A Parody of The Cat in the Hat in These Politically and Racially Heated Times

IMG_0932I recently read The Cat in the Hat to my son, Daniel, and found myself thinking that there was some similarity in the absurdity of the story and our political reality that could work to describe the sad political events of late.

Maybe someday soon, I would try to explain this history to my son who is too young to understand. The absurdity of each day’s new information sometimes makes life and our POTUS feel unreal, hence, the more mythical representation in my cartoon drawing.

Part of my job as Mom is to doodle for Daniel’s delight. Since I declined an offer to continue as Associate Dean in order to have more time with Daniel, I have more time for odd, creative expressions. Needless to say, the drawing could use more work.

Gosh, I feel badly that this post isn’t about food; but I recently decided to allow myself some creative freedom in July, and the poem below showed up.

As a mom of a multi-racial child, it is important to me that something different happens in 2020. Share if any part of this tribute to Dr. Seuss (I heard somewhere that he started as a political cartoonist) and a desire for change, resonates.

Lines from The Cat in the Hat are italicized and quoted below as much as possible.

The Trump in the House

The sun did not shine.
It was too sad a day
As we watched all the votes
To the Trump slip away.

Republican friends said,
“With 16 nominees counted in all,
He was our last choice,
We did not want him at all.”

Like many, we believed in the intelligence of Hillary,
But doubts still lingered about her integrity.
And, quite naively,
We still wanted Bernie.

Democrats divided over a Pants Suit Nation
Realized too late
That strategy lacked,
The error—a Democratic National Convention creation.

I sat there with hubby.
“We sat there we too.”
Stunned into silence,
To the T.V., our eyes stuck like glue.

Debates and Trump scandals
Showcased a chauvinist’s world, worse than beck and call.
We couldn’t believe the times.
“So we sat in the house.
We did nothing at all.”

Too dark to go out,
And too cold in hearts within,
With friends of different races,
I worried again about the color of our skin.

Election mourners resigned,
Muttered or shouted.
“And we did not like it.
Not one little bit.”

“And then
Something went BUMP!”
How that Trump made us jump!

We stared!
We read of intelligence with Russians he shared.
We shook!
We didn’t believe the number of tax dollars spent on flights that he took.

The media mounted and began to engage
So did groundswells of disappointment, fear, and public outrage.
Tweets from the POTUS emerged on Twitter
And with each, we asked, “Could ANY President be fitter?”

And Molly McKee who was not quite three, said,
“This is not my President. Could he really be?”
Beguiled, The Trump looked at her and smiled.
“Why, we can have
Lots of good fun.”
In the end,
With a game that I’ll call,
Let’s pretend.’

Ivanka will be counsel with my cabinet
Of well-paid friends.
We’ll chat at Mar-A-Lago as we ring service bells,
Then chide the public, if at Bendel’s, her clothing does not sell.

Later came the debates
And more crimes and bills filled with hate.
“Stop what you’re doing!” said a young Kennedy rep.
“Into the house, a more flawed bill never crept!”
This game’s no fun
When you wholesale kill, reasonable care for everyone.”

“This is no fun at all,” said the heir to St. Peter.
“Give refuge to your brother-in-need.
We need a humanitarian leader.”

Have no fear!” said the Trump.
“Look at me!”
Look at me now!”
“Boy, do I president well!
All in the world now seems swell.

In South Korea, I’ve got troops to boot,
To the North and their nuclear weapons, I’m aimed to shoot!
Environmental gains? No, no way!
I’d rather shun science, or toy with the media today.

But that is not all.
Oh, no. That is not all.”
I know some good games we could play,” said the Trump.
Of its deals, my family’ll divest, but then Jared and the Saudis can take all the rest.

I know some new tricks,” said the Trump.
“I’ll show them to you.”
I’ll divert your attention,
While the elderly and chronically ill get screwed.

First in airports, I’ll make refugee children cry
As I detain them from parents
And do nothing
As policemen and people of color die.

I won’t unite this country,” said the Trump
“It’s not what I do.
Money’s my game and
Wielding power’s what I choose.”

Then, a cultural conscience arose.
In airports, we saw
What no one expected to see,
Lawyers typing habeas corpus petitions,

They said,
“You do not want to play.
He should not be here.
He should not be about.
He should not be here.
Do what you can, so in 2020 he’s out.”

My tricks are not bad,”
said the Trump in the House.
“Don’t make fun of me. I’m not a louse.”
Look what I’ve done in 100 days.
The stock market’s bullish and
Obamacare’s almost out of phase.

With all that the Trump said,
The comics and actors said unkind things and wished him dead
But from where we sit, this too is no good
Violence it begets, with a dead dad at a traffic light stop,
And beatings to death in the average neighborhood.

That is not what we need at all.
From where we sit, we can see all the things begin to fall.
From where we sit, we see a beautiful country in crisis,
and an overseas leader whose view on nukes
May be worse than the Trump’s colored portrait of ISIS.

The Trump’s game is one of Ego’s solitaire.
To play against the House, very few will dare.
Each move he makes, shocking, yet calculated and strategic.
But, for this cankered, presidential disease,
There is no analgesic.

You say, “Oh no! There was never a game at all.”
“Correct, but the bluff’s been called too late.
Even our vote for Hillary was action, slow out of the gate.
The results like a Tsunami wave, crash hard.
No, you are right, there was never a game– only the Trump card.

Looking for a Leader to Unite the United States in 2020 . . .

Filipino Chicken Adobo

Poultry, Recipe | July 2, 2017 | By

chicken-adobo-minIf I were ever tasked with mainstreaming Filipino food into U.S. culture, there would be two foods on that campaign trail that have never failed to please crowds: chicken adobo and lumpia. Chicken adobo is the equivalent to the pot roast of the Philippines and well-worth knowing how to cook.

I’ve shared my mother’s chicken adobo recipe multiple times with friends at parties and on-air, in an old public access cooking show. That being said, I’ll share it again in this blog, because I recently made it for a last-day-of-the-semester, class potluck party. It got great reviews and just confirmed for me that it really is an easy dish to like. In addition, it is very inexpensive for college students and families. It’s easy to make big batches and also easy to freeze, if needed.


Cornbread for Cornbread Lovers and Haters

Recipe | June 19, 2017 | By

CornbreadNot sure where or how this cornbread recipe came into my hands, but it is the one that please people who love cornbread and people like me who typically dislike it. Use up heavy cream after the holidays with this recipe if you like.


Campers’ Sweet Potato Quesadillas-Ode to the One Vegetable Daniel Will Eat

Recipe | May 6, 2017 | By

recipe2Hubris. It was the demise of many a Greek subject in mythology and maybe it was ours too when it came to  our son eating vegetables.

When Daniel went in for his nine-month check up, we told his pediatrician, “Daniel will eat anything we put in front of him, bolognese, lamb chops, broccoli, eggplant, sweet potato, anything. We even tried broccoli rabe with him, and he ate it!” 

Daniel’s doctor promptly replied, “Oh, that’ll change. Just wait until he turns one.”

We rejected the words of this harbinger of doom, our very own Cassandra. We were convinced that our son had inherited our palates. And maybe we took too much pride, too much delight, in the way he ate all of the food we cooked for him.

Like clockwork, and as if our pediatrician had cursed us,


When Simple is All You Need: The Grace of a Well-Cooked Egg (Egg Primer 101)

Daniel making eggsSome say that the numerous pleats of the tall, chef’s toque hat is a nod to the gastronomic wonder of the numerous ways to cook an egg. Even after culinary school, I can neither confirm nor deny whether there are more than a 100 ways to cook an egg. Investigative reports thus far seem inconclusive. See http://www.bonappetit.com/people/chefs/article/why-are-there-100-folds-in-a-chef-s-toque.

I only know that I love a well-cooked egg. It’s beautifully packaged and complete unto itself.

The other day as I sat with a small panel of chef instructors to taste students’ final presentations of their French cuisine menus, a conversation around eggs began. We were tasting exciting dishes such as


Ancient Chinese Secrets 101-Boost the Immune System

IMG_0012Disclaimer: I have no medical background and claim no knowledge of medicine. The name of the recipe below is “Immune Boosting Tea” but neither I nor anyone mentioned in this article make any medical claims about the tea made from the recipe provided.

Brrr…cough, cough. Sun? Not always. Freezing rain, maybe. Snow in spring, almost a fifty-fifty chance in Wisconsin.

This year, students of mine fell ill in droves, and so did I. A student came to me to ask if I could help her, because she was experiencing chills and rising heat. She had heard of a time when I brewed a pot of tea full of spices, including garlic, ginger, and cinnamon to help a Product Identification class overcome a wave of sickness. In Healing Spices, Bharat Aggarwal, PhD, writes about the thousands of studies done by the National Institutes of Health. According to Aggarwal, a small study in England and Russia found a correlation between garlic and cold prevention. Ginger may help to manage the nausea of flu.

I had my student peel the ginger in the recipe with the tip of a spoon facing downward toward the ginger root, because it’s safer. I worked at slicing the scallions. The interesting thing about this immune boosting tea