Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poetry. Show all posts

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lest We Forget - Brian L. Porter, Author

Spamghetti Carbonara
(During the war meat was hard to come by making
  the cook appeal to their creative side)

1 1/2 lbs spaghetti
4 eggs, slightly beaten (fresh or dried)
12-oz can SPAM, cubed 1/4″
1/2 cups grated cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp oil
ground pepper
3 tbsp margarine

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in skillet cook SPAM® and onion in oil and butter over medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside. When spaghetti is cooked, drain; return to pot. Add egs; toss to combine. Add SPAM mixture, cheese and parsley; toss to combine. Season to taste with pepper. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Lest We Forget - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish


Remember the fallen, the honoured dead,
In silent prayer, with lowered head.
They gave of their all, they gave up their lives,
And remember as well all the war-widowed wives.

Fathers of children, all some mothers sons,
Taken from life by the bombs, and the guns.
No joyous salute, nor heroes return,
Just an empty chair somewhere, a story to learn.

Of young men who proudly went off to the wars,
Leaving families, friends, leaving England's shores.
Many dying with glory, though seeking no fame,
Now lying at rest, in a grave with no name.

This is just the beginning of one of the Anthology of Remembrance included within this book.  All hit my heart but this one seemed to hit the most.  With the world in the past, present and future, we will always have wars and there will always be lost lives, but how do we put the feelings created by these losses into words?  Most of us can't, but Author Brian L. Porter can and has.  Through his Bomber we find ourselves waiting, just like those do when waiting for the call to climb aboard the planes that will take them into battle with just prayers that they will return.  No Headstone on a Sailor's Grave has us waiting for a rescue boat that never comes.

As I read each segment within this book it made me stop and really think about my own father who served in not one but three branches of the military and what he must have gone through and the fear that he must have felt.  I think about my friends who fought in the Viet Nam war and how scared they had to have been.  I think about those that are serving today with their fears.  And then I think of my grandson who will serve in the near future, taking him miles away from home for the first time.

This book has made me not only stop and think but it has surfaced my appreciation of these men and women both young and old.  For without them, we would have no real world and certainly no freedom.  That is what this book has done for me.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Time Out - Mary Allen Sochet, Author

Latkes in honor of Moishe.
1 pound potatoes
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil

Accompaniments: sour cream and applesauce

Preheat oven to 250°F.
Peel potatoes and coarsely grate by hand, transferring to a large bowl of cold water as grated. Soak potatoes 1 to 2 minutes after last batch is added to water, then drain well in a colander.
Spread grated potatoes and onion on a kitchen towel and roll up jelly-roll style. Twist towel tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Transfer potato mixture to a bowl and stir in egg and salt.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4 latkes, spoon 2 tablespoons potato mixture per latke into skillet, spreading into 3-inch rounds with a fork. Reduce heat to moderate and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes. Turn latkes over and cook until undersides are browned, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Add more oil to skillet as needed. Keep latkes warm on a wire rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven.
Cooks' notes:·Latkes may be made up to 8 hours ahead. Reheat on a rack set over a baking sheet in a 350°F oven, about 5 minutes.
·Grating the potatoes, soaking them briefly in water, and then squeezing out the liquid (as we've done here) keeps the batter from turning brown too quickly.
Time Out – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish
I never thought
it would turn out this way.
Growing old,
fat, wrinkled, gray.
Going to funerals
way more than weddings.
Watching our friends’ children die.
When we were kids
back in the North Country,
we would twirl our way
up Broad Street,
heading home
from the movies
and Confession
on Saturday afternoons.
Everything seemed
so easy, so clear
The movies ended happy every after,
The priest gave
short penances.
Three Hail Marys
One Our Father.
A piece of cake
As I read Time Out I couldn’t help but relate to many of the memories Author Mary Allen Sochet brought to my own mind. She talked about her life with Marvin, with his ability to never be on time, how he stood up for his rights and the rights of others, and how this standing up even landed him in jail at the age of 75. You see, Marvin was a ‘baby boomer’ that grew up during the times of flower children, hippies and the Viet Nam War. Through her writing I can picture the protests, changes in time, the changes in values and the changes in ourselves as we grow old. I can see these because I too am a ‘baby boomer’ that lived through these times. Some were happy, some were sad and some were simply bad.
Time Out is a series of poem ‘stories’ that trace the author’s life from the beginning to the end with her beloved husband Marvin. In Time Out, Mary Sochet expresses her own way of coping with the ups and down of life and the death of a loved one. It’s one of the most touching books I’ve read in some time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Until Today: Stories and Poems on Life as I Know It - Jerry M. White, Author

Corn Bread Pie
(One of Jerry's Favorite Dishes)

1 lb. ground beef
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 t salt
1 T chili powder
1/2 chopped green pepper
1 lg. onion, chopped
11/2 c water
3/4 t black pepper
1 can whole kernel corn (12 oz.), drained

Brown beef & onion well. Combine ingredients in skillet. Mix well and let simmer 15 minutes. Turn into greased sasserole. Top with corn bread. Bake in moderate oven 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Corn Bread Topping

3/4 c cornmeal
1 T flour
1 egg
1 T bacon
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 c milk

Mix all well and pour onto top of beef mixture. It will sink into mixture but will rise as it bakes and cook crispy.

This is a treat to try.

Until Today: Stories and Poems on Life as I Know It – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat; Think With Your Taste Buds; A Book and A Dish

My Honor to be His

The more I see in this life of mine
The more I see that nothing is mine
The more I see in this life I live
The more I see how much I can give

My life is honored by who owns the glory
My life is owned by who writes the story
I go where I’m sent; I go where I’m led
I want only to say what He wants said

I really try to do everything I should
It hurts me inside to not even do the things I could
My life feels, and is, sometimes out of control
It is so very hard to always be so very bold

What honor I give Him through my life every day
It is an honor to give it every way
He honors me with love and His forgiveness is mine
But the honor and the privilege to serve Him is all mine

It is through this service that my life has meaning
It is on this honor my salvation is leaning
My price has been paid by His life laid down
I will do the things I should without a single frown

Jerry M. White wrote this poem in 2004 and it has to be one of my favorites.  In so few words he really says it all. 

Until Today isn’t your typical book of poems.  Jerry White starts each poem(s) off with a little story explaining not only what they are about but what prompted him to write them.  He takes us through his spiritual world with poems like the one above.  We go through his family world with poems such as Audacity.  This is the story of his grandmother being rescued from a mental hospital.  His poem What Have We Done (another one of my favorites) brings to light what has been lost with the changes of time.  He walks us through the loss of his grandchildren to cancer and the true meaning of family through Grandma’s Apron.  He takes us on through life in the world of work with poems such as Light the Fuse and then through memories with The Last Day of School.  And to tie it all up he gives us the world of the Living and the Dead as he points out the problems in Nameless Numbers and concludes with Pillaged which leaves no doubt that our government is breaking.

I’ve read and written reviews for Author Jerry M. White before and have to say that with each he gets better and better. Seldom do I read one that doesn’t hit a cord from my own life and own feelings.  I thoroughly enjoy his works of art.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Captured Moments - Ellenelizabeth Cernek, Author

Hungarian Goulash
from the kitchen of Ellenelizabeth Cernek

3 lbs of beef cubes bite size (cooks quicker)
32 oz chicken broth
3 cubes beef bouillon cubes
4 large onions diced
1 head of garlic diced
1 can of tomato sauce (If you like chunky sauces use a can of diced tomatoes, slice onion and garlic on the larger size.)
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons red pepper
3 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons thyme
3 12oz sour cream

Coat bottom of a large soup pot with oil. When oil is heated add onions, and garlic browning them remove from pot into a separate bowel (you will return them into pot). Brown beef cubes, do it in batches, so you fry the outside of the cubes. Place finished cubes in the bowel with onion and garlic. Continue to brown all beef cubes and remove them all. Pour in chicken broth and clean up bottom of pot to get all the goodness from the fried meat. Return meat, on-ions, and garlic into chicken broth. Make sure all of the meat is covered by the chicken broth, if not add water to cover all of the meat. Add in beef bouillon cubes, bring all to a boil, then lower to a high simmer for about 1 hour. Add tomato sauce, red pepper, basil, and thyme and cook for another hour. When meat is tender, add sour cream and Hungarian paprika cook for another 1/2 hour until sauce thickens).
Best served over egg noodles or a hearty pasta.

My family loves this after it is over night in the frig something magical hap-pens to thicken the sauce even more! Great comfort food in front of roaring fire.

Captured Moments – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat, A Book and A Dish, Think With Your Taste Buds


Life again and again
Finds only crossroads
Where now and before
Shall turn into a tomorrow.

Worry not in this
Crossroad’s time
For this will always
Pass into a yesterday.

Life again and again
Finds only crossroads,
Where life will again
Be always new.

This has to be one of my favorite.  Each time I read these few words, the more I agree what that they say and mean to me.  We do have a lifetime of crossroads and now does always become tomorrow. 

I’m not big on reviewing poetry due to the fact that what I like you might not like, but Ellenelizabeth Cernek has written ‘songs’ that tug at my heart as well as my spirit.  "Her Beach Reverie" will make you wonder about ‘Neptune’s fury’.  "Empty Space" will have you remembering illusions you believed in at one time.  And then there is "To Remember."  It will bring back the Could-bes, Should-bes and Would-bes.  Captured Moments will keep you stepping in and out of time, life and space.  This is a beautiful book!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

An Opulent Tableau of Essence - Compilation by Sharon Hays

Tuna, Noodle, Cheese Casserole
(Compliments of Sharon Hays)

½ box wheat bowtie or other kind pasta
Cook al dente’ since it will be baked later. Rinse, Set aside and prepare other ingredients.

2 cans drained white albacore tuna
1 C frozen peas (You may choose to leave out).
Make roux of ½ stick butter, 3 tbsp. flour, and mix med low heat until mixed well and flour is cooked.  Add 1.5 C skim milk slowly and let mix into the roux until it thickens and whisk so it won’t be lumpy. Add 1 ½ C of mild cheddar, and mix into sauce until cheese melts. Add 2 cans of tuna and mix into sauce. Add peas, (if you choose) and then add the noodles and pepper, etc to taste. ( you can add other seasonings to your own taste) Heat oven to 350 and bake with breadcrumbs on top or crushed potato chips (Really good) for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.

(Also compliments of Sharon Hays)
Mix in bowl, 1 box any type cake mix,
1 stick butter (soft)
1 egg.
Press into bottom of 13x9x2 pan.
Blend together 2 eggs,
1 stick butter (soft)
1 brick cream cheese (8 oz.soft)
1tsp vanilla
Add 1 box of powdered sugar. Pour over crust layer and cook at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until top is golden/brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle w/powdered sugar, cool and cut. These are very rich, so cut small.

An Opulent Tableau of Essence - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir,
Laugh, Repeat and Think With Your Taste Buds

(Sharon Hays, 2010)
Reflections from an antique mirror
A face I do not know
When I leaned closer in to see
It was not me, oh no
I examined the stranger closely
She stared right back at me
I gazed into the antique mirror
Our eyes locked decidedly
Could this be the face of a long-lost friend
So familiar, the face in the mirror
This cannot be the face of me
A face that I am not aware
I tried to imagine how time could steal
A face that was once my own, oh my
But when I leaned much closer in
I knew the face was I

"I have to say that I've done this myself more times than I want to admit.  I've looked into the mirror and see not myself as I see myself in my mind's eye, but instead I see a face looking back at me that has developed lines and sags that simply can't be.  I look at that face and  see so many others.  My mother's face is there, my dad's face is there and even my daughter's face.  That just simply can't be me looking back at me. But of course it is.

Author Sharon Hays is known for her mystery books Mysteerie Manor and Mysteerie Manor II as well as her children books The Tumbleweed Family and Adventures of Sadie Ladybug.   Hays has now ventured into the world of art and poetry.
The poem above is one of her own and one of my favorites within her book An Opulent Tableau of Essence.  Her poem A Homage to Veterans Lost and Forgotten is simply beautiful as is Time of Change.  And the art work that she's paired with her poetry is just as beautiful.  A couple of my favorites being Clouded Sunset by Dana Gage and Pale Rider by Kerri Pestana.  But in honesty, I love them all and would love to have them hanging in my own home so I could just sit and stare.
And Hays doesn't stop there.  She actually gives a bio of each  artists included within the book.  Some local within the US  and some as far away as India, Australia and even Uzbekistan.  This is one book that when placed on the coffee table, will be picked up and not just thumbed through but read and enjoyed, time and time again.

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