Saturday, September 20, 2008


8.25 062

Andy only ate food made with pretty colors and themes. His mother knew this and gave him what he wanted. After all, she'd tell people at the market, it's the disease that's talking. Not Andy.

The morning of his father's art exhibition, Andy threw a bowl of Cheerios against the dining room wall. The O's stuck to the wall like buttons and then slid down into the carpet. Andy said it didn't matter that the Cheerios looked like lifesavers. They were all going to die once he ate them.

His mother had bought a starfruit for days like these. She knew the taste wouldn't matter, but it was the shape that Andy would adore. She quickly made up of blueberry oatmeal, garnishing the top in perfect yellow stars. She felt pleased with herself, naming the bowl, "Starry Night." Your father's not the only artist here, she thought. 

Andy took a look at the bowl and smiled but only slightly. He picked up a star and examined it, licking one side. When he saw the stars' dark underbelly, his smile disappeared.

"It's morning," he said. "The stars aren't out yet."

He turned the bowl over, the oats sliding out the edges and onto the oak table.

Starry Night Oatmeal originally eaten and posted here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Legacy

9.6.08 114[3]

"Eat your peaches," mother said. This time she'd put them in oatmeal. I flipped the slice over with my spoon, then pushed it down into the mush. They hid under lumps. I wondered if I said I was too full if she'd never find them. If they'd just go down the garbage disposal like last night's stuffed cabbage.

"For grandma," she said.

My grandmother canned peaches every summer. Mother said we had to finish what we had by July. This kept grandma going, she said.

She did her work in the basement wearing a pink and blue flowered apron that was torn on the shoulder. She couldn't lift her arm past her chin, so she'd ask me to tie it in the back. For some reason, it was never to loose. Always perfect.

We'd wash our hands as my grandfather brought in boxes of fruit. Then we'd wash all the jars my grandma had been saving. She made family members give them back each year, due to expense. I didn't tell her, but I was sure we could get a case for under $5.

We'd can for hours, pealing and cutting and slicing. Watching the pieces float in sugar water when we were done. Then they were sealed and boxed for the family. And the rest grew dusty on the shelf in her cold cellar.

When my grandmother died, she left us a legacy in fruit. 123 jars of peaches. I wondered what would happen when we finished them. What mother would say. 

Blueberry Peach Oatmeal originally eaten and posted here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


8.19.08 004

(Bitter Coffee Oatmeal originally eaten and posted here.)

When Eve threw away the espresso machine, John saw it as a challenge. He watched as she unplugged the $100 Krups that he'd bought in the winter and proceeded to the condo garbage shoot. She didn't say anything when she came back, just rubbed her hands together as a sign that her work was done. John thought, typical, and went back to his tomato and basil sandwich.

He described the weeks that followed as a bender. He drove to work each morning feeling as though he'd been out until 2 a.m., discussing politics and religion with freshly-turned 21-year-olds. His solace was John Mellencamp, the only remaining CD he had that hadn't yet been turned into an iTune.

When Eve said she'd make him oatmeal in the morning to compensate, he said sure. He'd sworn off oats sometime in the 70s but everything involving Eve had turned into spite for the sake of it. The first morning, she covered the oatmeal with a layer of walnuts. "For your heart," she said. John ate four bites, the mushy sugarless substance stuck in the space between his gums and cheek. He looked down at his pants and then at his shirt to see if he was wearing a school uniform.

The weeks after went something like this: John ate four bites, then five, then six until he progressed to finishing the bowl. Eve started making the bowls larger, topping the oats with impossible fruit like grapefruit. John finished them successfully with few stomach aches.

One morning, the day John turned 41, Eve was in the kitchen earlier than normal. She said she was making a special bowl, that he should take his time in the shower. He lathered quickly with a bar of soap and didn't wash his hair.

When he snuck to the kitchen wearing nothing but a towel, he watched Eve pour old coffee grounds into his oatmeal. They had been sitting in the pot since the morning before.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Project

The goal: To combine my love for writing and my love for food in one place

The means: This space and Alphabet Fruit's sister blog, On a Lobster Placemat, where I document a daily journal of the food I eat and enjoy

The way: Writing in the format of microfiction, also known as flash fiction, about the photographs of food I post on On a Lobster Placemat

  • Microfiction is generally defined as a piece of fiction between 250 and 1,000 words. 
  • The work housed on this blog is completely fictional.
  • Posting will occur once a week and sometimes biweekly, depending on time.
  • At times, I will use not only the photo on the sister blog but also some words from the entry
  • Comments and suggestions are encouraged. If there is a particular meal you'd be interested in seeing in a story, send me an email and let me know. 
  • Photo submissions are also encouraged. If there is a meal you've created that you'd like me to write a story about, please send it to me in an email with an attachment and brief description of the food.
What I hope to accomplish:
  • Successfully obtain my goal of combining my writing with food
  • Challenge myself to write on a regular basis, not only when required for class
  • Write about not only the food I love - but the food others enjoy