January so far has been icy and dreary in my part of the world

Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you so much for reading my weekly letter. I am grateful for the many people who have read and especially those who have taken a minute to comment or encourage me. The weather outside has been frightful at times and I appreciate the warm fire, candles, and all the many things leftover from our holiday celebrations that warm my heart. I have spent some good times with my grandchildren and their partners. I had a fun masked and sanitized shopping trip to LL Bean complete with a car picnic with the youngest one who will be returning to Ireland for school in the coming week. The girls are planning a wine and painting party for tomorrow. Just goes to show there are ways to make your own happiness, even if the world around you is falling apart. May your 2022 be filled with warmth, light, kindness to each other, and peace in the world. Which they say begins with you.

In Cooking This Week

Recipe of the Week

Sweet Potato Fritters

In our family, fritter-type foods are very popular. Whether apple or blueberry pancakes, crab or fish cakes, scallion or onion pancakes or fritters made with grated vegetables. All of them are welcomed. In fact, zucchini fritters are one way of using up the extra zucchini that get away from you. Grated, mixed with a little flour and egg and seasoning, they become delicious. Yesterday I tried a sweet potato fritter and used some gluten-free thickeners just to see how it would work and we were more than pleased with the results. If I had thought of it ahead of time, I’d have made a sour cream dip that goes so well with squash fritters. 

Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Fritters

Grate or spiralizer enough peeled sweet potatoes to make five cups. I started out spiralizing but the pieces were too big so ended up putting the mixture into the processor and pulsing a few times. I used four small sweet potatoes. Add ½ cup cassava flour (could substitute all-purpose flour), ½ cup almond flour, ½ cup sliced scallions, and ¼ cup minced onion, or shallots if you have any. I only had onion so that’s what I used. Season with ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder. Then add 2-3 large eggs.

Mix well until the potatoes are coated with the flour and the mixture sort of holds together. It will look kind of messy. I was skeptical for a while, that’s why I added the third egg. Heat several tablespoons coconut oil in a frying pan until hot, then add a few patties. I used a large cookie scoop to shape into patties, plopping them into the pan from the scoop and flattening with my hand. 

Let them brown for a few mins on medium heat, then flip carefully. Once they start frying, they hold themselves together pretty well. Only fry as many as you will eat because they are better fresh from the pan. Sprinkle with some nice sea salt and eat immediately. 

The recipe should make about 8 patties to serve 4. Since there are only 2 of us, guess what I’m doing with the leftovers?  Eating with a nice fried egg for breakfast tomorrow. 

In Writing This Week- not much got done

What the Heck is There Worth Saying About January Anyway?

This seventyish woman tried to think of ten things but only came up with eight

I have always enjoyed celebrating each new month and season. I like to mark the start of something, maybe it’s just a small excuse to celebrate. Recently, I have been paying extra attention to the changing of the seasons because of a new writing project I’m involved with. So, writing about each month as it arrives has been a thing. But darned if I felt inspired to write about January.

Published by Jean Anne Feldeisen

I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, raised in Galloway Township, and graduated from Oakcrest High School in southern New Jersey.I attended Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, and graduated from Stockton University in Galloway, NJ in 1974 with degrees in Philosophy, English Literature, and (almost) music. After that, I taught piano to local children and adults in the 70s and 80s, had a catering business "Jean's in the Kitchen" from 1980 to 1992, then went to graduate school at Rutgers Camden to obtain my Masters's Degree in Social Work. Since 1996 I have worked as a therapist and counselor first in New Jersey for five years and then, when our family moved to Maine, in Augusta, Maine for five years. For the past 17 years, I have had a private psychotherapy practice in Gardiner, Maine, During the pandemic, I packed up and moved my office home to Washington, Maine. In the year of my seventieth birthday, I decided to write and self-publish a memoir about our parents' World War II romance, Dear Milly. I began blogging on Medium in earnest in 2020 and have posted more than 240 stories including a block of stories about my catering career which I hope to turn into a book in the next year. I have been writing and collecting poetry since childhood but never showed it to anyone. Recently, I learned how valuable it could be to join a group for feedback and support for my writing. I have taken several courses and written many poems and recently had my first poem accepted for publication. Off in a new direction, again.

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