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Patty Leon: Cooking keeps me sane
Patty Leon new

I enjoy cooking. It helps me clear my mind. It is satisfying to use my hands and mix ingredients and try things to cook a meal. I like trying a new recipe or taking something classic but adding my own spin.

It is comforting to know you can create something that will help nourish your body. I like learning my mom’s Cuban recipes, writing them down, committing them to memory. I like cooking Italian meals, too, and Southern foods like shrimp and grits, pulled pork and greens.

It’s pleasant when you enter the kitchen/dining area and catch a whiff of what’s in the oven or on the stove top. It is calming. It soothes my soul.

Cooking is definitely much better than watching the news on TV.

Whenever I catch the news, it reminds me that some politicians have lost their minds. We elect them to help all of us live better. But for some, once they get a taste of power, all logic goes out the window, and staying in power or becoming more powerful takes priority above the needs of we the people.

I mean, here we are in the middle of inflation. Both parties should be focused on figuring out how to lower the prices and improve the supply chain. But to heck with that, said Texas! Instead, Gov. Gregg Abbott cut off the supply entirely and then blamed the current administration.

$240 million in produce and food rotted inside the trucks. Store shelves empty. Things were already bad enough with the costs of food rising. This one stunt will add to the problem.

WOOSAH! Think about making a homemade pizza crust and crafting a perfect Margherita pizza. Heard on the news that in my former state of Florida, Ron DeSantis continues to declare his state as the freest state in the country — this, while the state banned MANY math books because they allegedly contain Critical Race Theory and Common Core. They aren’t going to show you the evidence of CRT in the math book, they are just going to tell you they found it and you must take their word for it.

What a load of dog poop! WOOSAH!

Add a cup of red wine to your beef broth to amplify the flavors of beef stew. Heard DeSantis talking about how cancel culture must stop — except he plans to take away (cancel) Disney’s privileges if they don’t support his new laws and stop donating to his campaigns. And he’s always saying they must cancel all WOKE people!

Why are politicians so afraid that some people are WOKE enough to see right through their poop? Why do they want to keep you blinded from seeing their movement away from a true free democracy?


Adding some white wine and garlic to the marinara sauce and using a quarter cup of pasta water to create a flavorful sauce for my linguine and shrimp dinner with baked garlic bread on the side.

BUT REALLY! Why is the anti-cancel culture banning books? Why are they telling us what we can and can’t talk about in schools? Why are all these male politicians telling women what they can and can’t do with their own bodies?

That doesn’t sound like freedom to me. That sounds like they want to control how we think, what we speak about and what their version of history is.

DeSantis talks about freedom of speech while escorting reporters out of a press conference. So much for transparency!

What is wrong with reducing the cost of insulin? Why can’t we have healthcare for all? Why is one party talking about sunsetting Social Security?

Why is it so wrong to tax, FAIRLY, the ultrarich billionaires who currently don’t pay for their fair share and have done zero to help people?


There are four types of roux: white, blond, brown and dark. They all contain the same ingredients — equal parts flour and fat (I use butter) — but the colors differ based on how long you cook the mixture. White roux is the most common and has the most thickening power.

The best thing about cooking is that you get to eat what you make, and usually it is delicious. The bad thing is that it is bad for my waistline.

But if the food doesn’t kill me, the current state of our politics will.

Patty Leon is senior editor of the Coastal Courier who has traded watching the news for watching Food Network, the Cooking Channel and Magnolia Manor Network to keep her brain sane!

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