soup’s on: a blog birthday and other delights


Hey Hey!

I’m back! You look different. Have you had some work done? Eating more fruits and veggies, maybe?

Well, something’s changed.

I swear you’re even more good-looking than you were back in July. Tell me, tell me — how is that even possible?

When last we spoke, 6lueberries were taking over the Alphabet Soup kitchen. Well, you’ll be pleased to know we polished off every last one of those indigo beauties and haven’t had any other grocery shopping mishaps — unless you count the time I asked Len to bring home a spaghetti squash.

Object in question

Me: That’s not a spaghetti squash. It has a pointy end.

Len: Of course it’s a squash.

Me: It looks too small.

Len: Well, I found it next to all the other squashes and there was even a big sign.

Me:ย Imposter!

Len: Don’t be silly. This. is. a. squash.

Me: Hokay, if you insist ย . . .

Marinara sauce simmering, smells good.

Two hours later, a scream from the kitchen.

Len: OH NO!!

Frantic, disheveled writer comes running, expecting to see a gaping knife wound and lots of blood.

What?!! What’s wrong?!!

Len: Look! It’s a . . . MELON!

Writer displays admirable restraint.ย 

Me: Is it a muskmelon?

Len: I don’t know.

Me: Well, I tried to tell you. This is just like Aunty Ella and her Chinese soup fiasco. Instead of winter melon, she got watermelon. So much for our low cal alternative. I’ll cook some penne . . .

Spaghetti squash . . . or is it?

Turns out the object in question is a canary melon, and it was delicious! I like it better than cantaloupe but not as much as honeydew. Canary melons are also called winter melons, but they’re not the same “winter melons” my aunt wanted for her soup, which are actually winter gourds. These guys are actually fruits eaten as vegetables. I swear it’s all a conspiracy. Squash espionage abounds. Henceforth, my code name is Melon Head. ๐Ÿ™‚

Come to me, my melon-choly baby.

* * *


Can you believe it? Alphabet Soup turned 6 this month!

That makes 1400+ posts, a million photos, 346 pies, 5,789 cupcakes, 12,409 cookies, 289 bowls of tomato soup, 4 cameras, 3 computers, 300+ bears, and one moose.

Maybe we should have 6 quarts of blueberries to celebrate. Not.


Six recent obsessions:

  • Sheldon on “Big Bang Theory” — knockknockknock Penny, knockknockknock Penny, knockknockknock, Penny. Would you like a hot beverage?
  • Author/illustrator Cece Bell — her work makes me so happy and look at her kitchen! I love love love Crankee Doodle — her macaroni is perfection.
  • Moomins — “50 Lessons That Moomins Can Teach You About Life”
  • Maine — I will find the best lobster roll!
  • 365 Honey Flakes and Oat Clusters cereal
  • One hen, two ducks, three squawking geese, four corpulent porpoises, five starfish that lie on the ground screaming, six pairs of Don Alviro tweezers




Slap me with a wet noodle. I swore up and down I would never get a Pinterest account. But as I do a fair amount of photo and recipe research, it was only a matter of time before the all-powerful-mega-mmwwahahaha-vortex sucked me in with its purty pictures.

So, in the name of official research (cough, cough) and also because I am by nature a collector of many things serious and sundry, I put up a few boards.

Six Sweet and Savory Pinterest Boards:

Mr. Cornelius is working on this board:

If you know of any other food-related titles for children ages 4-12, please let me know so I can add them!

Meanwhile, there are some crazy talented people warming up in the green room, sipping hot beverages and nibbling on goodies. They’ll be stepping into the kitchen in coming weeks to tell us all about their books. At least four of them are crazy for chocolate and one has even eaten kangaroo.

Six Seven Awesome Guests Coming Soon to Alphabet Soup (in no particular order):

Ben Clanton, author/illustrator of The Table Sets Itself (Walker Books, 2013):


Susan Fillion, author/illustrator of Pizza in Pienza (David Godine, 2013):


Mara Price, author of Grandma’s Chocolate/El Chocolate De Abuelita (Pinata Books, 2010):


Ginger Park and Frances Park, authors of Allergies Away!: Creative Eats and Mouthwatering Treats for Kids Allergic to Nuts, Dairy, and Eggs (St. Martin’s, 2013):


Natalie S. Bober, author of Papa is a Poet: A Story About Robert Frost (Henry Holt, 2013):


Aaron Reynolds, author of Carnivores (Chronicle Books, 2013):


We’ll also continue our Indie Artist Spotlight Series, celebrating the handmade and heartmade. ๐Ÿ™‚


* * *

So here we go, tumbling into year seven. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you — your reading, your delightful comments, your unwaivering support, your slurping and burping.

And your good looks. ๐Ÿ™‚

A big thanks to longtime readers, a big welcome to new subscribers.

You’re all GORGEOUS!

Happy Almost Fall.


Melon Head
bada bing!



*EATS CAKE AND LEAVES! side plate by Jimbobart.

Copyright ยฉ 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.


46 thoughts on “soup’s on: a blog birthday and other delights

  1. Happy blogiversary, Jama! That is a funny story. I would have thought it was a squash too.


    1. What a nice thing to say, Jill. I’ve been reading your blog all summer even though I haven’t been commenting. Gotta get my daily dose of Rhapsody :).


  2. Hi Jama! I love the panda plate! Welcome to Pinterest, too, it sure is a time-sucker, but so enlightening. I was browsing your Vintage Menus… board–nice collection. Have you seen the NYPL menu project, “What’s on the Menu?”?


  3. Congratulations on your six years, Jama! What a sweet feat! Ha-you’ve got me rhyming I enjoyed your post so much! Love the “melon-choly baby” and all the rest. I will check out the Pinterest boards; maybe they will get me hooked. I keep forgetting! Thanks for all!


    1. Sweet feat indeed! (I also have sweet feet.)

      Colin sends his regards. I’ve been really good about not creating a Colin Pinterest board. I must show my usual admirable restraint for some things. Ahem!

      I like making the book boards for my own reference. I’ve also been able to find more good indie artists via Pinterest.


  4. Happy birthday to your blog, still a national treasure! (I think 7-Imp is 8 this month, but I always forget about its birthday … it’s gonna go to therapy one day and gripe about me.)

    Looking forward to your posts, and welcome back!


    1. Hee, therapy! “Blogger Dearest”

      You started in August too? Wow, 8 years is a LONG time. Happy Birthday to 7-Imp, truly the real national treasure. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Thanks so much, Liz — I’ve met the best people through Poetry Friday. Looking forward to reading more of your poetry and posts!


  5. Happy blogversary. I’m SO not pulled to Pinterest, and then you had to post Cornelius’ page.Zooom!


    1. Oh I know what you mean. Because it sometimes helps to simplify my image searches, I’m actually saving time rather than wasting time by using Pinterest. Sometimes.

      I also started an England’s Calling board which is helping to jog my memory for essay ideas. I feel happy whenever I look at it :).


  6. Jama Jama Jama – happy blog anniversary and thank you for being a beacon of blogging light for the rest of us! I always know it will be a treat coming here. Love the melon story. MWAH to you, gorgeous Melon Head.

    But now for the most important thing: EATS CAKE AND LEAVES plates??? WHERE? HOW? WHAAAAAA??????


    1. Hello My Beauty,

      It’s nice to be back! LOVE the superhero capes you made for the boys, BTW. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Ah, Jimbobart — here’s a good example of an artist I wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for Pinterest. I actually saw his plates for sale at Liberty of London, then tracked him down to Etsy:

      He does this whole range of hand painted ceramics featuring animal characters — not only plates but mug sets and platters!! His humor is wonderful. Get your credit card ready . . .


      1. Oh, my! He has Super-Badger serving plates, with cape! Just pinned him to my private “Gifts for Renee” board. ๐Ÿ™‚

        The boys haven’t removed their capes since I made them. Too funny.


    1. Ooh la la indeed! Both are funny as all get out. Ben’s a chocolate lover and Aaron likes lasagna. My kind of people. ๐Ÿ™‚


    1. Who’s Len? Who’s Len?!

      He’s the resident leprechaun who helps in the kitchen. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Cornelius says he is NOT playing with his food — he’s eating in a civilized manner.


  7. Happy Blogoversary!!! And what a nice celebrations of goodies and squash/melon/squash/melon, etc! What a fun story!
    I had spaghetti squash at my sister’s house two weeks ago. I’m glad she didn’t offer melon with meat sauce!
    I’m soooo looking forward to your seven guests!


    1. Melon with Meat Sauce has a nice ring to it, I must say. I do like spaghetti squash — happy to report that the following week Len finally got one!


  8. Knock knock – is the party still going on? Did Mr. Cornelius save me just an eensy bit of icing?

    Happy Blog-iversary!!! So glad you’re back. As you can probably tell, I haven’t quite gotten back in the saddle this month with settling kids in college and hubby in a new job and whatnot. In fact, have you seen a rider-less horse wandering about?

    Can’t wait to come swim in the soup with all the goodness you have lined up, and… – Pinterest?! Oh, my! :0)


    1. The party is definitely still on. Lots of cupcakes left (had to hide them from Cornelius). Sounds like you’ve got a LOT on your plate these days. Best to ease back into the saddle slowly . . . quite a challenge after being in summer mode.


    1. Thanks for reminding me, Kathleen — I own that one and love it. Christopher Denise’s illustrations are wonderful! I mentioned it in my cookbook roundup post but it deserves its own pin.


Comments are closed.