Is it a perfect tree? No. There is an area to the left of the tree where the branches are bent slightly, giving it the illusion of a gap in its side. But the tree has been the perfect addition to Poet’s Cottage during this holiday season. The tree’s scent, vibrant green branches and, yes, its imperfections have endeared it to my daughter and me.
I will be saddened to remove it in a few days.
My father discarded the nutrient laden potato skins and, admittedly, I used to discard the skins too. Figuring in the frugal factor, I now bake the skins whenever a recipe calls for me to peel a potato. Here’s the recipe I use for baked potato skins:
1 stick of butter
2 garlic cloves (pressed or minced)
black pepper & salt to taste
- Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
- When the butter is hot and bubbling, add the garlic.
- Saute the garlic until softened and fragrant (about 2 to 3 minutes).
- Place the potato skins in a large bowl.
- Pour the garlic butter over the skins and toss in the bowl until coated evenly.
- Place each potato skin, skin side down, on a shallow baking sheet.
- Sprinkle generously with pepper.
- Sprinkle lightly with salt to taste.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake the skins for 30-45 minutes or until hot, crisp and golden.
Here’s one of my poems, a scene I observed a few years ago; an old couple, very much in love, living frugally.
They sit in a booth made for two,
thin, frail, toothless. . .
he, in bib overalls and a tattered flannel shirt,
she, in a faded blue dress and yellowed sweater,
dining on grilled cheese sandwiches and hush puppies,
drinking sweet iced tea out of styrofoam cups,
surrounded by a lunch crowd
on platefuls of Carolina pork barbecue
(the scent of hickory-smoked meat thick in the air).
She takes a paper napkin, reaches across the table,
wipes a spot of ketchup
from the corner of his mouth;
he smiles, winks,
stops the waitress,
orders two spoons
and a single-serving of banana pudding.
Their hands, spotted with age,
join in the center of the table;
curved by time
into a perfect bow.
Sketchbook - August 31, 2008, Vol. 3, No. 8