The Weekend Dish-Herb Vinegar

Writers and cooks know one true thing and that is, as Stanley Kunitz said,

Just as a tapestry cannot be woven out of a single set of threads…you need another set of threads as counterweave…

So go ahead and make your Christmas cookies and fudges, cakes, pies and candies. But when you need something to cut the sweet, consider creating a batch of herb-infused vinegars.


There are endless possible combinations, but I created this one to put forth a ruby jewel color and to make use of the bounty of my herb garden. You can buy clear bottles, or put the empty Pinot Grigio bottles out of their recycle bin misery and let them be the life of the party again.

For PDF labels, complete with poetry quotes courtesy of the Academy of American Poets, click here.

    Backyard Sisters Herb Vinegar
– 1 sprig rosemary
– Several twigs of thyme
Wash herbs and air dry. Slip them carefully into the bottle.

In a separate container, preferably several large pitchers or bowls, mix equal parts:
– Apple Juice
– Apple Cider Vinegar
– Red Wine Vinegar
– White Vinegar
– Rice Vinegar
– Cooking Sherry
Stir. Fill bottles.  Using a funnel helps immensely, but I’m pretty sure you already know that.

It’s so easy to make, even a writer can do it.

~ Catherine

The Weekend Dish

The slow paddle toward change has already begun.

Diver’s Cove, Laguna Beach, CA

August traditionally means the warmest ocean waters of the year here in California, along with ripening figs on my backyard tree and plenty of afternoon sunlight for long bike rides.  But it also means a new slant in the shadows that whisper a shift toward that inevitable, all too soon, glide toward the golden fall.

Chautauqua Park, Boulder, CO

When I look at my calendar, I see 24 more days left of summer vacation, but I this month also holds the day that school begins and I must return to the classroom to face dozens of new writing students.

If this time of year incites a yearning in you to return to school to hone your writing craft, but you’ve got no intention of beginning any sort of long term program, have you ever thought about embarking on a long learning weekend?   If poetry is your thing, I’ve got just the right event for you to consider in New York City.

Attend The American Academy of Poets 2012 Poets Forum from Thursday-Saturday, October 18-20.  There are no entrance exams to worry about and no minimum GPA requirements to sweat over, just some good old fashioned immersion into poetry and a little bit of planning on your part if you don’t live in the city.

Check out hotels.  Look for flight deals.  Act soon. If you register before Sept. 1, you get an all-events pass to the full three days of events for $95.  This includes readings by poets like Toi Derricotte, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Arthur Sze, and panel conversations like “Poetry in the Age of Social Media,” and “The Anxiety of Audience: Who We Write For, Real & Imagined.” There will even be poet-guided walking tours where you can “walk the same streets traversed by Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, E. E. Cummings, Langston Hughes, and countless other poets. These poet-guided walking tours will explore the literary history of Harlem, the West Village, the Museum of Modern Art, and SoHo.”

For a full schedule of events, clips of past Poets Forums, and a link to purchase tickets, click here.

Embrace the summer, but remember what follows the long days of sun.  If your inner student begins to hunger, find ways to nourish the craving for wisdom.

With more sun than shadows,