Sunday, May 31, 2009

'they keep pounding their fists on reality hoping it will break...'

George Tiller was assassinated at 10am this morning in Wichita, Kansas, while ushering at the Sunday morning church service at the Reformation Lutheran Church.

Dr. Tiller's clinic, Women's Health Care Services, also of Wichita, Kansas, is, or was, one of the last remaining havens for women, sometimes very desperate women, seeking late-term abortions.

The clinic survived a bombing in 1986.

Dr. Tiller survived an assassination attempt in 1993.

Earlier this spring he was tried (and acquitted on all counts) for allegedly performing illegal late-term abortions in 2003.

Earlier this month the clinic was vandalized (again), resulting in damages worth thousands of dollars.

His clinic, his home, and his church have been the sites of ongoing protests, intimidation, and violence for over three decades now, including the 1991 so-called Summer of Mercy protests, and culminating in his (inevitable?) murder this morning.

I received in my inbox this afternoon the requisite outraged mass mailings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

I was a lucky woman, back in the spring of 2002, when I found myself knocked up and distraught and scared. I was lucky to be living in New York City and not most of Kansas or Mississippi or Ohio or any of the other vast stretches of this country where it can be so very difficult for women to obtain an abortion. I was lucky to have a partner who joined me on a Saturday morning at 7am for that dreadful cross-town walk to the Margaret Sanger Center, a partner who chattered inanely to keep me from noticing the protesters clustered on the corner outside, who sat in the waiting room for almost eight hours, who stood guard as I threw up into a trash can on a subway station platform at Times Square (made ill from the remnants of anesthesia), who called Arielle (on whose shoulder I'd been crying the day before, and whom he barely knew) to let her know we were home safe and sound.

I was just six or seven weeks pregnant and living in New York City and lucky, as far as these things go, and even then I knew it. But I was 25 years old, college educated, financially independent and not entirely stupid, yet still found myself in this predicament. I cannot imagine the trauma of needing a late-term abortion, whether due to medical reasons or due to being too poor to scrounge up the $400 needed to get an abortion right away or due to being a teenaged girl in denial about being pregnant in the first place or due to living in one of the 87% of counties in this country that have no abortion providers whatsoever.

NARAL and Planned Parenthood are sending out letters of outrage, and apparently Obama himself is 'shocked and saddened,' and yet there are probably people rejoicing tonight -- the Terrys and the Dobsons and the Limbaughs and the O'Reillys and the men and the women with the rocks and the guns and the little homemade bombs and the bloody plastic fetuses and the rhetoric of violence that is so inherent to the most radical speech of the pro-life movement.

I find myself not infrequently thinking about abortion, both personally and politically (it's always those damned letters), and today it's difficult, even from half way across the country, to not feel a little bit broken in the face Dr. Tiller's death, this horrific, violent ending to a constantly embattled life.

My gratitude goes out to him, and to those brave enough to continue the work to which he dedicated, and for which he sacrificed, his life. And my heart goes out to his family, his friends, his community, to the women he helped, and to the women who need him now, and to the generations who will always need him and others like him.

I will continue to donate to Planned Parenthood the $10/month that I have been giving them since the fall of 2002, and I will continue giving to NARAL what I can, when I can, though I would give them both thousands, millions, if I could.

"the time i dropped your almost body down
down to meet the waters under the city
and run one with the sewage to the sea
what did i know about waters rushing back
what did i know about drowning
or being drowned

you would have been born in winter
in the year of the disconnected gas
and no car
we would have made the thin walk
over the genesee hill into the canada winds
to let you slip into a stranger's hands
if you were here i could tell you
these and some other things

and if i am ever less than a mountain
for your definite brothers and sisters
let the rivers wash over my head
let the sea take me for a spiller of seas
let black men call me stranger always
for your never named sake
(Lucille Clifton, the lost baby poem)

"i passed their handheld signs
i went through their picket lines
they gathered when they saw me coming
they shouted when they saw me cross
i said why don't you go home
just leave me alone
i'm just another woman lost...

under the fierce flourescent
she offered her hand for me to hold
she offered stability and calm
and i was crushing her palm
through the pinch pull wincing
my smile unconvincing
on that sterile battlefield that sees
only casualties
never heroes
my heart hit absolute zero
lucille, your voice still sounds in me
mine was a relatively easy tragedy
the profile of our country
looks a little less hard-nosed

but that picket line persisted
and that clinic's since been closed
they keep pounding their fists on reality
hoping it will break
but i don't think there's a one of us
leads a life free of mistakes..."
(Ani Difranco, Lost Woman Song)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

in the news

It's been a banner week for McNeils and/or McNeil affiliates in the news. Yesterday soon-to-be-sister-in-law Shanna was quoted not once but twice in this New York Times article on EPA regulations & forest offsets. And then today the Skagit Valley Herald ran an article about stepfather Paul's oyster reseeding project off the coast of Washington State. There's even an absolutely adorable picture of Mom and family-friend Dixon peering into a bucket of oysters! Yay for knowing smart people doing interesting and noteworthy things!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

burgundy wrap

Knitpicks Laceweight Shimmer, 70% alpaca/30% silk
Update: this has seen been undone and turned into this instead.
I have used this same pattern for other projects though, which I like quite a bit.

'and don't ask me to rise, i'll lose you when i am high...'

(Azure Ray, Rise)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

quote of the day

"I am mystified how the justices of this court can reconcile the idiocy of needing a law to grandfather in protection of the inalienable rights of a minority at the same time it is creating the law that necessitates it."

(Comment, NY Times, California Supreme Court Upholds Ban on Same-Sex Marriage (but didn't render asunder the 18,000 pre-Election Day marriages))

Sunday, May 24, 2009

down on the river, or, musings on a friendship

I went to see a friend's band last night, down on the river off 26th Street. There were sound system problems, and the show was delayed, and nerves were frazzled. (Not my nerves, but there was a heckler in the crowd, and another band member's irate girlfriend exchanged words with the heckler, and the heckler sent his fiancee over to exchange words with the irate girlfriend, and so on and so forth. And here I sometimes think I've got the market cornered on belligerence.)

I sat back, ate some fries (deliciously spiced with garlic & paprika), helped myself to another beer (the band, unpaid, got free drinks tickets out of the deal).

Later, after the show ended, this friend came over to thank me for showing up. He made a point of telling me that throughout the initial forty minutes of sound system problems (dysfunctional microphones, a stoned venue owner, not enough cords or wires or something beyond my admittedly technologically-deficient understanding), what kept him grounded was looking out over the crowd and seeing me sitting there, calmly smiling up at him.

And I was glad to be that kind of person to him, the face he can look to in a crowd and know it will be smiling encouragingly up at him, waiting patiently for him to do his thing.

But there is a part of me that also felt resentful.

I don't want to only be that kind of person to him and I can't help but feel, in a way, that this is what our friendship is becoming, or what it already is, or maybe what it has always been. And it's not enough, not for a real relationship, a friendship forged of shared experiences and empathy and understanding and trust.

One of the things about this friend of mine is that when you catch his interest, or he needs you in some way, it almost feels magical -- you've got his undivided devotion, and he's amazing, and he's attentive, and his attention is something worth having, worth craving, worth fighting for.

But when his interest wanes, when his attention wanders, or finds something more interesting, more compelling, more exciting than you, you may as well not exist.

I know in a way I'm just being needlessly, pointlessly, bitter. I lost his attention, his undivided devotion, as these things happen, but still, I can't seem to resign myself to this.

Last summer he talked to me about wanting to plan a trip to France this year to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of our friendship, he and I and my brother; twenty years of being friends and more than friends -- family, in our own odd way, as he used to frequently point out -- beginning in a funny little bilingual school in Paris back in 1989 and stretching forward through the years to college, shared dorm rooms, apartments, holidays, losses.

Next week he and his boyfriend are traveling to France with my ex-boyfriend and his fiancee and a few other folks. (I was invited too, in all fairness, but I can't help but feel that anyone with any common sense would know this wasn't really an option, so I am also left with the feeling that the invitation wasn't entirely genuine.)

I don't begrudge him the trip exactly (that's not entirely truthful), but I begrudge him these last five months of not acknowledging my disappointment in this (albeit small) betrayal. (It doesn't seem very small.) And I begrudge him his uncanny ability to turn my hurt and frustration into there being something wrong with me instead of there being something wrong with him, in the way he can be so careless with people he supposedly cares about.

My own pettiness overwhelms me sometimes, and yet there it is.

He seemed almost surprised that I planned to go to his gig last night (as if he almost, but not quite, knows things are not right between us), almost surprised that I actually showed up, though it would never have occurred to me not to go. We are friends (practically family after all) and I know what's important, what's necessary.

And yet I find part of myself not wanting to be his friendly face in the crowd anymore, his rock of Gibraltar, and this makes me sad: with myself, with him, with the state of our twenty-year-old friendship. Anger crept in during those cold months of winter and I don't know quite how to rid myself of it, how to rise above it, how to be okay with being needed without needing, without expecting, much in return.

"don't tell me you need me, its not that easy
yeah we try to forgive, yeah we try"

evening on the pier

Monday, May 18, 2009


letters (again)

I wrote a letter a few months back, sent it off into the wilderness, and it came back to me, crumpled and stained, recipient unknown, unreachable, unfound.

Dear Stephen,

You may not remember me even if you are the right Stephen Leonforte, and that's something of a big assumption on my part. I'm looking for a Stephen who went to Lakeland High School, who was several years behind me, who overlapped not at all with my high school crowd, but who played in the school orchestra with me, a rather scrawny kid with a sweet smile.

This is a silly story, embarrassing in its 21st century networking way, but I joined Facebook a little while back, joined the hundreds of millions of people who've signed up for it at this point, and have since found or been found by quite a few people from way back when. Some I've been curious about, some I've thought of not at all, some it seems a waste to be back in touch with having never had much to talk about in the first place. But you, Stephen, if this is you, I've found myself wondering about every so often.

At any rate, I was somewhat disappointed to not find you on Facebook and so I googled you (I hope this doesn't seem odd or creepy to you, as it certainly wasn't intended to be -- I work in a library, have for many years now, and it is practically second nature, this propensity for looking up things I find myself wondering about), if one can use that as a verb these days. There are not that many Stephen Leonfortes in the world, or so it seems, and pretty much the only thing I found was an obituary for your brother. Not the same brother that passed away in high school, but yet another brother, and I felt close to tears to think of you going through yet another tragedy, yet another loss of this magnitude.

I am so sorry. I'm so sorry for his loss, and perhaps for bringing it up here now, so devoid of context, and for rambling on here in such shameless fashion. I am almost done.

I came to work this morning and, over cups of coffee, found myself telling this story to a friend; this story, or non-story, of a boy I barely knew but was fond of, almost fifteen years ago, and how we were never friends, but perhaps felt a little bit connected somehow, in that odd, awkward, adolescent way, over our early losses. I told her how I'd found this obituary and was stunned into silence, into tears, by the scope of the grief your family must be carrying, and how I wanted to write something, wanted to say something, but didn't know how.

She, brilliant woman that she is, laughed and said, "Did you check the white pages?" And so I did, and so here I am, writing this crazy letter to a man very far away from New York, who may or may not once have been a boy I knew a little bit, who had a kind smile and a reservoir of sadness and about whom I catch myself wondering sometimes.

I guess I don't really have anything else to say, other than that I hope you are well, and that it would be lovely to hear from you (it is odd, if also somehow oddly pleasing, in this day and age, to be writing an actual letter, with a stamp and everything), but that there is no need, if this is too weird or if I have in fact found the wrong person all together.

All the best,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

'i'm giving you a haircut, walking to the sushi mart...'

'i'm giving you a haircut, walking to the sushi mart
shopping at the goodwill, learning how to swing dance
and i sink so deep in you, you gonna save me or not?'
(Kyle Andrews)

Lauren said tonight, over carnitas and margaritas, that she thinks I'm looking good these days. I was telling her about a random cute girl coming up to me in the library earlier this week, telling me she liked my haircut. ("Pssst. I really like your haircut.") Lauren asked me what I did. I blushed, mumbled a thank you and turned away, in true Emily fashion. Lauren laughed and said, "You know she was hitting on you, right? Next time a random cute girl approaches you and tells you she likes your hair, try this: don't run away."

It hadn't occurred to me that the random cute girl might be hitting on me. Seems pretty far-fetched. Kind of ridiculous, honestly. I've got so many straight girls, gay boys, and happily partnered friends in my life that I've kind of forgotten what it might be like to, I don't know, flirt with someone.

Later on the drive home, giving in to insecurity, I turned to Lauren and asked if she really thought I look good like this, scruffy-headed and all. Lauren's not one to pull her punches and in true Lauren fashion said that she'd never been a fan of the bald look. And I've always known that, somewhere in the back of my head, but tonight she elaborated. She explained, as only a true friend can, that she associates my being bald with my being in a bad place. That the specific periods of my life in which I've decided to shave it all off have been times she saw me as seething with rage, acknowledged or not, and shrieking at the world, "Fuck you. Here I am, so fuck you."

And she's right. Not that I've been furious all these years of having a cropped 'do (and I really do love the cropped 'do), but that those moments when I actually chopped off all the locks in the first place, whether junior year of college, or miserable in Philadelphia, or almost five years in to a relationship that maybe should have lasted five months, were moments of desperation, whether I knew it or not.

She said that it's a pleasure, now, to see me sporting a look out of contentment instead of out of rage or misery or trying to please or shock the people, the world, around me.

It was a pleasure, in turn, to have someone who knows me so well, who loves me so much, put it so succinctly, and it makes me feel even better about going back to my roots, so to speak. I might keep it at this funny scruffy phase for awhile, or I might not, and I might dye it blond, or I might dig out of the closet that outdated (if unopened) bottle of burgundy from a few years back, or maybe I'll go au naturel for a while longer. Or, who knows, maybe I'll end up shaving it all off again one of these days, but from a place of peace instead of a place of rage. I do have a good head for being bald, and the softest peach fuzz of anyone I know.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

the road and where it takes us

I was walking through the park this evening as it began to get dark and found myself caught up, briefly, in a certain feeling of dread that used to strike quite regularly. A few weeks ago Erica and I were discussing dread, specifically in the context of McCarthy's The Road, which I read a few years ago and which Erica recently read, and out of which they are now making a movie. (This seems strange to me, and perhaps best avoided, though I will undoubtedly end up watching it.)

I'd forgotten, until tonight, this conversation in particular but also more generally this feeling -- it's been awhile now since I've been out walking alone, no specific destination in mind, just at that point when the day begins to fade. It got me to remembering a rather silly melodramatic thing I wrote a few years back, caught up in crazy love and loneliness, but which I think still captures something in moments, in certain turns of phrase.

I thought, for a few years, that I was in love with a boy. His family lived just north of Lincoln Center. I was new to the city then, and afraid -- of many things, but especially of the city and its threatening urban landscapes. We would meet at his apartment and spend nights drinking vodka and cranberry juice out of water bottles on the stoop, smoking cloves, walking the streets, pacing out step by drunken step the measure of our confinement. Wait; there is a story here.

The streets sparkled after rain and felt clean som
etimes, and vast. We would walk north along Broadway and circle the Apple Bank, stark and monstrous at 4 a.m., keeping company with garbage trucks and empty taxis circling their prey. We would walk east until we came up against the wall enclosing Central Park, all those trees trapped there in the dark, exuding oxygen and (I swear) straining against their bonds, breaking free of concrete, the dirt moist in New York's muggy summer heat. Our breath swirled out in poisonous clouds under streetlights. We would stumble home at dawn, lock ourselves in his room, and behind closed doors sleep through till dusk. But wait.
I thought I was in love with a girl. Sometimes I think I still am. The city does not frighten me anymore, but I cling still to the familiar -- I have never been comfortable with change. She stopped talking to me a while back, this girl around whom some part of my world revolved.

I have always been afraid of dusk: the twilight hour, the witching hour, that time of encroaching darkness, of sleek claws and scales and teeth. It was hot that day, and I was feeling lost, and as it began to grow dark I wanted to see the girl, needed to see her face luminescent in that urban evening haze. I called her and asked her to meet me, suggested Lincoln Center, the lip of the fountain. She said no, how about the reflecting pool, there is music and dancing at the fountain tonight. And in all those years of wandering that neighb
orhood I had never been to the reflecting pool, never knew of its existence, nestled there in concrete, strangely isolated and quiet.

The girl and I sat on a bench that night, smoking cigarettes, staring at each other, crying, even talking some. She commented on the lovers kissing all around us in the dark. I made her go to the water with me, dip our feet in, throw quarters arching silver out over its surface. Later we walked north along Broadway, and then east until we came up against the wall enclosing Central Park, all those trees trapped there in the dark, exuding oxygen and (I swear) straining against their bonds, breaking free of concrete, the dirt moist
in New York's muggy summer heat.

We talked more there under the streetlights, pressed up against the darkness rising out of the park. We took the subway north. She said that on the 4th of July she had watched the fireworks from
a rooftop in Williamsburg, and that fireworks had been her brother's favorite thing in the entire world, and that she had cried the whole night long. And I wanted to hold her, then. I wanted to gather her in to me and cradle her like a child against my chest. But I was afraid to touch her then, sitting next to her on that train hurtling northward beneath New York City -- this city so easy to get lost in, to drown in, to go so slowly slipping under. He drowned in his own vomit, she said. But she wasn't quite honest about the fireworks, was she? He loved the drugs more than anything else in the entire world. But wait.

It is winter now, and cold, and gray, and it has been over half a year since that summer night. It was been over half a year since I've seen her face outside of sleep, outside of dreams of running through apocalyptic urban landscapes, trees breathing and clawing at the sky. I return to the reflecting pool every so often, I see the boy every once in awhile. I walk down long straight avenues at dusk with my headphones on, watching as the streetlights change, as headlights come hurtling toward me out of the gathering night. Wait; there is a story here.
(January 2001)

seawater scarf, beaded

Malabrigo Laceweight, 100% merino

Sunday, May 10, 2009

For my mother, who's always harbored a not-so-secret
dream of being in a rock & roll band, even if it just meant
playing the tambourine...


Friday, May 08, 2009

'Manhattan, a high narrow kingdom . . . '

"Manhattan, a high narrow kingdom as hopeful as any that ever was, burst upon him full force, a great and imperfect steel-tressed palace of a hundred million chambers, many-tiered gardens, pools, passages, and ramparts above its rivers. Built upon an island from which bridges stretched to other islands and to the mainland, the palace of a thousand tall towers was undefended. It took in nearly all who wished to enter, being so much larger than anything else that it could not ever be conquered but only visited by force. Newcomers, invaders, and the inhabitants themselves were so confused by its multiplicity, variety, vanity, size, brutality, and grace, that they lost sight of what it was. It was, for sure, one simple structure, busily divided, lovely and pleasing, an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built. Peter Lake knew this even as he stood on the Bowery in his homespun, shell crown, and feather necklace, at five o'clock in the evening, on a Friday in May."

(Mark Helprin, Winter's Tale)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

on mothers, munchies, & mutual loves

I bought plane tickets last night for a west coast trip this summer, a little over two weeks in Washington State (Federal Way and Anacortes specifically) with various friends, family, family friends. I realize (it is not lost on me) that this is actually quite similar to my last two weeks, with my mother visiting me here in New York.

I took her back to Newark Airport two days ago via the Newark Airtrain via New Jersey Transit via the A train. We had a last latte together (I managed to dump a good portion of mine all over myself), shared last snippets of conversation over cinnamon scones, wandered the shopping concourse (such as it was), and then hugged each other goodbye (her earring got caught in my sweater as the Airtarin pulled in to Terminal C) and I headed on home via the A train via New Jersey Transit via that funny little airtrain. I was home by 6:30 and found myself feeling more alone than I've felt in awhile.

My mother and I have become friends, it seems, and it doesn't feel strange to have her visit me for two weeks, to have her come inhabit my world (such as it is) for a little while, and it was odd, disconcerting, that night, to come home to a space abruptly devoid of her presence. It's been a bit odd ever since.

We walked and talked our way through Fort Tryon Park, ate bagel sandwiches at Nussbaum & Wu, sipped cheap deli coffee in my office while chatting with Erica and Mary and sundry other library folk, met Nick for an evening of BLTs and margaritas and rum runners at Toast, watched (and loved) Chop Shop and Old Joy and Let the Right One In, met Mark for minestrone soup and paninis at Pisticci, gorged on H&H bagels and Zabar's dill shrimp and Coopers Creek sauvignon blanc, indulged in Palin mockery and South Salem Clinton gossip with Professors Pious and Sloan over mounds of picadillo at Havana Central, made gazpacho and gingerbread for Chris and Andrew, dined with Dave at the Lincoln Center Ollie's, met up with long lost friend Charlie and the lovely Katrina at the Cold Spring Cafe, chatted with Helen over sandwiches at the Mohegan Diner, drank delicious home-brewed coffee with Julie and odd fruit-infused beers with Mike.

She stayed in my apartment one morning so that a locksmith could finally come install a brand new and functional lock (and doorknob) on my apartment door, and had her famous tomato garlic pasta waiting for me when I got home from work that evening.

She spent an hour in a coffee shop on Columbus and 81st Street while I had my very last session with Sarah, and congratulated me with heartfelt happiness on what might have been a sad, if also joyous, subway ride home that night.

We made aebleskivers for the first time in the aebleskiver pan she gave me for Christmas last year, for a brunch with Erica and Freddy.

She baked the McNeil family birthday cake (Betty Crocker choclate cake mix with double-boiler frosting) for Jill while I made up a huge vat of tomato soup for the ladies (Cindy, Lauren, Julie, Jessica, Kathy, Karen, Jill), the babies (Nikhil, Helen) and the boys (Nate, Dave, Andrew).

We browsed The Ink Pad in the Village, stumbled upon the Magnolia Bakery and (there being no line at all!) indulged in cupcakes, then meandered our way over to Chinatown for roast pork & wonton noodle soup at Big Wong.

We attended my brother's fiancee's bridal shower, thrown by her mother, and the mothers, meeting for the first time and having not a thing in common, bonded none the less over their love for their own children, and over their love for each other's children, and it was good to see.

We got a little bit teary over the fact that at the top of Nate and Shanna's wedding registry page is a suggestion for donations to the American Heart Association.

And in the midst of all this, as mentioned above, I realized that she and I, this mother of mine and me, we've somehow truly become friends. We've always been close in our way, but we've had at times what those in the know refer to these days as "issues." In those early years of seeing Sarah she'd sometimes try to get me to talk about my mother, and I'd resist, and this give and take, this back and forth, this digging in of the heels, became something of a joke between us.

Sarah thought that I was in some ways too protective of my mother, thus avoiding having to admit how much I sometimes wanted, how much I sometimes needed, her to protect me.

The other day, as we walked up the stairs to Pinehurst Avenue from 181st Street, frappucinos and grocery bags in hand, my mother paused and turned to me and said, "I guess you probably had a lot to say about me in therapy," and I paused in turn, thinking over those six and a half years I spent seeing Sarah almost weekly, at times twice weekly, and I realized that in a way my mother was right. It's pretty much impossible, I imagine, to be in therapy and never talk about one's mother, whatever the circumstances. But I realized too, and not for the first time, that the way we talk often changes with time and my mother, this dear woman, has become in recent years a source of strength, truly happy in my moments of happiness as she has always been, but also accepting of my sadness, my moments of despair.

It is an amazing thing when one feels entirely comfortable being one's entire self, smart and silly, obtuse and giddy, cold and melodramatic, angry and joyous and sad and boring and lonely and alive, in the presence of another, of a mother, and the comfort this provides is nearly indescribable.

fresh tomato garlic sauce

2 large tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/3 cup olive oil (I use half chicken broth)
6 large cloves garlic, minced

Mix tomatoes & 1/4 cup water. Add basil, salt, & pepper.

Place olive oil & minced garlic in a saucepan. Cook until garlic is a light gold. Add tomato mixture & simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Serve over noodles. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

(from Mom's "family recipes" book)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, separated
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted butter

Sift dry ingredients. Beat egg yolks; add to buttermilk. Combine buttermilk & dry ingredients. Add butter. Fold in beaten egg whites.

Heat aebleskiver pan to hot over burner; pour small amount of oil in each cup. Put tablespoon of batter in each hole & cook, turning once with two-pronged fork. Cook until golden on each side & done.

Serve with powdered sugar & raspberry jam.

(from Mom's "family recipes" book)

Served with cranberry/blood orange juice with rosemary sprigs, fruit salads of papaya, kiwi, name-that-fruit, and lime juice, and delicious Stumptown Coffee courtesy of Nathan.

double boiler frosting

2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1/3 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients except vanilla in top of double boiler. Place over boiling water (about one inch in bottom of double boiler). Beat with a portable egg beater until stiff peaks form (about 7 minutes). Scrape bottom & sides of pan occasionally. Add vanilla & beat 2 more minutes (off of the heat).

(from Mom's "family recipes" book)