Tuesday, July 15, 2014


This summer I'm loving to cook.  It's delicious, and it allows me to be experimental in safe ways.  I mean, really, I haven't found a way for cherries, butter, and flour to be that much of a disaster (unless they catch on fire, I guess, which hasn't happened).

I've shared my cooking with you--the fact that I'm making pies now, and desserty things that use up random things in the house:  buttermilk pie, apple coffee cake.
Cherry pie. Probably my favorite.  Delicious dessert
AND breakfast.

Apple coffee cake.  I should have given
one of them to the neighbors.

Peach cobbler--an ideal dessert for summer in the South,
when peaches are beyond delicious.  But this version
was only acceptable--didn't blow my mind.

I do love desserts, and I've begun adding non-sweet foods to my cooking repertoire.  Organic food is growing outside my office this summer, like it's done every summer.  But this summer, instead of just walking by, I'm getting on my hands and knees every day and gathering tomatoes, blackberries, and Japanese eggplants.  And lo and behold, I'm eating them!  I've had tomatoes as part of my dinner almost every night.  The one time the blackberry bush was actually productive, I got about a cup of blackberries, so I made a blackberry cobbler (I found a recipe for 6 people and made it into a recipe for one).  It was fantastic.
Do you see this?  I picked these! With my hands!
I even picked Japanese eggplants--the eggplant bush is covered with them.  Probably 20 eggplants growing there.  So I did a little online investigation, and I found a recipe that said to sprinkle them with salt, let the liquid drain out of them, slather them with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, and then bake them.  Turned out great.

Maybelle's started helping me--in very limited ways, but helping.  She gets up on her stool and adds chunks of butter to the flour for the pie crust.  With my hands guiding hers, she pours milk into cobbler topping.  She has no interest in eating any of this food, but she watches it in the oven and happily announces its presence when it's cooked.  "Pizza!", she often says, but she'll switch to its actual name when I coach her.

It's comforting.  Sometimes there are stressful things happening in my life.  Things I have no control over.  So this summer I've discovered that cooking is something I do have control over.  So I keep doing it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Glenn McConnell is now CofC's president

He supports the Confederacy.  And as of today, he's
 CofC's new president.  We're going to have to wait and
see what this means.
Glenn McConnell takes office today as the president of the College of Charleston.  I don't think there will be any sort of ceremony--he'll just show up at work and stroll into what used to be George Benson's space.  I assume he'll offer a pleasant good morning to folks who are there.  Perhaps he'll make some phone calls.  He'll talk to the media.  He might stroll around, take a look at the orientation events that are happening.

He'll almost certainly do other things.  As president, he'll have the power to change peoples' jobs, move people around, lay them off.  This isn't because McConnell is some sort of monster--it's simply what happens when you have a new president.

I'm troubled by McConnell, as readers of this blog and of the City Paper know.  Indeed, on March 22, when McConnell was offered the job, I said we were going to hell in a handbasket.  I'm concerned about the evidence he's provided that he's homophobic.  I don't deny that claim, but since he's now actually president, we have the opportunity to find out what he'll actually do.

I have a column coming out tomorrow in the City Paper, so I don't need to repeat the information I'm grappling with there.  What I'll say now is, today's the day.  Pay attention.