She may not like that i posted her love song, here, on my bitch site, but maybe she wouldn’t mind…

I can find poems by Kabir or Rumi, but it’s hard (at least for me) to find Meerabai’s poems… and I can’t help it. Life is so sweet sometimes. so to sweetness…




To market

We decided that a field trip was in order, so, on Martha’s suggestion, we visited Maria’s. The challenge was to find the weirdest looking vegetables, take them home  and cook them.

It was overwhelming! One man, from India was amazed to find gangura. He said his wife cooks it in a chutney, and that he had not seen it outside of India. Actually, he said, even North Indians don’t know about it.

The bittermelon was, by far, one of the weirdest. An Indian lady told B that it was a very healthy gourd and to cook it up with tumeric, chili powder and brown sugar (we went on and added twice as much spice as the recipe called for, lots of brown sugar, and even hummus, because one of the recipes we found said you could use chickpeas in it, but, alas, to no avail!)

I couldn’t get over the ugliness of the yampi. It’s a Jamaican yam.

Martha decided, since B and I were looking at vegetables, she’d pick a fruit, and that’s how we came by the mamey.

We also bought some fennel because B said she wanted some (good choice!).

Once B and I got these back to the kitchen, we attacked the bittermelon. We watched videos and looked up recipes. In the end, we put everything we could think of in the pot, because no matter what we did, it tasted horrible.

B kept telling me to taste it while it was cooking. Finally, I wised up, and told her I had done my share of tasting, it was her turn…

Just go read about it, though. It will cure anything!

The yampi — we could find very little about it. We did read that it smelled really bad while it was cooking. After the bittermellon, it took a lot of courage to attack the ugly thing. However, it did not smell, and it tasted just like potatoes, we mashed them. They might be a little more gluey in texture, but pretty darn close in taste. We’d like to know if they are better for you than potatoes, but that’s still a mystery.

The fennel… Oh, joy! That was delicious. You cut it up (we tried both ways, across and long ways — didn’t matter), coated it with olive oil and a couple sprinkles of balsamic vinegar, and roasted it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.

The mamey… It’s breathtakingly beautiful — a deep orange red with a shiny black pit. It’s very sweet and has a kind of mushy texture… I ended up using a portion of it today to make mamey custard, and that was an experience… I don’t have a clue how to caramelize sugar, tried twice, failed both times, and the custard part ended up kind of bready. Wasn’t bad, but certainly not what I expected.

We had a very fun time on this field trip. We caused traffic jams at Maria’s because we were busy taking photos and asking questions, but both staff and customers put up with us.

Martha had to work, so B and i cooked. We called Martha when we were ten minutes from sitting down at the table to eat…

All of us, without exception, decided that we’d have to be awfully sick before we ate any more bittermelon. One of the diseases it’s supposed to be good for is diabetes, but, since you have to load the sugar on it, that’s hard to believe.

The yampi was not bad. If it’s actually healthier than potatoes, it could be a good substitute. The jury is still out on that.

We all loved the fennel, but of course, fennel is not a weird veggie at all. When you roast it, it caramelizes — delicious!

And the mamey custard was a lot of work…  I can’t even describe how I feel about it. I’m going to have to play with that one some more.



thanks to dennis who figured this out… and sent me a link to the song.

We have one right outside our windows, and I do believe this bird is the one who starts up in the middle of the night sometimes.

Here's my quick snapshot
and a closeup thanks to wikipedia

and here’s what he sounds like.


Nice little tidbits about the mockingbird from wikipedia.

  • This is the state bird of Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.
  • It features in the title and central metaphor of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. In that novel, mockingbirds are portrayed as innocent and generous, and two of the major characters, Atticus Finch and Miss Maudie, say it is a sin to kill a mockingbird because “they don’t do one thing for us but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us”.
  • The traditional American lullaby “Hush Little Baby” has been recorded in numerous musical styles. The lyrics refer Northern Mockingbirds once being popular as pets, and begin:
Hush little baby, don’t say a word,
Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird don’t sing,
Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.
  • President Thomas Jefferson had a pet mockingbird named Dick.
  • On the television show, Mister Rogers Neighborhood, the puppet character of King Friday XIII has a pet mockingbird (a wooden bird on a stick) whose name is Mimus Polyglottos.

End of Road at Cracker Trail Ride 2011

I remember being called a Florida Cracker because I was born in Miami. Didn’t think much more of the term until I wrote horse stories for The Palm Beach Post and learned about the ranches in the middle of the state that raised cattle, and actually went to a round up at Miss Ida’s in Indiantown.

A Florida Cracker was a cowman who cracked a long whip to herd up the cattle.

There are Cracker horses and cattle, animals that acclimated to wet soggy swampland — that kind of environment isn’t good for animals with hooves, but these horses and cows did just fine here.

I also found out that we have Cracker roses (Florida is not known for that flower) — a little straggelly, but a rose is a rose is a rose.

For more photos, go to my christine davis site and my vacation site.

Street Painting Festival 2011

I love this fair. And, since I live less than a block away, I can walk down and follow its progression. Wish Lake Worth did more of this kind of thing. The only festival I have loved better was the Luggage fair in San Francisco, an unbelievable conglomeration of street performers and acrobats who were walking up and down the sides of buildings…

Anyway, I digress. Here are photos from this year’s Lake Worth festival. (and for more, go to my christine davis site.