Author: jmerhar

Kitchen Diary: Knead for Peace

Kitchen Diary: Knead for Peace

The act of making bread makes me sad. The sweet scent of fermented yeast drifts to my nose, once a smell that brought joy and comfort, but helplessly watching events unfold for Palestinians who will not have comfort or bread brings only despair. The act 

Pozzuoli: Lady of the Night (and day)

Pozzuoli: Lady of the Night (and day)

Before moving to Italy I had many questions, but some I just didn’t know to ask; like is there an active volcano under the house I’m renting and is my neighbor a prostitute? No. I was naive and did not think to ask these questions, 

The Retreat

The Retreat

The homeless woman told me I looked pretty in yellow. I said she had beautiful blue eyes. I pulled a container of crackers and cheese from my purse and handed it to her. The light turned green. I rolled on.  The retreat I was rolling 

Nine

Nine

I remember the shocking stillness of parents watching silently as their kids playedon the playground across from my dining room window. The scene defined tragic beauty, thefrolic and merriment of youth, blissfully ignorant of the sadness and worry consuming adults. It was May 24th, 2022, 

A Poem for Audrey Elaine

A Poem for Audrey Elaine

A beauty  Her wit could slay dragons Her charm could fill wagons When little she clung to the hip of her mother But as a young adult she chose instead – this, that and the other Except for the days when she couldn’t refrain She 

The Ant Who Loved Zelda: A Love Story from A-Z

The Ant Who Loved Zelda: A Love Story from A-Z

The Ant who loved Zelda  Was eager to win her heart,  So each day he brought her a flower It was a start. Each blossom held meaning Symbolizing: love, hope and dreaming, Along with the wish Zelda might one day Open the door to see 

Bad Gastein: The Revival of Sleeping Beauty

Bad Gastein: The Revival of Sleeping Beauty

Female pedestrians prefer to shield their delicate torsos from her winter chill under soft mink coats linedwith silk, but like her pastel Belle Époque surroundings, Bad Gastein carries herself with grace andgrandeur. Her winter attire is a thick blanket of glistening snow. Lights flicker along 

A Polished Life

A Polished Life

Our mother always liked to say, “Sarah and Maurine, only a true southern lady can wear red nail polish and not look like a tramp”.  My sister Maurine and I longed for the day when we would turn 18, the designated age our mother applied 

Spelt Strawberry Muffins

Spelt Strawberry Muffins

Makes 12-15  ¾ c. granulated sugar ½ c. almond milk ½ c. applesauce (I used unsweetened) 1 lg. egg 1 tsp. vanilla extract ¼ tsp. almond extract 2 c. spelt flour  1 tsp. baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt 2 c. diced 

M.F.K. Fisher: Ghosts of Dijon

M.F.K. Fisher: Ghosts of Dijon

In 1929, a bright-eyed 21-year-old American woman stepped off a transatlantic ocean liner and found herself in Dijon. Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher, now better known by her initials, was unaware of the culinary and literary sojourn that awaited her on rue du Petit-Potet. Yet those