A Review, A New/Old Bowl, and a Poem

This new WordPress editor really stinks. It’s slow and awkward. I can’t figure out how to get “classic” back. It figures that they would do this in the year 2020.

Three things today. First a book review. Then a new purchase :). And, finally, a new publication.

I wrote a review of Jennifer Givhan’s gorgeous poetry collection Rosa’s Einstein. Her poetry and prose is providing a wonderful new Latina voice to American literature. Here is a copy of the journal that published the review–the Winter 2020 issue of The Main Street Rag.

 

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Now for my new purchase. An item that has lurked in the shadowed corners of my memory is the green glass bowl my grandmother used to pour her potato pancake batter from. She cooked the type of potato pancakes they made where she was born in the Rhineland area of Germany: the batter was smooth and looked closer to that of flour pancakes than of latkes. I loved those pancakes more than any other food, and I have always associated them with the bowl.

I’m pretty sure that my parents got rid of the bowl when Grandma moved to the nursing home. They held a garage sale of her belongings. I had a lot of feelings about that at the time.

When I finally decided to Google the darn bowl, guess what? It’s a “vintage” Anchor Hocking jadeite Fire King batter bowl! It’s not some random thing that just happened to become engrained in my mind. It’s a collectible! So what did I do? I bought one, of course!

Now I am looking for recipes for German-style potato pancakes. Do you have one?

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Shot Glass Journal has published one of my poems. “Fiction” is another Little Red Riding Hood poem. You can read it here:

FICTION

61 Comments

Filed under #writerlife, #writerslife, Book Review, Family history, Food & Drink, Poetry, Poetry book, Poetry Collection, Vintage American culture

61 responses to “A Review, A New/Old Bowl, and a Poem

  1. I have a few things that my mother cooked with and I have her coffee mug. Nothing is collectible but I cherish the memories when I use them. I kind of remember that green stuff from when I was a kid but I can’t remember my mother having any. Maybe one of my aunts did.

    • We probably all went to gatherings where some of these classic vintage dishes were being used. Corning ware, Pyrex, Anchor Hocking, all of it. Remember Libby’s glasses?! Now people have big collections of this stuff. I can’t imagine where they store it. And I don’t think the gardener would like a hutch filled with Corningware right in the middle of the kitchen hahaha.

  2. I, too, am not impressed with the new WP editor. Many foul words splattered the dining room table where I was working on my last post.

    Living in a small townhouse, I try not to acquire too much but one of my favourite things is old kitchen things and one of my favourite things to do is haunt the housewares sections of thrift stores. Its incredible what people toss and what can be picked up for a pittance. Your batter bowl is definitely a charming piece and could be used for so many other things, too.

    Congrats on more publication achievements. You are a human treasure!

    • Susanne, check out Derrick’s comment below yours. The link he provides has audio directions for very easily switching back to classic editor! Yay! See if it works for you!
      Old housewares really bring back the memories for me. The table, watching Mom in the kitchen, helping or even cooking in the kitchen, parties and family gatherings, etc. So I like to look to. I usually don’t buy, but this was special. I know someone with a huge vintage Pyrex collection, which is very cool.
      Haha, thanks, Susanne. I guess in the pandemic editors are sitting around reading subs ;)!

  3. Congratulations on the review, the purchase, and the poem. As for WP reversion to Classic editor, try this: https://nansfarm.net/2020/06/06/addled/

    • Well, that was easy once I knew how to do it. There had been an easier way to switch and then it disappeared, so I assumed haha that it completely disappeared. Then I wrote a post on my family history blog and it is still as usual except for one place that says I can try out the block editing if I would like to. I would not like to. I noticed that the new editor claims to have a way to format verse, so that’s interesting, but not good enough. Thanks, Derrick!

  4. Amy

    The poetry sounds way to esoteric for my narrow mind! The bowl is lovely.

    Was this done with the block editor? I haven’t yet used it, but Cathy Meder-Dempsey said you can still elect the classic editor. Email me and I will try and cut and paste the instructions Cathy sent. I will be really angry if I have to switch. I have not yet been forced off the current editor. Yet.

    • Amy, go to Derrick’s comment above. He gives a link for a blog post where the blogger has audio directions that are so easy. It made me so happy. But on The Family Kalamazoo I still have the classic editor automatically. About Jennifer’s poetry: once you have the key in hand you unlock a treasure trove of beauties, I suspect that the reader needs to be a somewhat experienced poetry reader to see the key so you might be correct.

      • Amy

        I know I am not an experienced poetry reader. I am really a prose person, but I do love your poems!

        I will go look for Derrick’s comment.

        • Amy

          I looked at that blog and read the comments. It seems some people didn’t have that option. My blog is a premium level, but not business plan, so I wonder whether I will. Fortunately right now I’m still in the old mode.

          WHY DO THEY DO THIS???

          • I have the premium level, as well. I am worried they will do away with classic altogether. They need to understand that some of us are writers and used to writing in Word!

            • Amy

              Exactly! When that day comes, I may have to switch to Blogger, which I don’t like nearly as much as WordPress.

              • Noooooo. Ugh, I am not a Blogger fan. Part of the reason is I love my WP reader. So easy to follow that way. I don’t need more emails.

              • Amy

                I don’t use the reader! But I agree. Blogger doesn’t compare. It doesn’t allow for easy communication between bloggers, one of the things I like best about WordPress. And it’s interface is boring.

              • Yup and yup. Totally agree.

        • I’m thinking that I was wrong about the experienced part. I think it’s more that it requires slower more careful reading–a different kind of reading than prose where we like to plow through to see what happens next. Maybe more like law books hahaha.

  5. Excellent review, Luanne. Glad you could score the batter bowl. Also Glad Derrick got you the directions. All is well. Maybe you’ll get the pancake recipe too. 😁

  6. I couldn’t agree with you more about the new editor. Frustration!!!!

    • Oh, it’s just awful. If you have trouble, you can follow those directions Derrick posted. Helped me a lot! Anneli, you don’t have a recipe for German-style potato pancakes, do you? Where they look like regular batter, but smell like potatoes :), unlike latkes that are coarse-textured. I would love to find a recipe similar to what my grandmother used to make.

      • Well, I know that my mother used to put a couple of raw potatoes in a blender with a tiny bit of cooking onion and smoosh it till smooth. Then she’d put in a pinch of salt, an egg, and a couple of tablespoons of flour and smoosh it again. Then put butter in the pan and pour in a blob of the mixture (maybe three blobs in the pan and do them like pancakes. I didn’t want to respond with a recipe because I couldn’t tell you the amounts. My mother always cooked and baked by what looked right and with VERY approximate measures. It was always good though.

  7. Thankfully, I’m still old school when it comes to WP.

    • I hope you stay that way! My family history blog is old school; that was thrilling to discover because it’s much harder to write a blog post over there than for this blog because of all the documents, etc. Fingers crossed for your blog!

  8. My WP doesn’t seem to have changed. But there always seem to be WP Gremlins, so who knows?
    The book sounds fascinating, the dish is lovely, and I like your poem. Congratulations. I’m not going to be able to stop imagining Little Red this way now. 😀 (Loved the wind’s “cartoon cheeks.”)

    • Oh, I’m so glad you loved the cartoon cheeks! I hoped it would conjure up a specific image. Thanks, Merril!
      Re WP. You are lucky yours has not changed. I wonder if they are starting with some blogs, but not all. It’s so disturbing to have this happen. Classic editor is similar enough to writing in Word, but this new block thing is just annoying. It’s not for writers, really.

  9. I enjoyed your review of Rosa’s Einstein, although the thought of Schrödinger’s Cat makes my head explode. For some reason, I’ve been encountering it on a fairly regular basis lately. I’m not sure what that’s about.

    I loved “Fiction”! You go, Red!!!

    My grandmother had a set of mixing bowls in that lovely jadeist glass.

  10. A beautiful review, Luanne! Congratulations on those two publications. Love the Little Red poem! You are so steadily producing a large body of work. Yay! That glass is beautiful too. xo

    • Thank you, Carla. I put a lot of work into reading and reviewing that gorgeous collection. I love how she worked with all those “threads”—images, themes, characters.
      Lol re my body of work. I guess….

  11. I was invited to try the new block editor (still am being invited) but I’ve not bitten yet. Hope I don’t have to, but it’s good to know that I (may) have options.
    And congratulations on both the review and poem publications! Givhan’s collection sounds like something I’ll want to get. 🙂 And the mixing bowl is beautiful – may you soon find that recipe!

  12. Hey Luanne! I’m not a poetry person as I may have mentioned to you – never developed an understanding of it I guess – I think I’m missing the poetry gene, sadly! I’m sure your poem is lovely though!

    I adore that blue pancake-batter bowl! What a find!

    BTW re WordPress’s new editor – PLEASE, everyone who hates it, tell the powers-that-be so they’ll know! Not much use complaining in someone’s blog’s comments, right? It so happens my daughter works for the parent company of WordPress.com, and I told her I hated it. She said no problem, if I really don’t like it (!) I can go back to the “Classic Editor Block.” I am assuming it falls within some menu heading or other, maybe in ‘fine print’! (Somehow I was never forced to use the new editor.) Let me know if you find the ‘escape’!

    • Green bowl. that’s why it’s called jadeite. This reminds me of this little wooden box we have at home. I think it’s black, but everyone else insists it’s blue. Of course, I’m right.
      Who are the powers that be and how do we get ahold of them? i have no idea. I can’t even contact anybody when I have a problem that isn’t so global.
      Is poetry a gene? Now there is the start of a poem!

  13. Hi Luanne,
    Loved the review – sounds like a talented poet (like you).

    My mom made potato pancakes with leftover mashed potatoes. Added some flour, formed into patties and fried in butter. I do something similar when I have leftover spaghetti squash. I add flour, shredded cheese and green chile. There’s usually already some other things in there like tomato and onion and herbs. 😋

    Red knows better than to listen to gossip – good for her!

    • Thank you so much, Eilene!
      I’ve made the mashed potato pancakes a few times!!! We rarely have leftover mashed potatoes though . . . hahaha!

  14. Oh, and I have yet to be forced over to the block editor (which I dread) but since I am not on the classic editor, either, and that will eventually be phased out, too, I’ll just grin and bear it. I’m learning to use newer versions of software in my new computer, too, so it’s just going to be a tough month for me.

    • This new block style isn’t fun because it slows me down. I’m a fast typist and writer, and this whole putting together pieces thing is a pain in the neck. Not saying I won’t find things I like about it–like the verse format. But ugh.

  15. Your bowl reminds me of the glass bowls that belonged to the church kitchen back in the 50s. After many a pot luck dinner, my cousin would wash and I would dry!

    • Rae, that must be a fun memory! Tonight my daughter said, “I love this bowl,” and she holding her salad bowl that was one of our snack bowls when I was a kid growing up. I have such great memories of those bowls and now I know I can pass them on to her.

      • My favorite is a big, really big mixing bowl I bought when we first moved to Alvin in 1968. I needed to make a sheet cake for school, and my bowls were still packed. I went to a “Perry’s” in my new tiny town and bought one for 99 cents! I still use it almost daily. I caught My Better Half putting it in the dishwasher the other day, and nearly murdered him. I’m sure it wouldn’t survive!

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