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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Being Carried

I didn't know, for most of my life,

that I was being carried.

It was I,

I used to whine,

who did the heavy lifting,

the shifting, the getting done, the making.

But looking back I see how wrong I was.

Without the broad wings beneath me,

there's no way I, alone, could have survived.

Even as I carried, I was carried.


Copyright © 2017 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Because the rising of the Moon is blocked

every night

by the giant condo east of us,

actually seeing a Moonrise is beyond me.

Only if I were to take myself

to an east-facing beach—

unobstructed sky in all directions—

only then could I calmly wait

for her to appear.


On an ordinary night

I can begin to glimpse her any time after 10:45

(about the time, twelve hours later,

that the Sun peeks around that same condo).


No, for me the most reliable Moon sightings

are from the bedroom window

when I awaken at 1:30

and find her floodlighting the city

with her invitation

to rise and dance to the tune of the Moon.



Copyright © 2017 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Light Comes In

Whoa! The light comes in!

Open your eyes.

Or not.

The thing about light is that we can see it

even when our eyes are closed.

Try it.

Sit in darkness, eyes closed.

Open the blinds or turn on the light, eyes closed.

You can discern light through those thin lids—

and this knowledge might make all the difference

in your life.

Unconscious, asleep, unseeing—

know that even our self-imposed blinders

can't really ban the light.

And when we slit our eyes like a toddler

playing hide-and-seek

we are shocked back into awareness

of what has been there all along.

The light comes in.


Copyright © 2017 Ann Tudor
Food blog:

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Peeling is a strong metaphor. We humans are often compared to onions, aren't we? Peel off one layer of obsessions or guilt or anger and another equally pernicious layer awaits. Peel away that anxiety or hurt or fear and you are confronted with yet another layer to acknowledge and work through.


But peeling is more than a metaphor. Peeling is a real, physical act that usually—in my mind at least—involves food. Pile up those peelings and feed them to your compost. Peel away the unwanted and you find what you desire. Peeling is a health measure (your body wouldn't like you to eat the hard shell of the avocado) or not (don't peel potatoes, for example, because most of the nutrients are in or just under the skin).


How do we peel? Let me count the ways. With a knife. With a peeler. With our fingers. Three ways.


Some things are fun to peel, others feel more like work. I've always felt that peeling potatoes is both onerous and endless. Thankless, even. But when I actually break down the task I realize that it takes only moments to peel a potato. I think my dislike of peeling potatoes is a holdover from my youth, when I would be enlisted to peel potatoes for a family meal: 8 people, 14 or 15 potatoes.(We really really liked mashed potatoes.) That was a lot of potatoes to peel—and probably with a dull peeler.


Now, however, I cook for two. Peeling potatoes with a swivel-blade peeler is quick and easy. I peel and quarter them well in advance, then put them in a pot of cold water to wait their time on the stove.


But why am I talking about peeling potatoes (or carrots, which fall into the same dull category). I want to talk about sensuous peeling.


First, there are tomatoes and peaches. I link these because the sensuality of peeling is the same. Take a ripe field tomato (or a ripe peach) and a sharp paring knife. Start at the blossom end, not the stem end. Lift a little flap with the tip of your knife. Now, holding the little flap between your thumb and the knife blade, gently pull the peeling down the side of the fruit. See how smoothly it peels away, leaving behind a soft, vulnerable swath of flesh. Use the edge of the knife to start another strip. Keep peeling gently and smoothly until the whole tomato, the whole peach, is glistening and open. Almost quivering, even. This is just about the most fun you can have with an apron on.


Faced with a bushel, or even half a bushel, of tomatoes or peaches, you will probably resort to the old boiling-water method of peeling. But this is not without its own sensual pleasure, if you think about the satisfaction of slipping the whole skin off at once. Slippery and wet.


To peel an avocado, start with a nicely ripe specimen (it should just give when you press it gently near the top with your thumb). Cut it in half through the stem end and around the bottom and up again. Separate the two halves. Notice the color: the same color as a kitchen appliance from the 50s, isn't it? See that big fat shiny seed in the middle? Cradle the seeded half in one hand and whack a large-ish knife into the seed. Give the knife a twist and the seed will release. Knock it off into the sink.


Now comes the fun part. I assume you've already washed your hands. You can slice or dice the pale green flesh while it sits in its hard shell, or you can leave each half uncut. In either case, to remove the peel, run your thumb between the flesh and the hard skin. Feel the loosening as you continue all around the fruit. Lift out the green flesh (or dump it out, if it's been sliced or diced). Do it again for the other half. (I admit that you can do this part with a spoon, but where's the sensuality in that?) Suck your thumb to enjoy the extra cook's share that is your bonus. Then wash your hands again and eat your avocado with a little salt and a squeeze of lemon.




Copyright © 2017 Ann Tudor
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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Frost May Fall on the Diamond


frost turns the parsnips sweet

and signals the season

for the boys of October,

who endured the summer heat

for the promise of cool,




Copyright © 2017 Ann Tudor
Food blog: