Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pollo Guajillo

in an area
of intense ethnic diversity
there many opportunities
to travel only with one’s belly
this is a trip to Puebla Mexico
and a Grandmother’s kitchen
where a sauce was created that was so good
it has passed from generation to generation

the sauce created was made of guajillo peppers
carefully blended with sour cream
at Palo Alto Sol the sauce is used over
a chicken burrito
an outstanding taste treat
their mole sauce is a winner as well

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman

Palo Alto Sol
408 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94040

Friday, July 23, 2010

Roasted Gold

leaving the known
and allowing chance
to guide
all sorts of doors open
we stumbled in to Asana Teas
in Santa Cruz California
the menu said
roasted butternut squash
usually tasty, but mushy
they had shredded the squash
put oil and pepper on it
what came out was
tiny squash French fries
with spinach, red peppers,
and a chive aioli
on focaccia
fresh out of a panini press
it was with some regret
that I brushed my teeth
and let go of the flavor

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman
Asana Teas
103 Lincoln St.
Santa Cruz, CA831-425-8327
They also have an outstanding
Selection of teas from around
the world. I want to try the
Yerba Mate Latte.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Meatballs Then and Now

once upon a time
the Lord of the manor
had a joint of meat
the serfs got the scraps
fat, sinew, bones
these leavings
had flavor
but were difficult
to eat as is

the little scraps
would be finely chopped
and mixed with
other ingredients
barley, rice, stale bread
added to absorb the flavors
and make them go farther

in hard times ground meats
become popular
because they are less costly
depression meatballs
were at least half
fillers with an egg
to bind it all together
they can be baked or fried
one type of meat or
mixed meats
finally a sauce is added
tomato is a favorite
glazes with fruit, a possibility
Kecap Manis and lime juice
if you like an Indonesian touch
teriyaki sauce, more Asian in flavor
let your imagination run wild

the photo is TJ’s
gourmet chicken meat balls
no fillers
nuked in TJ’s fresh cherry preserves
grandma’s hard times cooking
comes full circle

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman

Thanks to S. Rai for suggesting
meatballs and the kecap manis

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Grievous Errors

if you study statistics
you may come to realize
that only twenty percent
of any group is normal
while eighty percent
thusly becomes abnormal
only twenty percent of
humans read and learn
they way they should
while the rest of us
unique individuals
must struggle along

I have transposition problems
knowing this
I am hyper careful
when measuring
setting out to bake
a new cake
I misread seven ounces
to read seven cups of flour
the flavorless chocolate
brick now sits
in my trash can
instinct said
something is wrong
but, no I had checked
and checked
they were wrong
it couldn’t have been me
I even wrote and complained
before I checked one more time

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman

Ode to Asparagus

that harbinger of spring
tender tips piercing
the still sleeping earth
and a hungry two legged critter
longing for green
takes their first bite
looking for more
about a month later
there were no longer
tight green buds
but feathery ferns
waving in the breeze
thanks to that first person
whose hunger gave us
the edible form of asparagus
I like to blanch
just the tips of
these tender spears
until their color
becomes more radiant
two to three minutes
at that moment
I plunge them into ice water
to stop the cooking
a sauce of 1/3 sesame oil
and 2/3 soy sauce
is used to dress this
as a salad
add chopped pickled ginger
for color and an extra tang

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman

Three Bean Salad

opening a 1960s vintage cookbook
and noticing most salad recipes
began with at least a cup of mayo
I almost threw out the book
but three bean salad had possibilities
did I really have to be exact
and use canned green beans,
wax beans and kidney beans?
why not kidney, garbanzo,
and Caribbean black beans
some scallions
and celery
a must for a 60s salad
apple jelly melted with
cider vinegar
a sweet sour tang
thickened again with
corn starch
poured hot over
well drained and
rinsed beans
chill and serve

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman

3 cans of assorted beans
1 bunch of scallions
2 cups chopped celery
cup of apple jelly
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
5 tsp corn starch

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ahi Tuna with Mango Curry Cream

a simple lunch al fresco
tuna salad
with a big twist
grill or pan sear
an ahi tuna steak
slice it across the grain
and chill
both you and the tuna
this is the tricky part
all the ingredients
taste different
from label to label
mango chutney
sour cream
curry powder
mixed to taste
use the sour cream
to cut the harshness
of the other ingredients
serve over tuna

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lavender Meringues

a kiss lighter than air
magically capturing
the essence of summer
in a single bite
although grown as a crop
in Provence for many years
for its perfume
the culinary uses of
lavender are very modern
one may purchase
culinary lavender
at specialty grocers
ground in a food processor
with powdered sugar
then beaten into egg whites
until stiff
baked in a low oven
and left over night
cooling slowly
if you have a Jones
for these
what do you do
with all the yolks
you cheat a bit
and buy some
powdered egg whites

©2010 Sandy Vrooman

you can find the recipe at
sorry, having trouble with making the links work in the body
please cut and paste if interested

Sunday, July 4, 2010


in a community
of like minded people
they begin
to finish each other’s

with poets
the muses are also
in community
and we mere poets
a receptacle

we can sit
half a world apart
and write
the same poems
from differing

this blog
opens with lemons
Tracey Gainforth
calls her food blog
the lemon kitchen

we both
dance with words
at a poetry group
of the same name
she lives in Canada
I’m in California
we may never meet
on a physical plane
but I know her

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman

Tracey Gainforth is a writer and foodie, living in Ottawa, Canada. She works in fund development, however Tracey would someday like to write full-time.
It is an exciting time for foodies in the Canadian nation’s capital as Ottawa has a wonderful, thriving food community.
Please read and enjoy, and if you have any questions Tracey can be reached at:


how do things happen
pondering many things
like the artichoke
who decided it was edible
this forbidding thistle
with a center
fit for the gods

perhaps the same forces
that could take
a Midwest
meat and potatoes gal
raised on canned veggies
and turn her into a foodie

it helps
if you leave the grasslands
and move into a house
with artichokes
in the back yard

to take them fresh cut
and put them in
boiling water
with balsamic vinegar
and some good olive oil

no sauce is needed
if the chokes are
cooked al dente
and eaten immediately

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman

Saturday, July 3, 2010

French Toast Redux

more conscious
than usual
for a morning
actually had thoughts
about embellishing
the earlier
French Toast post
I sliced up the peaches
and sprinkled them
with brandy
added the brown sugar
and cinnamon
while preparing
the egg bread mix
used fresh ground
nutmeg in the egg mix

© 2010 Sandy Vrooman