Monday, November 28, 2011

Cookies for Idris

I've just completed two batches of cookies for a special event. Idris Goodwin is a performing artist living in Iowa City. I first met him at the Om Center where he was performing a year and a half ago. His poetry, set to back beats, is amazing. I know that 'amazing' isn't very descriptive but that's what it is. His themes range from his life growing up to current social issues in the US.

After that initial performance and upon meeting Idris, I revealed to him that Trilety and I were starting up Two Birds Bakery. His excitement for us, two women he had never met before, was unexpected and flattering.

Two Birds Bakery sells exclusively through the Nebraska Food Co-op right now but as a personal gift and with my own resources, I wanted to bake Mr. Goodwin some goodies to satiate his audience during his performance tonight at the House of Loom.

This bird is willing to to a cookie favor here and there for now, especially for an avid cookie fan like Idris. However, I'm looking forward to Two Birds Bakery moving forward. Our dreams of working out of our own kitchen space, as mentioned in the previous 'Dream' post, will allow us to reach the whole community. They ain't tasted nothin' yet!


Saturday, November 19, 2011


I recently attended a Conversational Chairs event at Joslyn Art Museum.  Each of the ten conversation stations included two chairs, for two participants, and an envelope that held a question to be discussed, or ignored - depending on your interest.  My partner at the first conversation station was Tim Guthrie, someone I'd heard of but not met.  

The question our envelope held was, "What do you dream?"  We chose to speak on the dreams that are the thrilling, entertaining, and sometimes disturbing link to our subconscious activity.  He dreams in visual detail of houses that are not his, and I dream of straining my limbs through a pearly, viscous lake.  We then talked on Duchamp.  Our 8 minute timer announced that it was time to move to the next station, and all before we could talk on the figurative nature of dreams.  

A few nights back, I dreamed I was stuck in traffic between a garbage truck and a cement truck.  Then I found myself barefoot on a bike rolling slowly until the pedals broke off.  My phone, whenever a call was placed or received, broke in two.  I told a friend that the dream, if interpreted on the obvious surface level, seemed to indicate I was stuck.  He asked if I felt stuck in the dream.  And I replied that, in fact I didn't feel stuck so much as thwarted, frustrated, slowThat, he said, was the meaning of the dream.  

Well, soon my dreams may find me feeling fast or excited, rather than blockaded and irritable.  Because after a year of baking in our homes, selling our items exclusively through the Nebraska Food Co-operative, and searching for shared kitchen space, these Two Birds decided to look into outfitting our own licensed kitchen!  Our current plan is for a small kitchen for our own baking, rather than a bakery that serves customers on site.  This is a big decision, and one that brings with it the possibility for even bigger dreams.  

We've contacted the Douglas County Health Department and were directed to read the Construction Guidelines prior to meeting with potential contractors.

We will keep you updated on our progress, but as a teaser, take a look at the location we are hoping to locate our kitchen!  And feel free to pass along any advice; we live with open ears and open eyes!

~ Trilety

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Special Birthday Post

We all have traditions, whether they be age-old family rituals or something new and special that starts by happenstance. People have traditions for holidays, vacations, and even for their savored Saturday mornings (i.e. chocolate chip pancakes and Saturday morning cartoons). I freaking love traditions! I love that they exist.

For instance, my birthdays growing up always came with a cake from my Dad from a particular Omaha bakery called Pettit's Pastry. In fact, my two brothers also received these special confections on their birthdays. It was our little family tradition, started by my father. The cakes were usually a chocolate and white marble swirl with buter-cream frosting. They were airbrushed with food coloring and/or adorned with little plastic decorations and Dad always made sure to choose a cake decorated to reflect our interest at the time. For me, such cakes included "Disney's Little Mermaid" cake, a horse and rider cake, a happy face cake, and a rainbow unicorn cake (pictured below).

my brother's 14th birthday

my 7th birthday

The Pettit's tradition ended for my brothers and I sometime in each of our high school careers. We didn't wonder about it or mourn the loss much. The cakes just sort of stopped coming and that seemed fine. Like most things, the life span of traditions also vary. And although they do come to an end at some point, they are always remembered.

My thirtieth birthday is coming up this Saturday. I may have outgrown the Pettit's tradition that my dad started ago, but I still love me some cake!


Monday, November 7, 2011

The Sage Tongue

Last week, Meg posted about pumpkin, and what goes better with a little orange gourd than sage?   
Sage grows in my garden, though I don't necessarily grow it, and fall finds me harvesting the plant and hanging it to dry in the back hallway.

Common Sage (Salvia officinalis) has a long history and many uses.  
Sage, in French, is recorded as meaning wise, or of profound wisdom, and Salvia is from the Latin meaning save, or health. 
Being a lover of tongues, I was pleased to read this in the 1970 edition of Helen Morgenthau Fox’s Gardening with Herbs for Flavor and Fragrance:  “Ibn Baither says the Greek name for the plant means camel’s tongue, and the oval leaves terminating in a point, with their glandular uneven surface covered with a fine network, do resemble the tongue of some animal.” 
If you wet a fresh sage leaf, and caress it across your neck, you will easily be convinced that your flesh is being licked - seriously, try it.
Sage is said to prolong life, strengthen the memory, and prosper in the garden of a domineering wife.
If you live in Omaha, are a friend of mine, and mention you have a sore throat, it is likely you’ve then received a bit of fresh sage from me with directions on how to make a medicinal tea from it.  My trusty Country Doctor’s Book of Folk Remedies & Healing Wisdom explains that sage is “. . . a strong astringent, and it also contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial aromatic oils. . . .It is a common remedy for sore throat in the professional medical herbalism of Europe and North America.  It is an approved medicine for sore throats in Germany.”
The Country Doctor recommends placing 1 tablespoon of sage leaf in a cup, filling it with boiling water, and letting it stand until reaching room temperature and then gargling with 1/4 cup dose three to four times a day. 
You can also dice up the sage leaf and steep it – covered – for at least five minutes and then drink it as a tea.  A variety of preparations for medicinal sage teas and tinctures abound, so research it for yourself, and don’t drink sage tea if pregnant.
Poetry of Sage:
Fox, in her description of sage flowers, poeticizes the sensuality of the bloom:
Two strongly marked white spots on the lower lip are surrounded by a dark lavender patch. The style is whitish; the stigma two-parted at the tip, blue-purple, and curves out from the hooded upper lip; and the four stamens are whitish with golden anthers; the four sepals are brownish, pointed, ribbed, and hairy. 

As Meg continues to create new muffin flavors, it may not be long before we have a savory pumpkin muffin with a fried sage crumble topping!
~ Trilety

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkin is Appropriate

The Pumpkin Tide 
by Richard Brautigan 

I saw thousands of pumpkins last night
come floating in on the tide,
bumping up against the rocks and
rolling up on the beaches;
it must be Halloween in the sea.

One of my favorite poems. 

The pumpkin is our national symbol of the autumn harvest. A plump, round winter squash that gives us jack-o'lanterns and, when cooked, it gives us delicious and healthful dishes. Foods made with pumpkin range from sweet to savory: Pumpkin pie, of course, and pumpkin seeds, as well as pumpkin cakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin soup. 

Although pumpkins are native to North America, they are now grown on every continent except Antarctica... I suppose that makes sense. It's a little to cold there. International cuisine includes a Chinese dish in which the leaves of pumpkins are served in soups, and in Thailand pumpkins are steamed with custard inside to serve as a dessert. 

You can find much more information on pumpkins at various websites such as wikipedia and the University of Illinois of all places. 

These two birds don't have pumpkin on the menu right now but who knows what the future holds!