Saturday, April 30, 2016

Filling Station by Elizabeth Bishop

Oh, but it is dirty!
—this little filling station,
oil-soaked, oil-permeated
to a disturbing, over-all
black translucency.
Be careful with that match!

Father wears a dirty,
oil-soaked monkey suit
that cuts him under the arms,
and several quick and saucy
and greasy sons assist him
(it’s a family filling station),
all quite thoroughly dirty.

Do they live in the station?
It has a cement porch
behind the pumps, and on it
a set of crushed and grease-
impregnated wickerwork;
on the wicker sofa
a dirty dog, quite comfy.

Some comic books provide
the only note of color—
of certain color. They lie
upon a big dim doily
draping a taboret
(part of the set), beside
a big hirsute begonia.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily?
(Embroidered in daisy stitch
with marguerites, I think,
and heavy with gray crochet.)

Somebody embroidered the doily.
Somebody waters the plant,
or oils it, maybe. Somebody
arranges the rows of cans
so that they softly say:
to high-strung automobiles.
Somebody loves us all.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Me and Willie

Today is Willie Nelson's birthday.

He's 83 today.

I have loved Willie Nelson forever.

I've lost track of how many times I've seen him in concert.

Including one crazy weekend in 1983 when he had one of his infamous 4th of July concerts at the Atlanta International Raceway in Hampton, GA.  A crowd of approximately 30,000 got to see Willie, David Allan Coe, The Stay Cats, Linda Ronstadt, Waylon Jennings and Jessie Colter.  There were others, I just don't remember who. 

don't ask.


I do still have my ticket.

And the teeshirt.

I remember when his album Red Headed Stranger was released in the 70s.

I went through some tough times and I was working two jobs, occasionally three. 

Willie helped me through some of those tough times.

The Red Headed Stranger somehow became my Sunday morning ritual. 

Me, my coffee and this album.
A friend would tease me about this and would sometimes call on Sunday mornings and ask if Willie and I were attending church services? Or was I off to attend the Church of Willie.
I haven't listened to this whole album in a long time, but it's keeping me company today while I'm cleaning this little house.

Willie and I are both a little older, but we are, I think, still enjoying the good life.

Happy Birthday, Willie!

Is This What They Call Haiku

The philosophical meanderings of an aging redneck poet.

Is This What They Call Haiku

If the whiskey doesn't kill me
and my git-tar stays in tune
I can make it through
another wasted night.
To anyone but the curious
posing a question
is sometimes more difficult
than trying to find an answer.
A poor boys dream
is to be rich
get chicks
and drive fast cars.
The good old days
like living in a dream
are merely selective memories
spoken fondly of in the present.
Somewhere in transition
there's a free and easy child
with an untamed spirit
running naked to the bone.
Though lost to carnal greed
and sugar coated orgasms
they might be ingenues
in a kinder gentler time.
As darkness falls
an empty silence gives way
to the haunting cries
of endless sorrow.
A newborn infant child
a nobody yet
but soon in touch with dreams
and bound to run.
Where would sunshine be
without the weight
of coming darkness
resting on its shoulders.
In the seasons
of my time
I have known despair
and a tortured soul or two.
I've had many lovin' sweeties
and trophies on my arm
but yet it seems
none would be for long.

Poetry by David L Wright

Thursday, April 28, 2016

For My Grandmother’s Perfume, Norell by Nickole Brown

Because your generation didn’t wear perfume
           but chose a scent—a signature—every day
                      you spritzed a powerhouse floral with top
                                 notes of lavender and mandarin, a loud
smell one part Doris Day, that girl-next-door
           who used Technicolor to find a way to laugh about
                      husbands screwing their secretaries over lunch,
                                 the rest all Faye Dunaway, all high drama
extensions of nails and lashes, your hair a
           a breezy fall of bangs, a stiletto entrance
                      that knew to walk sideways, hip first:
                                 now watch a real lady descend the stairs.

Launched in 1968, Norell
           was the 1950s tingling with the beginning
                      of Disco; Norell was a housewife tired of gospel,
                                 mopping her house to Stevie Wonder instead.

You wore so much of it, tiny pockets
           of your ghost lingered hours after you
                      were gone, and last month, I stalked
                                 a woman wearing your scent through
the grocery so long I abandoned
           my cart and went home. Fanny, tell me:
                      How can manufactured particles carry you
                                 through the air? I always express what I see,
but it was no photo that
           stopped and queased me to my knees.

After all these years, you were an invisible
           trace, and in front of a tower of soup cans
                      I was a simple animal craving the deep memory
                                 worn by a stranger oblivious of me. If I had courage,
the kind of fool I’d like to be,
           I would have pressed my face to her small
                      shoulder, and with the sheer work of
                                 two pink lungs, I would have breathed
enough to
                      you back
                                 to me.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Good days, bad days, we all have 'em . . .

Some days are just better than others.

Yesterday was not my finest day.


First of all - I take back all the bad things I've ever said about cell phones. 

Well, not all things. 

Some of the things.

I bought one for Don Barley when he bought his motorcycle and insisted it go with him while he was riding. 

He bitched, he moaned. 

He hates cell phones worse than I do.
But, God love him, he used it yesterday while he and Alan were out riding The Parkway on their bikes to check in a couple of times to let me know he was, in fact, alive.

And sounded like a kid in a candy store.

All good.

And, I had a good morning working at Pam & Jerry's.

Then I met a friend for lunch where the waitress dropped a glass of ice water in my lap.

oh well. It could have been coffee, right?

Went to Walgreen's to pick up the prescription eye drops for my cataract surgery. They couldn't find them. They'd been awaiting pick-up for longer than their allotted number of days and had been put back on the shelf, but couldn't be found.

So, in wet clothes looking kinda like I had wet my pants, I waited until they were found.

But then they refused to accept the coupons the eye clinic had sent me.

and - - - 
 this happened.

While there waiting for my prescriptions to be found, I wandered around the store a little.  I passed by the greeting card section, saw the sign reminding everyone that Mother's Day would be coming up pretty soon and I thought to myself, "I better grab Mother's Day cards while I'm here." 

and then I remembered. 

and then I cried a little. 

Walgreen's wasn't my favorite place to be yesterday, and I was not their favorite customer.

Deciding the day sucked and having a feeling it could suck a little more I called Belk's when I got home to check on an order that should have been here a few days ago.

"Oh, it was delivered," said she.

"No.  No, it wasn't," said I.

My plan was to go back to Pam & Jerry's to work a little more, but decided, noooo, maybe not.

What I did instead was open a cold beer and went to bed with my book.

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.


Today by Frank O'Hara

   Oh! kangaroos, sequins, chocolate sodas!
   You really are beautiful! Pearls,
   harmonicas, jujubes, aspirins! all
   the stuff they've always talked about
   still makes a poem a surprise!
   These things are with us every day
   even on beachheads and biers. They
   do have meaning. They're strong as rocks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

some morning ramblings

I have always loved this song, 

and Steppenwolf. 

I saw them at Georgia Tech in 1972.

And I have always loved this movie.

I've also had a love/hate relationship with motorcycles my entire life.

My Cambridge friends understand.

We had our first loss as a group when we lost Reggie on a bike.

Then it was Dickie.

Both those boys, and that's what they were, just boys, really, were bright shining lights.

We were a small class, and close.

Still close, although politics has lately caused some words to be said that can't be taken back.

That makes me enormously sad.

In the meantime, Don Barley just left the house on his new bike.

Off to ride The Blue Ridge Parkway with a friend of his.

I know they're going to have fun, it's a gorgeous blue sky day.

A perfect day for a ride through these mountains.

And, I'll be a wreck till he gets back home.



By Tony Hoagland

She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,

windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.

She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.

No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Joys of Living

The Joys of Living

It's the calm you feel at sunrise
emerging from your sleep
as a gentle rush of passing wind
wrestles with the leaves.

It's a good dog in the morning
steady by your side
while jogging down a country road
before the sun is high.

It's scrambled eggs and whiskey
butter beans and ham
meals prepared with fondness
for a very special friend.

It's salty beads of honest sweat
that glisten on your skin
while digging in the loamy earth
to plant a row of corn.

It's standing in the pouring rain
that falls on fields of hay
napping in the shady grove
on lazy summer days.

It's quiet times before the dawn
laying in the dark
grateful for the gift of life
and knowing who to thank.

When silence is the loudest noise...and every man's a king
it's the peaceful easy feeling..that living free can bring.

Poetry by David L Wright

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sunday Musings . . .

I think, actually, I should just call this a procrastination post.

You know.

One of those, "oh, I'll do that in just a little bit,"  or "well, I need to do this and this and that and this and that and then I'll do the important, but hard, thing."

I should be writing.

I had a few days where I was doing that so well!  SO, well!   wow.

But now I'm having a couple days of not doing quite so well.


It'll come.

I know it will.


It's frustrating.

But  -  

I had a pretty good week - how 'bout y'all?

I worked at Pam and Jerry's a few days potting plants, labeling plants, staking plants, taking pictures of plants and just enjoying where I was and who I was with.  All for the upcoming Watauga County Annual Community Plant Sale.

Let's see.  What else did I do?

hmmm - got a manicure.

I met my former boss, Dr. Ostwalt a/k/a "Ozzie" for coffee one morning.

I took a couple of on-line photography lessons in the class I'm taking with Shaw Academy.

I shopped.  Mostly I shopped for Donald.  The man hates doing that, but we're going to be doing some traveling this summer, including my 50th high school reunion, so it was time for the boy to have some new clothes.

I also shopped for myself.  For new bras.  Lemme tell you - that is a pain!  Well, you already know that.  Well.  Some of you do.

It was so frustrating that I wrote about it.  That's what I'll be chatting about next Sunday at Jungle Red.  Shopping.  Usually a fun thing - but not always . . . .

Prince died this week.  You knew that.  Sad.  I was not one of the legions of fans who loved him and his work and was not, truth be told, very familiar with it.  But it's heartbreaking. 

This has been a very tough year with losing so many talented, creative, people.  The list is an unusually long one, I think.  There was an article, however, that explained it in the most basic manner.  We (me/baby boomers) are getting older.  We're beginning to die.  The musicians we've grown up loving are in this category with us - or older.  I can't even bear the thought, but next year and the next and on forward will only bring more of the same.

On the other side of that coin, Barbra Steisand's birthday is today.  She's 74.  Seventy-four.  Wow.  That's hard for me to believe.

So let's listen to her.  She is, I think, phenomenal.

And now. Now I'm going to go write - really . . .

Variation on a Theme by King David by L. B. Thompson

Variation on a Theme by King David

Praise to you!
Praise to you my snappy love!

Praise you in clean socks on a Queens-bound
train; praise you
for your famous avocado
sandwiches; Praise you from Brooklyn to blasphemy!

I've called the mayor to praise you; & a third-
base coach; even
that no-neck accountant
who doesn't have the decency to nod hello
has agreed to praise you!

Praise you with bongos and fine fancy
tea; praise you
with rhumba, tango & marmalade; praise
you with your knickers at your knees!

I praise you on Flag Day, & on whichever equinox
allows for the balancing of eggs;
I praise you with eggs!
Brown ones & jumbo & Faberge Tiffany blue!

On the white of your wrist I praise you;
on the vacuumed throw rug; I praise you full-
page on Sunday! With faxes
& foxgloves & brushed cotton sheets;
with sky-write & timbrel &

wink! Let every soul
in the Battery Tunnel honk
her horn to praise you! Praise you
with ripe limes & wrestling mats;
praise you tax-free with agates and tin foil
& all sparkly things!

Praise you with foggy spectacles and Wisconsin green cheese!
Praise you to the afternoon of orthopedic sneakers;
praise you from poinsettia to piccolo!
Praise you & praise you & praise you!

My love,
from Brooklyn to blasphemy I praise you!

-- L. B. Thompson

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pixie in my Loft by Christos Andreas Kourtis

There is a pixie in my loft
I hear her tip toeing up there
at night I do hear her giggling
singing sweet songs of wonder

I know where she has been
for she always deposits a rock or two
all shiny and polished
and all with cute smiley faces

I see her peaking into my own rock collection
do you know, I'd give her one or two
without her I'd be rather lost
for she is my pixie in my loft

By Christos Andreas Kourtis aka NeonSolaris

Friday, April 22, 2016

Akron, Alabama, circa 1960

This is what it was like to grow up
down there, then. A pretty place
but desolate. The signs that are supposed
to tell you what to do, or be, or buy
are faded to the point of inarticulation.
You surmise people used to talk
about everything you need to know
but have grown silent for some reason.
A black man sat down in a soda shop
to eat a bite, and terrified, it seemed, the patrons.
I was there in that tense silence,
licking my strawberry cone, and it was
just like this picture of kudzu in winter,
the prettiness all covered over
with something growing too fast,
enshrouding the landscape with a sinewy
fabric that lives off the lives of others.
Or this next one of the house and car
in Akron, Alabama. The house is beat-up
and rusty, but habitable. You could live there
fine until something happens – a cross
flaming on the uncut lawn, or your housegirl’s husband
with his foot shot off. That blue car’s
been in the yard forever just waiting
for you to need it, and now you do.
So you head out, past the washer on the porch
and down the walk. You get in and realize
you’re not going anywhere: it’s up on blocks,
overrun by families of mice and birds. Why
did you never notice that before? How stuck here
you are with the blank sky and the fallen fences, the awful
unexplained silences of the South

by Kate Daniels

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Let's bring a little sanity and respect back to North Carolina

"This is an actual photo (via WRAL) of Gov. McCrory being told that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that transgender people do in fact deserve equal rights protection. 

This is the face of a man who just found out that he cost his state billions in Title IX funding."

Looking kinda beat up isn't he? 

Wish I could say I was sorry about that. 

He has ruined lives with his selfish stance on health care in this state. Destroyed education. Has made some great strides in destroying our environment and would like to do more. Made North Carolina look like a state of fools and bigots. 

He is trying to ruin even more lives with HB2. 

He's allowed himself, I believe, to be manipulated by the money men who hold his strings while lining his own pockets. In my most humble opinion, he's arrogant. He's a liar. He's weak. He disgusts me.

There is one thing I can say for Pat McCrory. He and his ilk have moved me to finally stop just talking, whining and ranting about politics and actually DO something. So off I go most days now to help the amazing politically active Jerry and Pamela Williamson. They are a force, I mean a FORCE, behind Democrats in this county and in this entire state. I don't know how many years the Watauga County Annual Community Plant Sale has been going on - about a dozen, I think -  but it's an amazing event which raises money (a lot of money) for Watauga County Democrats. 

Check it out -

In case you're thinking "plant sale" as some little front yard venture that might bring in a couple hundred dollars - think again.

Here's a few pics I've been taking as we've been working - and the sale itself doesn't happen until June 11.

There are new plants arriving every day - but here's where we are now . . .

Selling plants, one at a time, to help elect local grassroots democrats and work our way up.

We want our state back!

The North Carolina you've been seeing and reading about in the news lately is NOT who we are!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 11.

7 A.M. - 2 P.M.

375 Old 421 S

Boone, NC

Sorry  -  No early sales.

All proceeds benefit the Watauga County Democratic Party.

I'll keep you posted, so continue watching!

I Am Not Old by Samantha Reynolds

I Am Not Old

I am not old…she said
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation
At the end of the play.
I am the retrospective
Of my life as art
I am the hours
Connected like dots
Into good sense
I am the fullness
Of existing.
You think I am waiting to die…
But I am waiting to be found
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are
Imprints of my journey
Ask me anything.
- Samantha Reynolds

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Pixie King by Adam Latham

Inside the Rainbow Forest
Where unicorns are born,
And fairy dust floats on the air
From sundown until dawn,
There dwells in royal splendour
Yet very rarely seen,
The king of all the pixies
With his pretty pixie queen.

His palace is a mushroom
As tall as any tree,
With bright red spots upon it
That will make you squeal with glee.
A winding golden staircase
Stretches to the very top,
In a mesmerizing spiral
That you think will never stop.

All those brave enough to climb it
Would soon chance upon a door,
With the most enormous knocker
That you really ever saw.
One hard tap summons the butler,
A polite and friendly gnome,
Serving tea and fondant fancies
That will make you feel at home.

Through a maze of vaulted chambers
Each more lavish than the last,
Passing walls lined with the portraits
Of kings from the distant past,
That dear gnome shall gently guide you,
With much merriment and song,
To the Great Hall of his master
Who resides there all day long.

From beneath a silver archway
Set with precious gems galore,
You will enter to the fanfare
Of ten trumpets, maybe more.
Dainty apple blossom petals
Shall be scattered at your feet,
As you bow your head in homage
To the king you are to meet.

With a heart bursting with wonder
You will hastily be brought,
To the throne of his most highness
Far across the royal court,
Threading through the marble towers
Of an ornate colonnade,
And a troupe of prancing dragons
With their riders on parade.

Seated high upon a pumpkin
In a matching orange gown,
Curly shoes of bright green velvet
And an elderflower crown,
The king shall bid you welcome
With a beaming toothy grin,
As he beckons to the minstrel
For the music to begin.

With his beard like cotton candy
Waving wildly in the air,
As he slides down to embrace you
From atop his lofty chair,
Both your arms shall link together
To the fiddler's merry tune,
Clicking heels and laughing loudly
As you skip around the room.

In the magic of the moment
You will give yourself to fun,
As the mischief making monarch
Tweaks your ears and cracks a pun,
All those cares your heart now carries
Shall dissolve and simply be
Lost in wondrous celebration
Of a pixie jamboree!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

God Says Yes To Me by Kaylin Haught

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don't paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I'm telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

Monday, April 18, 2016

If I Had My Life to Live Over by Nadine Stair

If I had my life to live over again,
I’d dare to make more mistakes next time.
I’d relax. I’d limber up.
I’d be sillier than I’ve been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances,
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would, perhaps, have more actual troubles but fewer imaginary ones.
you see, I’m one of those people who was sensible and sane,
hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I’ve had my moments.
If I had to do it over again,
I’d have more of them.
In fact, I’d try to have nothing else- just moments,
one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I’ve been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot-water bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute.
If I could do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live my life over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances,
I would ride more merry-go-rounds,
I would pick more daisies.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Trombone Solo by Stoddard King


I like people
Who strut their stuff,
Any kind of people,
Nice ones of tough,
I like people,
With swagger in their step,
Hot-air people, full
Of popcorn and pep,
Four-flushing people
Whose gestures are free –
Strut your stuff, people,

I like people
Who feel their oats,
High-stepping people
With ego in their throats,
Telling tall stories,
Taller than the steeple,
Getting away with it –
That kind of people.
If it’s done properly,
Carried with an air,
Strut your stuff, people –

Stoddard King

Saturday, April 16, 2016

That Little Beast by Mary Oliver

That Little Beast 

That pretty little beast, a poem,has a mind of its own. 
Sometimes I want it to crave apples but it wants red meat. 
Sometimes I want to walk peacefully on the shore 
and it wants to take off all its clothes and dive in. 

Sometimes I want to use small words and make them important 
and it starts shouting the dictionary, the opportunities. 

Sometimes I want to sum up and give thanks, putting things in order 
and it starts dancing around the room on its four furry legs, laughing and calling me outrageous. 

But sometimes, when I'm thinking about you, and no doubt smiling, 
it sits down quietly, one paw under its chin, and just listens

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Week

I can't even begin to tell you how much I love being able to call my time my own.

I don't think there's anyone on God's green earth who loves being retired more than I.  I think, truly, I was born to be a retired person.

Some days I'm very productive.

Some days I'm a slug.

And do not have to look for approval, or ask forgiveness from a single living soul for either of those things.


I made myself promises when I retired.  I promised to stretch my wings.  Try new things.  Do the things I've wanted to do, but always said I didn't have enough time to do.

Actually, while time was a factor, I'm also of the mind that if there's something you "really" want to do, you will find the time, or make the time, to do it.

I was having dinner with some friends one evening several years back before I retired and we were each sharing what we had been doing since we had last been together.  I remember, fairly vividly, one of the women rolling her eyes and saying to me, "Wow.  I wish I had all the free time you seem to have.  It's all I can do to work and keep the house clean and take care of my husband."  

I balked.

And I tried, truly, to keep my mouth shut.

But . . .

Well, you know . . .

Keeping my mouth shut isn't always something I do well.

Rarely, actually.

So, I said just what I've said here - "If you really want to do something, you're always able to find the time.  As far as those other things, maybe I do them more efficiently, or perhaps my husband is more capable of taking care of himself.  Whatever."

She took offense.

She responded, I listened.

I responded, she fumed.

And I asked, "WHY is it okay that you're offended, but not okay that I'M offended?"

I don't recall ever getting an answer to that question, although, to my mind, she clearly implied there were important things I was just not doing.

Why I told that story has become unclear . . .   LOL!!!

Back to my point - I love being retired.

This week is a perfect example of exactly what I love about it.

It's been a bit of a hodge-podge of doing many of the things I am now enjoying doing.

I have, some mornings, slept late because I stayed up really late reading the evening before - really late.  2 a.m. late.  I've discovered J.D. Robb's "In Death" series and am over the moon in love with them.  Eve and Roark are worthy of having all the fans they've collected and all the analysis pieces that have been written about them.  If, like me, you're late to the game - I encourage you to give them a try.  You probably know J.D. Robb is a name Nora Roberts writes under.  Expect the same things in this series that you already love.

I have, some mornings. gotten up super early.

Small things, I know.  But lovely.

Sleep late, or up in time to watch the sun rise.

My choice.

Lovely, indeed.

So, I've been reading.

I have gone to the gym a couple of times.

I've been helping out with the Watauga County Annual Community Plant Sale which helps raise money every year for the Watauga County Democratic Party.

I've taken a couple of lessons in my on-line photography course from Shaw Academy.

And I've been writing.

(and yes, the house is clean - well, fairly clean.  and yes, husband is fine fine fine)

And the writing is going well.  Yay!

That's not always the case, of course.

But - since seeing Anne Lamott at Lenoir-Rhyne, and then listening to Pam Stack interview James Anderson on her Blog Talk Radio Show, I got inspired and motivated and ready to write.

Luckily, since I'm an indie writer, I am able to write when I feel like it.  I don't have to feel pushed by deadlines.  I can choose and mold my words until they're what I know I'm looking for and am happy with.


It also means I can procrastinate - and, I admit, that is not such a good thing.

But.  That's another topic for another day.

Right now, I'm writing and I'm writing well.

Not fast.

Never fast.

Writing is not something I'm able to do quickly.

But just doing it feels great.  Right now.

Cross your fingers for me that it feels good and remains on the "fun" side of things for awhile.

At the very least, until I get the first draft finished.

That's my immediate goal - getting that terrible awful shitty first draft finished.

I seem to have trouble remembering some very important words from Sir Terry Pratchett -

But, I won't be writing all day.

There's Facebook.  Addictive.  Lovely.  Awful.  Fun.  Horrible.  Facebook.  I love it.


I have to make a salad.

Tomorrow is the Watauga Democratic Convention.  And before the convention starts, attendees are having a potluck lunch.  

How fun is that?

I'm planning on taking my Hungarian Cucumber Salad.

Want the recipe?


Here 'tis - I'm making more than this recipe calls for, but I'll just play around with the amounts as I fix it.

Hungarian Cucumber Salad

(Makes about 6 servings; this recipe is adapted from the traditional recipe in The Art of Hungarian Cooking)

Salad Ingredients:
2 English cucumbers or 3-4 fresh garden cucumbers (cucumbers with small seeds are best for this)
2 tsp. fine table salt (for drawing the water out of the cucumbers)
extra sour cream and paprika, for serving

Dressing Ingredients:
2 garlic cloves, finely minced (more or less to taste)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar (any mild vinegar can be used, but don't use a sweet vinegar)
1/2 - 1 tsp. sweet paprika, to taste
1/4 cup sour cream
2 T olive oil
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Peel the cucumbers, slice cucumber into thin slices.

Put the sliced cucumbers into a bowl and sprinkle with table salt.  Toss until they're well covered. Let cucumbers sit and release their liquid for at least 15-20 minutes.

While cucumbers are sitting, make the dressing. Finely chop 2 cloves of garlic. Whisk together the minced garlic, vinegar, sweet paprika, sour cream, and oil. Season the dressing with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

After cucumbers have been sitting for 15-20 minutes to release the liquid, put them into a colander and let the liquid drain off. Then put a small plate over the cucumbers in the colander and gently press down to squeeze off as much liquid as you can. (You can also put cucumbers inside a clean dish towel and gently squeeze to remove the liquid.) Blot cucumbers dry with a paper towel.

Put cucumbers back in a dry bowl. Add the dressing mixture and gently combine. This salad is best when it sits for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavors combine. Serve with additional sour cream and paprika to add to the salad at the table if desired.