Friday, December 6th, 2013

Dr. Seuss and Sandwiches

I’m in Massachusetts for the next day or so, celebrating with my friend Trisha Wooldridge for the launch of her debut novel, The Kelpie.

Since I’ve never been to Massachusetts before, she’s taking me around and seeing the sites (in between book stuff and writing) and it’s been loads of fun.

First we went to The Doctor Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden to see some sculpture created of the characters in his books. (I LOVE Dr. Seuss!) The Gardens are part of the Springfield Museums, so we got a chance to tour there also.

Despite the terrible fog, I managed to grab a few photos.




The natural structure behind the lorax here–not really part of the Seuss exhibit– was created by planting and weaving saplings together. I’m told that in the spring and summer it’s beautifully green. It’s large enough to wander through. There’s a lovely little arbor in the center that would be perfect for a wedding.

This ‘stickwork’ sculpture was created by artist Patrick Dougherty and contains over eight tons of saplings. Doesn’t it look like something Dr. Seuss would have drawn?


But the best part of last night was dinner. I experienced a culinary delight the likes of which I’d never experienced before! “The Burger” was topped with bacon, 1000 Island dressing, red onion, lettuce, tomato, pickle, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses AND a fried egg.


Apparently, it’s a Massachusetts thing. I loved it. I can totally see this as a breakfast food.


Friday, June 1st, 2012

Writing Prompt – Doughnuts and Other Sweets

Glazed DoughnutIt so happens that June 1 is Doughnut Day. And so, we must talk about doughnuts.

I’d rather have a piece of cake (or chocolate) than a doughnut, but there are days when a warm glazed doughnut beats everything else hands down. I also like a chilled Boston Creme with a tall, cold glass of milk.

I’m not a “sugar in the morning person,” so doughnuts for breakfast is anathema to me.

(The worst part of my honeymoon trip to Italy was breakfast. I’m afraid the Italians adore sugar in the morning with their strong, black coffee. I would ask for a plain dinner roll or slice of bread and invariably it would come sugar glazed. Sacrilege!

In the early morning, I would try to sneak into the kitchen and grab a loaf of day-old-bread to eat with my coffee. Oh, the squawking when they found me! Apparently, it’s just not done to eat day old bread in Italy!)

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Are doughnuts your favorite breakfast food? If so, which kind? Write an essay about your favorite kind of doughnut. Why do you like it? How does it taste when you bite into it? Recall a time in the past when something significant happened and you were eating those kind of donuts (graduation, wedding or funeral breakfast, a fondly remembered sleepover, breakfast with the guys after a binge, etc.) and write a richly-detailed essay.
  • Write a “love-essay” in adoration about another kind of dessert you enjoy so much.
  • If, like me, sweets aren’t your thing at all, write about some other kind of food you’re passionate about in the morning. (Some folks can’t live without their bacon, others without their OJ. What’s your secret morning vice?)
  • Write a poem about doughnuts or some other sweet.
  • Doughnuts! Oh, doughnuts! Definers of yum.
    You perfect fried circles of dough.
    Although you’re caloric, you leave me euphoric…
    So give me a dozen to go!

    ~ by Gregory K.

    See the complete poem on the GottaBook Blog.

  • Write a short story, journal entry, or a creative non-fiction item where a doughnut or bakery is an important element.
  • Create a new doughnut (or dessert) recipe. Write a magazine or newspaper article about it. Or, create a fictitious cookbook entry. Make the name of it sing! Describe it in detail. What makes your doughnut (or other dessert) special?
  • “He’d give him a little hunch behind, and the next minute you’d see that frog whirling in the air like a doughnut—” ~ Mark Twain (Samuel L. Clemens), Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog
  • “But the crafty Greek, to the tyrant’s hurt,
    (Though he didn’t deserve so fine a dessert),
    Took a dozen of wine from his leather trunk,
    And plied the giant until he was drunk!—”

    ~ John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887) – Polyphemus and Ulysses

  • Pretend you are a food expert. Your job is to help restaurant owners write their promotional materials for their new desserts. Write a description that could be used on a placemat, poster, or even a television advertisement. You’re trying to entice someone to buy, so be descriptive in taste, texture, flavor, ingredients, etc. Consider such questions as: Who would you market to? Where would it be sold? Why should people choose this dessert/doughnut over another?
  • “Accordingly I answered: “Shields, there is no one in this regiment more entitled to be shot than you are, and you shall go to the front.” His gratitude was great, and he kept repeating, “I’ll never forget this, Colonel, never.” Nor did he. When we got very hard up, he would now and then manage to get hold of some flour and sugar, and would cook a doughnut and bring it round to me, and watch me with a delighted smile as I ate it.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919), An Autobiography. 1913.

Good luck!