Fall Down and Kiss Yo Mama’s Feet Pound Cake

Dearest Boo,  it is so fun to try out new recipes on you!  Your “Supertaster” Buds are always there to help out when they are needed.  Heck, that kind of makes you sound like some kind of Super Hero and perhaps we should dig out the “She-Ra” costume I made for you one Halloween.

If you’re classified as a supertaster, you tend not to eat fruits and vegetables because they may taste very bitter.  You use this a lot when I try to get you to eat your vegetables, with the only exceptions being potatoes, broccoli and green beans.  However, it must be so noted that to get the broccoli and green beans into you they  must be drowning in cheese sauce.  If you’re an “undertaster,” you may be more prone to eating (and overeating) sweets because it requires more taste to satiate you. Of note, researchers say about 25 percent of us are supertasters and 25 percent are undertasters, while the rest of us are simply regular tasters.

Here is the test that we saw on television one day.  The Blue-Tongue Test: Wipe a swab of blue food dye on your tongue and inspect the small circles of pink-colored tissue that polka dot the newly painted blue tongue.  Then, put a piece of paper — with a 4 mm hole, or the size of a hole punch in three-ring paper — over your tongue.  Use a magnifying glass to count the little pink dots you see in the hole. If you count fewer then five dots, it means you’re an undertaster, while more than 30 indicates you’re probably a supertaster.

Even before we knew you were a “Supertaster” we always knew that you were a “good little eater”.  That phrase always makes us laugh, as it reminds us of our vacations at the Tanque Verde Ranch in Tuscon, Arizona.  They had something for all of us to enjoy.  There was horse back riding and trail riding for you and your father and for me they had the most awesome restaurant.

I was in seventh heaven just pulling out my chair, smelling the fragrant smells wafting from the kitchen, and my mouth would start to salivate in eager anticipation of the delights that would soon be placed in front of me.  Your father and you were always anxious to wolf down your meal and get outside to go on a trail ride in the Saguaro Desert.  Not me!  Your poor father would have to hog-tie me and drag me outside to get on my horse.  I even tried telling him that I tried to tell him that I was in training for some competitive eating contest that would be held at the end of the week and I needed to stretch out my stomach.  Competitive eaters “train” by consuming large amounts prior to the contest.  He refused to buy that argument and I would find myself outdoors, sitting on the back of some poor animal.

I remember one year my “horse of the week” was Leadbelly and his name perfectly suited this poor steed.  He was huge and slow and no matter how much I kicked his belly to get him to move he refused to leave the corral.  We would just be there, me mounted on this horse that was standing stock still.  As if we were posing for some statue.  I worried that at this rate we would never catch up with the rest of the riders and we would be like Moses and the Isrealites wandering in the desert for the next forty-years.  Eventually, he would take off like a herd of turtles.  I would like to point out that lack of speed was not his short-coming once he sensed that we were headed back to the corral.  He would become as happy as a tick on a fat dog and lead the way back home to the ranch.  I swear, he could best any time from any race in the Kentucky Derby.

One morning we got to the corral only to see a strange site.  There was a huge truck in the middle of the corral, with a big wench working on cranking up something.  Ay Yup, there was Leadbelly, flat on his back with all four legs straight up in the air.  I like to think that whenever I hear thunder it’s Leadbelly’s hoof beats in Heaven.  As I recall the wranglers asked that I not ride the rest of our time there!  Oh fine, blame it on the fat lady!

Speaking of “fat”, brings me back to why we say you are a “good little eater”.  One year I was not able to go to the dude ranch with you and your father.  That week he befriended another family who had a son named Danny.  Danny’s mother was tall and thin and could not have weighed more than 120 pounds soaking wet.  That was true of Danny, too.  He weighed 120 pounds, but Danny was only about six years old.

At the corral there was a ramp that you could walk up to the side of the horse.  You would be taller than the horse, so to mount it all you had to do was sit down.  Easy peasy.  However, about halfway way through the ride everyone got to dismount and stretch their legs and enjoy a chuck wagon lunch.  At the end of lunch everyone saddled up to head back to the ranch.  The poor female wrangler was having a dickens of a time trying to get Danny mounted back into his saddle.  She just did not have the strength necessary to lift Danny high enough.  At this point your father took pity on the wrangler and went over to help.  The wrangler was on one side of the horse holding on to Danny’s hands to help pull him up, while your father squated down and placed his hands on Danny’s butt to push him upwards.  This was not an easy task, as for all intents and purposes, at this point Danny was basically dead weight.  They were making pretty good progress, when Danny very loudly demonstrated that he had been “gulping too much air”……….”he had eaten way too many beans for breakfast”……..okay, Danny farted in your father’s face!  I must have the mentality of a ten year old boy, as fart stories still crack me up.

The only thing that farts have to do with this recipe is that farts make me laugh and I laugh with delight when I make something so delicious.  I found this recipe online and knew that I had to try it.  The recipe stated that you would get one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf, but I was able to also fill up a 4 x 2 loaf pan.  After you had one slice from the small loaf you promptly ate the rest and licked the plate.  You then threw yourself down to the floor and started kissing my feet for making this extraordinary treat for you.  Okay, maybe you did not kiss my feet – but you did eat the entire tiny loaf!  This will be added to our list of fun foods to make and give away.  Joy Rising!

Kiss Yo Mama’s Feet Pound Cake

Prep Time:          15 minutes

Bake Time:          60 minutes

Source:                Pichet Ong’s “The Sweet Spot”


  • 1  1/3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8  1/2 oz (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Spray one  8  1/2 x 4  1/2 loaf pan with Pam and set aside  (or you can generously butter instead).
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside (I just use my whisk to “sift” together).
  4. Pour the sugar and vanilla into your mixing bowl until mixed together.
  5. Add the butter and salt, mixing until light and fluffy (about two minutes).
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the condensed milk.  Mix together thoroughly.
  7. Add the “sifted” flour/baking powder mixture and the salt.  Mix until blended.
  8. Add the eggs and beat until well blended.
  9. Pour batter into loaf pan (s) and bake until the top is dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  10. Cool completely in the loaf pan on a rack, then unmold.

Delicious just the way it is, or covered with fruit (like a shortcake).


Which Came First? The Chicken or the Egg?

Dearest Boo,   This past Christmas you gave me the best gift of all!!  Proof that you do listen to me!  Over a year ago I showed you the cutest idea that I found in one of my favorite websites (bakerella).  Of course, I wanted to do it right away, but I could not find the main “ingredient”.  It was limited production that Coke made just for “Wallyworld”.  Even though it was just a few days past Christmas they were all gone from the stores locally.  I searched on line to no avail.

This is what I needed; this was my Holy Grail….

I knew that I had to make this item and that I had to give it to your Aunt Teri.  As it is in all families everyone, at some time, gets a nickname.  Aunt Teri’s is “Ter-Bear”.  How in the world did she get this name?  I pondered this a long time.  She collects bears, maybe that is how she got her name?  Or did she get it because it rhymes?  Ah!  One of the great mysteries of life – which came first?  The chicken or the egg?

To find the answer I turned to Google.  What I found first were some chicken jokes:

What do you get when a chicken lays an egg on top of a barn? An eggroll.

Is chicken soup good for your health? Not if you’re the chicken.

Why did the chicken cross the road halfway? She wanted to lay it on the line.

Which day of the week do chickens hate most? Fry-day.

What do chickens grow on? Eggplants.

What happened to the chicken whose feathers pointed the wrong way? She was tickled to death.

What do chickens serve at birthday parties? Coop-cakes!

No, no…………that is not the answer to may question.  Which came first?  The chicken or the egg?  I found some scientific sites with long, boring explanations and none of them agreed.  Just when I was ready to give up I found a site with an explanation that I thought I could follow.  The scariest part was the fact that it was presented in a mathematical type story problem.  Many students fear and despise the mathematics story problems (word problems) they encounter in their classes. Math anxiety is a real life experience and is usually made worse by the thought of having to solve a story problem.   And this anxiety carried over into adulthood, which I did not realize until I was married to your father.

Your father knows a lot about a lot of stuff and just enough about the rest to bluff his way through.   That was not the problem.  This was before the internet and Google, so it was pretty handy to have your very own walking, talking “Wikianswer” man.  However, be ware of what you wish for!  He could not just tell you the answers, oh no…….he had to take you back to the beginning of Adam and Eve and explain the evolution of your question/answer.  Here’s how some of those exchanges happened…..”So, what do you want to plant in our garden this year?”  “Garden?  That’s really interesting that you would want to know.  Did you know that Adam and Eve were the first gardeners?  They lived in the Garden of Eden, a perfect place with no thorns or weeds, and where plants produced their fruit easily. We find in Genesis 2:15-20 that God told Adam to cultivate the garden, keep the garden, name the animals, and eat of the garden’s fruit, except from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Adam and Eve were, also, the first parents. The Jewish, Islamic, and Christian religions hold that all people are descendants from them. According to Jewish tradition, Adam and Eve had 56 children. This was possible, in part, because Adam lived to be 930 years old. Some scholars believe that the length of the life spans of the people of this time was due to a vapor canopy in the atmosphere. This may have made the earth’s environment more hospitable to human life and increased life spans. These scholars believe this canopy was destroyed during the Flood and contributed to the great amount of water covering the earth.

And Adam and Eve were the first people to do something wrong.  The dictionary defines “wrong” as something that may or may not be intentional.   It is a noun and is contrary to ethics or morality.

The difference between ethics and morals can seem somewhat arbitrary to many, but there is a basic, albeit subtle, difference. Morals define personal character, while ethics stress a social system in which those morals are applied. In other words, ethics point to standards or codes of behavior expected by the group to which the individual belongs. This could be national ethics, social ethics, company ethics, professional ethics, or even family ethics. So while a person’s moral code is usually unchanging, the ethics he or she practices can be other-dependent. Blah, blah, blah.”

In the beginning I would look at him adoringly and take in every syllable that he spoke.  That lasted about the first six months, then I found myself zoning out, my eyes glazing over and my mind going into the “bore-coma”.  I could see his lips moving, but there was no way I could focus on what he was saying.  All of a sudden I would sit upright and shout out “sorry, sir, but what time did the train leave New York?”.  It was a scene from my fifth grade Math class all over again.  Mrs. Rice was explaining that two trains left different stations at different times and it was our job to find out which one would arrive at it’s destination first.  Holy Heart Failure, Batman! That became my signal to him to cut out the talk and just give me the answer – what time did the train leave New York??

Now, back to the chicken and the egg and how it was solved.

The chicken and the egg were mailed via The United States Postal Service, each in its own separate packaging.  The orgainzers kept careful track of when each shipment was sent from a post office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and when it subsequently arrived at its intended destination in New York City.   Both the chicken and the egg at 9:40 a.m., on a Monday morning, from the Harvard Square Post Office.  The intended destination for both packages was the James A Farley Post Office, which is located in Manhattan right next to the Penn Station train terminal.

They took the subway from Harvard Square to the Boston train station, and from there boarded a train to New York City, a distance of approximately 200 miles, arriving that afternoon at Penn Station. The trackers immediately went to the post office, to await the arrivals of the chicken and the egg.  The James A. Farley General Post Office is open 24 hours a day, so the trackers were able to wait there until both items arrived.  They inquired once per hour for both the chicken and the egg.  That day, Monday, neither the chicken nor the egg arrived.  The next day, Tuesday, neither the chicken nor the egg arrived.

The chicken arrived at 10:31 a.m. Wednesday. The staff at the post office told me that this was the first chicken anyone had mailed to the James A. Farley General Post Office in recent memory, and perhaps ever.  The egg arrived that same day, at 9:37 p.m., eleven hours after the chicken.


It has now been empirically determined that the chicken came first, the egg second.  Brilliant………………

So, back to my original question:  Which came first the name Ter-Bear or the collecting of bears??  Since I could not figure out a way to make a story problem at of this, I just went to the source and asked your Aunt Teri.  Answer: the nickname.  Aunt Bev called her that and because of that she started her bear collection.

Now, to show you the results of my year long quest for the Holy Grail.

The steps are fairly easy.  First you drink the soda, cut off the “skin” (wrapper) and cut around the top so that it will sit flat.  See below for the example

Then using Fondant you make this sweet, tiny little bear (of which I failed to get a picture).  Take your favorite cupcake, turn it upside down and frost the bottom.  Place your bear in the middle of the frosting and place your plastic “snow globe” over the bear.  Ta-da!   Oh, the ideas!  Since you bought me thirty bottles, Boo, my mind could have hours and hours of dreams!

And finally, which of these is not like the other??  Find it and you will find – Joy Rising!


Childhood Lost

Dearest Boo,  I often wondered if you ever felt bad about being an only child?  You never had anyone to share your room with, or your clothes, or your toys, or the bathroom, or your parents.  You never had anyone to blame if something broke, or someone to laugh at when your parents did something really stupid.  You only had me to play board games with and I hated to lose!   Your children won’t know the same joy you know of having aunts and uncles.  Your privacy was assured to you the majority of the time.  You never had anyone listening in on your phone conversations, or reading your diary, or pounding on the bathroom door yelling at you to “hurry up!”.  So, on the one hand, it’s just you! On the other hand, it’s just you.

Yesterday family gathered in celebration of your grandmother’s 80th birthday.  As I sat in the restaurant, looking at everyone, I was struck by how much I had grown.  No, not the physical grown (that one is evident), but by how much I had grown in maturity and love.  One of my father’s frequent sayings was that we needed to take care of each other, because in the end we were all that we had.  As a child I never did get what the heck he meant and as a teenager I was so irritated with that saying and all the “duties and responsibilities” attached to it.

Growing up all I knew was that if I wanted to do something or go somewhere I always had to take one of my siblings along and with five sisters and two brothers there was ALWAYS someone around.  If I wanted to go play with my best friend in the neighborhood I had to take along a sister.   If I wanted to go to Hanscom Park to ice skate I had to take along a sibling.  When I went to school I always had to walk with a sibling.  When I started a job two of my siblings tagged along and got jobs there, too.  When I wanted to go to my room to be alone that was never going to happen, as I always shared a room with my older sister.  When I did something naughty or stupid there was always a sibling around to tattle to mom and dad or to tell the story to everyone.  No memory, no experience, no joy, no sorrow……..it seemed like there was always a sibling around to share in it.  I found this quote by Linda Sunshine that says it best, “More than Santa Claus, your sister knows when you’ve been bad and good.”  I would like to add to that quote by saying “and they never let you forget”.

As it is with all get together with friends memories are always brought up; that is how you stay connected with friends.  The more you are together, the more you have to share.  The older I get the more I realize that with siblings, your childhood is never lost.  To the outside world I am this person ready to embark into her seventh decade (oh my gosh, that sure sounds old!), but to my siblings I live outside of the touch of the world.  When we look at each other we will always be the 7, 8, 9, 0r 10 year old frozen forever in time.  The memories we share now are the same ones we have shared forever, but they seem to be so funny now.  I wonder, is it because we are more understanding of our selves and accepting of our short comings?  Or are we losing our “mental fitness”?

I imagine that as a parent you try very hard not to show favoritism to any child, especially in front of another child.  However, we know who is the “pet”, the one that gets away with anything.  That poor child is the one that is “different”, the “weakest” link, the one that we can and often did use to our advantage.  If we wanted to do something out of the ordinary we would send Teri to ask permission of our mother.  We all knew that Teri was the favorite, as she was our mother’s namesake and the baby of the family.  We felt that, at least in our mother’s eyes, Teri would always get her way.  “No” was not a word in her vocabulary, she had no idea what “no” meant as the poor child had never heard that word (so not true, but it was our belief).  And if we needed our father’s permission the emissary we sent was Margaret.  She was named after his favorite high school teacher, so we knew that she was “special”.

Since Teri was too young to torture (ten years between us) Margaret was fair game to tease and torment.  We knew that she would not tattle on us, as she wanted to be a part of our “group”, she wanted to feel like she belonged.  And torment her we did, but she did manage to hold her own at times.    She and Aunt Bev had to share a bed growing up.  At night Margaret would slap her leg hard; hard enough to be heard downstairs by dad who would ask what was going on.  Sweet, little innocent Margaret would call back that Bev was hitting her and since dad knew that we were constantly picking on Margaret, he would assume that this was true and yell at Bev to behave and go to sleep.  Or the time that she was looking for a job and Bev tried to be “helpful”.  She had found an ad in the paper for having your own business selling ice cream.  What she did not tell Margaret was that it for to drive one of those awful ice cream trucks around neighborhoods ringing that bell and having children come sceaming out of their homes to you.  Another time that she bested us was at Christmas.  Our Aunt Jeanette would work hard at making sure each and everyone of her nieces and nephews had a gift at Christmas.  That means that she was buying as many as twenty-six gifts for that portion of her family.  When it came time for her to give out the gifts to us, there was always one extra one.  This gift was for “Peggy”.  For some reason Aunt Jeanette never figured out that “Peggy” was the nickname for “Margaret”, so Margaret was snagging an extra gift every Christmas!  No fair.

With the Internet I searched to find out the origins of how “Peg” became the nickname for “Margaret”.  In my search I also found out that “Daisy” is another nickname, which made sense.  The origin of Margaret is “Marguerite”, which is french for daisy.  However, “Peggy” was a harder answer.  The best I found was this anonymous as an explanation:

In search from A to Z they passed,

And “Marguerita” chose at last;

But thought it sound far more sweet

To call the baby “Marguerite.”

When grandma saw the little pet,

She called her “darling Margaret.”

Next uncle Jack and cousin Aggie

Sent cup and spoon to “little Maggie.”

And grandpapa the right must beg

To call the lassie “bonnie Meg.”

From “Marguerita” down to “Meg,”

And now she’s simply “little Peg.”

One episode that, I believe, finally did stop my torturing of Margaret came at the end of our teenage years.  My torturing stopped either because of the severity of the outcome of my prank or because I was growing up.  I wanted to go to one of our local fast food drive ins and, of course, I had to take along one of my sisters and Margaret yelled out to bring her something back.  Pretty sure that the sister I took was Charlotte, as she was young enough that I could easily threaten her to go along with any of my hair-brained schemes.  For me this meant freedom, there was no way that mom or dad would ever know what I did, who I saw, or anything about that outing.  We ate our food in the car and Charlotte reminded me, the good little sister that she is, that I needed to bring home a treat for Margaret.  Right, like I was going to do something nice for Margaret when I knew that dad would not be home for hours, so there would not be any repercussions for my wrong-doing in my mind.

The drive-in stall next to us had left a hot fudge sundae on their tray and drove away.  Score!  I could take that home as Margaret’s treat, appear to do something nice and it would not cost me anything!!  We brought it home and watched with joy as she ate the whole thing.  I thought to myself that this was one of my finest moments, but I was wrong.  Seeing her face when I told her that I took it off a stranger’s tray was my finest moment!  How dumb was I??  Of course she told dad once he got home and, of course, I got a lecture and grounding out of it.  No problem, I had lectures before and I was pretty sure that there would be more coming; I had been grounded before and it was no big deal.  However, it was the next day that my real punishment began.  This happened in the summer of 1968 when the Hong Kong flu was an epidemic.  As luck would have it Margaret got sick with the flu the next day.  I have no idea if it was the Hong Kong flu, but she ran around the house letting everyone know that she had the flu and it was all because of me.  She was just sure that the sundae I brought home carried in the germ.  Whatever.  All I knew was that once dad heard the story I became Margaret’s sick nurse.  Whatever she wanted I had to get, whatever she needed it was my job, and whatever mess she made I had to clean it up.  Pretty sure that there were several times that she could have made it to the bathroom, but watching my gag reflex was far more fun for her.  I hated taking care of her.  As I recall, this was the very last time I ever tried to purposefully be mean to Margaret.

Fast forward twenty-one years and there I am again taking care of a sick Margaret, but under totally different circumstances.  She was fighting a battle against breast cancer and had been fighting it for four years.  I believe that this was only her second hospitalization, so we were not prepared for the outcome.  Twenty years ago today, 7,304.84398 days, a life time ago, Margaret lost her long fought battle against cancer.  And with that passing a piece of our childhood was indeed lost.  Although absent from earth, she will forever be present in our hearts.

I found this poem that expresses my feelings and I am sure that of all my siblings:

We grew up and grew apart, as most siblings do.

We had our own set of friends and our own set of goals for our lives, but that still didn’t change the fact that we were sisters.

There was nothing that I wouldn’t do for you and nothing that you wouldn’t do for me.

I always wish you were still here with me enjoying life,

But I can understand why God would want such a beautiful angel on his side from now until eternity.

Just know that I love and miss you.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal (from an Irish tombstone).  Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart – oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape – of your family.   Memories of Margaret – Joy Rising!