first post—first try w/vegan popovers and celeste gainey

Last night, I scored a cheap popover pan. I brought it home, washed it carefully, and researched popover recipes.

I’ve never had them, but I’ve seen them. They’re beautiful. I wanted to make some, cut them open and fill their hollow insides w/raspberry preserves, the tiny seeded variety.

This morning, I prepared. I made 2 flax eggs. I measured out the ingredients and let them settle to room temperature. I procrastinated. I ate apple chips and updated my google calendar. The almond milk was still so cold. I talked to b on the phone and started grading.

The first thing I read was a student’s draft of a literary review. They’re studying how mood and emotion can be/are altered by different combinations of color and lighting in interior spaces.

Every time I read this student’s work, I think of my friend, the poet Celeste Gainey, who also visited my creative writing class on Thursday morning. Gainey wrote the GAFFER-a book of beautiful poems that does, among other things, insistently and elaborately celebrate and investigate light/ing. (Check out her book:

from pg. 52:
before lighting the gay men’s s+m club:
Homosexuals (1979, ABC News Close-up, Helen Whitney, dir)

It’s the morning after the night before.
The twisted Twinkie Defense,
the White Night Riots—and now—here,
7am, Sunday morning in the Castro.
Back of my van wheeled up to the rear entrance,
my cable and lights in big hampers waiting
to be off-loaded.

Leaning against the van with my producer,
strapping on my tool belt, I’m thinking about the breaker
panel, whether or not I’ll have to tie in.
So tired after it all.
There’s one more location, one more day
of shooting. I have today to pre-light; the rest
of the crew is off, no doubt sleeping away
most of it, lucky bastards. Still,
I’m on Golden Time.

. . .
. . . and the poem continues on.

This collection, working through obsession, place, gender, and life, surprises with its movement and language. It’s a subtle surprise, like lighting—sometimes unnoticed, because it feels just right.

Check out more of her work:


The popovers. I was patient. I was warned that they can be difficult, can “not popover” even w/the special pan.

Vegan Popovers
Try #1 / Fail #1
Original recipe from:

1 tablespoon melted earth balance
2 flax eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups almond milk

Make flax eggs. Let rest until thick.
Measure all ingredients, let rest to room temperature. (Took some time.)

Put popover pan in oven to heat. (do not spray/apply oil-it will burn)
Stir all ingredients together until just combined.

Pull popover pan. Coat liberally w/spray oil/your choice.

Fill nearly to the top. (recipe made 4 total)

Put in oven for 15 min at 450 degrees. Do not peek!
Reduce heat to 350 degrees and leave for 20 more minutes.

(Final Results: Underdone. Left in oven and continued checking every 10 min, for an additional 30 min. Never cooked through.)


They did brown, and though weren’t as tall as I was hoping for, the tops and outsides were surprisingly light, crisp, and tasty. I also liked the speckled look from the flaxseed. The inside never cooked entirely, still slightly lumpy and raw, even though I left them in for so long.

Vegan popovers try #2 coming next weekend.




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