Winter 2020

Winter is a great time to stay inside and cook, especially on the coldest days. I’m happy to stay in my cozy little space and make favorite recipes or experiment with new ones. This week I’m planning a slow cooker meal of vegetables and turkey and an egg scramble, among other things.

I love the smell of food cooking. Sometimes it brings back memories of past days, depending on what I’m making.

Twice my father dropped ingredients off to me and wanted me to make something specifically for him. The first time was when the girls were little, and he wanted pea soup. Had I ever made a pea soup? Nope. But when I told him so he said, “You’ll figure it out.” So, I researched a few recipes and came up with something I thought might be acceptable. He loved it.

The next time he wanted me to make something he at least gave me notice, asking for a shopping list. Skye and Zowie were teenagers at this point. I was all like, “Dad, I don’t know how to cook seafood!” But he had faith in me. Again I researched recipes, and I told him what I would need. And I made my first ever seafood casserole that seemed to go over fine at the family Christmas party at my aunts.

I, of course, felt horrible for killing the lobster. After all, I could hear that thing scream as the water got hot! I had tears, and vowed that I would never kill a lobster again.

I love the taste of lobster, mind you. Have as far back as I can remember. But I’d never done the actual cooking of the lobster before.

This experience had put me in mind of the time Zowie’s father bought a lobster to cook for us. Skye had made friends with it, and was horrified when he cooked her new friend. She wouldn’t eat it. I must have been out of the room doing something else, because I never heard the thing scream.

Any time I think of making a lobster dish now, I think of the screaming lobster. I won’t do that again. If the time comes when I do decide a lobster meal will be made, by me, I will use lobster tail from the grocery store.

Not that I see that happening. Lobster is pretty expensive these days. But you never know.

I tried my first ever lobster bisque last summer at The Thirsty Whale in Bar Harbor, and loved it! It’s not Paleo friendly though. I have been toying with the idea of making a Paleo friendly version. We’ll see.

I also tried a butternut squash bisque at Season’s in Bangor, and that was amazing too. I want to Paleofy that recipe as well.

Thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me. Until I started typing I didn’t even know what I was going to write about in this edition of the newsletter. It all just sort of happened.

During the fall months, I spent some time working on Cottage Pie variations. Cottage Pie is what I used to call Shepherd’s Pie because, well, everyone else did. Always. Recently Zowie pointed out that my pies are not Shepherd’s Pie’s because they lack lamb. I don’t know how or when she learned this little tidbit. Perhaps on a cooking show. But now I am training myself to refer to them accordingly. Lamb is too expensive for my pies. I think my favorite cottage pie this fall was the one topped with baked collard green chips.

I’m trying new foods, and liking most of them. Those collard green chips weren’t bad. And the raw greens work in smoothies!

Parent's Donut for FRHNow, as much I am all into the healthy side of eating these days, there are some old favorites that happen and will always happen. For instance, my parents old-fashioned donuts. Just over a week ago baby brother posted (teasingly) on his Facebook a picture of the donuts! Indicating our parents were making and delivering them. no one else had received them yet. I was working a double that day. The next day, however, they dropped a bag of these amazing wonders off at Aroma Joe’s for me, where I was working on  my latest manuscript. They gave me six. I didn’t share. This event won’t happen again for another year.

But I told mom they should be making these to sell. Even baby brother mentioned it. They could open a shop, which would be costly. Or, as I discussed with mom, they could just make them from home and and sell them from there. They have a  garden where they grow food. Lloyd does wood-working, and mom crafts. My sister and I craft. We talked about how we could set up a road-side stand and sell the donuts, extra produce, the things we make. I told her I’d do the graphics.

I don’t know this will ever happen, but it’s a nice little idea with great possibilities. What do you think?

My Littles wanted to spend the night with me, but I work weekends and they have daycare and school during the week. So I took a couple of extra days off last week, with vacation pay, and got paid to hang out with Little Man and Little Miss. ❤ The sleepover happened on Friday night, after their busy days. We had a great time. They left me a few inches of bed space to sleep on, and they proceeded to kick me in their sleep all night long, haha. At least they got some good sleep. I had a few bruises the next day.

They wanted to hang out with Auntie Skye and Ryan the next day, and go to Governor’s for lunch. Little Man had a gift card from Christmas, and wanted to pay for his own meal with it.

He ordered grilled cheese and fries with a chocolate milk, and had been wanting to try the fried pickles so ordered them as well. He loves pickles! Well, as it turns out, he didn’t like the pickle part at all, but loved taking the fried batter off and dipping that into the ranch. I’m sure his parents ate the pickle parts that evening, while he finished the batter. Little Miss was happy with her mac & cheese and her milk.

I bought them a dessert to share at home, after their dinner, and Skye helped Little Man to fill out his first receipt. She showed him where to put his name, then had him copy onto the receipt the amount to take off his gift card, telling him she’d take care of his part of his tip. Little Man, at 4 1/2, felt like a big boy after that!

Then we went to my parents for a visit. Little Man played outside with Skye and Ryan, and Little Miss hung outside with me and mom. She watched Beat Bobby Flay for a bit after watching the others play outside, and fought really hard to stay awake until Grandpa came in from his workshop. Then she laid on mom and napped.

We all had a great time. I love hanging out with my Littles, and my daughters. Tonight Zowie and I are going to a show at the Collins Center for the Arts on campus, for a showing of The Color Purple. I’ve seen the movie, and have wanted to see the show for eight years.

Happenings on the blog, in case you’ve missed them:

  • I’ve been getting deliveries every other week from Misfits Market, a subscription service for fresh, organic produce. And I’ve been adding recipes here on the blog that utilize this produce. This is why I’m trying new foods. I was surprised at the cost, because I know how much I spend in my area for organic food.
  • I’m starting a new category on the blog featuring my favorite kitchen items. I’ll be adding to this section throughout the year.

Happenings on my other blogs.

Join us on those blogs to keep up to date.

Enjoy your winter! And let us know in the comments what you are cooking up this season, or email me at

~ Shannon




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