came bubbling back up.

More good-natured laughter.

Ben took a mouthful and ran for the sink to spit it out.

Mother Goose added some honey to her glass of smoothie and easily sipped and swallowed the entire cup of green-gray goodness.

Vegan Daughter took another mouthful, and then she too ran to the sink to make a large deposit. She just could not swallow it down.

As an afterthought, we googled strawberry leaves to determine whether or not they might be poisonous. We learned that if they had been quite wilted, they would have a toxic effect on our digestive systems. Otherwise, they are fine and frequently used in the preparation of strawberry tea.

It was a joyous family occasion, and we made plenty of memories. What began as a heart-felt patriotic donation to the Welcome Home Dinner for a sailor turned into one of the most hilarious and bizarre meals that we’ve ever enjoyed as a family!

God bless your families today — with love and laughter from Mother Goose.

Nice and leafy, just the way we like 'em.

Nice and leafy, just the way we like ’em.

Touched by an Angel Food Cake Drama

On the evening before his fifteenth birthday, the youngest son of a goose requested that she bake him an Angel Food Cake. Mother Goose swallowed hard, choked, rolled her eyes and honked as if to say, “Yes, dear, Mother will bake you that cake.” Though I have never baked an Angel Food Cake from scratch in all of my days, I am always hopeful that old dogs can learn new tricks. And as dawn was breaking over the Saturday horizon, Mother Goose was gathering her ingredients and her recipe and her baking equipment.

Should Mother Goose put on her glasses to read the recipe or just “wing it”?

I am a haphazard cake baker, I do the best I can and leave the rest to the “universe” or to fate or in this case, to angels.

Angel Food Cake is unusual in that it is mostly made of egg whites, those slippery yet fragile, messy yet vital, clear but sometimes foggy elements of the common chicken egg. By the way, I prefer chicken eggs to goose eggs for this particular cake recipe. Please separate your eggs carefully, avoiding egg shell and yolk pollution which would spoil the purity of your egg whites. Allow them to come to room temperature.

At this point, Mother Goose must interject a bit of humorous family history. When the children were quite young and prone to stomach flu, it was our family tradition to supply them with an aluminum mixing bowl in which to deposit their vomit — convenient and easy to clean, the bowls with egg whites now bring back those memories to the heart of Mother Goose…

Could be egg whites, could be the dry heaves.

Back to our recipe…

Whilst those egg whites are getting comfortable, combine your powdered sugar and your flour, sifting together at least three times until they are completely together in this and of one mind. Unity of the powdered ingredients is very important. Set this aside until Mother Goose directs you.

Some powdered unity for our cake.

Add vanilla and cream of tartar to your egg whites and begin to beat them in your Mix Master until first they are foamy and then beginning to form soft peaks and when indeed they are forming hard peaks like Mount Everest (or in my case Mount Saint Helens), slowly add the granulated sugar while the whipping continues. A question to my dear readers: what exactly is cream of tartar and why is it so very important to egg whites?

Foaming a little.

More foaming action.

Another angle of the whipping process

The beginnings of angel robes of whiteness

The soft peaks of angel cheeks.

Nearly full-blown snowy mountain peaks of angel goodness. As you can easily see, Mother Goose knows how to whip an egg white…

Perfection of the puffy clouds

When the peaks of egg whites are standing tall and firm, then you must VERY gently fold the powdery ingredients into them. Using a rubber scraper and many prayers, carefully and with much caution fold and turn, fold and turn until the powder has completely been ingested by the mountains of white. There must be no evidence of any powder. None.

Careful incorporation is critical. Please be careful!

And now, holding your breath, you will scarcely lift the beautiful mass of cake cloud batter up and into that special cake pan — you know the one in the back of your cupboard that you never ever use — it has a tube through the middle and the inner part comes away from the outer part and your little kids love to play with it — even more than they like to play with your iPad.

The least used cake pan in the cupboard of a goose.

Your oven has been heated to 350 degrees per the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. You have followed the step by step instructions faithfully and prayerfully. Nothing left to do but “pop it in the oven for baby and me!”

Oh it’s just gorgeous! Let’s bake it now.

Breathe a heavy sigh of relief and set your timer for about an hour. Feel free to clean up your messy kitchen at this time. Or turn on an episode of Touched by an Angel, because you will need to remember pretty soon that God really does love you and He has not forgotten you.

Another thing you should do now is to find a bottle with a long skinny neck on it. First Mother Goose found a bottle of Kentucky bourbon which I tasted. I decided its neck was too thick, and its bark was worse than its bite. Grand Marnier would be a better choice this morning.

Just a little nip whilst we wait….

When the timer went off, Mother Goose was feeling happy and light-headed. She removed the cake from the oven. She inverted the cake upon the bottle of Grand Marnier.

The Angel Food Cake is so beautifully and tastefully inverted upon the bottle, cooling happily and then we shall decorate it for the birthday party!

She raised her wings to the heavens in grateful thanksgiving for the success of the Angel Food Cake for the teenage son. After five minutes of heartfelt praise time, Mother Goose opened her eyes.

The angel crashes down to the countertop. Disaster!

Mother Goose gasped in horror — there was no way to stop the fall of the cake. It fell and when it fell, all the trumpets in heaven were silenced. All ears were tuned to the sound of the sad honking in the kitchen of Mother Goose. The drama had played out so differently than I had planned. The Angel Food Cake was lost and soiled and irretrievably condemned to the garbage can. No touch of an angel could repair this cake. Humpty Dumpty came to mind as he lay broken at the foot of his wall with all the king’s soldiers standing around scratching their heads.

But was Mother Goose down and out?

Well, just a little.

And then I remembered the words of my mother, “No sense crying over broken and flopped angel food cake.”

I got my son a really nice chocolate cake at the bakery. Happy Birthday, dear Joe!

Isn’t it just wonderful? Happy 15 to my dear Joe!

An Apple A Day Keeps the Goose Itching

So many of my faithful readers have asked for the Taffy Apple Salad recipe, and I’m happy to oblige here and now. I only wish I could eat it myself without the terrible discomfort that permeates my body at the ingestion of raw apples… Nonetheless, I know you will enjoy it. Try not to think of Mother Goose scratching her lips, beak, nose, tongue and throat as you are munching on it.

The Taffy Apple Salad of Mother Goose did not look this pretty as she was busy scratching her face instead of garnishing the salad.

Taffy Apple Salad

Ingredients:

1 Large can of pineapple chunks, cut up. Please reserve the natural juices as you will use them in the dressing.
2-1/2 cups of chopped apples, leaving the skin on for prettiness. Any apples will do fine, but I used Honey Crisp.
1 Tablespoon of ordinary flour
1-1/2 Tablespoon of vinegar. I used apple cider vinegar, of course…
1/2 cup of ordinary sugar
1 egg, terribly beaten
8 ounces of Cool Whip, mostly thawed out
2 cups of mini-marshmallows
1-1/2 cups of dry roasted peanuts

Directions:

Please pour the pineapple juice into a medium-sized sauce pan, and turn on the heat about medium-sized as well. Add the flour, vinegar, and sugar, stirring well to remove the little lumpies. Now go ahead and add the beaten up egg, continuing to stir it all together nicely. Bring this mixture to a boil and let it get kind of thick.

Set this warm saucey mixture to the side and let it cool about seven minutes, maybe ten.

In a pretty large bowl, mix together your chopped apples, pineapple chunks, marshmallows (go ahead and eat a few if your want) and peanuts.

When your pineapple sweet sauce is finger-cooled (yes, go ahead and touch it!), fold in the Cool Whip and get it all incorporated into each other. Then simply dump it into the fruity, sweet and salty yummy ingredients in the pretty large bowl. Toss it all around, keeping most of it in the bowl.

Cover it up and put it in the fridge for awhile. It’s really best when it’s really cold. Serve it to your family and friends with a big smile on your face because you are about to eat a salad that tastes just like a caramel apple. Or a taffy apple. It all depends on where in the world you are, I guess.

Bon Appetit from Mother Goose!

Somebody won a prize for this recipe in 1965… NOT Mother Goose…

Come Back to Reality, Mother Goose

Mother Goose apologizes for her delusional post yesterday, and would like to take this opportunity to ask your forgiveness if you or any member of your family was in any way, shape or form offended. In retrospect, I realize that I may have been over-honking my own importance in the general stream of life. My deepest and humblest and most sincere apologies if I have mislead you…

And now I’d like to talk about all the food I’ve eaten in the past four days.

As some of my dear readers may remember, Mother Goose has registered to run her first 5K race, and that big day is coming up very soon. As a matter of fact, there are only 45 more days until “The Race That’s Good For Life”. And believe me, Mother Goose is training hard — walking and running and walking and running nearly every five days or so… And then Mother Goose gets a fine appetite which must be satisfied in glorious new ways. I could simply eat more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, more rice and beans, more granola bars and cheese. But no….

Here’s a quick overview of what Mother Goose has eaten since last Saturday.

From Lake Street Kitchen and Bar (Oak Park), we shared Wagyu Carpaccio (paper thin sliced beef with black garlic aioli) and Sweet Potato Latkes with guajillo pear sauce and anejo cheese.

It's cooked, right?

From Greek Islands (Chicago), we shared a fresh salad, Taramosalata (considered Greek caviar, this is a blend of cod roe with potatoes, onion and olive oil), and Mousaka (baked eggplant, ground meat and potato casserole topped with b├ęchamel sauce).

Just open a jar of caviar for breakfast, dear.

From GT Fish and Oyster (Chicago), we were lavished with a five course romantic dinner and a bottle of fine white wine. Here’s where the natural foodie tendencies of the goose begin to kick in! Follow this if you will…

Course One — Hamachi and Tuna Crudo with heart of palm sorbet, yuzu vinaigrette
Course Two — Steamed Alaskan Halibut sided with crayfish cannelloni, cauliflower and burnt milk sauce
Course Three — Whittingham Farm Capon Breast with israeli couscous, rutabaga, hedgehog mushrooms
Course Four — Beef Tenderloin with beet flan, black truffle salsify
Course Five — Chocolate Praline Terrine with hazelnut ice cream, coffee sauce, candied hazelnuts

Dear readers, when Mother Goose first saw the menu for her special Valentine’s Day dinner, she became very nervous for several reasons. First of all, I did not know what most of these food items even are! Crudo? Terrine? Hamachi? Hedgehog mushrooms? Yuzu? Crayfish? Capon? Beet flan? Even though Mother Goose watches a lot of shows on the Food Network, these were mostly unfamiliar and unreal names for food.

It looked prettier on my plate.

Another problem was that I discovered a capon is actually a castrated rooster. With nothing better to do, they just sit around getting fat and lazy and tasty.

Prettier with feathers on...

My biggest problem was that earlier in the day, the restaurant actually posted a different menu online which included Foie Gras with the capon. I immediately began to get butterflies in my goose tummy to think of eating foie gras.

According to our friends at Wikipedia, “Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened. This fattening is typically achieved through gavage (force-feeding corn)…The technique of gavage dates as far back as 2500 BC, when the ancient Egyptians began keeping birds for food and deliberately fattened the birds through force-feeding…Gavage-based foie gras production is controversial due to the force feeding procedure used. A number of countries and other jurisdictions have laws against force feeding or the sale of foie gras.”

Imagine the horror! Gavage! Force-feeding corn to the goose in order to make her poor liver sweeter and tastier! What sort of culinary madness is this? I tell you, Mother Goose was beside herself with dread and anticipation of gastronomic disaster…

Fortunately, Executive Chef Giuseppe Tentori came to his senses before Mother Goose arrived at the scene and revised his romantic menu to easier accommodate my epicurean insecurities. Thank you, Chef Tentori! And our dinner was a honking success — we ate like royalty and the paparazzi gave us a break for the evening as well.

But now, Mother Goose must return to reality. With less than six weeks til my big race, I must truly focus on sensible eating to accompany my extensive exercise and training. For lunch today, I’ll be preparing and serving corn. I’ll have a light snack of corn in the afternoon, followed by a large portion of corn for dinner. Just before bed, I’ll heat up a little corn and nibble it whilst I watch Letterman. Tomorrow for breakfast, you guessed it….CORN. FORCE FEED CORN to the GOOSE?

Oh my gooseness…

Is Love a Cake? Is Love a Rose?

Down through the ages, poets and lyricists have struggled with the definition of love. Many have said that love is the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes when a mother sees her baby for the first time. It is likened unto a shield of protection for the hapless and homeless. Frequently, love is confused with lust and we all know what that’s all about. I could go on and on trying to explain love and define love. Fortunately for us all, Mother Goose has done extensive research into the topic of love and has narrowed it down to two choices: cake or roses.

Amanda McBroom has done an excellent job of defining love in the song The Rose which was sung by Bette Midler in the movie by the same name.

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.

It’s the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin’
That never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.

And here she is singing it to Oprah!

And now let’s just talk a little about love being like cake. MacArthurs Park is actually a type of cake AND an allegorical description of love. Love is a park. Love is a cake. It all just makes sense, right? Here are some of the lyrics to Jimmy Webb’s classic song:

Spring was never waiting for us, girl
It ran one step ahead
As we followed in the dance
Between the parted pages and were pressed,
In love’s hot, fevered iron
Like a striped pair of pants

CHORUS
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
‘All the sweet, green icing flowing down…
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

I recall the yellow cotton dress
Foaming like a wave
On the ground around your knees
The birds, like tender babies in your hands
And the old men playing checkers by the trees
There will be another song for me
For I will sing it…

MacArthurs Park is like a cake which is like love.

So here’s the image that comes into the mind of Mother Goose… a picnic in a lovely park, two young lovers sitting on the grass on their picnic blanket. They were lying down, but now they are sitting up, because Mother Goose is embarrassed at watching people making out in the park. The young gentleman is wearing striped pants. The young lady is wearing a yellow cotton dress. She is on her knees, perhaps she will begin praying soon. But for now, she is holding little birds in her hand. In the background, old guys playing checkers, pretending not to notice the lovers rolling around in the grass previously.

Suddenly dark menacing clouds come blowing up from the southwest, covering the cheerful sunshine with the pall of impending thunderstorms. The old guys grab their checkers and head for their bicycles. The young lovers grab each other one last time and then part, each running in their own direction towards home. The picnic blanket and the lovely chocolate cake with the spring green icing are left behind. Torrents of rain pound the park. The icing runs down off the cake, staining the picnic blanket. The cake is ruined — the picnic a disaster. And love is over for the two young people as they are quickly caught and arrested by the park security for indecent exposure and littering the park.

And now, my pure and gentle readers, the choice is up to you. Is love a rose? Or is it a nasty green melted cake, sodden and dirty and smashed into the remains of a picnic blanket in a grungy city park?

Deconstruct Pancakes with Mother Goose

This morning Mother Goose performed a miracle for her family. We were all very hungry for some bacon and some apples. But the problem was that all of the apples and bacon were in these pancakes.

How will we get the bacon and apples out of these pancakes?

I shook them and tossed them up in the air, but couldn’t get the yummy stuff out of them. Then I thought, “Hmmm…maybe if I put them into this electric skillet. Electricity can work some powerful stuff — maybe it will pull the bacon and apples out of the cakes.”

The power of electricity in action!

And voila! The voltage topped over 5000 watts, but we succeeded in pulling the bacon out of the pancake. We were so happy!

Bacon extraction successful.

We put the bacon into a frying pan to make it soft and pliable.

Soft and pliable bacon.

And then the chopped apples were shocked out of the pancakes and landed on my cutting board in a neat pile along with some butter and some pancake mix.

Miracles still happen!

After that, it was a simple matter to press the apple chunks together with the skins into a nice firm ball. Mother Goose is quite pleased with the results, and her family is very happy this morning.

Three stacked apples plus some Metamucil equals One Happy Family

And that’s a blessing!

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