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January 25, 2014

A Rose Trying To Bloom

By Maryanna Gabriel 

A Rose In My Garden In January
As I was wandering in the garden in the dark with a flashlight, two things crossed my mind. One, how many people do you know would go to such lengths to pick fresh garlic chives, the perfect complement to the evening meal, and two, what an amazing climate this is that affords such a luxury in January. While I was at it I nipped off some fresh thyme. While the rest of the country groans under ice and snow, and the east is under storm watch, I am lollygagging in a garlic patch. I also have a rose trying to bloom. Other flowers in blossom are snowdrops, hellebores, and primroses with thick buds forming on the hydrangeas. Even the rhubarb is showing it’s pink head. I stared at the stars glistening overhead as an owl hooted from the deeper forest below. Satisfied I made my way back to the house my rubber boots making crunching sounds. I looked forward to a supper by the fire. 

January 18, 2014

Gnocchi Going To The Dogs

By Maryanna Gabriel

Gnocchi Munching Days Are Over

When I traveled in Italy with a friend when I was young and carefree, we seemed to constantly miss the gnocchi course, either it was sold out or it was not being made that day. It became that elusive dish that assumed an exotic quality to my mind. Upon writing the new edition of Memento last summer I included new recipes and I resolved to create and test a gnocchi recipe. Deciding that it had turned out quite splendidly and that the recipe was indeed perfect, I carried my gnocchi to a little table with great anticipation and intense focus. “Oh, dear”, I said. “I forgot the pepper”, and off I went. Suddenly I remembered my newly adopted dog. “No. She wouldn't”, I said remembering she was at table level. Oh yes, she would! As I worriedly returned, there she was downing the last of a very delectable dish. I stared at her trying to be an adult wondering if our fledgling relationship was seriously foundering. With time, my love for the dog has thrived and so too has my love for gnocchi. Both the dog and the dish are a great comfort to me in these January days. Her gnocchi munching days are firmly over and I am a much smarter dog owner and gnocchi maker. I recently tried the dish with sweet potato, inspired by another creative cook and it was to die for. 

January 8, 2014

Nose Dropsy


By Maryanna Gabriel

“Do your ears hang low
Do they wobble to and fro”
Campfire Song


The arrival of January found me in a compromising position having a one-way conversation with my dentist as one is wont to do given their propensity for stuffing metallic instruments into one’s mouth. He casually mentioned that our noses and jowls grow as we age while our chin remains static. The point he was making was lost on me as I stared at him in alarm. Contemplating this I felt very much like I needed to rush home and memorize my nose in the mirror. My goodness. Is it really growing? At what rate? Drooping appendages are part of a continuous physical erosion one tries to monitor but how does one do nose sit-ups or nose presses? Haunted by the prospect I tried to comfort myself by saying a nose by any other name would smell as sweet, besides it works doesn’t it? Gosh, so much to look forward to as one makes creakier progression through the days. I plot further adventures before any more body parts gravitate towards dropsy. I know it isn’t my dentist’s fault and not to shoot the messenger or anything, but I immediately cancelled my next appointment. So much to do so little time.