Anjani On “If Leonard Cohen Were A Vegetable, Which Vegetable Would He Be?” What Kind Of Cake She Would Be & Her Recipe For Kickass Shortbread

Introduction:In late 2007 and early 2008, Anjani Thomas (Leonard Cohen’s backup singer, collaborator, and romantic partner) and I exchanged many emails, most dealing with serious matters such as her life and career, her relationship with Leonard, music, meditation, cosmos emanations… and others focusing on — well, let’s go with goofy stuff.  The following falls into the latter category.


DrHGuy: A blogger who is both a serious cook and a big fan of Leonard Cohen inevitably asked,

If Leonard Cohen were a vegetable, which vegetable would he be?

I’m thinking something on the lines of an eggplant, but you, no doubt, have a more interesting response.

Anjani: Definitely a cabbage. First of all, it looks like a brain. Second, it’s got substantial weight, and when you cut it open it has those labyrinthine channels and layers tightly packed together. His mind is like that, his work is like that. And third, coleslaw is his favorite salad.

DrHGuy: Extrapolating from the veggie quandary, my next question is, of course, “If Anjani were a candy bar, which candy bar would she be?”

Anjani: Can I be a piece of cake instead? Because I’m not much of a candy eater but I am very big on cake. All kinds, as long as it is great. I won’t sully my love for it by eating less than great cake. I’d have a tough time choosing between fresh strawberry shortcake with whipped crème or the classic chocolate layer with an ice cold glass of milk. And another thing: I had to give up refined white sugar recently, (and this is more information than you asked for, I know) so ideally it should be made with half the amount of Rapadura sugar and with organic ingredients. But in a pinch, if someone’s mother has made it, I’ll just say a prayer and indulge.

I happen to have the easiest recipe for a shortbread that is so divine I had to stop baking it because I will eat half a batch before I can even think of sharing it. So if I were a cookie it would be this one. And just so you don’t wonder the rest of your life what it is, here ya go:

Kickass Shortbread
2 c. room temperature butter
2 c. sifted powdered sugar (I cut this to 1 1/4 cup)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2c flour

Cream butter and sugar.
Sift other dry ingredients and add to mixture.
Roll into 1” balls and flatten.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10 min.
Sift powdered sugar over them if you like.

And don’t blame me if you eat them all.

Credit Due Department: Photo by Dominique BOILE. Originally posted at, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“I was drinking about three bottles of wine by the end of the tour… before every concert. I only drank professionally, I never drank after the concert.” Leonard Cohen On Château Latour & His 1993 Tour

One of the reasons was that I was so wiped out physically by the end of my last tour because I was drinking heavily. I was drinking about three bottles of wine by the end of the tour… Before every concert. I only drank professionally, I never drank after the concert. I would never drink after intermission. It was a long tour. It must have been 60 to 70 concerts. [Interviewer: Why did you need to drink?] I was very nervous. And I liked drinking. And I found this wine, it was Château Latour. Now very expensive. It was even expensive then. It’s curious with wine. The wine experts talk about the flavour and the bouquet and whether it has legs and the tannins and the fruit and the symphonies of tastes. But nobody talks about the high. Bordeaux is a wine that vintners have worked on for about 1,000 years. Each wine has a very specific high, which is never mentioned. Château Latour, I don’t know how I stumbled on it, but it went with the music, and it went with the concert. I tried to drink it after the tour was over, and I could hardly get a glass down. It had no resonance whatsoever. It needed the adrenaline of the concert and the music and the atmosphere, the kind of desperate atmosphere of touring—desperate because I was drinking so much! I had a good time with it for a while, but it did wreck my health, and I put on about 25 pounds.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen


Cohen wore earplugs to a Dylan show? by Brian D. Johnson (Maclean’s: June 12, 2008)

What Is That On The Table In Front Of Leonard Cohen?

One of the videos shown at the Nov 6, 2017 Montreal Leonard Cohen Tribute Concert has a scene (see above screen capture) that has occasioned queries from fans about the device being used by Mr Cohen. While I didn’t know anything about the implement, I did know someone who might. And, sure enough, Kezban Özcan (who served as Leonard Cohen’s personal assistant) identified the apparatus as an absinthe fountain. Now, what is an absinthe fountain? That answer comes from the Absinthe Fever site:

An absinthe fountain, contrary to what one might think, is not for dispensing absinthe, but rather for dispensing water. Absinthe is rarely drunk neat, and an absinthe fountain is an accessory used to deliver the required amount of ice-cold water into a glass of the high-proof drink…

To the absinthe connoisseur, however, an absinthe fountain is more than just a decorative water dispenser. As all serious absintheurs know, a quality louche cannot be achieved by merely sloshing water into a glass of absinthe; instead, a steady drizzle is required to witness the exquisite transformation of colour and to accomplish the all-important release of essential herbal oils. Although chilled water may be poured (slowly!) from a jug or carafe, absinthe fountains have long served as handy accessories that help to unlock the beauty, power, effects and true taste of great absinthe.

The Story About The Toronto Brokers, A $700 Bordeaux, & Leonard Cohen

The Title Is “This Is the Best Story You’ll Read All Day Just Trust Us” & It Features Leonard Cohen – Go Figure

Here’s how the story begins:

“Hey, bartender,” the old guy gestured at me, almost whispering in a sonorous rumble. “See those gentlemen over there? Ask them if I can have two fingers of their wine.” I looked over my shoulder to where a couple of brokers had just ordered a $700 bottle of Bordeaux, then back at Sonorous Rumble and hesitated, not sure how to politely tell him he was nuts. He looked a little nuts, all decked out in an admittedly stylish tweed in the middle of summer. Shrugging amiably, the old guy got off his bar stool and circled the big marble slab to go speak directly with the brokers. I watched the way you watch a shopping cart rattle toward a Porsche in a parking lot: morbidly curious, shoulders slightly hunched in a pre-loaded cringe.

The rest of the tale can be read at This Is the Best Story You’ll Read All Day Just Trust Us by Russ Rowlands (Roads & Kingdoms: Dec. 6, 2016).

Note: Sonorous Rumble is the latest addition (#351) to the list of Leonard Cohen Nicknames.

Leonard Cohen Halloween Treats

Leonard Cohen Belgian Chocolate Bar

Today’s Halloween post addresses the all-important issue of the appropriate Halloween treats for the discerning Cohenite to bestow upon the costumed ragamuffins.

Leonard Cohen’s Own Preferred Snack Foods

Cheetos are always a hit. (Photo by Bob Faggen, contributed by Leonard Cohen)

faggenLicorice Cigars

Leonard Cohen, who has been called the finest poet of his generation — albeit by a Canadian cultural magazine no one has heard of — is sitting there eating penny candy and drinking Welch’s grape juice in the upstairs furnished duplex he rents near the McGill campus in Montreal. The penny candy, which is in a glass on a coffee table, is mostly licorice cigars with those little red things on the fat ends.1 [emphasis mine]

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  1. From Is the World (or Anybody) Ready for Leonard Cohen? by Jon Ruddy. Maclean’s: October 1, 1966 []