Thursday, March 30, 2006

carpe diem

I had a website for my shoppe, nothing fancy -- just some basic info. I updated about once a year, always intending to improve it one day.

Today was the day, although I didn't know that until yesterday!!!

I receive an email that my site can't be reached. First thought: they typed it in wrong. I check it out. I sure didn't type it in wrong but it's not there? I surf over to my web hoster to see what's up. I try to sign in, because they most certainly won't help you with anything if you don't sign in.

Shit! What's my password? *Scrambles through about a hundred sheets of scratch paper to no avail.*

Ok, I'll just type in my email addy & say I forgot my password. "Invalid Email" blinks at me from the screen. What? I type it again...same thing. Long story short, after 40 minutes on the site I can't talk to them without a password/email & no phone number. Yeah, now I see why they were so cheap.

Now I surf over to whois to check out if I still am. I'm not. Damn! They let my domain name expire a few days ago. Now what?

I decided to eat this cake while I thought about what to do next.

Ok, not really...but I didn't want to bore you without a few really cool pics in between my story. I'll continue...

I am "The Eternal Optimist". Not only is my glass half full; there's plenty more in the fridge.

I remembered seeing an email I received from yahoo...something about a $2.99 domain name. Ok. Good place to start. Surf over to yahoo -- deals expired. :-P But, wait! FREE domain name with purchase of small biz web hosting plan. $11.95/month. This I can handle. *thumbs up*

After finding out that, in fact, is available (YES!) I decide to go with the more practical --

Forms to fill, lots of filling forms...damn! $25.00 sign up fee? Ok, now I need to think about it some more.

About an hour later I realize that I still have to do it. Filling forms, again...hey! All of a sudden it says: Act Now! Waiving $25 sign up fee. *thumbs up again*

Forms to fill, filling forms...oh...almost done...last page of forms...submit button on the bottom after I double check everything...wait a minute, I can see everything but the column with the price in?

(This happens to me sometimes as I am a huge fan of the Opera browser. Everything doesn't work in Opera :-( unfortunately.)

Ok. Over to Firefox. Do everything again. Finally get to the submit page...YAY!!! Not only did it credit the sign up fee, but because I use their DSL & phone service they gave an additional 20% discount!!! *double thumbs up*

"Gratuitous Cake Shot"

"Turtle Cheesecake" Desrip: A vanilla cheesecake with toasted Georgia pecans & homemade caramel swirled inside. Topped & piped with Belgian chocolate glaze.

So, in about a day & a half, I have succeeded in designing (with a little yahoo sitebuilder help;-) & uploading a new & greatly improved website (compared to my last one, that is). Please check it out, tell me what you think, tell me if something doesn't work, & if you like it, send me lots of compliments! :-D

(Like I said before, I use Opera, so I don't have the button to insert the ahrefs - or whatever you call them - into the post like most of you do. *Wipes away a tear* But I did manage to put a link in my side bar; or just type it in

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I'm a Sweet Chick... are the cookies ;-)

Monday, March 27, 2006


This afternoon the pastry shoppe was slow.

I decided to make all of us (my husband, my Mum, myself) a healthy & satisfying lunch. (Ok, healthy is debatable...satisfying? OH YEAH!)

What would a pastry chef eat for lunch you ask? Well, warm organic mixed berry crepes with vanilla whipped cream, of course!

As you can see below, that would be my fork tearing apart the delicate crepe. The filling is a warm, lightly sweetened melange of organic blueberries, blackberries, strawberries & dark sweet cherries. I freshly whipped the cream mere seconds before this photo was taken.

Here you can see me taking a bite...mmmm...mmmm.....they're soooo delish....

We're not greedy, though. We saved some for all of you. Enjoy;-)

Pompous Pastry

Every November for 8 years running I catered a local event known as "Christmas in the Mansion". It was (notice I say was, they have since lost funding to keep it going) an 'invitation only' event if you were a member of the local museum. People joined just for this event.

If attending, you would be one of 250-300 people getting dressed up & arriving at the museum on Saturday evening about 6:00 PM. Once there, you are brutally subjected to about 3,000 various pastries displayed on tapestry drenched buffet tables in accordance with the particular theme of that year.

(Did you catch that ratio? 250-300 people per 3,000 pastries. Know what else? There usually wasn't anything left!)

The theme in 2001 was "The Renaissance Period". Everything was sort of rustic looking, as it was meant to be. Notice the addition of a few faux roosters to add ambiance.

I absolutely loved the buzz I got from being submerged in this sea of people, listening to them ooh & aah over everything. Being complete gluttons, gorging on sweets & even losing their prim & proper-ness.

OH! The ultimate rush for a pastry chef, I never needed drugs or alcohol...just give me masses of people bingeing on my creations!

(I just had an incredibly disturbing vision to equate this experience with...shall I go on? Oh, hell, why not. Confession coming up ... I ... am ... a ... closet ... um ... ok ... I can do this ...we're all friends here, right? *Deep breath* I AM A CLOSET LIVING DEAD FILM FREAK!!!
*Big sigh* Oh, I feel better now.
Yes, I love watching any film about living dead people. So, back to my vision, you know how they sort of swarm & moan & groan until they're all eating brains & stuff? That's kind of how this group of people goes at the pastry tables. *Giggles*)

(I hope you all still like me? Here's another picture so you forget about what I just told you.)

MMMmmm....petit fours.

The woman who hired me also requested a bread sculpture for the centerpiece. She wanted it to be simple looking & quite large, it would be placed between two huge straw wreaths, on top of a 4 foot tall pewter stand, with attached candles (as they obviously didn't have electricity back then) suspended from the ceiling.

She was thrilled with my rendition. It was exactly what she wanted.

The next day I was just doing a walk-through to make sure everything looked as it should. I stood for a moment & stared at the bread sculpture. My bread sculpture. I was pleased with how it turned out. I hadn't noticed that 2 (past middle age) women wandered next to me & were also staring. (A side-long glance told me one was taller & quite large, the other short & slender.)
The large woman said very loudly, "IT'S UGLY!"
The small woman murmured, "Well, I don't really know..."
"LOOK AT IT! IT'S UGLY! IT'S HORRIBLE! LOOOK AT IT! I HATE IT!", large woman was nearly shouting.

At this point, (even though I can be very, very good at controlling my feelings & facial expressions) I think I must have had an awful look on my face, because the small woman turned to me & said, "You didn't make that, did you?"
I looked her square in the eyes & replied, "Yes. I did."
She scuttled across the room to where her friend had waddled off to & whispered something that I couldn't hear.
Large Bitch exclaimed, "SHE DID NOT! SHE'S LYING!" Then she turns to me & nastily says, "YOU DID NOT MAKE THAT. YOU ARE LYING TO US!"


I stood my ground, stared at that bitch & calmly stated, "My name is Jennifer & I own Uniquely Yours Pastry. I made the bread sculpture. I believe everybody is entitled to their own opinion. In fact, in my opinion, if I were you, I never would have tried to squeeze my old fat ass into that bright red dress. But that's just my opinion."

Oh, of course I didn't say the last part. I'm too fucking nice sometimes.

But, if the same thing happened now, I would. Definately. Then I'd come here & tell all of you about it.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Photogenic Comestible aka PHOTOLICK

Come here for a minute.

Yes, I'm talking to YOU.

Come closer.


No need to be shy.


There, that's better.

Inhale deeply.


.....Devil's Food Cupcakes.....

Take another deep breath.


.....Belgian Chocolate Glaze....

You're missing something.

Try again...

Take a big bite.

Go on, no one's looking.


Oh Yessssss...

.....Cinnamon & Fluffy Vanilla Cream.....



Hey! You've got chocolate & cream all over your mouth.

Did you like that?

Why don't you have one more.

Of course you can have 2 in a row.

You can even have 3 if you want to.

I can keep a secret if you can. ;-)

Friday, March 24, 2006


I overheard a racist story today.
A man has a house to sell. He sells his house to a Hmong family.

[Hmong (hmông)n. pl. Hmong or Hmongs In both senses also called Miao.
A member of a people inhabiting the mountainous regions of southern China and adjacent areas of Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.]

A person living in the neighborhood seeks out ex-house-owner to yell at him for selling the house to Hmongs. (!BASTARD!) Ex-house-owner tells him if that's how he feels he should have bought it himself; then did whatever he wanted with it.
The nerve of some people!

We have a high Hmong poulation here. Many are my neighbors. Let's see what I have observed personally:
1) The children occupy themselves. There are not 100 toys strewn across the lawn. They stay on their own property (unlike the blond-haired blue-eyed white monsters that vandalize yards on a regular basis).
2) Families spend a lot of time together. On their holidays they dress in vividly coloured costumes.
3) Many people live in one house together. I have never witnessed the type of domestic disturbance where police are called to break it up (unlike the 20something white couples in the neighborhood).
4) They grow beautiful produce.
5) I once saw two young newlyweds going to their car when the husband runs up behind his wife & pinches her bum. (Ok, so I'm a bit of a was cute!)
6) They buy gigantic bags of rice & bottled water a lot.
7) Their Toyotas last & last & last...

I could keep going, but I think I'll stop there. They sound like really horrible people, don't they? This is a small town. Would you believe they sometimes get shot at(!) & people set fire to their homes(!)?

The house in the photo above is across the street from our shoppe. Hmongs live there; & I hope they never move.


Every Monday I go over all of my orders for the week, just to get an idea: how many more I can accept, & to make sure I stock up on all the ingredients I'll need.

This week I stopped when I got midway through the order sheets, 'How did that get there?' I wondered aloud. It was an order from last Friday for a 6" round, 2 layer, devil's food cake with strawberry buttercream filling & Belgian dark chocolate buttercream frosting, decorated with a single pink rose.

I looked again. We keep the yellow copy & the white copy goes to the client, so if this was last weeks order I wouldn't have the white copy. I checked the name, same person. I checked the date, this Friday? Hmmm...I ask my partner what's up because she takes almost all the phone orders.
"Oh! She liked the cake so much last week that she ordered the exact same thing this week!"

Well, of course. I shouldn't have been surprised. It was the single pink rose that threw me off.

The above pic is the aforementioned cake. The background is our commercial convection oven. Filled it holds about 800 small cookies, while empty it only holds the reflection of yours truly.

Thursday, March 23, 2006


This is one of the most romantic cakes I've created.

I think the bride was scared to show me her chosen cake topper for fear that I would refuse to use it. I do not believe it is morbid, it is beautiful.

THINK about it.
I mean really think about it.

How does it make you feel?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Uniquely Yours

Until today I really didn't have any idea where I was headed with "jintrinsique".

For about a year my husband has been telling me to start a blog. I didn't even really know what they were. I did a search for wedding cake blogs & didn't come up with anything interesting, so I forgot about it. A few weeks ago I was reading the yahoo news & there was a link for a blog called 'NEW YORK HACK'. I decided to check it out & found myself going there every day. On days when she didn't post I started to search for other interesting blogs. I found quite a few!

My husband interjects again, "Why don't you do a blog for the shoppe? I've been telling you to for a year now!"

I reply, "No, I don't think so...what would I write about? I don't have the time to spend on the internet anyway."
Just in case, I thought to myself, I'll pick a blog name & fill out the profile even though I might never do anything about it.

And then we had one of the slowest weeks I've ever known. Practically zero orders. So, out of pure boredom (and total procrastination because I should have been cleaning:-P) I started scanning in pics, reading & writing blog entries.

In a little over 2 weeks I've received sooo many comments & e-mails about my pics & pastry that today I decided to stop being anonymous. (!) I will keep posting the pics, random pastry shoppe thoughts, recipes here & there, & whatever else you want me to. You can ask questions! I will do everything in my power to help you out with any cooking conundrums you might have.


Hello, my name is Jennifer & I run Uniquely Yours Pastry Shoppe LLP in Manitowoc, WI with my Mom/partner Audrey, & my cute British husband, David (he's going to kill me when he reads this!!!) We've been in business since April of 1994.


I had been training with a pastry chef (I was 19) in Maryland when I realized that I did not enjoy:
a)the production aspect-making the same thing every day,
b)the area I was living in-lots of crime
c)the roof under which I was living-looong story, awkward conditions &
d)way too many drugs/alcohol in the restaurant business for my liking-I was not comfortable with the fact that I had to constantly watch my cappuccino for fear that someone would 'slip' something into it

Back home I came, not knowing what I would do. I became temporarily occupied when my parents inherited a 2-story brick home from my great uncles. It was in serious need of cleaning & painting so they could put it on the market. What a state it was in! Nothing had been thrown away for over 50 years. It took us nearly a year to bring the house up to par.
On the market it went, with me still wondering what I was going to do with my life. Months passed & there wasn't one offer on the house. It didn't look good. My Mother knew something had to be done because they couldn't afford to keep paying for all the utilities much longer. (My Dad had lost his job of 20+ years. Another victim of age discrimination.)
I was dying to try out all the skills I had picked up working at the restaurant. I wanted to suggest to my Mom that we do something with the empty house, but I didn't know how to break the subject. (She is an AWESOME cook & baker, BTW.) Little did I know that the same thoughts were going through her mind at the same time!

Finally, one day when we were at the house, I just mentioned what I was thinking. She told me she'd been thinking the same thing. YAY!!! We just needed to decide what, exactly we would open as.
We called in the local food inspector to ask what would need to be done so we could be licensed. This was important to both of us, we wanted to do it right. We also decided we didn't want a lot of waste; no throwing away product that didn't sell at the end of a work day. We came up with the idea of 'baking to order', where people call in to order what they want us to make for them. That way the sweets would always be fresh & they could pick it up whenever they needed it.


Here we still are, baking to order, & more popular than ever! Although now, we do have 'Open House' days 1 to 3 times per month, planned to accommodate all the major holidays, where we are open regular hours with hundreds of mouth-watering pastries available to you with no need to order ahead. You would not believe the cult following we have. People either try to keep us a secret (their own little hide-away) or they tell everyone!
Take note: I like when you tell everyone! :-)

My baking philosophy: "I would never sell anything to anyone that I wouldn't eat myself, & I am VERY picky!" We don't use any chemicals or preservatives. Everything is made from scratch. I use organics whenever I can find them. Currently our bread flour, all purpose flour, coconut, raisins, & oats are ALL organic. I only buy grade AA unsalted butter, real cream, farm fresh eggs, European chocolate, cocoa & preserves.
I feel that you don't need a lot of ingredients to make something good. You only need a few really really great ingredients & a true love of creation to bring them together.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Trier Squares

Brace yourselves. This may never happen again. I am actually going to give you one of my favourite recipes. Exactly as I make it in my shoppe.

I enjoy making these bars more than anything else. It's not one of my favourites to eat; but to create them...ahhh...the scents of all the ingredients are the most incredible! I will do my best to describe them as I go through the recipe.

They are named after the town of Trier, located on the banks of the Mosel River in southwestern Germany. These bars are are filled with a vegetarian version of mincemeat. You could make them into mini tarts, a large tart (no pun inteneded; my British husband would laugh hysterically at this), a pie, or, as I do here, in a 12"x18" pan.

Cream in mixer (w/ paddle), food processor or by hand:

1# Unsalted Butter, I use European Style (less water content)
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg

Slowly add enough unbleached flour, I use organic bread flour, until the dough forms a ball. (The amount of flour varies with your ingredient quality. You can start with about 1# of flour.) It will be slightly sticky. Put dough in the freezer or refrigerator until it starts to firm up.
Roll 2/3 of your dough into the bottom of a parchment lined 12"x18" pan. Freeze or refrigerate until firm.
Roll out the remaing dough. Cut strips about 1/2"-3/4" wide. Chill & reserve for the lattice decoration on the top of the bars.

Spread about 1-1/2 cups of jam, preserves or fruit spread on the crust. I've already used Apricot, Strawberry & Raspberry. It's really your preference.

...the really yummy part is coming up...

Stir together in a medium sized bowl:
1# Sliced Almonds
1# Sugar
10 oz. Sultanas
2 teaspoons Penzey's Ceylon Cinnamon

...a few notes here...
...if you don't have sultanas(golden raisins) go ahead & use regular raisins, or, try something different like dried blueberries, cherries, chopped apricots, etc. Remember - a recipe is only a starting point!
...Penzey's is a spice house that has some phenomenal spices, herbs, extracts, etc. I order many things from them. Sure, you can substitute plain old cinnamon for this. But, in my opinion, you will be missing out on one of my favourite parts of making these. Ceylon cinnamon, 'true' cinnamon has a very citrusy smell & taste. It's not nearly as strong as Vietnamese cinnamon which I absolutely LOVE, but is not suited to this particular recipe. I highly recommend, upon opening the jar of Ceylon cinnamon, to inhale deeply, several times. Ahhh, I swear it's an antidepressant! :-)
...I also just love the sound of this mixture. Yes, I said sound. The crunch of the sliced almonds swishing against the granulated sugar inside the stainless steel bowl. Phusssht, swish, crunch, tink tink tink, phusssht, swish, crunch, tink tink.

Add to the above mixture & stir well:
1/2 cup Milk or cream
1/4 cup Lemon juice (only use the pure stuff, nothing from concentrate!)

...are you ready for the best part? You are going to make beurre noisette, "brown butter".

Put 7 oz. unsalted butter in a large sauce pan. Heat on medium-high until the butter is melted. turn the heat down to medium-low & continue to cook until the water evaporates & the butter solids drop to the bottom of the pan & turn brown. Turn off the heat, stand back slightly, & add 1 Tablespoon of Neilson Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla

...crackle crackle crackle crackle, pop pop, crackle crackle crackle...the second it stops spitting out of the pan, waft that steam ALL AROUND the kitchen! To me this is the most wonderful fragrance on the planet! Because your butter is hot, the alcohol in the vanilla burns off instantly, leaving you with a buttery, nutty vanilla essence that is divine.

As soon as you recover from your state-of-bliss, pour this over your almond mixture, stir together thoroughly, (note how the cinnamon scent changes as you add the warm butter!) & pour it over your jam layer, spreading evenly. Top with your lattice stripes & brush the pastry with an egg wash. Bake in the lower third of your oven @ 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown.

Cool, slice & ENJOY!!!

Saturday, March 18, 2006


The week leading up to a holiday weekend is insane.
I love being a pastry chef.
I love owning my own business.
I love my clientele. (Well, ok, the majority of them.)
I hate when certain individuals assume that I have it easy compared to the average joe.

I am not complaining about working hard. In fact, I rather enjoy the holiday weekends that make my head spin. I simply dislike certain comments such as: "What an easy job you have! All you do is put a cake in the oven, then sit & wait for an hour until it's done."; or the ever popular, "This is a nice hobby for you to have."

One of my totem animals is the Owl, for I am a creature of the night. I can easily work until 2:00AM, go home to watch a rare film Netflix has posted to me, & fall asleep just as the sun is rising. I awake fully refreshed around 11:00AM & back to work around 12noon.

My schedule contains a slight variation towards the end of the week.

Thursday I am in at about 11:00AM. Sounds posh, yeah? Right, ok. I skip breakfast except for a huge mug of steaming hot freshly roasted coffee & a handful of vitamin supplements. (I swear the coffee roaster guy & naturopath live off my purchases!) I proceed to fill oven after oven after oven of pastry delights until about 4-5PM when I have a few bites of something I like to call lunch. I eat this standing. I continue to bake things, fill cakes, frost cookies, cut bars, mix chocolates, roll cookie dough & scones etc. until midnight when I try to make a healthy vegetarian dinner. I allow myself 20 minutes to eat. Back to work until 2:15AM. Home by 2:30AM. Hopefully asleep by 3:00AM. Alarm goes off at 5:30AM Friday.

This is not a typo...I repeat...this is not a typo!

I am back at work by 5:45AM. Set up pastry counter, make several pots of coffee, whip cream & finish piping trim on all fruit tarts, cream puffs, cheesecakes, etc. Doors officially open at 7:00AM.

Some people like to come in before 7:00AM, on their way to work, so I try to have everything ready early. Doors unofficially open around 6:30AM for these pastry perusers. It's a small town so I aim for phenomenal customer service. I remember clients first names (sometimes, lol) & their personal faves (most of the time!), have eclectic music playing in the background & a genuine smile on my face at ALL times. (Yes, I realize I'm a strange phenomenon in this day & age!)

Throughout the day I wait on customers (along with a few wonderful volunteers that I am so very lucky to have) & keep the ovens full with Saturday's orders. We close at 5:30PM. I continue to mix, bake, fill, frost, decorate, & cut until midnight. Back home sometime between 12-1:00AM. Hopefully asleep by 2:00AM. Alarm goes off Saturday at 5:15AM. Press snooze button until 6:00AM. Back at the shoppe at 6:15AM. Scramble around like a madwoman because I pressed snooze for too long...

Saturday's we're open from 7:00AM-2:30PM. They are busier than Friday's. It usually takes until 5:00PM to clean everything up, assess left-overs (if there are any) & finally, paperwork. I always have Saturday night off. Sounds posh, yeah? Did I mention I also work on Sunday? After all, I have to get ready for Monday.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


He stole my heart but left the cake! Alas, all I have now is this photo of his footprint in the snow. Can you help me find him?

Monday, March 13, 2006


Out of area delivery : $30.00

White chocolate bows : $50.00

Wedding cake to serve 350 guests : $1,120.00

Hearing a 20something male with a hick country accent loudly exclaim, "Yah I ain't nevr seen a cack shaped like a box befourr heeey!" : PRICELESS!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sweet Dreams

Star Light, Star Bright
First Star I Eat Tonight
Wish I May, Wish I Might
Have More than One Bite!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Treading Water

Statement: "I Do Not believe in contributing to the global overpopulation of the Earth."

(I said that, me, jin. I say it a lot, in fact.)

.....coming from the perspective of a (straight) female who is physically equipped to create offspring (but, BY CHOICE, will NOT do so in this lifetime).....

I simply CANNOT understand this current RUSH for kids to have kids & more kids & more kids & then throw in several pets on top of that. 7 out of every 10 brides that come into my shoppe already have children. 5 out of those 7 have more than 2 kids. But it's the brides under 25 years of age that tend to have 4. Yes, I said 4. Kids. 4 kids. The average bride who comes into my shoppe, that has 4 kids, usually also has 3 dogs. Big ones. I am sooo not kidding you. Keep in mind, also, that my cakes are higher priced. I bet you can multiply the number of brides I get by at least 10 or 15 & get the amount that go to a supermarket for a cheap wedding cake. (We won't even get into the ones that don't get married!)

What makes someone have so many kids??? Well, I know how they get them *blush* but I mean why do they have them? They can't all be religious pro-life fanatics!

I run a business & have a 17 week old puppy to look after. Between the two I barely manage. How in the world do those kids watch their kids? Oh! Wait...that's's McDonald's, video games & violent movies to the rescue! (Not that I have anything against violent movies, I personally love some really bizarre films, but they are not for kids.)

In closing, I suppose I should look past my own preconceived notions & send all those parents who don't give a damn about their numerous offspring (& how they are raised) a heartfelt 'thank you'. After all, without them, this world wouldn't have any: drug dealers, hate crimes, serial killers, rapes, mistreated animals, wife beaters, drunk drivers, hazing, & creepy, dishonest people in general.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Unattainable Validation

Do you ever change the viewpoint from which you are looking at something?

Ex. - Put yourself in someone else's shoes.

Why is it that certain individuals make you feel like you need to impress them? Do they have that effect on everyone, or does it happen at random times with different people? Is it coincidence, fate or karma? Does it happen to others or just me?

It occurs most infrequently. But, when it takes hold of my being, the object of my overambition will never, no matter how perfectly I perform/create/etc., give me that validation which I so long for. Oh, don't get me wrong...they will be very pleased with the final product. Just not blown away. Then again, these are the types of people that just don't get blown away. Period. So back to my original query. Why do I still feel like I need to impress them?

The 3 absolutely best responses from clients who are beyond pleased with my creation:

#2) Tears. Oooh Yeah. When a bride looks at her wedding cake, doesn't say a word & starts crying that is awesome! :-)
(Of course, I should mention here, that tears may not be a good thing if she got her cake from another bakery. Some of those are so bad they make me want to cry!)

#3) Squealing. Well, you know what I mean, the cheerleader type. People that don't cry sort of squeal with joy instead. They jump around, try to hug everyone & get really giddy. This is also good as long as they are not too near the pastry in question. We don't want them to knock it over.

...and the number one best response from an overjoyed client is...

(drum roll)

#1) A very large monetary tip!!! Yay!!! This is the best form of thankfulness & my personal favourite. Take note.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Do Vegetarians Eat Animal Crackers?

Yes. We do. But they have to be Organic. :-)

We also eat mice. But they have to be Hazelnut Truffle Mice, FYI.

Mr. Jingles was my pet mouse...well, sort of. He was a mouse that broke into my house because he checked out the whole neighborhood & found that I was the only vegetarian around. He knew I wouldn't kill him on purpose & he also knew I don't keep any chemicals in the house (only green cleaners!) so there was nothing dangerous for him to get into.

I started feeding this furry little creature bits of crackers & cheese thinking that this would suffice. Little did I know that this was a very unusual mouse. He didn't like cheese or crackers much, so they ended up on my bed. Eww. Sticky bits under my quilt was not very cool with me so I knew I had to change tactics. After a few different foods I found out he liked walnuts a lot, but pecans the best. Great, I thought, a mouse with expensive taste. Well, no more bits in my bed anymore so I was happy about that.

About 2 weeks later I woke up to find a package of Newman's Own Organic Peppermint Cups on the floor, next to the bed, the wrapper torn open, the plastic tray pulled half way out of the wrapper & one of the peppermint cups with a hole right through the center. Talk about expensive tastes! (I should explain that I keep a large supply of chocolate bars, truffles, etc. right next to my bed. Well, c'mon...doesn't everyone?)

I decided to start calling him Mr. Jingles (named after the mouse in the book/film 'The Green Mile', being that he was incredibly unique, as well). Weeks went by & I would watch him come out at night to eat nuts, chocolate (yes, I'm a sucker) & drink water (I found this tiny ramekin for him to drink out of *blush*). He never came on the bed & never went in my clothes; we had a mutual understanding. He got bigger as the months went by (& quite a bit wider).

They say if you see one mouse that you have a house full. Not with Mr. Jingles around! I believe he thought it was his territory for some reason & no other mice were allowed entry. How do I know? Well, you should have heard him when another mouse got in! They fought for about 20 minutes until the other mouse left. Umm, or was killed, I guess I'd rather not know. Out runs Mr. Jingles after it was all over, up to the side of my bed, stops & looks at me for a second, then off to his dish & away with a Newman's Dark Peanut Butter Cup in his tiny little mouth.

Mr. Jingles stayed for about a year & a half, then was gone. I never did find his final resting place but he did leave one thing behind; I call him Jingles Jr.

Pink Flamingos

A place where everyone can be themselves, no matter how bizarre or strange others may find them. I am speaking of John Waters film 'Pink Flamingos'. (Not recommended for the faint-at-heart or the easily offended. Actually, if you are one of those, you'd best stop reading this blog too!)

How wonderful to see acceptance of eccentricities as the norm & not the exception. It's so hard to find people these days who accept you for who you are, your beliefs, etc. They tend to judge you on first sight, OR in worst case scenario you get along really well for a long time until they find out that one little thing about you they just can't overlook. I try extremely hard to not judge a book by its cover.

Me? You want to know my eccentricities? I may tell you after a while. Once I get to know you better. You may be disappointed, though. We're not all as different as you might think.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Disposable Society

I made this wedding cake a few weeks ago. This is what I do to try & earn a living. This is my art. The catch is, I want it to taste as good as it looks. Most people don't care about that anymore. They either want a really cheap cake or they want it beautiful, yet disposable. They want a fake cake made out of styrofoam...yumm...


You're a young child running around a hotel. You think you finally got away from mommy & daddy & you know right where you're heading. You saw that lady carry in a cake that was taller than you. It was covered in frosting & sparkly stuff. You run up to the table, stop & gasp with delight! Standing on tip-toes & stretching those tiny fingers until you know you can grasp a hand full of frosting. At that moment you hear daddy screaming at you to 'Get away from the cake, don't you dare touch that cake!' but it's too late for them to stop you...your hand is on the cake, grabbing a flower...but,'s not soft & fluffy? You pull your hand away with a sharp pinch. Your fingers hold the beautiful rose along with a few drops of your own blood, for the rose was fake, along with the cake, & you've cut yourself on the "frosting".

Now, does that sound like fun? See why I won't make fake cakes? I won't compromise my principles for anything or anyone.

We live in a disposable society. Things aren't repaired anymore, they're simply thrown away. Why pay someone to fix something for, say, $50 when you can go to Walmart & buy a new piece of cheap plastic crap for $25. (Never mind that it costs you another $25 worth of gas to fuel your Fuck-off Ford V8 Truck so you can drive your lazy ass over to Walmart.)

I firmly believe in quality NOT quantity. Is this where our society is headed? Would the majority really rather have a pound of cheap chocolate that tastes like wax as opposed to one ounce that tastes like liquid heaven melting on your tongue? Please tell me there are like minds in this universe. Please tell me everything does turn out just fine. Please tell me chivalry isn't dead.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Nearly midnight
trying to get this to look right
eyes getting red
thinking of my warm bed
one last try