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Healing and Empowerment for Women

Category Archives: Roasting


One happy Thanksgiving Day I made my pie from a can of organic pumpkin. The hippie recipe on the can omitted sugar, a fact that I didn’t notice. I kept plunging a knife into the pie to test it for doneness, to no avail. Finally, sure that it was “done”, I took it out of the oven. When the pie cooled the knife cuts separated, forming a Pi: Pumpkin Pi.

I added extra sugar to my homemade whipped cream and all was well.

In the upper left corner of the placemat, you can see a glass salt cellar with five grains of corn in it. Here is a bigger photo of the dish:


The first year in this country the Pilgrims were STARVING. All they had for Thanksgiving dinner was five grains of corn apiece! My family has always commemorated this by putting five grains of popcorn in a little salt cellar at each place. We go around the table and each of us tells five things that we are grateful for.

One year I had so many guests that I put the corn grains on little circles of construction paper.

This year I will be dining at my daughter’s boyfriend’s home for Thanksgiving. He has picked up this gratitude custom and when it is my turn to tell my five gratefuls, you, my dear blog readers will be one of my gratefuls.

My daughter will be making her “Wicked Pumpkin Pie”; she adds double the spices. It is divine. She will, likely, remember to put in the sugar.


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Today my daughter and I had a wonderful adventure. We both wanted to see the cheetah cubs that the Dallas Zoo is raising, and we wanted to try a nearby cafe that is a tradition in South Dallas.

When we entered the zoo, we saw a carousel. We love carousels and ride any one we can find. Apparently it is in our blood. When we go to DC we ride the same one that my mother rode when she was a girl. My daughter rode an ostrich and I rode an okapi.

We visited the African exhibit and when the time to see the cheetah cubs came, we moseyed over to the area.


The twin cubs, Kamau and Winspear, were amazingly cute, as you can see for yourself. They are being raised with a black lab puppy, Amani (which means peace in Swahili). He is  just their age and the hope is that the puppy will help gentle the cheetah brothers down. We were very sad that the puppy was not present!

You can see a video of the cubs and the puppy here:

Then on to Norma’s Cafe, a South Dallas Institution that had not been on our radar until recently. We asked our waitress to bring our “mile high” slice of coconut cream pie right away, lest they run out of it. It was so fetching that we began to eat it while we waited for our meal. The pie was divine, still a little warm from the oven. I ordered a serving of the home made potato chips to go with my battered cheese sticks. Words cannot convey how delicious and right the chips were. I could not finish either the cheese sticks or the chips.

Later, I will preheat the oven to 500 degrees, along with my baking pan. When they are up to temperature I will add the cheese sticks and a few moments later the home fries.

(I will take this opportunity to offer a tip for reheating fries in a hospital room or a hotel room: blast them with your hair dryer!)

The oven will do for today’s reheating.

Stuffed, with leftovers in boxes, we eased into the car and drove home.

My Fitbit says I’ve walked 5266 steps so far today and that I’ve gone up three flights of stairs. Yes!

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Gravy is a breeze the way I make it. It is filled with many, many layers of flavor and it is gluten free.

I start with about four cups of diced vegetables. I used three stalks of celery, a medium onion and three good sized carrots on Easter for my six pound chicken. I drizzled the veggies with olive oil and laid the bird on top. I rubbed unsalted butter into the chicken’s skin. I roasted the bird, turning the pan once during cooking for even browning. I didn’t need to baste.

When the chicken was done, I removed it to a plate. I pushed the vegetables around in the pan to absorb all of the browned bits. Then I put the contents of the pan in my blender and whizzed it up until it was fairly smooth.

That’s it.

Gravy made this way is ample, wonderfully thick and it is divinely multi-layered with flavor. The pan drippings, the aromatic vegetables, the browned parts of the vegetables, the olive oil, the butter.

I just finished the last of it tonight, poured over the last of the white meat of the chicken. Mmmmm!

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