Sep 30, 2011

Potato Soup of the Extraordinary Kind

I love to eat.  I love to cook just as much.  When I cook, I feel fulfilled in some kind of weird way.  If I am not cooking then something is wrong with me.  I have been like this for as long as I can remember.  Lately, my cooking comes and goes.  But I think cooking is making its way back into the forefront of my life. After all, we have to eat to live.  One night at a church the most incredible potato soup was offered.  It was smooth and richly flavored. " Who made this?"  I asked.  I asked for the recipe and was promised to receive it via my brother.   Houston, we have a problem.  If it is left up to my brother to bring me something I might as well forget about ever seeing it. Oh he lived up to it alright.  It took me about 3 months to get this recipe and that was after I threatened to call the police.  Anyway, it is filling and easy to make.  Give it a try.

Potato Soup
6 cups of water

7 chicken bouillon cubes

1 tsp dill

salt\pepper to taste,  I didn't use any salt, the bouillon and cheese had just the right amount of salt for me

3-4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pkg of Ore Idaho Potatoes O'Brien or 3-4 potatoes cut into cubes, 1/4 each of red bell pepper and green bell pepper, chopped and 1 onion chopped, saute for about 5 minutes with the garlic

2 pkg 8 oz cream cheese

Combine the water and bouillon cubes in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the cream cheese, cut it into cubes. Simmer until the cream cheese has dissolved.  Next, add the dill, garlic, potatoes, onion, and peppers.  Simmer on medium heat until the potatoes are tender.  Enjoy! Serve with a salad and crispy bread.  

P.S. You can add 1 cup of bacon pieces to this, I don't eat pork, so I omitted this from my recipe

Sep 28, 2011

Michele Wood: Looking Through the Eyes of an Artist

I never really appreciated drawings and paintings until I dated someone years ago who possessed this talent.  It amazed me how someone could look at something and then capture the image on paper or canvas.  I watched as his eyes would glance at the object and then his hand would glide over the paper leaving a line.  Then all of the lines became an image. Today, some of his drawings are displayed in the local museum here in Fort Wayne.   I am very proud of him. 

This leads me to Michele Wood. Ms. Wood is a painter, media artist, and printmaker whose work has gained wide recognition in the United States, Canada, and Nigeria.  She has been involved in several books, Going Back Home, I See the Rhythm, Just Like Me, and I see the Rhythm of Gospel

Just Like Me, A self Portrait

Traditional Fish

I See the Rhythm of our Hope

The See Rhythm of Africa

Civil Rights Movement and Gospel

I see the Rhythm of the Good News

I like her style. She uses a lot of images inside of the overall picture.  Brilliant!  Ms. Wood will be here in Fort Wayne on Oct. 22nd at the Allen County Library and also at the Grand Wayne Center as part of the National Black Genealogy Summit. 

Sep 25, 2011

El Salam Alikoum

A few years back there was a song in the movie Vanity Fair with Reese Witherspoon and James Purefoy that stuck in my mind.  There was a belly dance scene with beautiful costumes and figures to die for. The singers were singing es es salam alikoum, es es salam alikoum.  It kept going over and over in my head.  The other day I bought a Cd called Bellydance Superstars that had this same song on it.  It is called El Salam by Hazim. This singer is from Egypt.  He has the nicest smile I have ever seen on anyone and looks like he would be fun to know.  Since I have bought the CD I have listened to this song about 50 times.  I know that I am bit old to do things like this but...

I enjoy listening to all kinds of music even if I have no idea what is being said.  Sometimes it is the music alone that matters. 

Sep 22, 2011

Pottery of the Prettiest Kind

I love pottery.  Each year we have a festival in September in the city where I live.  It is called "Johnny Appleseed."  The vendors bring out their wares and display them for customers to see.  There is singing and dancing and firing of guns, playing the bagpipes, etc...but the pottery is what I really wanted to see.

A few years ago, I bought this lovely gem.  It was a bit pricey, but couldn't go home without it.  I have waited and waited to buy another one so that I would have a pair.  I wanted to display them in the living room on each side of the fireplace.  

When I arrived this year, I saw this beauty.  I love the pattern, it reminds me of Morocco.  The company is called Jepson Studios, Inc., which makes these pieces.  The great thing is that I can use this as a platter and serve food with it.  They are hand crafted, lead free, and oven safe.  Check out the video below about their company. 

Sep 20, 2011

Indian Fry Bread or Pioneer Bread

A friend of mine told me about Indian fry bread.  She said it was delicious and I should try it.  Then I met a Native American recently and he told me that he loves this bread.  So, off I went in search of a recipe.  This is a good tasting bread that is quick and oh so easy to make.  It is versatile as well.  You can sprinkle it with powdered sugar for a crispy sweet pancake or add fruit of your choice or top with meat, lettuce, tomatoes, onion and sour cream and eat it like a taco.


3 cups of all purpose flour or bread flour
1 TBS Baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 - 1 1\2 cups of milk
1 TBS shortening, vegetable oil, or lard, melted
2 cups of oil for frying

Mix all of the dry ingredients together.  Next, add the milk and the oil.  Form a ball and knead for a couple of minutes until it is pliable.  If  the dough is too wet add more flour or if too dry then add more milk.  Roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut into circles in any size that you like and it will fit into your frying pan.  Heat a frying pan on medium to high heat (about 375 degrees) and add the oil.  You want the circles to cook quickly.  Carefully place the circle into the pan and brown on each side.  Drain on paper towels.  Enjoy!

Sep 11, 2011

African American Artist Kadir Nelson

Today was "be a tourist in your own hometown" in the city where I live.  The Old Fort was open, the museum, the Botanical Gardens, and lots of other places.  I love paintings. So, I meandered downtown to the museum. Kadir Nelson is an exceptional artist.  He has a wonderful eye for detail while capturing the spirit of the individual.  It seemed as if I was looking into Jackie Robinson's eyes and feeling the excitement he must have felt for a dream to come true or feel the dust as the ball player slid into home plate.

Picture came from here.

 A graduate of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, he has created images for Polygram, Nike, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, The New Yorker and Time Magazine. Most notably, Nelson was the Conceptual Artist for Steven Spielberg's feature film, "Amistad", and the companion book, "Give Us Free".


 "The Dugout"

"Safe at Home"

"Ese Hombre"

An album cover for Michael Jackson

This is one very talented man.

Sep 7, 2011

Show and Tell

I feel like taking pictures again.  I grabbed my camera and headed downtown to take some shots of some things that I have been wanting to photograph, plus other places.

Downtown Fort Wayne

Looking through grass

Abstract view 

White River Canal, Indianapolis

Is this Venice?  No, just Indianapolis

The glass ceiling at the Children's Museum, Indianapolis


It feels good to be back to normal.

Sep 5, 2011

Appreciating Native American Art

Yesterday, I was able to spend some time away while learning about a people who are "Native" to America.  Yes, I am talking about the Native American.  A people group who were pushed out of their own land onto a land that is not fertile and the living conditions were hard and harsh (still is true today). Museums are a good place to learn about culture.  Indianapolis' Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art is a great place to visit.  I saw some of the most beautiful paintings and sculptures.  I hope you don't mind that I share some of what I saw. 

This is called "Still Water Crossing" by Daniel Smith.  When I saw this painting I had to sit down and look at it for a long time.  I thought that the artist did a wonderful job with the reflection of the water. 

This is "Taos Pueblo" by Georgia O'Keefe.  It is amazing how the houses in the picture look like some houses that are in Morocco today. 

This is Howard Terpning's "Blessing from the Medicine Man".  My photograph does not do this painting justice.  The way the artist was able to capture the light is just amazing.  I had to look at this picture for a long time too.

Robert Griffing "Secrets of the Dark Forest" is very beautiful.  Again, I liked the way that the artist was able to capture the light.  I imagined myself in the forest when I was observing this painting.  I could actually hear the wind whispering in my ear.