Holiday baking comes without a plan. How about if we make….? And then it happens. French bread. Excellent! And it was even better French toast the next day. Mincemeat pie. Find mincemeat?! We did. … pie! Meringue cookies. They were the off shoot of my Atlantic pie. Leftover egg whites. Pretty simple. The secret was the cream of tartar. Dang! Those were good cookies.


Green is a favorite color for Jules. Now, I know. But it seems I did not know when she had this green kale smoothie. I had not seen her since she moved to California. She’s more health conscious than I realized. When she ordered this drink it was not too appetizing to my eye. It looked more like medicine. Nope, not for me!

Shooting in a dim restaurant is a challenge. Hold still (camera). Don’t shake. Ha! Better lighting would have helped. Of course! But I was just grabbing a shot of the drink for posterity and this post.


It’s not lessons. Food is eaten with the eyes – too! Ripe red tomato? An eggplant waiting to go? It looks more like a tomato. Eggplant! Good! I peeled it. Heresy?  Sliced, breaded, fried up in olive oil. Add marinara, basil, and mozzarella. Bake till the cheese melts and is golden. Fresh basil over mozzarella over tomato, add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper to taste. A feast!! Sorry. No picture. The preview is enough. Fresh produce will inspire you to great things. It is the best eggplant parm I have ever made!

How do you stage produce? Light is important. Best side up. Staging. You need to place the product in a flattering pose. There is not much fun to placing a tomato. But the stove grate provided a simple backdrop and the meaning is clear. It worked for me.

To the end

Cheers! Colleen adores Jessop’s Tavern. We have not been back in over a year. The last time we ate there service was dismal. We were abused. I swore to never return. So, we did it for Lee. She’ never been and the Shepard’s pie is legendary. We had a good experience. Every one of the wait staff has been replaced. Good or bad? It’s been tough during Covid. It’s still a nice place. There are others. We will never go back with frequency. …Colleen likes dark beer.

End? Toast? No, it is about the last event. All the summer guests are gone now. Peace reigns in the house. The cats are back in their routine. It’s quiet. The cooking is easy. Onward… to the next event.