a blog birthday, coming attractions, and the fuzzy one

*enters kitchen, turns on the stove, takes a bite*

Hello, Cutie Pies! We’re b – a – a – a – c – k!

Hope you had a nice summer feasting on sweet corn on-the-cob, juicy watermelon, garden tomatoes and fresh peach pie. How was that hammock working for you? πŸ™‚

Today there’s a lovely back-to-school-ish feeling in the air. New pens and pencils! New spiral-bound notebooks! Smell that clean, crisp paper — blank pages just begging to be written upon.


We’re munching on a little fruit danish this morning to celebrate Alphabet Soup’s 9th Birthday. I’m amazed that someone like me, who’s usually so *cough* quiet, always manages to find something to say. You know who’s to blame, don’t you? YOU!!

Yes, YOU!! You’re the one who’s kept me going, challenging me to do better, dropping by to chew the fat, telling me about new books I have to read, eating all my cookies. Really, I don’t mind. To you, I say, THANK YOU! Thank you for continuing to take a seat at this humble table, for reading my posts, commenting, sharing, and teaching me something new with every visit. In a world of a million blogs, I really appreciate your support!

Thanks, too, to all the authors, illustrators, poets, and indie artists who’ve chatted with me about their work over the years and shared personal recipes (about 200 now!). πŸ™‚

It’s always Colin o’clock at Alphabet Soup!

In fact, I like you so much I don’t even mind sharing Colin and Aidan with you. :). No, wait. I take that back. C&A are mine, all mine!!

Are the stars out tonight
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright
I only have pies for you, dear.


A few of you with eagle eyes may have noticed we’ve given the blog a teensy makeover. The main column is a little wider, allowing room for my expanding waistline for larger images. It’s nice to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out a bit. It used to feel like I was wearing a shirt two sizes too small.

And . . . please hold your applause . . . I learned a little shortcode to make the recipes I post here printable, so you don’t have to do the old copy and paste thing. I guess you can teach an old dog new recipe tricks. You’re welcome. πŸ™‚


  • Poldark, Season 2 premieres on PBS September 25! You know what that means, ladies: beautiful Cornwall by the sea, windswept locks, galloping horsie rides, and AIDAN TURNER! Will he and Elizabeth re-kindle their old romance (sorry, Demelza)? Pass the Cornish pasties, please.
  • Return of “The Gilmore Girls” on Netflix. Four brand new 90-minute mini movies will be released November 25, centered around each of the four seasons — apparently they decided to release them simultaneously rather than spreading them out just to please all the fans. Luke’s Diner, here I come!

I didn’t mean to treat you bad
Didn’t know just what I had
But honey now I do
Doughnuts make my brown eyes blue

Mr. Cornelius briefing new Beatrix Potter kitchen helpers.


  • Indie Artist Spotlight Interviews with Julie Schronk and Kristin Mayberry
  • Musings about 2 parts of Susan Branch’s 3-part memoir, The Fairy Tale Girl and Martha’s Vineyard: Isle of Dreams (+ cookies)
  • Review of The Pancake King by Phyllis La Farge and Seymour Chwast (+ recipe)
  • Cookie Picture Book Roundup
  • Interview with author/illustrator Elisa Kleven on her new picture book, The Horribly Hungry Gingerbread Boy
  • Poems by LeslΓ©a NewmanΒ (+ recipe) and Alice Oswald
  • Cool Things Roundups
  • Review of The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter and Quentin Blake (+ snacks)
  • Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday on September 13
  • Usual mischief, maybe canoodling (don’t you love that word?)

Summer Brie, makes me feel fine . . .


One of the Fuzzies

This seems to be the year of the fox. Been seeing lots of foxy merchandise and books out there. We heartily approve of this trend, as we’ve lived with generations of foxes here at our little abode in the woods. Though they all descend from the Great Reynaldo (a legend in these parts), thanks to Len they’re all named “Fuzzy.”

We’ve had the pleasure of knowing many Fuzzies over the years, but none is as special as our current one. Over the summer, we trained him to come when called. Every evening around 7:30, we’ll open the kitchen door and call out, “Fuzzy, Dinner!” In about three seconds he’ll come bounding from the woods to devour our leftovers.

Chicken remains his favorite, followed by hot dogs, fish, and spare ribs. He will also eat bread, potatoes, pasta and fruit, but still doesn’t like veggies. Come Christmas, maybe we’ll read him the story of The Gingerbread Man. πŸ™‚

There’s a somebody I’m longin’ to see
I hope that he, turns out to be
Salmon to watch over me.


Mr. Cornelius's Recipe for Having a Great Autumn

  • Servings: 934
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • dark chocolate bars, bonbons and chips
  • a nice variety of mustaches
  • 150 jars of thick-cut orange marmalade
  • 32 dozen freshly baked warm scones
  • 68 cute little jars of Devonshire clotted cream
  • 37 jars of strawberry jam
  • 60 gallons of Yorkshire Gold and Twinings Darjeeling tea
  • dapper hats
  • 21 dozen loaves of Mrs. Patmore’s best white bread
  • 19 plump apple pies


  1. Each day of the season, wear a cool mustache and dapper hat.
  2. On some days, make sandwiches with the white bread and marmalade. Stash a couple under your hat. Have fun walking under falling leaves or picnicking in the park. Mind you don’t overflow the bathtub when you get home.
  3. On other days, eat warm scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Sip copious amounts of tea. Envision yourself at Highclere Castle with a handsome butler and vigorous footmen at your beck and call.
  4. When you’re in an especially chatty mood, invite friends over for apple pie (pies are always meant for sharing). Ask them to read aloud from your favorite novel.
  5. Every day, yes every day — eat some dark chocolate in whatever form you prefer. Read good books, write good stories and poems. Sing and play the piano. Tap dance.
  6. Bask in the splendor of this beautiful season and express gratitude for the multitude of small things and gracious people that enrich your life. Always be kind.


Teachers, Students, Librarians: Have a Wonderful School Year!

Authors, Illustrators, Poets, Good-looking Blog Readers: Happy Reading, Writing, Drawing, and Eating!!

See you next time with Beatrix Potter πŸ™‚

another one bites the crust

*Overbaked song lyrics by Mr. Cornelius

Copyright Β© 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

55 thoughts on “a blog birthday, coming attractions, and the fuzzy one

  1. Happy blog birthday! That’s neat that you figured out how to make recipes printable. Always looking out for us — thanks, Jama! I love imagine you feeding Fuzzy. My mom sent photos yesterday of their new visitors — bobwhite quail! Pretty little birds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Tabatha. Actually WordPress has had the printable recipe option available to its users for awhile, but I never took the time to learn how to do it. I had a couple of questions sorted out with tech support, too — they are the BEST.

      Bobwhite quail? Wow, not something you see often, or ever . . .


  2. Welcome back, Jama, you bring me a smile with each post. Happy blogiversary too, almost growing up to double-digit day! Maybe time to bring all those recipes together into a special cookbook! Enjoy your autumn, on its way here, and I want “Salmon to watch over me” too! Thanks a bunch!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Linda! Yes, AS is almost into double digits. What a fossil! Thanks for all the encouragement and support and comments through the years. So good to know you’re out there.


  3. I think Cornelius and I will have to re-size our clothing after following his autumn recipe! Maybe he’s thinking that it’s wise to fatten up for the winter?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amazingly, Cornelius maintains the same weight no matter what he eats. I will definitely have to be careful about following his recipe myself, or I’ll need to widen this blog template even more. πŸ˜€


  4. Welcome back and happy blog-aversary, Jama! What a great celebratory/preview post today. I especially love the idea of having your very own fox named “Fuzzy” dashing to your doorstep. That is SO cool. I think it might be Colin o’clock at my house, too. =)


  5. Colin o’clock at YOUR house? Hmmmm, well since it’s you, I’ll share him just a little. πŸ˜€ We once saw Fuzzy playing with one of his kits — so adorable. He’s also gotten spoiled, sometimes playing hard to get if he doesn’t get chicken.


  6. Wonderful to have you back, Miss Jama! My thanks to you and Mr. C for the excellent recipe. Despite the heat here, the trees seem well aware that it’s almost autumn and the leaves are turning color and letting go. And I’m ready to bask in all that splendor. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to be back, Miss Linda :). I’m more than ready for some cooler Autumn weather and pretty colors. Mr. C sends his regards!


  7. Happy blogiversary, Jama! I’m so glad you’re back.

    “Another one bits the crust.” – Hee hee!

    Although someone else wrote this #BeatleFoodie (a game on Twitter), I think it’s most appropriate for you and Alphabet Soup today:

    “You say good pie and I say Jell-o.” πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love that one! Whenever someone mentions Jell-O, I always think of that Julia Roberts movie, “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Remember the part when Cameron Diaz’s character says, “I could be Jell-O . . . I have to be Jell-O!” ?


    1. Thanks, Matt — nice to be back. Glad you like the new look. We shall try to keep things reasonably tidy over here from now on . . . πŸ™‚


  8. Great to have you back, Jama- even if you won’t share C&AπŸ˜‰ Happy Blogiversary! Love the new look. And Mr.Cornelius’s autumn recipe is just perfect!


  9. Hi Iza! Sorry about C&A; I have to be possessive about “some” things. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the good wishes. Mr. C is happy you like his autumn recipe. Best to stock up on clotted cream and jams ahead of time.


  10. Welcome back! I had to make do while you were away…cue music…

    I hadda sit right down and bake myself a recipe
    And make believe it came from you.
    I baked treats eew, too sweet
    They’re nearly knocked me off my feet.
    A row of cookies burnt on the bottom
    Not so glad I tried ’em.

    (With apologies to songwriters Fred E. Ahlert and Joe Young.)

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Welcome back! So happy to see you here. I love the bit of extra space because your photos are so amazingly adorable. In my quest to shrink my waistline I shall try mightily to avoid the print button on your recipes, though it will be with great regret.

    And YES, YES, YES to season 2 of Poldark. I can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’ve given me extra incentive to post recipes which are so tantalizing you won’t be able to resist clicking on the PRINT link!!


  12. I can’t believe that you offered to share Colin Firth – and then just as quickly whisked him away again. The giggles I have at you! But we won’t mention my date with Mr Darcy earlier in the week…
    Happy Blogiversary. Thanks for the laughter – and the yummy treats.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Date with Mr. Darcy??!!! What date!??? Impossible. And here I thought of you as a friend . . .
      Thanks for the HB wishes. It’s nice to be back, but I can see I will have to keep a very careful eye on you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Erik! I missed your blog during the summer. I’m back to tantalize you with GOOD EATS.

      We love Fuzzy. In all our years of having foxes, we’ve only been able to “train” two of them. The one we have now is pretty spoiled — he expects organic meat every night and sometimes turns his nose up at things like bread. We also feed him puppy biscuits sometimes. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    2. We throw the food on the ground. We wouldn’t want him to eat from our hands and become too tame since he might stop hunting on his own and approach other humans (who might not be as friendly as we are). He also doesn’t like people watching him eat (he’s pretty shy).

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy belated blog birthday! I’m catching up today and am so excited about all that’s to come here at Alphabet Soup. I did notice your blog makeover and I love it. It feels so clean and easy to read! Nice!

    I’m new to the Gilmore Girls. I’d been told by many that I would love the series if I tried it. I was hooked after Season 1, Episode 1. I didn’t know what I was missing!

    I enjoyed your fox story. We have 3 foxes in our neighborhood but they’re pretty skittish. I haven’t tried feeding them.

    Glad you’re back πŸ™‚


    1. Hi Penny! It’s nice to be back, and very good of you to catch up and take the time to comment on all the posts from the last 2 weeks. Yes, the Gilmore Girls! I envy your watching the series for the first time. I think I was hooked right with that first episode too. I love that there’s a lot of food — at Luke’s Diner, in Sookie’s kitchen, and at the Friday night dinners with Lorelai’s parents. And of course, Rory and Lorelai are always eating junk food and drinking tons of coffee.

      Liked by 1 person

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