A Little Food, A Little Talk

The last two posts of Again? Really? have featured a few of my recipes.  The first was for a versatile pecan crust and a pumpkin pie.  One June 23rd I wrote about mashed cauliflower and a fun chicken dish.  These recipes were all written as if you, my readers, were sitting in my kitchen, sharing a good bottle of wine, and opening the oven door when my hands were full. 

Some of you may have learned a new way to make dinner.  Some of you may be serving pie this weekend.  I also learned a few things:

  • There are people who like to read recipes, the more conversational the better.
  • Desserts are more interesting than main courses.
  • Cooks who only want instructions HATE my conversational style.

Hate is not an exaggeration.  My readers are not bashful.  And I am not complaining.

You might lose your patience if you are in the middle of making a dish, sautéing, stirring and measuring, and you are forced to wade through my prose in search of useful information.  Simple, clear instructions would be more practical.  The rest, including technique, should appear before or after the recipe.

I was, of course, initially devastated by the criticism.  But I soon realized that it would be more productive to take my head out of the oven and bake a pie instead.

Lower Carb Apple Pie

Makes one 9” pie

Bottom Crust

3 T   Flax Meal

¾ C  Almond Meal or Almond Flour

¼ t   Salt

1 T    Liquid Sweetener (Malitol)

6 T    Butter or Margarine, melted

¼ t   Cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Mix the dry ingredients
  3. Stir the sweetener into the melted butter
  4. Mix all of the ingredients together
  5. Spread the batter into the pie dish
  6. Baker for 12 minutes
  7. Cool thoroughly


2    Macintosh Apples, peeled and sliced

2    Braeburn Apples, peeled and sliced



1    packet Splenda

  1. Sprinkle the apples with the spices and Splenda
  2. Put into the cooled crust

Top Crust

2    Cups Frozen Pecan Pieces

4T  Butter or Margarine, melted

2T  Liquid Sweetener (Malitol)

½t  Cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Chop the pecans
  3. Mix the liquid ingredients
  4. Mix all of the ingredients
  5. Form a crust over the pie
  6. Bake 1 hour

It’s dessert.  It’s really easy.  Try it and let me know what you think.

We Need to Talk

A moment of raw emotion and honesty. I just lost my largest client. I’m in a bit of shock.

I saw it coming. This wasn’t a surprise. I have been on borrowed time for over two years. Still, I’m sitting in my office at 8:30 at night, staring at my keyboard, numb.

I have, or at least try to have, a very personal relationship with my clients. I structured this business to focus principally on small businesses and the self-employed. Most of my clients have ten employees or fewer. They need more attention. One day I am helping to design a logo, the next a compensation package. People come in to my office to talk about religion and politics. It is all very relaxed.

I was referred to a suburban business eight years ago. The company was a start-up within a larger multi-state operation. There were five employees assigned to the new company. I set up their health policy. No big deal. There are clients who may go months between calls. This wasn’t that type of group. They had questions. Lot’s of questions. And if they didn’t like the answer, they would simply re-ask the question. One of the owners was positive that Ohio regulations applied to everyone but him. That’s OK. It kept me on my toes.

Then they took off. Huge. Incredible growth. By 2007 they had over 50 employees. Now, over 100. If they were referred to me today, I wouldn’t even take them. They are too big for me. Their needs too different from the daily requests of my other clients. But, up until today, they were mine. And I worked hard to meet their every request.

But in the end I couldn’t.

Their new agent will give them employee surveys and bring people in to teach CPR. I’m not equipped to teach CPR to 125 people and I always thought those surveys were bullshit. My apologies to HR professionals everywhere.

I won’t lie. It is a big hit on my income, but I won’t miss any meals. I think the bigger shock is that it is the end of a relationship. If you have read the other posts on this blog, you know that I am no stranger to terminating relationships. None of us are. But this is different. For my female readers, no this does not end with a half gallon of chocolate ice cream and two spoons. And for my male readers, no, you don’t get fixed up.

Can you mourn the death of a business relationship? Can you find honest emotion buried inside applications and claim forms. I think so. As with so many things that have lived well and passed on, I think I will sit here for a few moments and remember the best of those times and what made me happy.

And then I will move on.