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Number of posts: 44
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By Terri Evans:
- Don: “When Matthew Weiner created me, I believe he meant for me to have, well, a weiner. Guess they missed that in the negotiations with Mattel.”
Scene: A sunny morning in Manhattan. Don Draper of “Mad Men” opens the window drapes in his office at Sterling Cooper then pours two glasses of scotch from the bar on his credenza. Roger Sterling sits stiffly on the sofa in Don’s office.
Roger: “Yeah, I could use one of those myself.”
This is Heide Wilson and this is not lupus-lite. This is twenty years of hell and hope. This is Heide sporting a wig from lupus hair loss. I met Heide through the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation and the Lupus Research Institute. This was no random accident; I requested to speak specifically with a lupus patient who had suffered organ-threatening disease and who had advocated on behalf of lupus research and education. I was also keen on knowing more about the tragic racial disparities in lupus treatment. If I’m lucky, Heide will become my friend for a long time.
You may think you can huff and puff and blow my door down but I’m ready for you to get the hell out of my way. I know that I’m not alone. Get out of their way, too – all 1.5 million Americans with lupus have had it with you. So Mr. Wolf, take your fancy Latin name (lupus), your mean, fiery eyes; ferocious growl and vicious bite and turn it on your own body, the way you make us turn on ours.
You don’t have to be in, or for that matter actually from New Orleans, to enjoy a soulful, bowl full of red beans and rice, the quintessential New Orleans Monday dish. Nor, must you actually do laundry while cooking, although the origin of red beans and rice suggests that a “back of the stove” dish that simmers along mostly unattended is the perfect meal for “wash day.” It has also been written that the leftover ham hock from Sunday’s traditional ham influenced the Monday menu, in more ways than one, as the ham hock seasoned the beans.
Of course, today is not just any Monday. It is Martin Luther King Day and it is widely
I always liked a fat and jolly, real Christmas tree. Height was important but not nearly so much as girth; I wanted a full tree that ever so gradually narrowed toward the angel at the top. Loft living changed my idea of the perfect tree. It inspired us to create a two-inch thick, FLAT tree. I’m in love with it, although not nearly as much as the memory of making it.
We like our loft and have maximized every inch of space, from floor to soaring ceilings. Even with inventive use of space (using unreachable ceiling beams as bookshelves for books long ago read), the loft move was still a serious downsize. Adding a temporary “plant” might have required sleeping with it, had we not concocted this scheme to accommodate beloved ornaments (a euphemism for fond memories). The windows were the only space available to us.
“She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place… at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…” – An excerpt from “À la recherche du temps perdu” (“Remembrance of Things Past”, or later: “In Search of Lost Time” – Marcel Proust).
Until now, my Madeleine pan has baked Boursin biscuits and other such things past. I even once considered cornbread shells but decided it would be un sacrilege – or at a minimum, an uncomfortable culture clash. Cast iron is for cornbread. At least the Boursin originated from Normandy.
Keep a straight face now. This is tragic. Poor Paula Deen, while unloading Smithfield Hams for Hosea Feed the Hungry, was hit in the snout by the arse of a pig. It was captured on camera in a small slice. She quickly saved face and calmly muttered, “oooh, I didn’t know it was being thrown.” This was one of those monumental moments that few of us expect: when pigs fly. Clearly, anything can happen now. Snowballs may survive in hell.
The good news is that Paula did not fall flat on her face; but let’s face it, she didn’t exactly ham it up either, despite typically being one of the biggest (and best) hams on the face of the earth.
Let’s get this part over with—Crescent Dragonwagon is a funny name and a real person. Crescent attributes her name to the “pig-headedness and idealism of her sixteen-year old self.” She’s no longer sixteen; the name has stuck, and she’s stuck with the name. So what? Betty Crocker is not – and never was, a real person. Crescent is the real thing, authentic, in fact, and could bake Betty’s booty off any day, especially with this honeyed and browned-butter pecan pie. A bit about the creator of the recipe before baking: I first met Crescent in Eureka Springs, Arkansas in the heart of the Ozarks. (Eureka is a funny word as well, although not rib-rattling. It’s rarely seen without an explanation point. None here.) Like Crescent, Eureka Springs is authentic. It’s part hippie, part redneck, part poet, definitely Southern, and delightfully friendly. It’s the kind of place where the many turn-of-the-century […]
For as long as I can remember, I have been haunted by a profound question. No holiday meal challenges this question more than Thanksgiving, so I’m asking you … which is your favorite? Cream? Fruit, or Nut? I am, of course, referring to pie. As Andie McDowell sang so passionately in the movie, Michael, “Pie. Pie. I love pie.” You may recall the scene in the movie in which John Travolta (the earthly angel) and his companions, Andie McDowell and William Hurt order every pie in the restaurant for dinner. Oh how I wish I had been invited to that tasty affair. We might have settled it once and for all, together – just a few Hollywood heavyweights and me – debating the merits of these crusty creations. I’ve been experimenting in preparation for the big bird day. Should it be pumpkin? Pecan, perhaps? Apple, you say? What about chocolate with […]
I have a friend who said that he “would eat cream cheese frosting on cardboard.” That could be arranged for his next birthday cake. It would be much easier than the real cake I prepared for the occasion that elicited his comment. Besides, I’m recently experienced with fake cake. Fake Cake has a nice ring to it. It was, after all, a ring that inspired it – an engagement ring. It’s designed to be a wedding keepsake box fashioned after the bride’s cake. It is mostly made of caulk. Yes, the kitchen and bathroom kind. The recipe goes something like this…
1) Head to your nearest Home Depot for caulk. Look for the cutest guy in the caulk aisle (who happens not to be a Home Depot employee). Ask his opinion on the best caulk. Pray that he won’t actually give you the straight line, which, of course, he does.
“Depends on what you’re going to use it for.”
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s just not.” – Theodor Seuss Geisel. Dr. Seuss wrote many memorable words, including some pure nonsense, his undeniable specialty, but this simple suggestion resonates with me more than some of the greatest quotes from history’s philosophers, orators and writers. It is a decisive call to action that all people – great and small, as they say, can adopt.
During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, LikeTheDew writers and readers have cared a whole awful lot about breast cancer with stories and comments from survivors and accounts about those who did not survive. Many of us have smiled, laughed and cried as we’ve traveled with Rosemary Griggs on her “Stroll Down Mammary Lane.” Rosemary’s authentic voice and art has provided us with insight that may be as raw and real as the fortunate among us will ever literally encounter.
Eve had a pre-existing condition. She has passed it down to women in America, and it has nothing to do with you-know-who’s rib. My suspicion is that it’s about Eve’s plumbing. Most civilized countries overlook the Eve stigma, but not here in America, where “I Am Woman,” translates to “I Pay More” for health insurance (never mind being paid less for equal work). Through an insurance industry practice known as “gender rating,” women pay 30-48% more than men for the same policies on the individual market. The right to bear children Second amendment activists loudly proclaim their right to bear arms, yet the right (and affordability) to bear children is endangered by some health insurance companies as evidenced by the recent disclosure by a Colorado woman who was denied individual coverage after leaving an employee provided plan. Golden Rule Insurance turned down
The devil, the princess, the pirate, a ghost, a bloody vampire, a tiger, a hula girl, a gaggle of clowns, witches, the inevitable hobo and several store-bought, licensed characters du jour roamed the party room with abandon, squealing and growling at the top of their alter-ego voices. There were no hookers, sluts or gang members; the party-goers were only five years old. The girls did not yet know that Halloween was an excuse to dress “sexy”, nor had the boys discovered gang attire as a way to display their underwear. Rubber swords sliced through the air, magic wands failed to turn boy-toads into handsome princes and the brooms swept little more than a trail of candy wrappers behind them. By now I was wishing that we had offered a prize for best mime costume, and best mime behavior. The kids had already been through the haunted house part of the […]
LikeTheDew has shared many stories and videos during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It is relevant, even if you choose to turn your eyes away and pretend otherwise. You do – will – or have, know (or known) someone who will be diagnosed with breast cancer. We have shared many pieces highlighting startling statistics. No one wants to be just another number in most anything, unless your number comes up in the survivor column. Looking now beyond the numbers and more intimately into a real life – once on the brink of death, I am introducing you to Rosemary Griggs, a Saint Simons Island sculptress and breast cancer survivor who has fought to be in the survivor column. Rosemary is graciously sharing a visceral glimpse of the roller coaster ride of breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival. If you think roller coasters are fun, think again. The highs and lows, unexpected […]
This is not a book review. I wish it were. If it were a review, it would mean that I had already read the book, “Stand by Her,” by John Anderson, which just hit the shelves today. I’ll read it, although it’s likely much more important that men read it. After all, nurturing, nursing, shoulders to cry on and such do not come as naturally to men. Go ahead. Disagree. Just remember that the operative word here is, “naturally.” There is nothing to say you can’t learn. Sure, you can rise to the occasion; you can be up to the task, but let’s face it, for most men, these characteristics are no more innate than voluntarily dusting. (Dusting is not to be confused with “boy dusting,” which is to take a deep breath and blow on the coffee table, or worse, God forbid, “vacuum” with a leaf blower.) John W. […]
Cause-related marketing is a factor in the lives of today’s consumers. You may as well make an informed decision. It’s on your yogurt lid. Your coffee. Your pasta. Your cosmetics and even your kitchen appliances. In my opinion, cause marketing is a parity breaker. All things being equal, why not vote (with your purchase) for the product or service that will best share their profits with a worthy cause? This is a legitimate basis for a decision, especially among those brands who choose consumer transparency that will satisfy even the most skeptical among us. I am so intrigued by this prospect that I actually invested in learning more about it by spending two weeks at Susan G. Komen for the Cure in a “mid-turnship.” This was no mid-life crisis. After all, I’m beyond “mid” life, unless I live to 110-years old. Rather, this “mid-turnship” was the manifestation of a dream […]
And say their own truth. These courageous individuals have shared their stories with Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. “We have to pay over $2400 per month for private individual health insurance because my husband lost his job and we have some relatively minor, age-related health conditions, in addition to my being a breast cancer survivor. We just had a $300 per month increase in our premium! We tried to get insurance with another company and I was turned down due to these conditions, so we are stuck!” — Ellen, Bonita Springs, FL “I pay for my health insurance as an individual as I no longer work. My health insurance costs have doubled in the last ten years. Three years ago, I applied for prescription insurance and was denied. Now I’ve got a four year gap until Medicare will kick in during which time I have to pay for my […]
I’ve had the distinct privilege of spending some time around the Susan G. Komen for the Cure® people and offices in Dallas. There are many positive distinctions that are apparent to me between Komen and other non-profits. (More on this in future posts.) Perhaps the most poignant and compelling difference can be summed up in this statement by Susan G. Komen for the Cure President and CEO, Hala Moddelmog, who said, “There is a subtle difference between a mission and a promise. A mission is something you strive to accomplish – a promise is something you are compelled to keep. One is individual; the other is shared. When a mission and a promise are one and the same… that’s when mountains are moved and races are won.”
As we embark on Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please take a few moments to “Imagine” by watching this moving video that was shared with TheDew by Susan G. Komen for the Cure. It will provide you with important background for the stories to come, as LikeTheDew – along with our readers and writers –attempts to Dew Some Good.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but are you really fit to be tied by the pink ribbon? You should be. The idiom “fit to be tied,” means to be angry or outraged. You should, in fact, be outraged. Why? Because over 200,000 people – just in the United States, will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year; forty thousand of these patients will die. Given the vital discussion and debate of U.S. healthcare reform, it’s more important than ever that we become “fit to be tied” over the tragic consequences of breast cancer that are so pervasive in our society and around the world, where a woman will die of this disease every sixty-eight seconds.
It’s tempting to settle in at Chocolate Pink with a cappuccino and my laptop while I write this review. I suppose that could be perceived as disingenuous. Rather, a simple coffee accompanies my account while I recall one of the finest, frothiest, perfectly tinted and flavored cappuccinos in town. I confess that I’m also a sucker for their cups and saucers. It’s not just the tasteful adornment of their china; I love the way it sounds when the cup touches the saucer, reminiscent, as it is of the same sound in a Parisian café – melodic and mindful of simple pleasures in life.
Chocolate Pink and Executive Pastry Chef, Christian Balbierer, present a wealth of not-so-simple pleasures as well. This is a true pâtisserie in every sense of the definition: a place where (exclusively) pastries are made, a place where the art of pastry making is practiced, and a place where pastries are sold.
But honorable. One token Yankee, one Alabaman, one Georgian, and two Texans have blind taste-tested the Dew Deviled Egg recipes and selected a winner: Atlantan, Melinda Ennis-Roughton took first place in the Dew Deviled Eggstravaganza with her original horseradish-laced recipe. (She was eggcited, eggstatic, eggcetera.) Recipes submitted by Martha (Grace) Fagan and Kathy Trocheck, (AKA, Mary Kay Andrews) also of Atlanta, tied for second place. There was no fowl play. The test kitchen did not vote. The Devil is in the Details and “To Taste” Take it from the test kitchen: every submission was eggcellent. (Honorable mentions go to Pat Snyder of Nashville, Mary Civille, and Mary Lee, both of Atlanta.) Every deviled egg recipe was prepared precisely as provided, down to the specific brands indicated by the cook, but all were lacking the finely tuned palate of each provider on the most essential instruction: To Taste. In other words […]
And the savory result: chili. The first Saturday of college football invariably brings out the chili cook in me. I know. Temperatures in the South were steamier than the chili pot and there was (initially) just my husband, our beagle and me to tackle – and down – the gallons of peppers-infused, beef and bean soup-like product. Lacking logic, as is the case when lupus-inspired steroids kick off a cooking frenzy, I proceeded in hazy haste (hazy being the operative word here as Prednisone creates the dichotomous desire to hurry somewhere you don’t have the strength to go). At least a large pot of chili renders freezer leftovers, which is ultimately more useful than, say, four dozen steroid-hopped up Rice Krispie bunnies with Chiclet teeth and licorice whiskers, which I have created during sleepless, steroid-propelled holidays. Undeniably, the chili is more highly regarded as man-food for football. A quick review […]
An excerpt from Benyamin Cohen’s “My Jesus Year” –
I have a red-and-green Starbucks coffee mug with Christmas decorations drawn on it along with the phrase “It only happens once a year.” I’m not really sure what that slogan means. Elizabeth thinks it refers to the special Starbucks holiday flavors—the pumpkin spice latte, the gingerbread latte, the Tazo chai eggnog latte, and the popular peppermint mocha—which are only sold during the Christmas season. My guess is it has to do with Starbucks’ attempt to pull on people’s heartstrings, reminding them ever so cleverly that the holidays they love and the traditions they cherish only happen once a year. So embrace them. Enjoy them. And have some smooth Arabica coffee while you’re at it.
And Win Eggland’s Best Prize Pack. All these Dew discussions about congress going to hell for their handling of healthcare reform, and about the devil being in the details of writing such legislation, has made me hungry for solutions and a damn good deviled egg recipe. Dew you have the best and most eggs-otic devilish egg recipe? Easy, you say? Not egg-zactly. No yoke. Eggs-traordinary deviled eggs are hard-boiled to come by. In fact, the whole deviled egg thing just cracks me up. What’s so tough about boiling an egg, slicing it in half, dumping the yolk into a bowl and mixing it up with a little mayo and mustard? The answer is in the details, especially those that require consorting with the actual “deviling” of the same, known as the hot or spicy seasonings. This much I do know: A good egg is a good place to start. Some […]
It’s official. Vancouver, WA-based internet hosting provider, Dotster, has announced the winners of their “Next Big Small Business” Contest and LikeTheDew.com swept third place. Dotster’s contest sought to find businesses “using the Internet to turn their personal passion into successful small business ventures, and for standing out as some of Dotster’s most promising small business customers.” Contestants submitted essays to make it to the Top 20 finalists before being invited to submit videos that described how they have used their websites to grow their businesses. Dotster’s selection of LikeTheDew as one of the “Next Big Small Businesses” is really good news. Here’s the not as good news: There’s no dough for the Dew for a third place finish — just some promotion that we expect will bring many new readers to the site. We still appreciate the applause and are clapping with our empty hands. Mostly we’re clapping for the […]
The Fab Four – 44 Years Ago Today. Well, I was just 10, not even a teen, And you know what I mean The way they looked was way beyond compare So how could I dance with another? When I was stuck there with my brother? And over 34,000 other screaming, sweating and swooning Beatles fans. Yes, we saw them standing there 44 years ago today, although they did not play “I Saw Her Standing There.” Instead, they led with “Twist and Shout,” immediately followed by “She’s a Woman.” Oh, how I wanted to believe they were singing to me, (she’s a woman who understands) but I knew, well, I was ten and the only big things on my body were my ears. All the better to hear the Beatles with… “I Feel Fine” was next on the set list. Now they were singing my tune (I’m so glad that […]
The night before she went into labor my mother, Mary Ellen dreamed of her deceased mother-in-law. Her nights had become restless. Comfort eluded her in her swollen state. Like all mothers-to-be, she tried to distinguish the false cramping from the real labor pains that send one scurrying to the hospital with an impatient husband in tow. She and my father had been through this before when their first child was born – a daughter. They just knew this time the child would be a boy. He would be named for his father’s formal name, “John” and for the child’s grandfather, “H’Earl” as his middle name. Perhaps it was the middle name that beckoned my grandfather’s deceased wife to visit my mother from the “other side” on that chilly, December night. “Come and bring the baby to me,” my grandmother said to my mother ever so gently, her arms outstretched lovingly. […]
Sarah Palin should have actually listened to her parents’ refrigerator magnet rather than quoting it: The wisdom of the magnet was: “don’t explain: your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.” Instead she explained — dribbling and mixing basketball metaphors with dead fish, lame ducks, milk and war. (The “we are not retreating” quote that she wrongly attributed to General MacArthur, was actually said by General Oliver Smith during the Korean War.) The astute magnet was right when it proclaimed: “your enemies won’t believe you anyway.” I confess. Upon hearing and reading Palin’s explanation (AKA, justification), I practically ran to our kitchen box in search of the meaning of life. I actually did find most of the meaning of my life in a photo gallery of family and friends, sprinkled with a few narcissistic, magnetic insights: “Take Me to Paris,”Warning, Unapologetic Liberal,“Bon Voyage,” “Hurrah! At Last […]
This was not the barbecue we had in mind for Dewers this fourth of July. A small fire at the LikeTheDew web-hosting provider’s data center on fireworks-eve knocked us offline leaving our readers without their independent morning Dewsletter on Independence Day. It also left many Independence Day stories homeless and now a bit dated. Ironically, the fire demonstrated our dependence, after all. Yes, we are dependent upon consistent technology to support home delivery of The Dew. It is a reminder of the need for back-up systems (we dew – multiple and off-site), alternative providers (we don’t afford), and a preparedness plan (we will) for such unexpected events. Readiness is especially important to small arts organizations, whose ability to provide continuity in the face of emergencies is extremely important. As one “Dewer” wrote, “It’s terrible to be voiceless and powerless, isn’t it? I miss our site.” Another consoled, “…happy to hear […]
Wasn’t it the late-great, George Carlin who asked one of the most profound questions of our age when he pondered aloud, “Why is there no blue food?” It’s important for a theme queen like me to have some red-white-and-BLUE food for July 4th. Bleu-cheeseburgers? Not if there are kids at the cookout. Who can blame them? Appreciation for the flavors of old mold will come with age, so to speak. (See instead a great recipe for Vidalia Onion Sliders below.) The best of blue food It seems that only dessert can trumpet the proud tradition of our grand ‘ole flag when it comes to fare. This is no compromise indeed. Flag food can be created with some of our All-American favorites: blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. This is a concession we can all make in the national interest. And, for that matter, in our […]
I’d like a glass of II Follo Prosecco, Extra Dry now to transport me back to the aperitif recently offered to us at Trattoria Lucca. The chilled honey-lemon flavor, veiled by the pink of this sparkling rose, was the perfect antidote to the sweltering Charleston heat. It was a sublime start to a superb meal. Trattoria Lucca is off the Charleston tourist beaten path in a partially gentrified area. The façade is unassuming and discreet. A smallish sign and sidewalk-situated Charleston benches are all that suggest a restaurant. The locals love it for its distinctive fare, fair prices, and absence of tourists. It’s no surprise that Charleston City Paper readers voted it “Best New Restaurant.” Here’s their insight into why: “Was there any doubt that Ken Vedrinski’s amazing little trattoria in the ‘hood would win? We didn’t think so. The food is astounding, affordable, and hidden from the tourists. What […]
Leave it to the French to make the object of my affection sound so much more romantic than its American name. Pommes d’ Amour. Love Apple. So, you say tomāto; I’ll say love apple. Let’s call the whole thing fruit, and make it into a cobbler. As an exceptional food writer friend recently asked after some Southern travels, “What is this tomato pie thing? Everywhere I went there were tomato pies on the menu.” I don’t recall my answer, but I wish it had been something wise and eloquent like: “What took us so long to gussy up a tomato sandwich?” What could be more delicious? More satisfying? Easier? I first had tomato pie many years ago at the Stono Market on Johns Island, South Carolina. It was memorable. I couldn’t wait to make it at home and did so many times. Once challenged to prepare the same for over […]
Okay, it’s true. About the time of the birth of LikeTheDew, I set out to write a series on Southern funeral foods. So, my timing was off. I failed to realize that the blossoming dogwoods and their blanket of snowy petals would elicit thoughts of life, rather than death. It was spring, after all. Still, I persisted in sharing at least a couple of funeral food pieces. Then came the azaleas and daffodils, and their explosions of rosy pink and yellow. (My near-sightedness automatically turns all floral landscapes into splendid impressionist paintings.) The violet hydrangeas have blossomed on our balcony. Our basil, chives and Meyer lemon trees are basking in the sun. And, as I see from my window, the steady stream of picnic baskets in-hand headed to the park, I am convinced to postpone the series on food to die for. I offer this confession, despite my firm belief […]
Ssshhh. It’s a closeted secret that I’m willing to share. It’s sweet; it’s sublime, and it’s a little scary sounding. Still, it’s worth repeating. In fact, it’s worth repeating every year in order to supply your winter dishes with an infusion of summer savor. Is this a pantry or a wacky Victoria’s Secret? Okay, so it’s actually a fairly well known, so-called secret, that Vidalia onions can be “socked” away in panty hose and preserved for months on end. This is an idea that makes me giddy from the tips of my toes to my control top. Despising the very idea of pantyhose otherwise, I’m thrilled to provide these relic nylons with purpose beyond snarling and gnarling up with one another in wait of walking somewhere important. It’s sheer delight to put “sheer vitality” to work providing a vital task. Nothing Beats a Great Pair of L’eggs That is, unless […]
There is no drawl, no dripping molasses, just the occasional expanded vowel when John T. Edge talks. This is more about verbal cadence. The tempo of his talk lulls one to listen more acutely in order to separate his “lyrics” from some imaginary chorus of cicadas that set his conversation to music in your mind. John T. Edge is an eater, writer, educator, and a Southern gentleman. The gentleman observation is of the highest order, as it seems to permeate everything about him beginning with his speech, which is eloquent and smart, yet easy. He is polite, and not in a suck-up, I-learned-this-at-prep school fashion. Rather, one gets the sense that his manners are so innate that he actually acquired them the old-fashioned way – from his mama, at home in Clinton, GA where he grew up. So, how might his brand of gentility manifest in today’s fast and interactive […]