a little taste of james joyce

#3 in an eclectic collection of notable noshes to whet your appetite and brighten your day.

Erasmus T/flickr

“The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.” (Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)


“It soared, a bird, it held its flight, a swift pure cry, soar silver orb it leaped serene, speeding, sustained, to come, don’t spin it out too long long breath he breath long life, soaring high, high resplendent, aflame, crowned, high in the effulgence symbolistic, high, of the ethereal bosom, high, of the high vast irradiation everywhere all soaring all around about the all, the endlessnessnessness…”  (Ulysses)

      Joyce’s sketch of Leopold Bloom (source).


“What is home without Plumtree’s Potted Meat? Incomplete. With it an abode of bliss.” (Ulysses)



” . . . and thither come all herds and fatlings and first fruits of that land for O’Connell Fitzsimon takes toll of them . . . Thither the extremely large wains bring foison of the fields, flaskets of cauliflowers, floats of spinach, pineapple chunks, Rangoon beans, strikes of tomatoes, drums of figs, drills of Swedes, spherical potatoes and tallies of iridescent kale, York and Savoy, and trays of onions, pearls of the earth, and punnets of mushrooms and custard marrows and fat vetches and bere and rape and red green yellow brown russet sweet big bitter ripe pomellated apples and chips of strawberries and sieves of gooseberries, pulp and pelurious, and strawberries fit for princes and raspberries from their canes.” (Ulysses)

“Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.” (Ulysses


We’re out of mutton kidneys, so please have one of these:

Recipe for Minty Shamrock Ice Cream Sandwiches here.


 Happy St. Paddy’s Day (do a little jig in your abode of bliss)!

Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.


dishing up eggs over evie by alison jackson (and there’s cake)!


1 girl, age thirteen
2 parents, divorced
1 dog, big and friendly
1 cranky old neighbor
1 stepmom expecting twins
1 cute cooking partner
Lots of eggs
Pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients without crowding the pan. And don’t forget to sprinkle in a quirky teacher, a missing cat, and a few snob dinners with Chef Dad. Stir gently!


As soon as I finished reading Alison Jackson’s Eggs Over Evie, I just had to try one of the many recipes included in the book. It was the perfect way to extend my enjoyment of this sweet and savory story about budding chef Evie Carson, who lives with her Mom.

Cooking helps Evie cope with some of the changes and adjustments that come with being the child of divorced parents. She’s always shared a special bond with her Dad, a celebrity chef and cookbook author who married his young editor (now expecting twins). When he moves to a condo on the other side of the lake, he takes their dog and all traces of their family life with him. Making soufflés, pies, pizzas, cookies and brownies helps Evie stay connected to her father. Challenges such as learning how to get along with her new stepmom, reaching out to a grumpy neighbor who’s lost her cat, making a new friend at cooking class, and accepting her mom’s new dating status, all provide unique opportunities for character development.

Evie bakes a Red Velvet Cake for her neighbor, whose cat’s gone missing.

Evie’s voice is authentic and engaging, and I like how the story focuses on her personal relationships without glossing over the difficulties of divorce. Her vulnerability and true-to-life reactions endear her to the reader, and the minor characters are well drawn for such a short novel. Of course I especially appreciated how the food theme was extended throughout with quotes from famous chefs and a recipe and cooking tip for each chapter.

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chatting with margaret cardillo and julia denos about just being audrey

“God kissed her on the cheek, and there she was.” ~ Billy Wilder on Audrey Hepburn

I’m really happy to welcome author Margaret Cardillo and illustrator Julia Denos to alphabet soup today because I love love their new picture book biography, Just Being Audrey (Balzer + Bray, 2011)!

As a lifelong Audrey fan, I was truly excited when I first heard about this book when reading Julia’s fab interview at 7-Imp. At a time when young girls look to celebrities for role models, and when all too often those role models disappoint, it’s heartening to know that now Audrey’s story can be held up as rock solid inspiration.

Distilling Hepburn’s fascinating life into 32 pages must have been a daunting task, but Margaret and Julia have done a beautiful job of presenting significant milestones — from Audrey’s unique childhood in Nazi-occupied Europe, to her rise as an award-winning actress and fashion icon, to the tireless work she did on behalf of the world’s impoverished children as International Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF.


I love how Just Being Audrey captures the essence of Audrey’s grace, elegance, style, beauty, indomitable spirit, and unfailing kindness. She was definitely someone who always remained true to herself, and it’s exciting to see generation after generation, regardless of age or gender, continue to admire not only Audrey’s “movie star” persona, but also the totally unassuming person she was in real life. The more you learn about Audrey, the more you want to emulate her conduct and live by her values. Margaret’s and Julia’s own admiration, enthusiasm and love for Audrey shine through on every page — making this well-written, gorgeously illustrated book an especially good choice for Women’s History Month and a wonderful keepsake for girls (and women) of all ages.

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take two of these and call me in the morning

#2 in an eclectic collection of notable noshes to whet your appetite and brighten your day.



Take a block of finest chocolate weighing one ton (or 20 sackfuls of broken chocolate whichever is the easier). Place chocolate in very large cauldron and melt over red-hot furnace. When melted, lower the heat slightly so as not to burn the chocolate, but keep it boiling. Now add the following, in precisely the order given, stirring well all the time and allowing each item to dissolve before adding the next:

The hoof of a manticore
The trunk (and the suitcase) of an elephant
The yolks of three eggs from a whiffle-bird
A wart from a wart-hog
The horn of a cow (it must be a loud horn)
The front tail of a cockatrice
Six ounces of sprunge from a young slimescraper
Two hairs (and one rabbit) from the head of a hippocampus
The beak of a red-breasted wilbatross
A corn from the toe of a unicorn
The four tentacles of a quadropus
The hip (and the po and the pot) of a hippopatamus
The snout of a proghopper
A mole from a mole
The hide (and the seek) of a spotted whangdoodle
The whites of 12 eggs from a tree-squeak
The three feet of a snozzwanger (if you can’t get three feet, one yard will do)
The square-root of a south American abacus
The fangs of a viper (it must be a vindscreen viper)
The chest (and the drawers) of a wild grout

When all the above are thoroughly dissolved, boil for a further 27 days but do not stir. At the end of this time, all liquid will have evaporated and there will be left in the bottom of the cauldron only a hard brown lump about the size of a football. Break this open with a hammer and in the very centre of it you will find a small round pill. This pill is WONKA-VITE.

~ Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

♥ More Tasty Tidbits here.

 Tip: Wonka-Vites have been known to cure a variety of ailments, including Writer’s Block and Twitteritis, in addition to making people younger.

Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

naughty nutella, or, to each his own addiction

  Nutella Pudding by comeundone/flickr.

Before Nutella, I was a good person.

I was sensible, sane (*cough*), relatively rational and mostly in control. Sure, I had my dalliances with cupcakes, macarons and pies, but these indulgences were fueled by requisite research (*cough cough*). I explored, analyzed, tasted, and reported back just for you. Contrary to popular belief, I’m perfectly able to limit my consumption of these treats for special occasions only.

Not so with naughty Nutella. If I were banished to a desert island, the one thing I would take with me (besides a recording of “Like a Rolling Stone”) would be a nasty, nutty, hopelessly unhealthy jar of Nutella. There, under the searing sun, with chapped, cracked lips and tired hair that hadn’t been washed in months, I would dip my pointer finger into my Nutella and bliss out.


Anybody out there know what I’m talking about? One doesn’t choose Nutella. It chooses you. And absolutely NO ONE is safe from its brand of tawdry temptation. So, you think you’re all tidy and health conscious with lots of willpower? Nutella will find a way to weasle itself into your life. All it takes is one weak moment, a teensy dose of curiosity, an innocent offer by even the most trusted of friends — and wham! You’re hooked.

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