Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year


Everyone: this was a pretty rotten year emotionally. Most of us were bound up, not much chance of those wonderful chance encounters occurring to lead us on new paths. The pandemic took a toll on our souls. We found ourselves fighting relatives over vaccines, losing friends over that, and losing loved ones as well. I hope that you are all finding courage and hope to give you strength, and that new dreams begin to trickle in to show you paths to explore with joy and childish innocence.
It has been a long year, emotionally. I hope the coming 2022 is good on 1000 levels.
Let's raise a glass or two, remember friends we knew, laugh about the days we had and dream about those to come.
Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 03, 2021

The Pitch for the Money

Monday, November 29, 2021

Back Surgery Followup

Michael Gorman Just so the world knows, if I am tough enough it is because you ran me ragged at baseball, street football and all sorts of "tough guy" things. You took a little brother who had been sick for two years and pulled, pushed, prodded, encouraged me to swing the bat with the weights on it, to run a dozen street football routes fifteen times to both the left and right daily, to make the 126' baseball toss from a catcher's squat 10-20 times a day, and you did the arrangement and fielding for all of that. At the time I thought I was sometimes being cruelly used, but as a grown up I realized decades ago that you were saving me from a life of self pity as a sick kid. What a yoman's job you did. I did get tough. I fought most of my own fights, I hitchhiked more than 50,000 miles. I spent time, and got away, with people I knew were going to kill me. I could write a book, but what it comes down to is you, our sister Patty, and our sisters Peggy, Barbara, and Regina -- along with Mom and Tom, of course -- took a kid who was near death and weak as weak can be, and allowed me to grow into someone who became a great investigative journalist, a fantastic New York City chef, and an Amazon explorer. Not famous, not rich, but who cares. I got to get my fingernails good and dirty and that is what counts. So thanks for doing that for me. I appreciate it boundlessly. (I'm still probably gonna be screaming for our mom when the doc starts burning off nerve endings tomorrow!!!!!)


Little Back Surgery

Going in for the first of two procedures on my lower back tomorrow. About a dozen hot needles to burn away the nerves on the vertebra. They will grow back in six months or a year and then we will do it again.
Doc asked if I wanted anesthesia. I asked if i could get through it with a local. He asked why. I told him I have been under anesthesia 4 times this year and do not want to push my luck.
He said that I had gone through the trial needles twice with just local and thought I could make it tomorrow the same way.
If you hear some strange sound, like a caterwauling at 2 PM Central Time, that will be me begging for anesthesia.
My daughter Madeleina, who will take me to the op has already said she's not gonna hang with me pre-surgery. "Dad, if I don't see or hear you, I can pretend you're a tough guy. But if I see you begging for mercy from the universe one more time, well, let's just say I don't want to see you act like an ahole again."
She has always been my best and toughest audience. Can't get away with nothin' on that girl.


Sunday, November 21, 2021

What's for dinner? An embarrassment of riches!

To be honest, I am often blessed with an embarrassment of riches despite being a poorish man. (I did just look myself up a couple of days ago on celebrity net worth and they, or a site like that, pegs me at $2million. HA! $2,000 separates me from going in the red and that's how it ever was.)
Okay, so on Saturdays, Adrian likes to cook. So while he and Madeleina go to the supermarket to buy things for Saturday dinner -- when he is off -- I generally make a list of things the house needs, including dinner for Sunday, since the supermarkets around here are pure hell on sweet heavenly Sundays.
I forgot to get food for tonight yesterday. Instead I gave Madeleina and her man Adrian the Thanksgiving list of a 20 pound turkey, a boneless spiral ham, fresh potatoes, yams, celery, onions, garlic, butter, cranberries, good quality ready to heat and serve dinner roll (lazy, I know) and seasoned bread stuffing to which I will add tons of stuff (lazy again). And oranges and apples and pears to stuff the turkey, and fresh maple syrup for the ham glaze.
You know too much about me now, so I guess I'll just kill myself. Okay, skip that. I have a point here if I can just find it... Oh, yeah, food for tonight. What to have? We don't have anything.
So I took a look: In the freezer was a duck and three duck breasts. There was a gallon bag of frozen lamb Tagine, and another gallon bag of fajita stew. Then there was a lot of frozen mariscos (shrimp, squid, octopus, mussels) and I have 8 ounces of cooked Atlantic halibut filets that will go with that. Then there was a couple of pounds of dried red beans and a pound of andouille sausage and Jasmine rice, a box of Manicotti and another of Lasagna with 3 pounds of fresh ricotta, a pound of shredded asiago cheese, tomato sauce, onions, a fresh bag of spinach and some fresh basil that I love, plus garlic, chicken and beef bone broth, and mozzarella cheese to top it all off.
I'm going with the zupa de mariscos with garlic, lime, onions, scallions, cilantro, fresh tomatoes, and finished with angel hair pasta to give it a little heft.
Honestly, an embarrassment of riches. I hope all the poor people out there who are hovering between $2 grand ahead or $2 grand behind can find the same riches in their fridge and cabinets tonight.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Smiling Wide Tonight

Just feel like letting some shine a few people put on me to rock free. Yes, ego engaged, but hopefully justified. Ignore this if you like. I was looking at for my new book, Magic Mushrooms in India and Other Fantastic Tales, to see if anyone had bothered to post a review. That's ego talking.
Well, I knew my brother had posted something nice, but to my surprise there were five other comments as well. They took me by surprise because I only know one of the people who wrote one, but the other four are utter strangers. And it is very nice, but scary, when utter strangers review your work. I've been lambasted as working for the devil for my Ayahuasca Dreaming book, been called out by animal and indigenous rights folks for my Sapo in My Soul book, and years and years ago had fruit thrown at my actors during one performance of my play Rumors, at Lincoln Center's Library Theater. That stuff stings, but it's what you open yourself up to when you are working in the public eye.
So I was thrilled to read these three reviews of my new book a few minutes ago. Someone named Barley wrote: "I got a contact high reading Peter Gorman's vividly colorful accounts of buzzing around the globe.
"As a storyteller, Gorman is so facile that, as a reader, I easily slipped into each adventure. Joining in the cacophony in India, the grit of New York City and the scent of hashish in the Rif was an extraordinary trip. A gifted writer whose everyman sensibility had me laughing from the first sentence. Gorman's tales are delightful."
Someone named Ishmael wrote: "I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is a collection of fantastic adventure tales as lived by the author, Peter Gorman. There is also a chapter on Peters "First Time Sex". It's hilarious!
"Lots of stuff that has never been written about before, like naked Catholic swim team meets.
Well worth the money just for that story.
"Gorman is a master story teller.
Fast read. A+++"
And then this was added this morning by someone named Karla: "Somehow somewhere I heard about Peter in another book relating to experiencing DMT in the Amazon. So, I ordered his book Ayahuasca Dreaming, absolutely profound reading for me, so I had to order his next, Sapo. Read that, and then I had to go searching to see what the internet could tell me about him and I found his web address. Honestly, I ranted and raved about him to all my girlfriends at my last cabin retreat and they're scratching their heads wondering what's up with me. I think Peter is opening the western world up to something amazing, because he is amazing. I have never met him, but what he is sharing openly about his lived life is raw, heartfelt, transforming and especially beautiful to the soul. In this book, Magic Mushrooms, I came away with a deeper sensation of his human-ness and found my heart relating to all his misgivings once again."
Please forgive me my temporary shit-eating grin. I just don't get treats like this every day.

Monday, November 15, 2021

My Brother Mike's Regimen

Growing up, my brother Mike had a big influence on me. He was the one who let me know that if you ate cheese or listened to most rock 'n roll you would never be able to concentrate enough on the hard work of baseball to become a pro player. And he was a good player. Partial scholarship for ball at St. Johns, a perennial powerhouse and generally a team in the top 20 in the USA. He went on to play semi pro for 3 decades. And he got me, a kid who was really sick with rheumatoid arthritis midway through kindergarden to believe in myself and become a pretty good athlete in my own right, playing NYC handball against all comers and holding my own, riding a bike 10 miles a day for years, being shortstop on the High Times Bonghitters team when we went something like 15-1 and 17-0 against the likes of Playboy, New Republic, Forbes, Money, WBAI radio station and so forth. My brother turned me into a small "c" champ.
   Today I was thinking about some of the songs I could listen to without contaminating my drive to be a pro in baseball.
   "Ou e, ou a, a, ding, dang, walla walla bing bang, Ou e, ou a,a, ding dang walla walla bing bang." That is from My Friend the Witch Doctor
    Then this: "I took my troubles down to Madam Rou, you know the gypsy with the gold capped tooth," from Love Potion Number 9.
    And "Walkin' to New Orleans, Walkin' to New Orleans. Ain't got a plane, ain't got a train, so I'm walking to New Orleans." From Walking to New Orleans.
   And: "That's the sound of the men, working on the chain, gang....That's the sound of the men, working on the chain gang. All day long they work so hard... . From The Sound of the Men Working on the Chain Gang.
   Then there was: "Hang down your head Tom Dooley, hang down your head and cry, hang down your head Tom Dooley, poor boy you're bound to die." from Tom Dooley.
   And I could listen all day to 16 Tons and King of the Road or even Blueberry Hill without losing my edge. It was just those romantic songs you shouldn't hear because the next think you knew you were liking girls and that was the absolute death of any one wanting to become  pro player in any sport. Kissing softened you up and you had to be hard and focused on swing weighted bats, sit ups, push ups, short sprints, fielding, throwing, running routes if you liked football, or practicing dribbling or jumpshots in the dark if basketball was your aim.
   It was slightly crazy and by 16 all I wanted to was eat cheese and kiss girls, but it got me out of being a sick kid. Thanks, Mike, you were the best.


Sunday, November 14, 2021

Sharing Spirit with Medicine

For some of you this will sound ridiculous; for others, it will make perfect sense. Since the pneumonia and the Covid -- pretty much back to back -- I need to drink the Peruvian cure of fresh ginger and chopped raw garlic cooked in lime juice and water. One or two gulps, hot or cold and you will be hocking up lugies from deep in your lungs. And of course, since both pneumonia and Covid try to drown you in fluid in the lungs, you need anything that will help clear that shit out. It is gross, but vital to healing.
My daughter or near-son Devon generally make it for me. Tonight Madeleina was not in the mood and Devon is in Hawaii. I asked her a second time and she begrudgingly said she would do it. I told her to clear her heart. Clear her spirit. No begrudging. I want her to make it -- physically I could easily make it -- because I want her spirit in it. Her spirit will double, triple the value of the medicine.
That might sound strange here in the USA, but in Peru and some other countries I've visited where medicines are collected and made on the spot the value of a strong, clear person adding their spirit to the medicine is what makes the medicine work. It is simply what I have observed. And dang if it doesn't work that way. I absolutely love getting a little spirit with the medicine. And when I serve medicine, if it is at all possible, I will make it for you rather than saying, "go boil these sticks for two hours and drink half a cup every four hours." There isn't enough power in that. But you put me, my friends more than me, in front of that medicine for two or 12 hours coaxing that medicine to give up its strongest spirit, and now we're talking.


Thursday, November 11, 2021

Magic Mushrooms in India reviewed by Steve Bloom

 Steve Bloom, an old compatriot and friend from my High Times days, has published a review of my new book, Magic Mushrooms in India and Other Fantastic Tales on his CelebStoner page. Go on over and take a look. And after you are done with the review and bought half-a-dozen copies of the book, go through the website. Bloom is a terrific writer, reporter and editor and his site reflects that. Definitely worth checking out. Here is the review:


Don't like being trapped

First I have to say this is an edit. In the original I was angry at family and have no right to be. So I apologize. That said, it remains true that I have been in this house for months and I am going insane. I am allowed to accompany people to the store, so long as I stay in the car, two or three time a week. I make lists of food daily so that I can cook but I am still housebound. Except for when I go to various doctors. And they all ask the US Government for an unfair amount of bucks. My back doctor, giving me four shots of steriods, with a local anesthetic (lidocaine on a cloth, rubbed on my back) charged Medicare more than $14,000 for less than 15 minutes work. You get that? It is $1000 a minute with total cost of materials under $25.00. Throw in a lab tech, a greeter, an assistant and maybe you're up to $200.00. In Peru I just ask for the steroids in my back and the pharmacist has me raise my shirt and injects me for s/50 or $12 US per shot.
So I am going slightly insane. I have been in this house too long. I want freedom. I am working daily to fix this slightly broken body, but it seems I am in some illness quicksand: At the very start of the pandemic I had just returned from Peru and was in the ICU at the hospital with them telling me I should have my will done. I got over that and learned how to walk again when I suddenly needed 3 small operations. l got those, but on the last one I evidently picked up pneumonia and spent a month pretty sick and then several months getting my lungs okay. Much of that my fault because I have been a heavy smoker until very recently. Still, nothing ever felt like that nd just at that was clearing up I got covid, despite being double-vaccinated. I'm getting cleared up from that now and doing exercises to get my balance back and to get in shape for my upcoming Amazon exploration -- by boat. I will talk about that in a few days. And, since something has me by the throat, now I need and will have lower back surgery in two weeks. I have already had two procedures. I can't imagine what my doc is going to charge Medicare for the big one!
So I felt like screaming. If I was 30 I probably would have punched the walls until I needed stitches. I am not 30, so instead, I made Philly cheese steak sandwiches, with peppers, onions, tomatoes, thin beef in olive oil and garlic, topped with fresh cut Provolone cheese. On Hoagies. Nice.
They are gonna be good. I hope all of you have a wonderful night. Unfortunately, I will bet that a lot of you feel just as imprisoned as I do. I hope we're all clear soon.


Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Some Artists I Love

 I was raised with a lot of art in our house. Not expensive, just copies, but still, lots of it. And I later worked in the art world for a few years, pulling paint on silk screens, delivering artist's proofs, setting up a gallery's shows. So I posted a couple of beautiful pieces of art by my friend Larry Lavalle and then my friend Mac McGee wrote that they were nice. Now I used Mac as an illustrator for stories sometimes when I was at High Times, a lifetime ago. He was poor but fantastic, but he had no idea that I had ever worked in galleries of shops. So I wrote this to him:

Thanks. Means a lot coming from the freaking brilliant artist that you are. And I do not think every artist is brilliant. i love Bosch, Oldenburg, Larry Rivers, the pointilists, and some others. I worked at Multiples Art gallery on 74th and Madison for a couple of years in college, then went on to work for "the impossible man" Dave Basanow who had a huge loft in SOHO where he worked with polymers for artists like Rauchenberg, Marisol and so forth, so I was one of the people filling those molds, mixing colors for the artists to choose from and so forth. I later worked at Chrysalis in SOHO where we pulled the squeegees filled with paint to make the silkscreens for Warhol and Indiana and dozens of others. So I am particular -- I do like Cristo and Tommy Christmas and Jasper Johns and Haring and Klee, Georgia O'Keefe, Vinny Van Gogh and a thousand others. But you, Mr McGill, and my friend Larry Lavalle should be picking up $25 grand per piece, just for starters. Go up to a lot from there. You are that good and there should be that demand.

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

My Money-Raising Pitch for an Amazon Expedition

 I am trying hard to raise funds for a trip to the Amazon in Jan and Feb, 2022. I have been promised some funds but need $33 K more. It is a big trip back to the Javari river where I have taken two boats previously, in 1993 and 1994. This is a long pitch, but a good read, and maybe one of you reading has a rich uncle. Hope so.

January-February 2022 Javari River Expedition Proposal


By Peter Gorman


I’m not certain of the format for this type of proposal, so I am just going to jump into the water here.

    I’m Peter Gorman. I’m 70 years old from Whitestone, Queens, New York. I lived in Manhattan for 30 years and have lived in Joshua, Texas for 20-years now. I’m a dad and a granddad and proud of the kids. I have spent an average of 3 months in Peru annually for the past 37 years, including a few years in the late 1990s when I opened The Cold Beer Blues Bar on Puerto Mastranza (Pablo Rossel and Requena) and lived there with my family full time.

    I first visited Northwest Amazonia in 1984, got absolutely fascinated, and returned for a month of survival training with jungle guide Moises Torres Vienna in 1985. On that second trip we ran into a family of indigenous Matsés who were in the process of building a camp not far from the Aucayacu River after having left the Galvez River. I won’t go into it all here but the encounter was extraordinary and left me feeling that I would have to get out to where the majority of Matsés live: On the Alto Javari and Galvez rivers.

    In 1986 I got out to those rivers, visited several camps — spaced roughly 8 hours apart by peque-peque – and made a fast friendship with Pablo, the headman of one small camp, and his brother Alberto, the only other adult male in the camp.

    During my time with Pablo I was introduced to two vital medicines: sapo — the mucous or sweat from the phyllomedusa bicolor, known typically as the large waxy monkey tree frog — and nü-nü, a snuff made from the inner bark of the cacao tree and black tobacco, Nicotia Rustica.

    During the course of the trip I collected several broken arrows that had been used to kill monkeys, a quickly fashioned stick-and-vine noose used to strangle boars hiding in a hollowed out log, and several other throw-away items. I also collected leaves from several medicines Pablo and Alberto showed me.

    I mention these details because when I returned to New York I began to wonder whether Moises had brought me to real hunter-gatherers or to some sophisticated tourist tribals. In an effort to figure that out, I decided to offer the things I’d brought from the jungle to the American Museum of Natural History. A meeting was set up and I was nervous because I imagined they would look at my things and tell me to get out of there with my tourist junk.

    That is not what happened: Dr. Robert Carneiro, head of South American Ethnology, and Lilah Williamson, who was designing a permanent Hall of South American Peoples for Dr. Carneiro, both wondered how I’d gotten my things and asked if they could have them for the new, permanent hall. Of course I said yes, and they asked me to write a report on the entire trip and very specific information on how and where I acquired each item I was giving them.

    The report included the sapo and nü-nü, and the sapo section was passed along to Dr. Vittorio Erspamer, a pharmacologist working at the FIDIA Research Institute at the University of Rome.

    The plant medicine leaves were passed on to Dr. Steven King, a botanist working on plant-based medicines at the New York Botanical Gardens.

    While Erspamer went wild for my report on the use of frog sweat — which began a correspondence that lasted for several years until his death — Dr. King was absolutely nonplussed with my plant collecting skills. He told me that if I should ever wind up genuinely collecting plant medicines I would have to spend a couple of weeks learning to do it correctly at the Botanical Gardens.

     That chance happened in the 1992, when a new pharmaceutical company, Shaman Pharmaceuticals, went into business. King was a key player in the organization which had Dr. Richard Schultes, the father of modern ethnobotany, as its front man.

     By chance, Dr. King and I met at a seminar to introduce the new company and he agreed to partially back a plant collecting trip to the Javari River for me if I would take the private plant collecting course he’d proposed years earlier. I did and it was fantastic.

      The trip necessitated my having a boat to move sufficient supplies to collect plants. I spent a couple of weeks in the ports around Iquitos searching for a boat to rent before I found a 39’ Brazilian boat that would be perfect. It took a week to supply and outfit it, and then, with a tiny crew: a cook I wound up marrying the following year, a motorist (the owner’s son), and a driver (timonel) to share the chore of getting the boat safely down the Amazon to Leticia and then up the Javari several hundred kilometers to the Galvez and the Alto Javari.

     I collected plants from a number of villages along the Javari, most of which were Matsés, but one of which was a Bora camp that was not supposed to be anywhere in that region.

    The 32-day trip was successful — 55 medicinal plants were collected both in bulk and as herbarium specimens — including a new subspecies of one of them.

     The following year Dr. King sent me back, this time with Dr. Tom Carlson, a medical doctor and botanist with Shaman Pharmaceuticals. Because the first trip had gone so unexpectedly well, Shaman footed the entire bill for the second trip.

      The first boat, the Rey David was no longer available, so I started searching and finally found the Jacaré, a 51’ fishing boat that I had converted to a deck boat.

      That trip was also successful. Unfortunately, Shaman fell on hard times and there we no more trips with them. Additionally, Peru refused to sign onto an Intellectual Property Rights Agreement dealing the medicinal plants, so no one else was going to hire me either.

      25-years have passed since that second trip. I want to go back to the Javari. I want to do a little plant collecting but I primarily want to record the changes that have taken place on the river since I was last there. Is the Bora village still in the area? Has someone taken up the job as plant healer from my old friend there or are they dependent on visits from modern doctors to take care of them? How about the village of blond Matsés on the third day up the river, the result of some German missionary women being stolen some years ago. Is that camp still there? What about the crazy camp of indigenous San Luis (I can find nothing about them) whose camp I have visited several times but I’ve only ever seen their slaves, never a single indigenous? How about logging? There was very little commercial logging there years ago (the good mahogany was taken decades  before I ever arrived) but what is the situation now? How many gringos, both missionaries and adventurers visit or live in that hinterland, the border between Brazil and Peru?

      I think that is a record worth having, and coupled with my two initial trip reports — along with a 1988 Javari report on a trip done with Moises — would make a unique addition to the literature of the Amazon. And, of course, I think I am the person who is best suited to doing it.

     The trip would take roughly 50 days during high water season in January and February. The first 10 days would involve outfitting the boat, acquiring the fuel and food, and making any physical changes (like building a small room to store sufficient dry goods), a then the trip itself would run roughly 40 days.

     A trip like this requires funding. I can break those costs down category by category if you like. There is the cost to get me there and for my expenses once in Peru. There is the boat rental, fuel, motor oil, dry goods, fresh goods, jungle outfitting, pay for a team of 8 for 50 days, and a host of other things that would need payment.

    Here is a hint of those costs:

Boat rental (gorgeous boat, strong enough hull for the Amazon, well outfitted and price includes the owner’s representative, his motorist, and one driver): $7,500

Fuel and motor oil: $3,500

Dry goods for 40 days for 14 people plus people we run into on the river:  $3,000.

Staff: (3 people in the kitchen and clothes-washing detail, one person who speaks various dialects; one Matsés man; 2 assistants for me, general work, and to assist with plant collecting; 2 people to keep the boat clean and to stay up nights to keep an eye out for pirates) $1,000-$1500 each or roughly $11,000 total

One medical professional for emergencies: $3000

Two quality drones to be handled by Matt H. a lawyer handling the non-profit and other legal matters connected to the trip. (Drone footage, to the best of my knowledge, has never been taken on the Javari. We would be interested in seeing what is going on on various tributaries before we entered them; what villages may be hidden behind the trees lining the banks, etc.) I recommend the EVO 11 Pro K. I recommend it because I did a television show where it was used and its range is 5+ miles with a fly time of nearly 90 minutes with two batteries in use. Two, with tax and extra rechargeable batteries: $3,900.

My costs: Air flight for both Devon W. (associate who has worked with me in the jungle for nearly 10 years) and myself: $3,000. Our expenses in Iquitos and on the river for duration of trip, $3,000; pocket money for the unforeseen: $5,000; money to buy gifts  for the heads of the various military outposts we need permission to pass— panettone, a bottle of whiskey and 5 gallons of fuel for their generators generally does it — and money for FUNAI for permission to enter the Javari: $2,000. Total $13,000

Kitchen equipment: While I can supply pots, pans, plates, silverware, we need two or three good thermoses, dish soap, shower soap, scrubbers, buckets for water to wash with, one extra stove, a freezer, a fridge (used for both is fine) 30 tanks of propane, fresh food — from potatoes, carrots, beets, yams, yucca, corn, and plantain, to fresh veggies and fruit that can be re-upped in Leticia, 4 days up the river at the Brazilian military base of Peleton; four more days up the river at Angamos, and everything else needed to make and serve 50 meals a day. $2,500.

Additionally, while I can provide hammocks, mosquito nets, boots, blankets, etc, we need jungle goods from fishing line and hooks to several rented shotguns for protection, machetes, lanterns if the generator goes, spare propellors, cotter pins, and spark plugs for the engine and a host of little, but important items. $500

All sorts of miscellaneous items from extra fire extinguishers to heavy plastic to prevent rain from coming through the large windows of the boat to a rented or purchased satellite phone for emergencies as there will be very little cell phone coverage. $500

    The list gives you a good idea of what is needed to do this properly. There would be benefit to funders in that drone footage would be available for any documentary; all purchased items from drones to freezer to kitchen equipment would belong to you as well.

    The above items, all ballpark but all fairly close to real expenditures come to $48,500. We have been promised roughly $15,000 thus far, leaving a $38,500 hole. That is where you come in.

    Let me know if you need anything else from me. I will be glad to provide anything you like.



Peter Gorman


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Texas' New Abortion Law


Depressing post up ahead. Be warned.
Texas enacted a new abortion law in September. It allows abortions only until a fetal heartbeat can be detected, generally about 6 weeks. As a dad and someone who got a few women pregnant when I was young -- despite the pill, despite the IUD, despite condoms -- I don't think I ever knew a woman who knew she was pregnant at six weeks. I'm sure there are some but I think they are rare.
Okay, so no abortions after six weeks.
And no exceptions for rape, sexual abuse, or incest.
Here is the kicker: police do not go after abortion providers, the public does. The law has the public suing providers, counselors who recommend to a person where they can get an abortion, the people who drive the woman to the abortionists. The defendants are subsequently indebted to pay up to $10,000 to the person who turned them in if the suit is successful. The woman herself cannot be sued.
The Texas legislature, for the most part a group of the craziest half-humans you could ever meet (remember that our federal reps include Louie Ghomert, Dan Crenshaw, Pete Sessions, and Ted Cruz, so you can imagine what the state house is made up of!!!!!) put that last part in to make it more difficult to overturn the law: After all, Texas is not asking police to counter Roe v Wade, so who are you going to hold responsible, the general public?
This is the horrible part, so be warned.
What this all means is that a young woman can be raped by her father and get pregnant. She discovers she is pregnant after her seconed missed period. For a lot of young women periods are not exactly monthly so being late even by four weeks would not alarm them, or alert them to a pregnancy.
So at 7 or 8 weeks they discover they are pregnant and the mom -- who does not necessarily know who made her daughter pregnant -- recommends an abortion and finds a doctor who will perform one.
The rapist dad then sues his wife and the doctor and wins $20,000 for having done the freaking unspeakable to his daughter.
Things like this, legislators who came up with this, these are what keep me awake at night. I could care less if you are a repub or dem or indi, or a purple Santa Claus freak. I only care that since politics on every level affect all of us, that people deal in science and facts. No Kellyanne, there are no alternative facts. Alternative facts are lies. And too many on the right these days are completely in the rapture of the lies.
I used to have a subscription to the New York Daily News and read the New York Post for free. Years ago I wrote a column or two for each of them. I read the New York Times as well, but that and the Washington Post are the papers of record for the entire USA, so they are automatic reading. The New York Post used to be a wonderfully flamboyant paper. Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill wrote award winning columns for it. They once had a headline that read: Headless Body in Topless Bar after a gruesome slaying. I had to stop reading it two weeks ago. The lies the Murdoch family is willing to publish, and the lies people are willing to believe are simply too much for me. They try to make the Texas abortion ban sound so normal. It is not normal. It is an alternative fact. It is a lie.
I have never known anyone who likes abortions.
I never liked being part of the decision to have one. But I knew in my heart that we were talking about a spirit that should come into the best circumstance in this world, and until I had a baby later in life I was not going to be that best circumstance. So you allow that spirit to return to wherever it comes from and find a better circumstance to arrive in.
I live in Texas and am fighting hard to get things changed here. We need more honesty and a lot less lying, chicanery, getting over on the libs, and alternative facts.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Music growing up


I am sitting in my office, half-laughing, half-sobbing. When I grew up, at maybe 11 or 12 I would take the bus and then the train to Manhattan. I played skee-ball on Times Square and made my way to the Village to listen to music. The music played live was Dave Van Ronk, Tom Paxton, Tim Buckley, the Blues Project, The Fugs (Kill for Peace). I wasn't old enough to go into the clubs, but I could go upstairs to where posters and stuff was sold and put my ear to the wall. If you add in Laura Nyro and others, well, that was a freaking education in responsibility, freedom, joy, love, heartbreak and a number of other emotions. That's why I break up when I listen. I just played one song from each of those people to my friend Devon. I don't really know if he was moved, but I'll bet he was. I was going back to 1962 for Van Ronk for goodness sake. Yes, later I loved the Stones, Yardbirds, Cream, Hendrix, (whose Electric Ladyland I was lucky enough to help build), and a thousand others, but those earliest personal influences were fantastic and still stick with me like arrows in my heart.
So if I am playing some of those people when you come to the house and I am sobbing, just allow me to sob. I am just trying to re-center and get back to square one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

New Book Out

 my new book, Magic Mushrooms in India and Other Fantastic Tales just came out, courtesy of Gorman Bench Press. Buy it on Amazon and if you like it, write a review on If you think it sucks that is okay. 

   Each one teach one.

Thank you,

Peter G¿?¿

Friday, October 15, 2021

Mark Twain


I don't think most people know this but it is fascinating. Boats all over the Americas, and for all I know all over the world, but definitely in Peru and Brazil in the Amazon, the Ucayali, the Jivari rivers, when the water is low, or when the water is very fast and currents are creating little dirt mountains just beneath the surface of the water, a big riverboat can be on a mile wide river and get stuck on a sandbar in the middle. How is that possible? It is because the currents run at different speeds and each one can displace soil or sand which builds up on either side of it. And some of those currents are strong enough to build up that sand or soil to be 150 feet tall, as deep as the deepest part of the Amazon so that a riverboat with a 6-foot draft will get stuck on that sand bar. And then the captain will order all 300 passengers to step off the boat -- and hopefully onto the sandbar, because if they miss it they will be in 150 foot deep water moving at 20 knots: See ya in the next life -- so that the boat can raise up a foot, get off the bar and be free. Then passengers can get back on the boat. I have been there and done that 20 or so times in my near four decades traveling in the jungle.
That is more than you wanted and more than I intended to share. What I wanted to share was that every riverboat in the US, Central America, and South America has a rope with a rock on the end of it. The rope has notches made by making knots in it. Some ropes have one foot knots, some one meter knots. But every single one of them, regardless of whether they are talking dialect, Spanish, or Portugese uses the phrase "Mark Twain!" when they drop the rock on the rope into the water to see how deep it is. It is the most wonderful thing to hear them calling -- in the English version -- mark the space between the boat and the river floor. I do not know who taught everybody but everybody is on the same page with it. And of course, Mark Twain called himself that for some reason. I suppose he worked the Mississippi or Ohio when he was young.

More on the Matsés Medicines Sapo and Nü-nü

 Someone asked two questions of FB messenger: The first was whether the Matses snuff nu-nu was the same as rapé, the word used for snuffs by gringos, and the second was whether the Matses or others killed the frogs when they collected the frog sweat from their skin that we call sapo or kambo. He's what I answered:

Nü-nü is a form of rapé, but it is the only snuff the matses traditionally made. All the camps had identical medicine: The inner bark of the cacao tree mixed with a larger weight of nicotiana rustica. Both reduced to ash. The tobacco on a split bamboo grill, low to the ground over a very controlled flame, and the cacao heated to ash with hot coals in a clay pot. Two hunters make it so that it has their essences in it.Only hunters serve each other because you want that power: The physical medicine is only half of its strength: The remainder comes from the server adding his, or on rare occasions her, spirit. As for the kambo, a word the Matsés learned from gringos in the last 5-8 years, I have never seen a frog hurt while in their care/possession. The frogs live mostly 20-30 feet high in thin trees that lean over small rivers. You have to climb the tree and cut the branch that the frog is sitting on from the tree, then climb down to the canoe with it. The frog will not go anywhere. You will be cruel to it in tying it up, but it should only take 10 minutes from when it's tied into a green trampoline until it is set free on a tree it likes and permitted to return to its home on the river. Since the frog sweat is the animal's protection, those people who collect it by taking it by hand will lose most of its best medicine before they ever extract. It must not be frightened. And once collected and extracted, it will have little rope burns around its ankles and wrists. That particular frog will not be caught again until those burn marks have completely healed. Collecting before that will produce a second rate product and leave the frog too vulnerable to tree snakes, who are almost all constrictors. I have never seen a Matses hurt a frog and I have not ever hurt a frog. Are they frightened? I'll bet they are. But if they could have an opinion I believe they would rather be frightened for 10 minutes a month than be tossed live into boiling water to make a soup like so many other animals are. There are some assholes out there, of course, who milk and milk the frogs and probably do them permanent damage or even kill them. But not the antigua matses I knew or the Matses who collect for me now.

Straightening out a bad account

 Someone on Facebook was misspeaking when talking about the indigenous, with whom I spent time annualy for the past 37 years. They called them "slavers". That did not sit with me so I straightened them out with this:

Hello, the book you refer to is mine. The context is that the Matses, until 1994, did not make canoes. They walked. They were famous for walking. But if they had to burn a village and leave they made balsa rafts. Those rafts only went downriver. If they wanted a canoe, or canoes, they either had to steal them or get someone to make the canoes for them. In my experience, which began with them in 1985, but I did not hit the Galvez river and several of their small camps until 1986, they would steal someone who made canoes, and near blind them so that they couldn't leave. They built homes for them across the river from the camp, provided them with women and food and anything else they needed from the jungle. They treated them well, considering... Those guys were generally called uncle whether in spanish when the Matses learned it (not many spoke it in the 1980s) or dialect. They were important to the camp. I think slaver is a very wrong word here. They took occasional slaves, just as they stole women to keep the blood lines fresh and strong. Most people in the deep jungle understand that this stuff happens. I know two Mestizo women who spent years as Matses wives after the Matses killed their families and dragged them off. It was not cool, but not unexpected. But "slaver" indicates a person or people who buy and sell humans, and that was nothing I saw in my time on the Galvez or Alto Jivari (months per year for 10 years) or my 27 additional years with the Matses -- part of each year -- in other locations.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Buy the damned book!!!!!

Covid has had me down. After months trying to recuperate from freaking pneumonia, which had my lungs locked up, which came after kidney and heart failure and freaking arthritis in my back, well, I am a survivor but I am not the happiest camper in this village. For two months I got back on my feet enough to write fantastic posts, finish one book, get the cookbook near done, and this week I started teaching a 10 day course in the preparation and serving of a serious jungle medicine to five wonderful people. I am teaching it with my daughter Madeleina and my near-son, son Devon and they are mf'ing magnificent. I could not have better associates. But I am still having trouble walking 40 steps, and when I do I have to put my hands on my knees for a couple of minutes to gather myself up to finish the walk to where we are holding the course. While teaching I have to be on point emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, but I don't have to jump around. If I did, I could not teach it. And last month and last week I could not have talked and taught for 2-3 hours daily before we get to the practical aspects of the course. Now I can, though walking is going to have to be relearned for the third time this freaking year. I pulled up my shorts last night and fell flat on my back. Cool, right? Not at all. I felt like the stupidest, weakest human god or whomever created. I can't even pull up my shorts? Fuck me.
Anyway, I am clear of the covid but I still cannot breathe. Dang, I am angry.
But hey, my new book, Magic Mushrooms in India and Other Fantastic Tales is out now, and it is a beauty. At $18 it will be a steal in terms of enriching your life to a few interesting stories from India, Morocco, New York City, and Peru. So buy the damned thing on Amazon, write wonderful reviews, pass the word, and help pay my medical bills!!!!!
You do get that this is not a request. It is much more direct than that. You now have a purpose in life. Order the book. Buy 10 copies for your friends. Become the sensation of your neighborhood. And if you do not like it, well..... that is not going to happen. Know why I know that? Because of all the meals I ever served to my family or in the restaurants over 18 years as a cook and a chef, not one single person, not one single person ever complained of getting food poisoning. And not one of you will be sorry you bought my little book of 12-13 stories (If you include the introduction). Promise. So do it. Now. Thanks.


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Fried Pickles and Covid


So there we were, cooking up a storm of wonderful food as per usual, and then Madeleina got hit with the Covid and couldn't taste. Then Adrian, her pal who lives with her got it. Then I got it. So nobody wants to cook, nobody wants to eat and those are not good conditions for me to push myself to stand in a kitchen for an hour cutting and cooking things. Plus the idea made me ill.
So the last week or so included burgers from two joints -- one good, one absolutely wretched -- fried chicken, unbearably bad; couple of sandwiches that were out of this world good, and they would have been better if anyone could have tasted them. I forget what all we bought, but it was a reminder of why I do not eat fast food often. Just not food stuff!!!!
Now at one or two of those places I ordered fried pickles. We don't have them in NYC that I know of, so when I see them on a menu i always order them. To my perpetual disappointment.
BUTTTTTT....Madeleina and Adrian discovered that there is a fairly new place called the Pickle Emporium in Fort Worth that is home to Best Maid Pickles. They are as good as barrel dills on the old Lower East Side. Shameless promotion and I get nothing in return. But they are just fantastic, from the gherkins to the full sours, though my favorites are the kosher dill spears.
So Madeleina and Adrian decided to visit the small flagship and pick up a gallon of pickle brine. I told them to pick up some whole dills--we got the 80 ounce jar.
When they were leaving I told them to stop by Carshons -- another shameless plug simply because they are that good -- a kosher deli in South Fort Worth. It might be the oldest and only kosher deli in the city. I think it has been around since 1928, almost a full century. They have moved a couple of times and their current quarters would not impress anyone: no flair, not enough people running the dining room, etc. BUTTTT -- and that is the second time I'm using that in a piece, a first! -- their basic goods are just outstanding. Their corned beef, the pastrami, the lox, the oversized hot dogs, the fried bologna for goodness sake! are all first-rate items.
So I had Madeleina and Adrian pick up a pound of untrimmed pastrami, sliced wafer thin; a pint of coleslaw, half-a-loaf each of egg bread and rye, and 1/2 pound of Swiss. Madeleina tagged on two matzo ball soups for good measure. And normally I would have picked up a couple of their pickles, which are divine. But guess what? One of the things they don't make on site are pickles. Those come from Best Maid Pickles, and in this case i already had more than half-a-gallon from the horses' mouth so I didn't need any more.
Now all three of us were raring to make our own damned fried pickles. I don't think I ever made them and damn, it was about time. Madeleina and Adrian agreed. So we sliced up two full dills into half-inch rounds and tamped them dry with paper towels. I had the kids put 1/2 cup of organic flour into a bowl with 1 tablespoon of oregano, one tablespoon of cajun spices, one tablespoon of smoked paprika, 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder, and sea salt and cracked black pepper. Mixed that up with half-a-beer and a couple of shots of Worcestershire sauce and fried those pickle slices up in one inch of good hot vegetable oil.
While they fried I had the kids make me a hot mayo: 2 large soup spoons of mayo, two shots of ketchup (Hellmann's and Heinz if you're counting), then three good shots of Cholula hot sauce, achiote, sea salt and cracked black pepper...(you guys could probably sing along with the end of every darned recipe of mine because you know it's gonna end with "sea salt and black pepper".)
I'm gonna tell you that you have not had gd fried pickles till you tried those. In all the time here in Texas I have never been thrilled with fried pickles until last night in my own humble kitchen. Now it could have been the little bit of marijuana; it could have been that the covid did not let me taste how horrible they were; it even could have been that I look for any little light I can find in this dark world these days.... but dang, we're making more tonight to make sure it wasn't a fluke.
You're all going to go out to find fried pickles tonight, right? Cool.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Third Follow Up, Fourth in this series on Frog Sweat, the Matses Frog Medicine

 Okay, so more questions on FB; one I felt I needed to answer asked if I knew, or if anyone knew, of when the indigenous began utilizing sapo/kambo, the powerful medicine from the P. bicolor tree frog. Here was my answer: 

    No, and with no written language and no stone on which to paint things, it is unlikely that we will ever know. Hopefully, someone will find an artifact like they have with marijuana and ayahuasca and San Pedro that will give us a better idea. But heck, wherever the frog has been it has probably been used for medicine or treated like a poisonous snake. 
        All it takes, and took, is a person with tiny cuts in their hands -- like everyone in the jungle -- to grab the frog without knowing about it. They would probably be knocked down and terrified the first time until all of the positives, the strength, stamina etc, showed themselves. After that they would know what to expect to some extent. They would then either introduce it to their village as a medicine, or they would kill it like they do poisonous snakes: on sight. So if the P. bicolor has been on a particular river for three hundred years, and if folks live or hunt on that river, well, the frog has probably been in service for just about that long, give or take the week it took for someone to pick it up to toss into a soup pot.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Follow up to Follow up

Okay, I am sorry and will try to curtail this nonsense, but in the thread on FB on which i wrote the second previous blog piece -- which I followed up with the immediately previous blog piece -- one of the readers asked two questions that I needed to answer.

The first involved Vittorio Erspamer, the great pharmacologist who did the initial scientific investigations into the sapo/kambo frog, the Phyllomedusa bicolor.  The reader said he thought I brought the first samples of the medicine out from the jungle but he discovered that Erspamer had written a paper about the P bicolor in 1979 (actually a few) and wondered how he managed to get his samples and why was my part significant if people were already working with the frog. This is the answer:

Erspamer worked with the phyllomedusas and the phyllobates (the poison arrow dart frogs) for quite some time prior to me getting him the info. He got his animals in general frog collections rather than from an indigenous group. But while he imagined that many of the peptides would be bio-active , without a concrete history of human use he could not experiment on humans to test his theories. That's where I accidently and fruitfully came in to the picture.

The Persons second question asked how I could be the first to bring the frog out of the jungle since a missionary, Testavin (spelling???) had written something about it, including claiming to have used it once back in 1927. This was my clarifying response:

Yes, Tastevin discussed it a little, but I don't believe his notes were unearthed until at least 8-10 years after I published about it. Does not mean he was not earlier, but 1) no one knew it; 2) he had no photos, no identification, no samples. Somehow that counts and again, is where I come into the picture. But look, I never thought I was the first, never occurred to me until herpetologists and botanists told me.  Yes, I am proud of it and all of my work related to this frog and the medicine it produces, but I recognize it as a lucky accident that fell into a damned good reporter's hands--and I saw the importance and ran with it.

Follow up to previous post about sapo

On the thread on FB on which I wrote the previous blog entry, someone posted a picture of a bufo toad, a cane toad, with a story about how their population is threatened in California, and then she wrote the words: "Until there are none left," or something like that. I kind of felt obligated to respond because she didn't even have the right animal, and if some novice winds up mistaking the two because he/she read about it on facebook who knows how frightening the effect on the human body might be.

   So here is how I responded:

Yes, people need to be mindful. But please note two things: the sapo/kambo frog is not in any way related biologically to the cane toad you have pictured here. That said, while the toad is threatened in California it is an invasive pest in Australia and more than a dozen other countries, where its growing population is a threat to delicate eco systems. Another species of cane toad, the Bufo Amazonis thrives in western Amazonia. 

As for the sapo/kambo frog, P bicolor, since it does not produce medicine in captivity and many of its habitats are a couple of days' trip from Iquitos — plus the fact that it mostly hangs around in tall thin trees 15-30 feet hight at water's edge mean that most, not all by any means, but most of the medicine produced will have to be collected by either reberiños or indigenous who can climb those skinny trees without dying!!! So yes, be concerned about them but I don't know that they are anywhere near trouble and hope they never get there.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Something about the indigenous Matses and Frog Sweat medicine


I was asked to join a thread on sapo/kambo, the frog medicine from South America that is being utilized by a lot of practitioners in the US, Europe and elsewhere today. As I was the first to bring it out to the Western world, and as the indigenous group who shared it with me, the Matses, are the first indigenous group known to utilize it -- there were stories but nothing concrete prior to the Matses -- I was asked to weigh in on whether collecting the frog and tying it up like a green trampoline to collect it's "sudor" or sweat, a protective device, was wretched or not. Of course it is. But it beats the alternative. Somehow that morphed into a small diatribe on a few different aspects of this indigenous group, from my experience and from what early missionaries recorded about them. Here it is:
I want to clarify a couple of things. During all my time with the Matses (Mayoruna, Matis, Matsis), which has been at least a couple of weeks a year -- and early on a couple of months -- for 36 of the past 37 years (not this year because I was too ill to travel) I have never known them to know about or utilize ayahuasca. They have no story of how they came to use the frog. These are not a people of mythology. They also do not dance, make music, can't weave, until very recently did not bother with agriculture of any kind, and did not know how to make canoes — first known Matses canoe, Alberto, 1994. Up till then large villages stole and blinded a good mestizo canoe maker and he, with the help of the Matses, made what few canoes they had. Or else they stole canoes, fairly typical for an indigenous group known for outlandish savagery in stealing women after killing their families, etc.
Historically they have no known spiritual beliefs (Handbook of South American Peoples; Vol 8 I think, The Forest People; compiler of info I forget this second), though I challenge the anthropologists on two points on that claim. First, they believe the spirits of their dead go into the physical bodies of jungle deer, which keeps them from hunting deer.
Second, when they have an abortion, miscarriage, or a baby dies, they make an oblong clay pot in which the fetus or body is put that is kept over a low fire -- always tended -- for three days, after which the mother and father consume the ashes so that the spirit can return. I call both of those spiritual practices.
All of this goes to this point: People on this thread are discussing whether tying up the frog for a few minutes to extract its "sudor" or sweat is cruel or not. Of course it is. But the alternative is being tossed into a pot of boiling water and eaten. Not sure the frogs actually do the math on that equation but I will bet that if they could or would they would opt for being inconvenienced for 10 minutes every month or two rather than dying in a pot. Just my two cents and while I got more I've probably put most of you to sleep already. Forgive me for rattling on.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Damned Covid in Our House and Won't Leave


Darn!!!!! My daughter Madeleina, who has had her vaccinations, decided to take a covid test because she has been very stuffed up and can't taste much food for the last several days. Well, she just came into my office, crying. Results came back positive and she is terrified that she will give it to me, and that it will kill me. I spent a while reassuring her that I know no one who is more careful than her with shots, distancing, wearing mask, washing with antibacterial. She has squeeze bottles of it in all three cars, on the front porch, in the kitchen and the bathroom. I told her shit happens and that she's been feeling this way for five days so she has been, or is in the middle of the muddle and will get better from here. Thank goodness she got the vacs so it's not any worse.
Of course I need to get tested again tomorrow, and I want her to get tested again in case it was a false positive, and then Adrian who lives with her here has to get tested, and her sister Sierra with whom she spent several hours two days ago will need to get tested, as will her sister Alexa and their mom, my ex-wife Chepa, and the surgery center will probably put off my back work tomorrow, so it is definitely a pain. But it ain't her fault. Shit's just everywhere here in freaking Texas. Darn it!!!

Amazon Dolphin Love


Dolphin Love in Northwestern Amazonia
There are dozens of myths in the Amazon basin that have helped maintain an otherwise very fragile social fabric. Tunchis — ghosts — in the woods keep most people out of the woods at night when the predators feed. Chuluchaqui, a sort of Pan character, can confuse you to the point where it might take days or weeks to return to your home from a walk to your fields — chacras. But mythical Chuluchaqui is vitally important because of the habit riberiños have of leaving their families to visit friends for days or weeks at a time when they get the urge. They might or might not bother to tell anyone. Abandoning your family is not good but when they get the urge it is irresistible and they have to go sometimes. Having a convenient Chuluchaqui to blame smooths everything over.
Dolphins are also vital to the social fabric: The pink dolphins are sirens: They call out to the men and the men cannot resist their charm. The men dive into the lakes and make wild love with them.
The blue dolphins can transform themselves in the evening to irresistibly handsome young men. When they call to the women coming from the chacras or neighboring villages, there is no way to turn away: You must make love, and it is a ferocious, wild, wonderful making love.
The stories may or may not be true, but they are very important in Amazonia, where making love with people outside of your husband or wife is a pretty regular part of living. A woman coming home at dawn with her neck covered in hickeys is completely forgivable if she was seduced by a dolphin, whereas if the wife had simply screwed the neighbor it might lead to a machete or shotgun anger-killing. Similarly, a man coming home drunk with hickeys is forgiven if the cause of the problem was a pink dolphin, rather than the neighbor woman.
The myths of Amazonia are wonderful survival tools.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

What a freaking day. What a day. If I knew how I would turn that into an f'n song: What a day, what a day, you and me into the sunrays....WAITTTTTT!!!! That's Dr. John's song except he wrote What a night, What a night, you and me under the moonlight....If I don't do it somebody else willllllll!!!!
OKAY, so I should not steal my heroes' songs!!!! Somebody take a note and remind me. Damn, I'm sinking supinely into the muck...
But HOLD ON, I'm Coming.l......Wait, I'm doing it again!!! Sorry Sam and Dave!!!! All I know for certain is I got Sunshine on A Cloudy Day.....NO NO NO!!!!! I'm freaking infected!!!!!!
Okay, just playing with your heart. But now dont go playing with my heart..,
Damn, someone sink me in the Los Angeles tar fields before I continue!!!!!
The thing is that I'm always bragging about my cooking. And when I was a cook and then a chef in NYC I really was very good. I was steady but also innovative. I learned where I could -- Portugal, France, Belgium, NYC-- and absorbed like a sponge. But every now and then I completely blow something out of the water. And I did that the other night with falafel: chick peas, spices, fresh goods. How did I do that? I used canned garbanzo beans. I was so embarrassed that I wrote about it here on FB. I blew the sauce too. Tahini with lemon. How do you ruin that? I don't know but I did.
So last night I had my son-in-law Adrian put a pound of garbanzos into water and into the ice box and today I worked.
Everyone will tell you it takes 10 minutes. I took an hour just cutting and trimming fresh dill, curley parsley and cilantro. Then I had to chop onions and chic peas and garlic and mix that with coriander (from Peru), cumin, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika.
chopping without a food processor can be a bitch but I was determined and did it, then put it in the fridge.
Next was the awful tahini sauce I made the other night. I did a makeover. Not mascara or a new front porch, but added coriander, dill, salt, garlic, olive oil, red pepper and a bit of good yogurt until it was a sauce that could make your mother fly.
Then I fried a few balls of falafel. I did not have enough oil to fry Nicki Manaj's cousin's friend' swollen balls but I had enough for my needs.
This sh.t came out fantastic. I'm glad I got back up on that freaking horse with no name. Because I have been to the desert with..... OKAY, I QUIT!!!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The stuff that happens when you blink....a good recipe


So I made a very nice chicken cacciatore two days ago. Recipes will say it takes 20 minutes to put together. Mine took 2 hours plus two hours cooking. Day before that I made a curried shrimp and smoked duck breast meal. Yesterday simple hot ham and cheese and tomato sandwiches. On sesame Italian bread. With homemade coleslaw (don't forget the sugar, white vinegar, celery seeds and Coleman's mustard powder!!!!!).
Tonight I didn't feel like cooking -- I had rainbow trout and some other things but they weren't singing to me. So I decided on a big omelet with 8 oversized organic duck eggs from our coop.
Simple, right? Yeah, except that to stuff it I needed to saute garlic and minced onion, diced tomatoes, spinach, fresh basil washed and chopped and then the best virginia ham we know of. When I make the omelet for three I will need to chop the two cheeses, then make a sauce of the fresh mushrooms I just washed and sliced thinly, marsala wine and a touch of heavy cream.
To go with that I will need smashed potatoes, so I baked 4 medium sized red potatoes and cooked six pieces of bacon. I'll render the bacon fat, put the cooked potatoes into the pan with it, then smash them semi-flat, season them, cook them on the stove top, turn them when they are fragrant, and then do it again.
So like I didn't want to cook and wound up with 10 steps and 15 freaking ingredients. Should have cooked. Would have been less work.