Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 2010

Volume 6 Issue 7

*** Random Thoughts

My brother can’t tolerate the phrase “same difference.” It can’t be the same if it’s different!

That’s the way I used to feel about “youth is wasted on the young.” It’s nonsensical.

Isn’t it?

Especially when I was little, people would tell me that the older they get, the faster time goes by. This usually followed their explaining that no, you can’t have the ballet princess Barbie, maybe for your birthday; that’s ONLY four months away.

To a child, a child who wants ballet princess Barbie, four months was an impossibly long time.

When I tried to explain this to whatever adult had said that, she’d laugh and be cheery: “Before you know it, you’ll be older and time will get away from you like you wouldn’t believe.”

Or maybe it’d be a more wistful, “Let me tell you, child, the older you get the faster time flies. I just can’t believe –“ and the voice would trail off. Possibly I’d just stop listening. Either way, the impact was the same – sadness was afoot and more importantly, no one understood my need for the ballet princess Barbie!

I hear myself saying this – out loud, to myself – about time! Flying! It’s true that thing about youth being wasted on the young. All that time, what felt like big expanses of time. Days crawled by. They piddled and dawdled. Days took forever. I’d like one of those, please: a big, long day to pass as slowly as we wish.

As it is I can hardly believe it’s July. School starts in less than a month.


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*** Great Quotes

“Summer makes me drowsy.” – Dorothy Parker

*** Fun Food Idea

Possibly the best thing I’ve eaten all summer: Tomato Tart.

And I don’t like tomatoes. Or I didn’t used to, anyway.

For Tomato Tart:

pie pastry
1 garlic bulb
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese, divided
handful fresh basil leaves
2 to 3 tomatoes tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

For the pie pastry, make your own if you are so inclined.

The recipe I use is my mom's:
Combine a cup of all purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cut in 1/2 cup shortening (it's not a bad idea to refrigerate the shortening first) and add ice-cold water, one tablespoon at a time. Stir with a fork until the dough forms a ball. Roll out on lightly floured surface.

Or use a refrigerated pie pastry.

Either way, press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch square tart pan (the kind with a removable bottom although you could bake this in a 9-inch round pie pan, too). Bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly golden.

Cut off the top of a bulb of garlic and place it on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle garlic bulb with olive oil and fold in aluminum foil to seal.

Bake for 35 minutes. Unwrap garlic and let cool. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves onto the bottom of the baked piecrust. Smear it around and moan about how good it smells.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle 1/2 cup fontina cheese over the roasted garlic.

Slice the tomatoes and place on folded paper towels. Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and pepper and let sit for 10 minutes. The tomatoes look so pretty just like that.

Arrange tomato slices over shredded cheese. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes or until tart is lightly browned.

Eat and enjoy warm or at room temperature. Good stuff!

*** Pass It On

If there’s someone you think would enjoy this newsletter, please forward this issue in its entirety. Email me at kudzuuu at gmail dot com to subscribe.

*** Hit the Highlights - a few choice blog posts from last month:

The Divining Wand interviewed me

then let me do a guest post!

Speaking of back to school, teachers are the best

Summer breezes, front porches


I am big enough to admit when I'm wrong. I now love tomatoes. There. I said it.

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*** Shameless Bid for Commerce

“Keetha DePriest Reed's "More Culinary Kudzu: Recollections and Recipes from Growing Up Southern" is part cookbook, part collection of wonderful essays on food, family and growing up Southern and altogether great fun…

I would very highly recommend "More Culinary Kudzu" to anybody who enjoys good food and good writing as well as to anybody who wants to find out more about the South. As for me, I only have one question left - how do I get invited to one of their family reunions?” – review by

*** Recommended Reading

If you haven’t yet discovered southern author Joshilyn Jackson, check out Backseat Saints. I read it in about four days. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.

More of the books I read in June

*** Adorable Thing My Child Said

(Talking about a friend's mother:)

She's really nice and a good cooker, too! She's almost 'xactly like you. Only she's not quite so interested in books.

*** Mississippi Writers Guild

The Mississippi Writers Guild sponsors writer workshops, conferences, writer retreats and reputable writing contests. Membership dues are only $40.00 per year. This year's conference is August 6-7, 2010 in Vicksburg.

The Mississippi Writers Guild is a non-profit association of writers from all over the state and is a growing part of Mississippi’s literary art landscape.

*** Calendar

August 6 & 7 – Miss. Writers Guild Conference

*** Reminders and Unsubscribe Info.

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