Memoir Monday: Tamale Pie

I made a bargain with myself last week that I put categories on my blog and I would blog more, so today is Memoir Monday. On Mondays I will be blogging about memories. And what better way to start the first Memoir Monday than to tell a humiliating story about myself.

When I was thirteen, Mom decided I should take over the cooking duties one night a week. For my first dinner I decided to make a dish called Tamale Pie. It was a recipe from Mom’s favorite cookbook. We’d never had it before, but it sounded good. As Mom worked that Monday, I cracked open the cookbook and started following the recipe for Tamale Pie. Immediately I ran into problems, but I was on my own and had to find my own solutions.

The first issue was onions. I don’t remember if we didn’t have onions or I was just too lazy to chop them, but I decided to use dehydrated onions. I measured them out and threw them in the fry pan to brown them. Brown? They were black. I did not rehydrate them before using them, I put them straight into the hot oil. They turned into little black specks, but I pressed on. The hamburger was browning well, no problem there.

Next came the green peppers. I looked and looked and looked, but there was not a green pepper in the house. Substitution time! Hmm, what to substitute for green peppers? I know, green peppers are green so I can substitute green beans instead. They are both green, right? After that, the rest of the recipe went smoothly. At least that’s how I remember it, but Mom swears I used two cups of corn meal instead of a half cup as per the recipe.

Anyway, the family soon gathered round the table. I served up the Tamale Pie. Everyone helped themselves to a portion, and we began to eat. My first bite of Tamale Pie told me everything I needed to know about my first dinner. It was inedible. Everyone at the table was silent. My brother Andy was silent because he was too busy eating. Everyone else was stunned silent by the horrible taste in their mouths. They didn’t want to say anything to hurt my feelings. As we sat round the table, I began to laugh. I laughed so hard tears rolled down my face. Andy, however, was on his second helping before he realized no one else was eating. In the end Mom and Dad order Monk’s burgers for us.

To this day I hear about my Tamale Pie from my loving family even though, it has been decades, and my cooking is quite good. Ain’t family grand? I love them all and wouldn’t trade them for the world, but I might give them away for free.


Free Write Friday 8/20/2010

Today I started looking at my blog entries. I have two. It occurred to me that I need to post on a regular basis so I came up with a schedule for myself. This schedule will helpĀ  to guide my blog writing. Since it is Friday I will start out with Free Write Friday. On Fridays, I will post a writing prompt then I’ll set my clock for 15 minutes andĀ  free write a story of poem to go along with the prompt. My exercise results will be posted later in the day. I hope others will also do a free write using the Friday prompt, and also post their results. If you don’t want to post your story or poem, then tell me about the experience.

Was fifteen minutes enough time? Did your resulting piece of writing stay on subject or did it wander in a different direction?

So without further ado, here is today’s prompt: Free Write about a Whisper.


Have you ever come across a word that piqued your interest? Perhaps a word you wrote down and had to take a second look at. Is that how the word is spelled, you ask yourself. Or you look at it and think I really like the way that word looks on the page. Many writers are fascinated with words. How they look. How they sound. How they roll off the tongue. Well this happened to me yesterday.

As I wrote in my journal, I looked up at the newly dawning day. The snow had a periwinkle color to it in the early morning light. The word “periwinkle” struck my fancy and I was off. Per-i-wink-le. It’s a four syllable word. Periwinkle, the color is a blue violet or blue lavender shade. The etymology of the word “periwinkle” tells us that the origins of the word come from Latin and it means to entwine. The periwinkle flower is a blue violet color and may be where we get the word that describes the color. There is also a small sea snail called a periwinkle. Periwinkle has played a part in my life too. My coffee cup is periwinkle because it has Eeyore on it. He is my favorite of the Pooh Crew. So next time you see, hear or think of a word that catches your notice, roll it around in your head for a while or roll it around on your tongue. Find out what it means and where it comes from, and let inspiration flow your interest to see where you land.

What words are your favorites? Have any words struck you as interesting beautiful odd?

Journey 2010

Today begins Journey 2010.

May the journey not always be easy, but may I handle it with grace and good humor.

Happy 2010!