People Are Sending Me Things

Mention food and people have a lot to share.

A retired internist phoned before finishing the first entry in my book, The Cellular Memory of Food, because it set him to pondering ethical considerations in using feeding tubes at end of life. (I had nothing to contribute to the topic.)

Table For One prompted a confessional. Dining solo has not been the problem, wrote an acquaintance; her problem is with cooking. She has but two specialties, “toasty breakfast” (avocado toast with cheese, tomato, hard-boiled egg), and Sengalese peanut soup. Otherwise her capabilities are assisting the resident cook by making pots of coffee, chopping vegetables, and washing dishes.

Peanut soup? I asked for the recipe. It includes ginger root and cilantro, two of my favorite food groups. Let me know if you try it.

My piece about pasties in New Jersey stirred the Upper Michigan Peninsula roots of my friend David, who posed as my husband in the gay bar. He pointed me to pasty central online, as well as musings about the Upper Peninsula’s obsession with the hand-held pie. That article not only explains the food’s Cornish origins, but also a tradition I hadn’t encountered, tossing crusts aside in mines to placate goblins.

He also sent a photo of him reading my book in Puerto Vallarta, alongside a libation he continues to insist was lemonade.

The Martha and Me piece inspired my college advisor to send a Martha Stewart holiday program for PBS in the 1980s. Ever so young and close to her modeling looks, with hints of vocal mannerisms that now define her. Also, my prof friend claimed to have already made my Martha-inspired brownie recipe twice.

And Ben, my companion for restaurant visits behind so many of my rants, sent this photo of alcohol in the wild, with the comment “Not entirely sure where that apostrophe goes …”

photo of five tall bottles with brown liquid and the label WRITERS TEARS on a grey metal store shelf next to three brown stacked boxes with the middle one saying in orange WRITERS TEARS next to a six-sided squat bottle of dark liquid labeled SEXTON with white price tags below the bottles and boxes