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Life's Lesson N° 7: Getting Back to My Roots.… Rasta Style.


My best friend Jenny asked me the other day what I would like for her to bring to Paris for me next week when she arrives. My answer: Fritos. Yes, that is my request. Why do I need Fritos? Because I have to make Frito Pie! If you do not know what Frito Pie is…1. I feel bad for you and 2. Don’t worry because I’m going to tell you what it is.
Today’s blog is all about chili. Not to be all self-righteous but I am a near expert at chili. Let me tell you why… First of all, I was born in Texas. Secondly, I have attended at least 15 years of the Malibu Chili Cookoff. Thirdly, I spent my youth eating Frito Pies.
People get a little crazy about their chili. Everyone has their own secret chili recipe that they all think is the best. I understand… Chili is personal. Everyone has their own idea, preference, rules about which meat to use (if any), which spice is best, beans or no beans, tomatoes or no tomatoes, what kind of accoutrements etc. There are even arguments about the origins of chili … Is it Mexican, Spanish or Texan. The only aspect I can see that chili lovers agree on is that chili needs patience and love allowing the flavors to meld and become rich.
If you are not doing a Frito pie, don’t forget to make cornbread with salted honey butter. Making chili in Paris is not a walk in the park. Trying to find a packet of chili seasoning powder, cheddar cheese or sour cream ain’t easy. Luckily, my friend Elizabeth sent me a whole care package of chili seasoning powder.
Side note: you may know my friend Elizabeth as La Contessa. My friend RJ calls her “All CAPS Contessa” as she distinguishes her writing with perfectly placed capitalization that I love. I have to tell you, this woman is quite remarkable. She is quirky, kind, generous, loving, interesting, forthcoming, a true friend, and is an absolutely magically unique woman. She has a charming blog that you all should check out:

Okay, let’s start with some secrets to a superb chili from the experts…

Have a rich, complex chili flavor that combines sweet, bitter, hot, fresh, and fruity elements in balance.

Don’t rush your chili. The best chili is cooked all day over a low heat.

Don’t use ground beef. Go the extra mile and use a bone-in Chuck roast, cooking it for hours like a pot roast, cut it up and add to the chili.

Sear your onions over high heat quickly to achieve a caramelization effect.

Use an assortment of chilies… Mild, hot, fresh and diced

Add pork fat for flavor.

Add a bit of stout beer or dark ale.

Add a bit of dark chocolate or Aztec cocoa.

Add a shot of coffee.

Use a combination of chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste.

Ready for some recipes? Here we go…
One Pot Cheesy Turkey Taco Chili Mac via Recipe HERE.

 Frito Pie via The Pioneer Woman. Recipe HERE.
Chuck wagon chili via Emeril Legasse. Recipe HERE.


Voilà! Chili… Mastered.

*Something you don’t know about me? I decided I’m going to attempt to become a stoner. I texted Gracie and said, “Mommy is going to become a stoner.” Gracie responded, “It’s about time.” Previously, and by previously I mean last week, I was opposed to the use of marijuana. My problems in the past with pot are the following… Primarily, it makes you a retard. I have seen this firsthand. All of my friends who smoke pot on a regular basis are… Slow and have arrested development. It’s the truth. Secondly, I am afraid that if I smoke pot I will freak out and have to go to the hospital. Remember, I am the girl who is afraid of aspirin and Band-Aids. Now, I have changed my mind. In my fifth year of ALS I don’t give a shit anymore. So what if I become a retard. It’s not as if I’m trying to get a job or impress anybody. I can be as stupid as I want. No matter how much pot I smoke, I will still be smarter than everyone on Fox News combined. So what if I have to go to the hospital? I’ve been to the hospital so many times in the past five years that it hardly even fazes me anymore. Let me state for the record though that if Gracie ever even considered smoking pot, I would slaughter her.
When I was growing up in Malibu through junior high and high school the main pastimes were going to the beach, listening to reggae music, eating burritos and smoking pot. It was Malibu for God sake. I did all of that except the smoking pot. I know I don’t seem like the type of girl who listens to reggae music, but I am. I have been to so many Reggae Sunsplash festivals, I’ve lost count. I have been front row at a Jimmy Cliff concert and I wanted to marry Ziggy Marley when I was in high school. Black Uhuru, Steel Pulse, Peter Tosh… Loved all of it. But then I grew up and moved on. Now, I think it’s time I got back to my roots. Yep, I’m going to start smoking pot in Paris, sing karaoke reggae, eat take-out Chipotle burritos, drink a green juice and for your enjoyment I am going to strap a GoPro camera to my forehead to document the whole thing. This should be fun. I’m not guaranteeing that I’m going to be a successful stoner, but I’m going to give it a good shot.
Let me explain my reasoning for becoming a stoner. ALS is a nerve disease. My nerves are shot, they are probably dead, they are exhausted, they are stressed and they have quite literally just given up. For my entire life, I have been a Type A personality. Here’s a quick description of someone with a type A personality: The theory describes "Type A" individuals as ambitious, rigidly organized, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving "workaholics" who multi-task, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence. Behavior is expressed in three major symptoms: (1) free-floating hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents; (2) time urgency and impatience, which causes irritation and exasperation usually described as being "short-fused"; and (3) a competitive drive which causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality.
This describes me to a T. Can you imagine my exhaustion from living like this for 44 years! So, you have to think, “This girl needs to smoke some pot, tout de suite!” I’m going to invite a few friends over to join me but I can’t tell you who because they have a reputation to protect. I don’t. My reputation was lost years ago when I fell out of that taxicab on Fifth Avenue and landed face down into the gutter. So, wish me luck and stay tuned…


  1. You know how with most blogs/bloggers they start to disappoint you? Like you read a few great posts and then they become kind of predictable and their posts are A, B, or C? I'm mostly talking about my shitty blog, but it happens with many others. Somehow you manage to make me actually burst out laughing with every post. I think your liking of a frito pie foreshadowed this stoner future.
    I tried to smoke pot a few times and I swear to God it never took! Like nothing happened. Other than I inhaled a little ember which wasn't fun. Plus I hate the way it smells. So I'll stick to my g&ts and let you stoners enjoy existential debates and frito pies! One time my ex called me and was asking me how to make pizza sauce for the pizza he ordered and did I start the Colorado wildfires because I'm "soooooooo meeeeeeeean"? As a fellow hyper-A, I would love to reach that level of disconnection. I hope it works for you and I hope you scarf down a frito pie and you write a post when you're stoned. Have fun and please ask Gracie to screenshot the texts you send her.
    I pretty much agree with everything on chili. Except I use ground meat because I think it browns more evenly and keeps the fat distributed better. And no coffee, but I know that's a thing.
    And lastly, Contessa's selective CAPS mystified me until I read her blog. Now I understand it as an exuberant act of emphasis and love how lighthearted it is. It's like talking with some carefree woman at a party after she's had 1/2 glass too much rosé. It's nice to read a voice in a blog that's not trying to be anything other than ITSELF :)
    Okay sorry this comment is so long. I promise one day I'll just write "cool."

    1. Don't you dare just write "cool." I look forward to your comments. In fact, it's the only reason I write the blog… So I can read your comments. You make me laugh out loud. I think all of the other readers like your comments as well. If I ever get sick again, you are going to be my ghostwriter. I was going to have my friend Debbie do it when I was sick last month but she got sidetracked by David's apple tarts, red wine and antianxiety pills. :-)

    2. If you become "COOL" WE YOUR PEOPLE will become VERY unhappy!You have a FAN CLUB out here in COMMENT LAND!!!I noted after reading your last POST that HEATHER in ARLES just found YOU too.............of course only MOI would have a problem signing up for YOUR BLOG with GOOGLe......they want a PASSWORD.Do you think I remember what that is? So, I'm not signed up!Can I sign up with an EMAIL NOTIFICATION??If not just know I will be CHECKING in from TIME to TIME!
      Now, I love how YOU EXPLAINED ME AND MY CAPS!I had my first complaint about them last week............which made me think I should do a POST on THEM.My CAPS and EXCLAMATION MARKS bothered her...............I told her in a return email that I write the way I speak.If you knew ME you would GET IT!I have a very HIGH-PITCHED voice and well sometimes overly enthusiastic!!I mean to offend NO ONE and am the FIRST to tell you I did NOT LOVE ENGLISH CLASS!
      THANK~YOU for your kind remark.......and how did you know I ADORE ROSE VINO!!!??

    3. I adore you and your caps! It is so your personality and that's what makes you unique and special. Do you need me to write that lady who did not appreciate your caps a letter? :-)

    4. Or me? Or both Ellie and I? Because I think that really between the two of us we could kick some serious ass. Well, ok, Ellie can all on her own as we have already seen but you know how I back you up, ma belle Contessa! And yes, for Ellie's readers - that really is just how she speaks. Plus - without any exaggeration - she is one of the very kindest people I have ever had the good fortune to meet - not in person yet but hopefully she is going to fly back to France to teach my sorry 45 year old self how to drive this Summer!

      Ellie, is it wrong that out of all of your incredibly prosaic, elegant and moving posts, this is probably my very favorite so far? I just. Didn't. Stop. Laughing. And no, I have never had a Frito Pie but I graduated high school in Santa Cruz, CA where it was easier to get a dime bag of pot than a bottle of milk at midnight, so I am all for letting your nerves take the stoner bath if you think it will help! Although I am a wee bit curious as to who is going to be your procurer...David? Your caregivers? ;)

      Stephen, please don't ever change. You have so many fans here. Just for telling Ellie that she should write a post when she is stoned? Bless you, my friend.

      PS. Ellie, two things: I am so psyched that Jenny is coming soon. And two: I still haven't been able to look up the book in your last post but will...hello? Craycray over here could use all the help she can get! :o

    5. I know what you mean about blogs in general Stephen...I enjoy reading yours and am never bored.
      I feel that my blog on the other hand is more of the "same old same old", but then so am I! Ellie on the other hand has the ability to keep us amused and her spunk and spirit is so engaging...and I love that she shares recipes and cooking tips.
      "pot roast" has a whole new meaning today!

    6. Hostess, I like your "same old, same old". There's room for many types and your type is great, too!

    7. I am going to try the Pioneer Woman's Frito Pie - looks good and fun to me. Stephen, When I was a teenager, a long long time ago, I smoked weed 10 different times before I got high. I thought there wasn't anything to it, but the high creeped up on me on the tenth try. Some people can smoke it, some can't. It makes me way too paranoid - I was always afraid the law was coming! A friend of mine, who smoked it with us when we were teens, tried it recently and told me he thought he was going to have to call the rescue squad. He told me it is way more potent now than the homegrown/Colombian gold that we smoked as teenagers in the 70's. I know someone who has a history of panic attacks and he said it just makes him feel mellow - so maybe it will help you feel mellow, Ellie.
      Debra from SENC

    8. Reading ALL of your comments is as entertaining as reading Ellie's posts. So basically, this blog is, in my opinion, the best cyber entertainment I have had in forever. I spent one whole afternoon holed up in my office at work reading every single Ellie post as well as all the comments on my phone. Not good for my middle aging eyes but I could not help myself. Anytime someone knocked on the door and disturbed me I threw a veritable fit.
      I am hopelessly addicted to all of you. Keep it coming!
      Also: I actually served my chili over Fritos. I use a Rachel Ray recipe I found years ago. It is fast, delicious and also heavily laden with Monterey Jack cheese, because, well, CHEESE.

    9. I would be in favor of "Dear Fat Fuck," letters always and forever.
      You can't inflate my ego like this, my head is seriously so massive already. It's funny to me that the most famous modern milliner is named Stephen Jones and my head is too big to wear any hat without it looking like a birthday sombrero at a Mexican restaurant.
      I suppose what I meant on blogs wasn't as much about other blogs as it was Ellie's uncanny ability to keep her readers on their toes. On pot, the paranoia is what I worry about most. I'm so jumpy and worried when I'm "relaxed"; I feel like I'd end up hiding from aliens in a bush or something. like my aunt who has chronic pain--and eats pot brownies and then goes to Hobby Lobby and needs me to pick her up because she's worried her school principal is in the next aisle. That only happened once but I'll save for voicemail forever.

  2. Ellie, you make me laugh at times when I see the world as so so dark. Thank you for being you and for being a part of my life.
    Hooray to Ellie the stoner!

    1. I know the world is dark but it also has sunshine. "Go towards the light, Carol Anne!"
      (That was a poltergeist reference.)

  3. Good luck, Eleanor! I have never tried pot, but if it were legal I might at least give it a try. For you? If it offers you even the tiniest bit of comfort, then please do!

  4. Ellie...after living in Texas for years I am very familiar with frito pie. As you probably know, frito pie is a food group in itself in Texas. I sent your recipes to my #1 - they look fabulous. When your buddy arrives I think you should eat some pie and light up a doobie. (do they still call it that?) xx You're the best... keep writing.

  5. Hilarious, I love chili, born in TEXAS too, ate enchiladas for new years eve with my Texas mom, YES you are smarter than the combo at Fox, CNN (going down), and the rest of MSN! Wish I could be there, or Colorado right now, Florida is so behind, **wink wink** fritos then I think about the GMO corn....still grab a bag, melted cheese, salsa, I am in heaven too! A rare treat for me while...Chili is a staple in my house....year round believe it or not!
    Hilarious Ellie! Xo

  6. Ellie, I highly recommend the inclusion of pot in your treatment plan. This natural herb has helped me with panic attacks, anxiety, breast cancer surgery with the accompanying mind games, and now the early stages of glaucoma. I'm so glad I have a current excuse to keep using. I'm a 60+, southern, slightly tarnished former deb, who is grateful to have access to a 'medication' that has kept me from being medicated with anti-depressants, excessive pain killers and buckets of valium. I really hope you find some benefit.
    Have you heard about cannabis oil? Evidently, there are miraculous stories about the healing effects on children with neurological issues that could not be helped by the medical community. You never know.
    Please write about your experience.

  7. Eons ago when I was young I bought a darling little Limoges pot in Paris. It had a wee lid and was intended for storing pot. I know this because it was beautifully hand-lettered in gold script on the front - Marijuana. I brought it home to Colorado and discovered I didn't like pot but I loved the little pot. I eventually sold it on eBay to some "hemp" society. That was when people pretended they didn't smoke the evil weed. Now that it's legal here it turns out that, holy crap, everyone smokes it! Except me. I've always preferred nicotine as my vice of choice.

    Good luck with the stoner experience, there's been some amazing results here and I wish the same for you.

  8. I am SO TOUCHED that you mentioned a SIDE NOTE!!!THANK~YOU!I had NO idea about the FRITOS or they would have been in the CARE PACKAGE!I never eat CHILI, but you can be CERTAIN I will google a FRITO PIE IMMEDIATELY!I don't think if I were living in PARIS I would ADMITT THAT MADAME ELEANOR but YOU did and I ADORE YOU FOR THAT!Your AMERICAN SPIRIT SHINES THROUGH.............there are some things we canNOT GIVE UP!YOU enjoy YOUR JENNY.................I have a FEELING this will be a VERY SPECIAL TIME for BOTH of YOU!XOXOXO

  9. I want to hear the story about the face plant on Fifth Ave--and you weren't even stoned!
    If you're this funny now, I can't wait to read a stoner blog!

    1. Unfortunately, that was not an isolated incident. I face plant it a lot. I have fallen on Lexington Avenue and Madison Avenue as well. :-)

    2. WAIT! You forgot Park Avenue! Preferably in front of a doorman.

      (Of course, you know I'm not really wishing any more falling for you. You just have such a great sense of humor. You remind me of my girlfriends who we can feed off each other and just laugh ourselves silly.)

    3. All of my falls were ALS related but nonetheless funny. I'll tell you all about it in the book. XOXO

    4. ;-(( I was hoping the falls weren't ALS.
      But I am so excited about this book! Any idea how long we must be patient? (NOT one of my better traits).
      Thank you so so much for your wonderful spirit.

  10. Oh god you are too funny! I'm totally against pot, but I think you deserve it. And I guess you could say you're using it for medical reasons. Frito pie and pot what a combo. Have fun!!

  11. Ellie - I so enjoy your posts. They brighten my day, educate me, often make me laugh and occasionally make me sad - they touch my heart and soul. Your writing style is delightful - the perfect blend of honesty, warmth, detail and humor. I love the layout and design of your blog pages. The content often resonates with me: my daughters' ages are close to your daughter's, my sister always made Frito pies for her kids' birthdays, pot roast is my kids' favorite dinner (they would jump for joy when they saw the "pot roast pot" in the oven), their second fav dinner is Ina's roasted chicken (I made it for Christmas Eve '14), carrot cake is my daughter's favorite cake, I enjoy your cooking and decorating tips, I love to cook and it has rubbed off on my kids, I am OCD (my pre-vacation rituals are noteworthy), my husband often makes me crazy, I've been treated for anxiety, I am type A, Yolanda is one of my favorite Real Housewives (she put the "real" in Real Housewives), I love the photos you post, my mom is Italian and makes the best pasta Carbonara, I've never smoked pot (keep us posted on your efforts), so on and so on.
    What a rich, passionate, purposeful life you have led and continue to lead. Thank you for sharing it with us. You inspire me and make me look at things differently. I look forward to reading your memoir in the future. Take good care, always.

  12. If you don't follow through with the GoPro promise, I will never read this blog again and I'll leave nasty comments on your Instagram about your being Madame Kilo. I am dying to see a paralyzed woman in a motorized wheelchair rolling through the streets of Paris, stoned out of her gourd.

    Also, apropos of nothing, I was wondering if Carol ever dropped in to tell you how the afterlife is. My dead father has a way of making himself felt, and he stopped by the other day (that sounds weird, like he showed up for tea and cookies) and I thought about you later on.

    1. Oh my God, Laura… I adore you. When I read what you wrote, I smiled and thought, "this is my kind of girl." I swear to God I will strap that GoPro to my forehead. I will not let you down. XOXO so cool your father stopped by for a visit.

  13. I loooooove frito pie. My much older sister used to make it and it was the coolest thing to eat out of the bag and not have to have a plate, cloth napkins and candles on the table. I think I remember Knotts Berry Farm used to make it too? Or Disneyland? Too much pot between now and that memory.
    I hadn't smoked pot in YEARS until a trip to Amsterdam last May. I was half afraid (it is stronger now) and half bad assed. It was so freaking much fun. Being older and knowing it was going to unwire my Type A brain made if relaxing and just ... fun.


  14. Ellie Ellie!!!
    When is your birthday????
    PS: I love you xxxx

    1. My birthday is March 23, 1970 which makes me exactly 24 years old. :-)

    2. Thank you gorgeous (he he) xxx

  15. You make me smile. And you have an amazing talent for painting a picture with words; I can just see the face plant! ;) I tried pot about 25 years ago with a friend. Did nothing for me cuz it scared the crap out of me and I just knew a cop was going to smell it and find me. Years later, I had 3 girlfriends over for booze and scrabble (in that order) and one brought a joint. She lit it up and was passing it around...I didn't want any but took it to pass on to my girlfriend on my left side. I dropped the dang thing in a cup of coffee...yes, I was drinking coffee. They all screamed and we immediately fished it out and took my blow dryer to it. Memories!!! See what you do to this 67 year old brain? Hah!
    And listen, marijuana is a natural product so in my mind, better than any chemically-made med. You go for it!

  16. OK, so you blew a fuse and now you're ready to put some chill back in the Chili ;). Who said you lost your nerve(s)! ;)

    * Something you don't know about me? Growing up as a child of the sixties, I smoked my fair share but it didn't make me "retarded", it made me paranoid! That always confused me, but then about 10 years ago I was listening to Howard Stern on the radio and he was describing why he never liked made him paranoid! Finally I wasn't the only person on the planet who got uptight from smoking. Apparently the THC in cannabis increases paranoia in some people. Fast forward 10 yrs...Howard's interviewing musician Neil Young and he's talking about how pot makes him paranoid. Well, lo and behold, Neil tells him there's a cure for that. Black peppercorns! Apparently, just chewing a few or smelling them reduces anxiety. I haven't had the chance (nerve) to test this theory, but you may want to have a few on hand...along with your "crazy pills" ;) Oh, and while you're at it...PLZ turn off your highly combustible oxygen machine...we do NOT want you going up in a puff of smoke. Literally. XOX have fun w/Jenny...let the good times roll!

  17. somehow I got entrenched drooling for these recipes, even though I read in the first line JENNY is on her way, YEA YEA YEA, Jenny is on her way! Lucky you....sounds wonderful ~
    Fritos in tow ~ what a combo, Jenny, Fritos, and MJ.....oh my gosh, I can hear the laughter now !

  18. I rarely if ever reply to a blog, but I've just given in. I'm not a person with a good sense of humor, although I wish I were. I'm the last person you want to tell a good joke or relay a funny story. The humor somehow gets lost as I try to be cool and spit it out. It's pitiful really. I guess I need some pot!! Story for another day. Anyway, Ellie, I love your blog and I love you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me laugh till tears roll down my face. It feels so good to do that. You are a beautiful person with so much talent and good taste. But I think your most special gift is the ability to make so many people laugh in spite of your own difficulties that you face each day. You truly have a gift. If being a stoner helps you, go for it. Whatever works for you! Love you.

  19. You had me at "free-floating hostility…"! Is that the literal text book definition of Type A or just the succinct description of my sparkling personality? ;)

    Pork fat: check. I pretty much start everything with a base of bacon fat in the bottom of a big Le Creuset (I think that even Julia starts her B Bourg with it) ;)
    Chuck: check -- so much more "toothsome." I sometimes also add cubed pork loin. It's lean, but it still gets tender after all day, and it keeps its shape a bit, which is nice for texture when the beef falls apart.
    Chilis, chocolate, coffee: check, check, check -- they disappear and add depth of flavor that you can't quite pinpoint (kind of like how Ina uses coffee in her chocolate brownies).
    Fritos: CHECK. I made some turkey chili over the weekend -- and thought "you know what this needs - besides beef - is Fritos!"

    ATTENTION JAMES ANDREW (caps = emphatic): Please don't punish us with a "cool." You must give us at least three bizarre/outrageous/sarcastic comments or stories. Please.

    I wake up around 4am every day, like clockwork, no alarm. When I crack open my computer, I have a little feeling of glee when you have a new post. Thank you Ellie! I think of you every day. Many say "what would Jesus do," which is admirable and excellent; but I secretly think, "hmmm...what would Ellie do?" You are good hearted and honest and real and unreal. Keeping your sense of humor is truly a wonder, and a gift to those of use who have found you. :)


    PS - can't decide what soundtrack will play in my mind with the GoPro video. Maybe reggae, but more like Monty Python or Benny Hill or possibly Mozart. I have never "partaken," but this will be a hilarious ride-along! Can't wait.

    1. I would like to offer this as soundtrack suggestion:

    2. Offer accepted - hilarious, perfect, laughing out loud. The video, the lyrics, Snoop on the front of a Huffy, rollin down the streets… will be singing that in my mind all day. Nice bee-och. ;)

  20. When I read that you're going to attempt to become a stoner, I wondered if you meant what I thought you meant. And you do! I hope you do it. And more than once. Give it time. And your daughter's reply is so cute. Love it.

    For whatever it's worth, I think it's a great idea. And it could be fun for us, your happy readers, too...

    Like you and many of your readers, I hated the way pot made me feel -- paranoia took over any pleasure. Type A lost control...and then I would eat everything in sight!

    Thanks for a fun Frito pie story and I wish you happy 'high' days ahead!

  21. I am all for you smoking some "weed" (my children cringe when I call it anything else) I think it is a brilliant idea....I wish you could get some medicinal kind from CO or CA....the tea is amazing for pain. Knock yourself out! can't wait to hear the details!!
    xoxo Candy

  22. I have been making chili for years but I have never tried it with a pot roast or with coffee but i do add the cocoa and chili spices and cumin and serve it topped with sour cream and grated sharp Canadian cheddar cheese...
    Hey what's frito pie? It must be an American invention or I have not hung out in the right circles...which I fear must be true because i am still on a huge learning curve...
    I had one face plant that was induced by crantini's at a 50th birthday party of a friend in a very swanky area of town and I fell before I even got in the taxi...such a bad night as I had facial abrasions which bled and I was too inebriated to even know until I woke up in my clothes in bed the next mroning feeling awful and sheepish and I still have a few scars to prove it...I think smoking dope is much safer than drinking but you might get "the munchies"
    off to google frito pie now...

  23. Being a nurse, I do see the benefits of becoming a 'stoner" although I don't partake in the habit, I know the health benefits of the drug. There is so much controversy about the use of illicit drugs made by beaurocrats in high offices who do not live in the real world of pain and suffering. And it will be amusing to see your candid camera approach to the whole proposition. I for one wish you well and hope it works for you dear one. Suzana xxx

  24. So what is Frito Pie? I wasn't born in Texas but in California and I don't remember ever meeting a frito pie. God knows, I have always loved fritos. Penny (my dog) is annoying me wanting her dinner, so I must stop here.

  25. I have been trying to become a "cook" for 47 yrs. Absolutely pathetic! My first husband suffered through the Betty Crocker Dinner for 2 Cook Book and your pot roast-sans browning and swathed in tinfoiled. My 2nd husband(1/2 French had to endure the cooking with 5 ingredients cook book.) Thank God his parents came to live with us his and French Father cooked while I got a graduate degree. The third husband was wooed by tuna noodle casserole with potato chips.
    Today I am considered a good cook , entertainer, refined and elegant. Unbelievable! I am stunned when my friends compliment me and talk about me. What I am is an enthusiastic type A eater.I do not hide my past. It is what it is. But how I love your passion for food and fondness for American staples. I have lived as an expat for many years and know the longing for the familiar.
    I hope the pot will relieve unpleasant symptoms and release even more of your wonderful humor. You are handling a very difficult situation with "Grace" , love and humor. Bless you and rest assured you will be with Gracie forever. I lost my husband and children's father 40 yrs ago and not a day goes by that I don't have fond memories of him. My son who was not even 5 also talks about how much he feels his Father's presence.
    Thank you for a wonderful entertaining real blog. Your honesty ,humor and love of life shine through.

  26. hahahha - this post cracks me up....I'm not a cook - so skip to the Pot Part...My daughter lives in CO. She came for a visit and brought some Holy Granoly...(pot laced Granola).
    W: Here Mom try this..
    Me: Hey that is really good!
    W: Don't eat too much Mom....
    .then about an hour later...
    Me: How much is too much?? Want to go try on bathing suits?
    W: WTH much did you eat?
    Me: like 4 little squares...I think
    W: O shit.......
    So no longer does she trust me with her Granola - I did end up buying 3 bathing suits....and a bikini for goodness sakes (I'm 55 and have had 3 kids)..The thing is I thought I looked damn good in it and I really didn't care what anyone thought!..
    So don't tell anyone but I love that stuff ...
    I'm planning on having more before I wear that bikini again this summer ~ Pam Atk

    1. In my day, here in Australia, we'd make 'mull cookies'. They were full of chocolate, sugar, butter and marijuana'. Its a sign of the times that kids now think to be healthy whilst partaking of pot! :)

  27. Frito pie?! This is a freakin brilliant idea! The only thing is the corn chips in Australia are quite big so I may need to smash them a little before opening the packet. I don't know what rock I've been living under, but thank you for educating me Miss Ellie. Luvs ya.
    Jo x

  28. Grrrr I commented and I guess it got lost in cyber space so in honor of that I got stoned and making frito pie! xo

  29. I was born and raised in Texas before migrating (running) to the PNW. I am just another great chile chef totally familiar with all things frito pie, pot roast, and just plain pot. You need to make sure you are with someone familiar so that the SET (Mindset) and SETTING are good so that you enjoy yourself and have a great laugh. Make sure you try brownies or other edibles, vaporizing instead of smoking, do use Indica and NOT Sativa. Should I tell you why? No, just please take my advice. :) Don't make me come to Paris. Wait....are you still in Paris? I forget. ;) Have fun!

  30. My doddering older neighbor Marty enjoys his daily reefer every morning at 7:00 am sharp. A most excellent alarm clock! Har