Mar 11, 2009



"Mom, look, there's a snail in your garden." With flowerbeds of breeding snails, my 9-year old son, Brock, needed to announce this one, probably because he wanted me to witness its destruction. I looked his direction, fell off the porch which in turn sent my purse into orbit, and managed to place a hole in the left knee of my new jeans.

Bryce, my 14-year old, immediately came to my rescue, showing a tenderness that he doesn't often exhibit. (For that, I was blessed.) So, I now have a skinned knee just in time for Briana's wedding, and a sore right toe and thumb. At least I won't be hobbling down the aisle on crutches. Thank-you, Jesus!

Multiple Births (Updated: March 12, 2009)

On the subject of breeding, Nadya Suleman, the woman with the "Jolie" lips and the single parent to 14 children, including the now famous octuplets, will be living in a home adjacent to the park where my son plays baseball. Attorney Gloria Allred has arranged for Nadya to have 14 free nurses a day to help care for the children. The around-the-clock nurses will be working in teams of 4 to 5 and will be assisting with all of the 14 siblings.

The world is showering Nadya with expensive gifts, financial aide, and attention. I certainly don't want to see those children neglected and she obviously can't manage this alone; but where do we draw the line?

If it's fame she was after, the media has granted that to her. In fact, the media has taken over her new neighborhood: no doubt, to the delight of her neighbors.

Is this an extension of our bailout trend where people are rewarded for irresponsibility? Miss Suleman was already parenting 6 beautiful children by herself. She is not a victim of circumstances. And, what about the ethical questions concerning the compromised health of that many babies sharing one womb? In an unregulated fertilization industry, perhaps the doctor who implanted these babies should pay child support.

Soul Food

I discovered the pictured cookbook, Sweets, while browsing on I was directed to the Amazon blog of the author, Patty Pinner, and became intrigued with the food lore and family stories that provide the inspiration for her book.

Patty's blog bio: "Patty Pinner is also the author of Sweets: A Collection of Soul Food Desserts and Memories, which was selected as one of the best cookbooks of the year by The New York Times and called “a sliver of fancy cake with a soulful memory” by the Washington Post. An employee of the U.S. Postal Service, she lives in Saginaw, Michigan."

From Hostess {with the mostess}: "Growing up in a large African-American family in a small town in Michigan, Patty Pinner spent her childhood helping the women of the house—the Queens of Soul Food—whip up the sweet treats that crowned family dinners, neighborhood gatherings, and church socials. In SWEETS, Patty shares her family's stories, maxims, and magical desserts, many named after family members like Cud'n Daisy, Aint Sug, and My My, her beloved grandmother. Part recipe book, part family history, this sweet-as-can-be cookbook is a heartfelt tribute to women who ruled the home and the kitchen with their wisdom, hearts, and cooking."

Here is a recipe that Patty shared on her blog. I will be trying this one for sure.

Lillie’s Bea’s Hazelnut Cheese Ball
Patty Pinner's Amazon Blog
  • 2-1/2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, room temperature
  • 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup finely ground hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped hazel nut

Using an electric mixer, mix together all of the ingredients except the chopped hazelnuts. Mix until the ingredients are well combined. Line a small bowl with waxed paper. Shape the cheese mixture into a ball inside the bowl. Let the cheese mixture stand for about 1 hour. After 1 hour, roll the ball in the finely chopped hazelnuts. You may chill the ball in the refrigerator overnight. Let the cheese ball stand at room temperature about 1 hour before serving. Serve with an assortment of small crackers.

Makes a ball about 4 inches in diameter