It’s the Pits

After a recent sojourn into the New Jersey “Garden State” hinterlands, we came home with a good supply of those elusive sour cherries. Even as this is being written, the pie is in the oven. Lattice crust? Is there any other kind? Lard’s in that crust, so you know it is going to be crispy and flakey. Just like you know that when Cooky Cat is in the mix, it will also be flakey. Not so much crispy, but maybe furry.

We even went to the local Williams Sonoma for a cherry pitter. The clerk said that it was really a cherry “stoner”, but that usage was ill-advised. (Something about the good old hippie days… as in, “Hey man, don’t Bogart that cherry stoner, please.”) When we learned that the pits of sour cherries just popped out, back to the store that pitter/stoner went. We are not in favor of a tool for every purpose under heaven. In fact, if we had our druthers, it would be a pot, a knife, a spoon, and a bowl. We are pre-Martha (Stewart) all the way.

Here is the cherry pie alluded to previously. Notice the drape. It is mom's very own pastry cloth.

We are also all for using the whole hog, so to speak. So the kiddies are being busied weaving place mats out of the cherry stems. (Hey, Emma and Lily, lay them straight!) And, you probably want to know, what about the pits?

With the pits you make the mahleb, silly. Didn’t you know that? Really? (Martha, it is not our job to educate the masses! Get on that one, will you?)

Mahleb is the powder of the kernel of the St. Lucie Cherry. Wikipedia will give you the lowdown. You may know it under any one of these alternate spellings: محلب, مَحْلَب, mahlab, mahalab, mahleb, מהלב, mahaleb, mahlep, mahalep, μαχλέπι, μέχλεπι, mahlepi, machlepi or makhlepi.

Why all the fuss. Well Cooky Cat is a bit fussy. Some say, finicky. But mahleb is the indispensible ingredient for the ambrosial and nonpareil maamoul.

(To all you Cooky Cat loyalists. We like to separate the men from the boys, so to speak, and give the real goodies later in the writing. Those philistines who just drop in and see cherry pits will go to other Internet amusements. Let them. We, however, know that staying with Cooky Cat a while will bring purr-fectly surprising results.)

So what is maamoul? Didn’t you mama make maamoul? Oh là là! Mama! You people!

Maamoul is a semolina flour shortbread cookie/pastry filled with things like dates, pistachios, walnuts, or figs. Each filling typically has its own design pressed into the pastry dough. You can do this by hand or there are special wooden molds that will give your maamoul a beautiful design. The filling and imprinting the design is a project to get the kids away from their texting’s and tweeting’s and electronic socializing’s.

Bake and dust liberally with powdered sugar. Some good, robust coffee. You’re there.

Don’t be intimidated by the newness of maamoul. Very easy to make. Just some steps. The fixings are at the Middle Eastern shop on the corner. Just tell the nice lady you want to make maamoul and she will take you by the hand and guide you the rest of the way. Maybe even impart her own secret recipe.

Here it is from someone who has maamoul in her blood, mahleb in her bones...


Getting Rid of Them Pesky Critters

Bugs! It's summertime and they are here. What to do?

Well, the former Mrs. herself would probably have something to say about getting rid of pesky critters. But this is about bugs. Not about things and people who bug you.

Insectivores. We’re looking forward to the coming Brave New World where we will have science rid the universe of all those pesky little buggers. We know, we know… the ecosystem and the balance of nature stuff. Who expects anything substantive, notwithstanding the liberal/progressive/New Age/Sierra Club/countless-other-sane-voices and their hand wringing and pile of words about how we are speeding up the death of the planet. No, the fix is in. So, while we have a few years left, let’s get rid everything on the planet that interferes with our march to amuse ourselves into oblivion.

Whew! Cooky Cat can scratch and growl. Huh?

So now, what to do about the bugs?

In our home we live rather al fresco. Air conditioning, only in extremis. Mostly windows open in the summertime. Even a door ajar to let in the cool night air. The automobile is air conditioned, but we mainly use the 4 X 44 method (four windows down at 44 mph). But, as you might expect, when the door is open little creatures seek the light. We assiduously wrangle bees and spiders and beetles. There have been a few salamanders coming up through the plumbing in Arizona. And, once, a scorpion. We go through great efforts to return unwanted visitors to their own realm. Even so called house flies, if they would cooperate. And they don’t. The method of choice currently being employed is to darken a room where Mr. Fly is cruising and put the light on in the bathroom. Once he flies into the light, he is dispatched into The Light.

(A friend once told us that once she was in the woods being annoyed by all kinds of flying insects. She happened to be under the influence of LSD at that time, and she told the critters in a forceful tone to “leave me alone”. She claimed to have never been bothered by insects ever again. True story. Disclaimer: This is not a recommendation for anyone to use LSD. It does, however, suggest that there is a language that might be learned with which we can communicate with all God’s creatures. Whether they heed our requests is another thing, though.)

But fruit flies, they’re another thing altogether. We like to have fresh fruit on the table and we do get some fruit flies in the bargain. There’s nothing more irritating than watching your favorite TV show and have a fruit fly cruise in and out of your visual field.

Maybe you (and, of course, Martha Stewart) don’t have this thing with fruit flies. We live in Montclair, New Jersey and we moved here because there are not supposed to be any flies in Montclair, New Jersey. A staffer at the local grocery was seen holding a fly swatter. We reminded her that there are no flies in Montclair, New Jersey. She rolled her eyes. The irony was lost on her. (And if irony is dead in your neighborhood too, it’s a reference that the town is too good for such pesky things as flies. Our neighbors probably feel similarly about us. But we’ll stay until we have a throng outside our door with burning torches.)

OK, fruit flies. Here’s what you do. Get a nice sturdy 12 oz. drinking glass and pour in about an inch of cider vinegar. Seems the fruit flies like cider vinegar. Then make a narrow paper cone with a ½ inch diameter opening at the tip. Make it wide enough at the other end to prevent it slipping all the way down in the glass. That also ensures a seal between the top of the glass and the cone. No escape! There should be some space between the surface of the cider vinegar and the narrow tip of the cone when it is inserted in the glass. Place the catcher in a strategic spot and watch them gather in the glass. They don’t leave until we take the whole thing outside the house and release them into the wild.

So, that’s it. You are welcome.



Happy Father's Day

Recently we visited the Lee Turkey Farm in East Windsor, New Jersey. The 54 acre farm started in 1868 and is now operated by the 7th generation of the Lee family. This most beautifully kept property is an easy 45 miles from NYC; so, come on down. Pick-Your-Own... fruits and vegetables. Group visits can be arranged. Teachers, please note. CLICK for website.

This was our first visit, searching for the elusive sour cherry. There is only a few week window of availability for these little tart darlings, the indispensible ingredient for "Mom's Cherry Pie". Lattice crust? Is there any other kind? And, there's gonna be some lard in the crust (home rendered, mind you) so you know that crust will be crispy and flakey.

In late June Lee Turkey Farms also has the albino white type of sweet cherries. They are the very same variety used to make your favorite Manhattan Cocktail garnish, the Maraschino Cherry. As a former marketing maven, we wonder what adding a cocktail hour at the farm would look like. First round is on Cooky Cat!

It isn't verified (so assume it is a big fib), but the rumor is that the trees planted there are related to the very one… the very one!, what got George Washington all that press for not telling a lie when he chopped it down. Not saying whether it is true or not. But you know that the Father of Our Country spent some time traipsing around the Garden State. And, after sampling a few cherries, when we got home after the drive back from the farm, there was this catnap dream we had... something about crossing the Delaware in the dark of winter. Unusual... or, historic time travel. You decide.

Seriously, we chose to go to Lee Turkey Farm because of the positive testimony of a satisfied customer. The operative word was "Mom and Pop." Just as stated. Pop was the first to greet us. He was stationed there just in from the entrance, seated comfortably in a lawn chair underneath a sunshade umbrella. (Our city slicker wariness shot up briefly. This dude is going to hit us up for some parking money!) No. He cheerfully directed us to a nice shady spot to park the car, directly in front of the original 1802 homestead. Mom got us all squared away for picking the cherries and later closed the deal on the money side. Son Ronny Lee was also on hand too. He's doing the heavy lifting these days. Mom said it was his doing to introduce the pick-your-own vegetables on the farm. Green Gold! May Lee Turkey Farm prosper into countless generations. 

So we will certainly be back. Next time, in mid-July, we have a tip that the quintessential apple sauce apple, the Yellow Transparent, will be available for picking. Then, late in the season, peaches. In between lots of the very best. Refer to the website at http://www.leeturkeyfarm.com/ for the schedule and what’s on now. 

Here is Mr. Dick Lee in front of the Lee family digs.

Happy Father’s Day, Mr. Lee. And, all the other Mr. Lee’s (and Mrs. Lee's) whose spirits invest the place with such grace and life.


Summer Iced Tea

By Mademoiselle Noodle Poodle

Guest Contributor 
By Invitation of Cooky Cat

[Mademoiselle Noodle Poodle is an old friend. Not, like she is old. But, our friendship goes back some. She's one of the few canines that Cooky Cat can cuddle. Not in any seamy way, just cuddle. OK? 

She’s from the Land of Cotton and has her antebellum ways firmly in tow. Her accent even comes through thick in her prose. But, she is now living in the Yankee North and has become a darling of the Upper East Side. No group rate, multi-dog walker will you see her with. She travels solo, or not at all. She is as good in the kitchen as she is at being seen parading down the Avenue in all her finery. Cars do stop. Some addresses prearrange floral tributes at the times she is expected to pass. Doormen always have a big supply of biscuits to tempt her with. But enough about how wonderful she is. The glowing praise is beginning to make Cooky Cat feel a little shabby. So, here is her approach to the prrrr-fect summer cooler.]

Uber Editor’s Note: Any catch phrase coinages in the following are the sole property of Cooky Cat. Take that Rachel Ray!

Mlle. Noodle Poodle, S'il vous plaît …

Well!  On such a day as this, it’s simply heaven, all you sweet things, I must say, to be invited as guest contributor, while my good friend Cooky takes a nice snooze curled up on the porch. So much more of an introduction than I would ever, lands sakes alive, ever expect. Thank you Cooky, sweetie!

(Cooky, Pussycat Sweetie, gets 5 big bow-wows and a long, but friendly "Grrrrr" for the invite! Thanks a bunch, honeybunch.)
But be advised, in the summer we keep it short (just like my hairstyle); this lil’ poodle’s recipe writing is quite “caz” (that is short for casual, y’all) Hope you like it.
Can you ever imagine such a thing as we have these days, with massive solar flare-ups and intense unpredictable heat waves! And everybody in a fuss over some hot dog in the legislature. Sure makes me wish I was a Long Tall Sally from the Deep South, reclining on the veranda, sipping a long tall iced tea, and watching the Spanish Moss wave in the gentle breeze, instead being a northern puppy used to being walked along the (hot!!!) pavements of Park Avenue, as I do.
If only my human companions would add some fashionable booties to save my princess toes! Four matching snappy cute little slip-ons to go with the happy scarf and Cartier pin I always wear — that is so Ladies Who Lunch. Uohhh!  Even in the summer? Of course. Fashion! Don’t you just love it… dahrlin’?
Here are some words to the wise (beverage-wise), for summer days when the sun acts up and does naughty things to the atmosphere. Keep your cool, as I do; prepare this neat and easy treat that will make you feel like you are on a desert isle with white sandy beaches and a beckoning turquoise sea. Throw a stick in the water, and I'm all over it. 
What else would you expect from this Southern Belle. Refreshing iced tea!
First take a medium pot and add a quart of good water; not that tap stuff. Maybe it comes from a deep cool natural spring somewhere in a mountain range far, far away. We suggest

Mountain Valley Spring Water from down in Dixie. A distant cousin of ours was the guard poodle for Mr. Benjamin Lockett way back in 1871 just after the, ahem, difficulties with the Yankees.
Put it on to boil, but don’t let it get that far. First sign of bubbles, that’s the right temperature. Now turn off the heat and add some loose leaf tea. Today I reached into my box of Ceylon whole leaf and put about a small handful in the pot. Since I am a poodle you may not know what exactly a handful would be. For you lesser creatures, that’s about 1-2 level Tablespoons.
Then I got inspired!  Some nice Chinese Green Osmanthus tea leaves went in too!

Oh, the leaves sat in there about 3 minutes before I put the beverage through my trusty strainer with the ever so cute bamboo handle into a bowl and got it sugared up to just the right sweetness, as only oneself can judge what that is. We add the sugar while the tea is hot to be sure the crystals melt quickly. (We are not a fan of endlessly stirring sugar into cold iced tea, and having that layer of undissolved crystals nestled at the bottom. This doggie say, pooh on that!)

Okay, here is the good part. Have a larger bowl filled with ice (you can have the help do this while you are sweetening the brew). Place the bowl with sweetened tea onto the ice, and in less than ten minutes voila! You have your tea at a temperature ready for to chillin’ in the fridge. You keep all the tea flavor strength, and not diluted one bit by adding ice to cool in down! (That last bit, that’s so Yankee.)

Of course, ya’ll may want to add a squeeze of lemon wedge later on for a bit of tang.

Can you stand it?  Anyway, happy sippin’ from your one and only Lil’ Mademoiselle Noodle Poodle.

Ya’ll come back now, hear?

Catch ya’ll later, mmm-wahhh! [= Air kiss]

Cooky Cat, back again. Hey, that Mountain Valley Spring Water is really somethin' to wet you whiskers with ...

Flippin’ the Frittata
What is a Frittata, anyway? Just to interject that, just like any issue, the Frittata has two sides. More on that particular in a bit.

It is an Egg based distant cousin — Italian/Spanish — to the French Omelette. The Frittata by this Cat's definition has to have at least one additional ingredient, besides the Egg(s); though, when there are several add-ins, that’s what we like a Frittata to be. Also, it is cooked slowly, flat in the pan. When the bottom crust forms it is turned over in full and served (depending on size) in one piece, never folded like an omelette, or in strips. Wedges ... fine.

A Frittata is not just for breakfast. It’s for whenever, dude.

Once upon a time not too long ago in what was the Germantown section of Manhattan on the Upper East Side on 86th Street, there was a small joint of a restaurant named The Ideal. And it was. Ideal. The Ideal served the best breakfast, anywhere ever, before or since. Homemade Bratwurst and heaven’s own recipe for hash brown Potatoes. They started with whole boiled Potatoes, cut up into bite size pieces. Fried to a nice brown crust in a black steel skillet (of which they had a large on hand battery). [Every Egg dish was fried in its own skillet, not like many diners that get speed on their side by doing everything on a flat top griddle. An Omelette done on a griddle, send it back every time. And, by the way, does anyone know of a diner or breakfast joint that knows how to cook an Omelette. Mostly we’ve been getting something one step away from paper. It’s that dern griddle! And, definitely too much time on it.]

The Ideal shows up here because they had a breakfast item called the Farmer’s Breakfast. Boiled cut potatoes, eggs, Onions, and nicely done Bacon pieces all folded together, then fried to a nice crisp crust in one of those well-seasoned black steel pans. Not quite a Frittata, but close enough, for the Germans.

[It also should be mentioned for posterity that The Ideal had Beer on tap. It was Germantown, after all. One brand only, Schaefer. We understand that Schaefer was the best selling beer worldwide, until Budweiser took that spot around 1970. If you were having your breakfast after 10AM the tap would then be open for business, and you got to have your “breakfast Beer”. If you don’t know the quintessential pleasure of the breakfast Beer (see Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter for the official cool have-a-breakfast-beer reference), pour yourself a small cold one to go with your next breakfast Frittata. Go easy. Or, expect to crawl back into bed afterward.]

We’re not gonna teach you here how to make a frittata. The sources are many and it is, after all, a simple dish. But, the trick is to know when to turn it over onto the B side. 

Timing in life is critical, and in the kitchen it is also so. We have the Oriental wisdom that says it all on the question of kitchen timing: Wait until the water boils before putting in the peas and carrots. (Young men, take note; this advice is also good to follow in other rooms of the house; or in the back seat of a car.)

Here it is, per the Frittata, how to know when to turn it over. 

There is one question that only you will be able to decide, and that’s about how brown and crispy you want your crust. But the essential point is that it is first ready to turn when the bottom is formed into a crust. So how do you know when that is? Well, you can peek. But we don’t recommend pussyfootin’ with anything in a skillet what is not together enough to lift to look at the underside. You could break the frittata (no biggy, it’ll come back by itself; but we have a better way) and have your fussy little darlings bolt from the table. But it would be your fault for bringing them up to expect the best of everything. Like, sending in the car to fetch the Arturo’s Brick Coal Oven Pizza. (Hey, Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, would it kill "ya" and your gosh-honest blue collar souls to mosey on down to the the village and go to Arturo's for the real deal?) Or, only high end frocks and togs from Bambini on Madison avenue, never any hand-me-downs. But this is not a socio-political rant, where we get to flip our lids. It is about flippin' a Frittata.

You will know that the frittata is ready to turn when it scratches the pan when you vigorously shake it to and fro. Cooky Cat says — we are shocked by his cattiness — "It should sound like your kitty pawing in the litter box". Excuse the offensive and off putting imagery in a food article. But, that’s Cooky Cat for you. 

We say, it should sound like a good pair of nicely worn size 11 ½ bespoke English Peale & Co. cap toe oxfords sliding around on a 4’ X 4’ ¼” plywood panel loosely affixed to a wooden pallet with fine, safe sandbox sand covering the panel at exactly 1/8” depth (5 lbs. should do it). Simple. Cooky Cat is OK with the sandbox sand alternative. (We do keep him away from our test panel, however. Just in case. You know.)


Bar-B-Que Sauce

Thank You, Daddy Bruce!

The fashion currently is to get all tricky and fancy with food. There's a place, sure enough, for that. But things do have their own taste and Cooky Cat likes to bring out the native essence in whatever he's cooking up. Besides, if you slavishly follow the trendy recipes, they'll have you shagging your butt all over town to hunt down Lord knows what you have to have for that dish. We once got a hefty parking ticket for just waiting outside Zabar's* on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, double parked with the car running and driver behind the wheel, while our partner scurried inside for some smoked paprika. That is some expensive spice!

*[You know what Zabar's is, don't you? It's what people on the Upper West Side of Manhattan think is a delicatessen.]

So, mostly we say, K-I-S-S. Keep It Simple Stupid! You don't want to find yourself with a S.N.A.F.U. or you will be F.U.B.A.R. Go get the definitions yourself. But, if you're a little prissy pussycat, maybe don't.

Here is a recipe for Bar-B-Que Sauce that is simplicity itself. And the best in the world, thank you very much!

Daddy Bruce Hisself — of the eponymous Daddy Bruce's Bar-B-Que, right around the corner from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado — reveals the secret to his Bar-B-Que Sauce in the video that follows this recipe.

We have gotten down on a Mess O' Ribs at Daddy Bruce's shack several times on trips to Boulder. As is typical of such places, the decor is not all that. But the food is. And, there's a piano! The vibe is good, real good. All God's children welcome. You too, sinner that you are.

We have passed the hint on to Cooky Cat and he came back with the balls-out-best-ever-you-won’t-believe-your-taste-buds-and-your-eyes-will-pop-outta-yo-head Bar-B-Que Sauce. He also likes his Sauce “tangy” like Daddy Bruce says. If you like the sweet, please feel free to look elsewhere. Or, just add more Sugar.

The Bar-B-Que Sauce holy trinity per Mr. Bruce:

1. Catsup (Cooky Cat is “high” [as in, "up" — but, naturally, mind you] on that usage for the #1 USA original, dining table essential. Now available without high-fructose corn syrup. Look for it: Heinz 100% Natural.)

2. Sugar

3. Vinegar

Also, per Bruce, adjust the amount to your taste. That’s all’s you do, folks.

But Cooky Cat likes to read labels. And he thinks that home made everything is usually a best bet. So instead of using store bought catsup, do this: (It's OK to buy the vinegar and sweetener from a store. Only Martha Stewart would do those from scratch—we're impressed—NOT.)

½ medium Onion sliced and sauté until well browned with a small amount of good neutral flavored oil. (Small amount of oil to sauté to caramelize, more and the onions “boil” and never brown.)
2T Tomato paste browned into the onions
Remove from heat and liquefy along with:
1Cup Tomato puree
Transfer to sauce pan and add:
¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
¼ Cup apple Cider Vinegar
3 Bold Dashes Hot Sauce (Tabasco, Franks, Crystal, or what you got)
1/8 tsp. Salt
Cook over medium heat until flavors are blended. Reduce (if you want) to consistency of your desiring.


Some further thoughts. The trinity items listed previously are basic, and fast. Go there first.

We customized the recipe to add fresh onion, browned/caramelized for depth of flavor. (We still don’t know from Onion Powder — is that somehow better in some instances? Same with Garlic Powder? Somebody, please enlighten us on that!) As for what kind of onion to use? Use the one you got. For our money, when they get to browning, they's pretty much all the same. (Please, no reader outcry email avalanche like in the other recipe, we won't mention which.)

As for the sugar, we brought in a hint of molasses with the light brown sugar. Try dark, or other types of raw sugars. If you want to explore, get some Jaggery from the corner Indian store (just look at the proprietor and say in a deep growl, “Gurrr”; they'll know what you are talking about) or some Mexican Piloncillo. There is a world of sweet out there. (Quick, how many different kinds of sugars do you have on hand right now?)

Last, the Vinegar. Cider Vinegar seems to be de rigueur. But, now, what brand to use? Try Bragg USDA Organic Apple Cider VinegarUsing that wonderful product will offset the sinful use of sugar and give you “bragging” rights when everyone asks for the recipe. (You could, like our friend Ms. Martha Stewart, send over for some French Normandy Apple Cider Vinegar. But, that’s her. And, besides... French for Bar BQ? If you do go that route, please don’t fly the flag at your next outdoor Bar BQ party. Also, Cooky Cat had his heart broken to bits by a coquettish French Chartreux hussy, and French anything is still just too tender for him to deal with. He’s just now getting back to Dijon Moutarde.)

That's all folks!

Thank, you, Daddy Bruce! Thank you, Jesus!


The day will soon be here when all's you gotta do is think it and it'll be there. It's called the Singularity and some heavy thinkers are saying we're just 10 years away from computers becoming smart as people. We can hardly wait. No reason to venture out into the mean streets any more. No more type keyboards or computer or TV screens. We’ll have it all inside our heads. It'll be the final solution to the gas supply/pollution/price trifecta.

Food of course will still be a problem in that brave new future world. Not so much in the eating and enjoying part, but in the (ahem) back of the house messy (nether) stuff at the end of the digestive cycle. We just won’t ever accept the so called Oriental Solution: the nutritional pill that they use instead of “old fashioned” food in China. The leading brand there is No Fussy-No Mussy.

But the future is now…

Introducing . . . iTOAST©

You know how currently there is this craze to put images on everything. It started with the mainstreaming of the tattoo. In our youth the only people we knew with tattoos were members of the notorious Highwaymen Motorcycle Club on the east side of Detroit. Triumphs, leather jackets, babes, and tats. One-percenters, forever! (Stay on for the song at the bottom of the page. Some redemption for the Highwaymen.)

Now you get hearts in your latte foam. 

Who can forget the Nixon Aubergine (Eggplant, silly)?

Occasionally there would be a Jesus or a Mary in the toast, and people would throng for candlelit vigils.

Well now the throngs are coming right here to Cooky Cat.  iTOAST© is here for the delectation and degustation of all.

Imagine at the touch of a button having your morning toast not only crisped to your exact preference, but also with any of thousands of images. All at a touch of a button. (The future is 10 years away so you will still have to lift a finger in the meantime.)

Did we say thousands of images? Make that millions… zillions… megagigagagillions! If it Googles, it can be yours with iTOAST©.

Through a patent pending technology in an unprecedented collaboration with Cooky Cat, Apple Industries, NASA, and Martha Stewart we bring you iTOAST©.

Simplicity itself. Just call up the image of your choice on a 4G LTE device of your choosing and, at the touch of the iTOASTAPP©, your special slice is being etched to perfection. You like The Jesus or The Mary? Simply call them up on your iPhone, or whatever, anytime you want. And the image will be the one that you select, not some vague happenstance. Black Jesus?, no prob. Jesus Christ Superstar?… surrounded by stage lights! Which apparition of the BVM do you venerate? Guadalupe is our personal favorite. Put it on toast from the actual chapel photos. Shroud of Turin? How do you want it? On a single slice, or spread out over a mosaic array of several toast slices. Our Lady of Częstochowa on toast? How ironic.

OK. OK. All you God fearing Christians, don’t get up in a fuss. Buddha on toast is great, too. The Star of David is perfect, especially during the Jewish holidays. Every unit, in fact, includes special instructions to make a dreidel out of half of a loaf of seeded rye. Why seeded? That's what we like. 

It doesn’t end there. If you’re feeling secular, there’s always the go-to fave, the smiley face. Naughty? Well, let us say that the things you can put on that toast will bring "eating your toast" to a new level of meaning, and excitement. For the kids… can we ever do enough to amuse the little darlings? No! In the brave new world that we are creating, the one who dies with the most experiences, WINS!

As we say at the Cooky Cat Culinary College, “The World is your Oster.” In short… go nuts. (By the way, that’s a name—Go-Nuts—that was proposed for a doughnut with added nutritional value. We also suggested—this was during the time of the Presidency of Mr. Carter—a product called Jimmies, a peanut butter filled Twinkie. And, the still tantalizing possibility, Twinkles, jelly filled Twinkies. We have no pride of authorship on those, take them, anyone. We are on to greater things.)

So you ask, how do we get one of those dern things? Simply find the Cooky Cat distributor near you and go on down to get your very own unit. Or, send a check made out to C.A.S.H. (as in, Cooky At Sales Headquarters... but DON'T spell it all out). You're not ready to give up your old unit? We can retrofit your current toaster to iTOAST©, for a fee. But it won’t have the same 30 day warranty you will get with the brand new unit.

Don’t wait, supplies are not limited. There is a waiting list though because the manufacturing process is a bit lengthy owing to the use of child labor in a country where it is not only legal but encouraged. Oh, for the good old days! I know you’re with us (though secretly) on that.

Before you know it you will be enjoying a nutritious and entertaining bite of toast any morning of the week. But, hey, toast isn’t just for breakfast any more. Charlie the Tuna toast points on your tuna/mushroom sauce on toast for lunch. Stalin on toast for your caviar soirée. Jesus on the cross with jelly for blood at your after church social. Recreate Richard Pryor and his crack pipe mishap on Wonder Bread. Just the tip of the iceberg, to be sure. As we said, go nuts.

Be assured the infrastructure to support your iTOASTAPP© is fully in place and operational.

Get yours now!

(And there is already in R&D an upgrade to take iTOAST© to the next level. Etched images in full living color. Photographic quality. 24 megapixels. And, way out in speculative development with Dreamworks is a secret project we can only hint at... Imagine a holographic display in 3D on your morning toast based on a download of your favorite YouTube video or feature length motion picture. With surround sound! No special eyewear. [Baron Ambrosia with his Bronx Flavor is being courted to conjure his culinary contrivances as a special, exclusive, very pricey app.] The technology, truth be told, is in hand. Just that the hardware required for on-site application is itself as big as a house. Something about handling the bandwidth. Our team of crack scientists [crack, as in sharp or very smart; not, like in crack whore] assures us that they are only days away from full miniaturization to the size of a postage stamp. But, not to worry about your unit becoming obsolete, we will take trade-ins. We do, however, encourage you not to trade in when you upgrade; instead, please keep your old unit. Antiques Roadshow on PBS we have it on good authority will endure well into the 21st Century. If you don't get our drift... think "collectible." And, besides, the blue book at current trade in prices is fractions of pennies on the dollar. So better to hold off and cash in after the Singularity. If you last that long. Too much butter on your toast... it's a killer.)