Posts Tagged ‘food’

Back to the Nietzsche-ure

That’s a spelling mouthful, that name.  I heard somewhere that he wound up in an asylum at the end of his life:  poor man may have known too much.  Or maybe it was just brain chemistry.

Anyway, as we continue to ponder what it is, exactly, that we’re doing, Mr. N. is ever relevant.  For example, his caution to be careful when you’re tossing out your defects so that you don’t throw out what’s “best in you”.

I realized with a bit of a start that that is, in fact, what I did myself at one point.  Being a Super Codependent, at one point I decided that my ability to know what people were thinking when I walked into a room was not helping me.  On the contrary it seemed to allow me to fall ever deeper into the morass of Pleasing People, Caretaking, and avoiding any appearance myself, of impropriety or anything else. So I stopped listening to my intuition, essentially, because of course that’s what it was.  Improperly focussed, but intuition nonetheless.  So, hahahahahaha, Creator’s plan for me was to spend a Long Time In A Seemingly Trackless Waste trying to find that intuition I left behind, since it turned out to be the key ingredient in what I’m doing now- what turned out to mean everything in fact-  since realistically I can’t avoid admitting I’m grown up any more.  It’s been hard giving up the glitter shoes, let’s just say.

Notwithstanding the fact that culturally many of us are divided from ourselves at the outset, at the jump, because of who or what we are- say, female, for example, let alone appearing on the planet in Color-  this search for our inner content and equilibrium is in the end what allows us to live our lives and integrate our many energies.  This division in the self leads to many things that are not productive, like self destructive behaviors and also? ill health.  So it happened that in the effort to simply be who I was, I found out what I was to do as well.  I did ask for knowledge, at one point, after all.  It’s a shame I didn’t think to throw “money” in the request as well but there it is.

So.  The thing of it is, this thing I pay attention to…while it is seemingly quite abstract and many people think that energy work and all those sorts of things are just crazy and don’t work….the thing of it is, this awareness that we can cultivate in ourselves DOES work, it does lead us to healing.  The bit about throwing out what’s best in you applies here too, I think.  So often we simply continue without taking the steps that might really help us, and it can be that our ability to think for ourselves which is, really, one of the best things in any of us, just gets tossed out in our efforts to fit in and be “better”.  We allow habit and the push of time to the end it has on this earth, which is to say death, to limit our ability to feel and to deeply know ourselves and what is around us.   We may allow our talents and abilities to be disregarded or used in a way that someone else thinks is proper- but how can they know, really? They aren’t us and unless we’ve been communicating with them with some skill, we’re probably a big puzzle.  Also, there is the issue of how we may discard things in ourselves that may have some power and beauty so that others around us won’t feel badly.

Which is, Gentle Reader, to say that while it does indeed seem that there are worlds within worlds all around us,and all are thronged with divinity and spirit and many other things, the challenge is to accept that our world is just that.  Our world, one among many.  The commonalities and patterns can help us move forward, and I think that as we watch those things unfold, our own intuition, our own ability to connect with, know and see other energies grows.  This in turn reveals many other connections and patterns that we might not have seen, and that lead us to new solutions.  All of which evolve and change even as their habitual nature carries them forward.

So, while it makes me a bit nuts at time to see the astonishing mix of bizarre to non-regulation of this field, and the lack at times of bridges between, say, doctors and flower essence practitioners?, as well as the commodification and monetizing of this kind of work,  I still am ever more certain that in fact, we can all be healed.  Not perhaps cured- that may be for another galaxy after all.  But having personally experienced what seem like miracles in terms of moving pain and dysfunction from people’s bodies ( and mine, too),  from having learned to see and accept others as my Kin no matter who they are, and most difficult of all so far, to forgive and also set limits in all walks and places, I  do believe that we can all really feel joy.  Which I think is somewhat the purpose of things.  It just cannot be to live in fear of a “God” who supposedly loves you but at the same time tortures you because you are “bad” and “sinful”.  That joy is also largely found in connection to the processes of our very daily lives.  Food, for example.  The joy in tasting something that is real food is amazing.  Yet in our society people continue to be largely divorced from not just where food comes from but what it really tastes like, and actually are encouraged to eat and drink things that not only are not good for them but in fact cause dysfunction.  I’m thinking of soft drinks and diet sodas here for just one example.  Diabetes?  So you can’t really enjoy, for example, the true sweetness of life.

All these things, these ideas, swim in a way under the oceanic surface of daily life.  A big part of it all is willingness to experience things in a way that allows them to show themselves as they are.  Then, we are in a better position to see the proper next step, instead of experiencing regret as we try to “make” things be some way or other that they really aren’t and thus will not ever be.  The effects of energetic therapies allow us to do exactly this, and that in itself can be a powerful propellant toward improvement in whatever area you are concerned.   Even though this feels like a constant swim against the tide (the Partner says  that people need me- they just don’t know it) and one must be willing to be patient, bridge the gaps and the gasp, even be willing to have people think one is a bit crazy, even with all that and ALSO! for extra fun! the total unknowing of what comes next- it looks like this is it, Gentle Reader.  The starry dreams are as much a part of things as the aggression we see around us, and the more we can let those dreams infuse our waking lives the sooner the aggression can be modified to an energy that serves us instead of controlling us.  It’s a big landscape, but it is in fact one that can speak to us and one in which we need not be lost.

Lenin is not stuffed

So, this morning we were talking about Willie Nelson’s guitar, named Trigger.  The Partner, it being early and he being just the teensiest bit megadystopian, commented that now, Trigger was stuffed, in a museum, and you had to pay to see him.  *I* responded with words to the effect that this is the same thing that happened to Lenin. I was treated to that priceless look the Partner gets on his face at moments like these, which sadly are not rare.  Isn’t Lenin wax? he said.  Taxidermy, he said, is not done on PEOPLE.  I realized that I had actually been picturing Lenin….well, stuffed.  Hay! Horsehair! Good Lord.  My mind and welcome to it.

We’ve passed yet another milestone, which is to say, Thanksgiving.  It may be apparent to the careful Gentle Reader that Life in the Wilds is not without incident.  And, incidents on a 24/7 and seemingly unending basis.   Last week alone we had a flat tire (NUMBER TEN) (on the brand new tires.  I cried. Then I found Les Schwab, as previously described.), the roof leaked in a huge storm (dome shifted), and…oh something else went totally sideways which I now forget.  It’s rough out here, let’s just say.  Mercifully we were not in Sandy’s path but it often feels as if we are not far from it, either.  Then, Thanksgiving.

We had one of the worst set-to’s of our little lives, the Partner and I, on Wednesday.  I hiked up onto the bluff seriously thinking that now might be the time to just put myself down once and for all.  Enough is enough and my little nerves are shredded. What, I roared at myself, is the frigging POINT?! This is when I saw the bear scat.  Somehow that changed everything just enough, seeing that little berry-filled mound and knowing that once again a bear was really around, that a bear is afoot!, for me to pull myself together, wipe off my glasses, stump down to the yurt, and tell the Partner that if he was still speaking to me, I had some bear poo to show him.  Also, the tip of Mt. Shasta was glittering high above the clouds.  It all looked like Shangri-La.   Again, the humbling realization of the complete interconnection of all things and the necessity to quietly observe the patterns,  the knowing that however weird things may seem we are all in a flow, a huge flow of divinity really.  Clear your energy and carry on, in short.

We thus make it to Thursday, amazingly.  Usually we cook the turkey outside on the Weber.  This year that wound up not working and a third of the way through the turkey had to be rescued from said Weber, wiped down, and put in the oven.  Since a miracle had already happened and the turkey was smaller than usual, this worked splendidly- the roasting pan was the right size and the bird fit in, right next to the pie which was also being agonized over, since the oven temperature is not what the dial might make you think it is, if you know what I mean.  It all turned out, anyway and in the end, just like I knew what I was doing, and we had actually a wonderful, and grateful, dinner.  We were too full to eat pie til the next day, and even the pie seemed almost other worldly in its custardy, honeyed pumpkin spicy pie apotheosis.

If I ever get (another- there IS one already.  Of Winnie the Pooh) tattoo, I think it will say:


Odds Increase on Discomfort

Firstly, I would like to say to any of those SINGLE WOMEN who thought Romney WON THE FIRST DEBATE and that they heard him say he’d improve things for them:  Seriously, girls.  Wake UP.  This man does not have your best interests at heart, bodily, personally, globally or otherwise.  Nobody else does either, for that matter, but at least they aren’t actually lying about it, then turning around and saying what they’d REALLY do.  Any country where women do not have control over their reproductive lives is not one where any progress is made- and real studies have shown that, not just the ones the corporate group churns out to discredit anyone who remarks on the perfidy of their behavior.  (Think: Climate change not real at all! – funded by Exxon.  Organic food no better for you than GMO or regular petroleum distillate fed!: Funded by Cargill. )  I continue to be shocked by the fact that people in this country, the U.S.A., are apparently completely willing to suspend any critical thinking (Oh.  I forgot.  That’s against the law in Texas now, at least in schools.  Even though I heard an interview with a gentleman in, I think, Ghana, who felt that critical thinking was hugely important and is having it taught in a University he started.) and just go along with whatever thing is said that dovetails with them not having to make any changes in their lives, or think, seemingly at all.   I don’t mind saying this makes me deeply sad.  The divisions that are being created by all this oppositional thinking are deep and painful.  And unnecessary.  And also? scary as all get out.

Anyway, life continues apace everywhere, doesn’t it?  It’s interesting times we’re in, where everything seems to be changing before our eyes and beneath our feet.   It really is pointless to indulge in fear because really?  There’s nothing to be done except your best, every day.  Even when that best seems to have no foothold or purchase, anywhere.  Nonetheless.  We’re trying.  The best, last night, included a quite passable pasta sauce that had  Italian sausage in it, onions, tomato preparations and what not, and caramelized brussels sprouts.   I may not be completely brain dead after all.  Only time will tell.


Takin’ a Lickin’

Well, Gentle Reader, I now find myself Writing in A Cafe.  There is no internet at all on our hill, so there is one more thing to figure out for me, at some point.  It seems almost impenetrable but….it’s an odd thing, for sure, but living in a rural area really translates into quite the Trick Bag when you’re thinking about what might be considered necessities.  Like internet.  Or television.  Or roads…..

Meanwhile, it was the Partner’s birthday and THANK GOD the cake came out right.  Pineapple upside down, which, when made with a fresh pineapple, is really good.   The other Lesson Learned was that you can, indeed, make gravy with meatloaf.  Scenes from We Expand the Repertoire.

Otherwise? We finally have some minimal television after two and a half years.  The Partner is thrilled.  That makes me happy; the rest of it I’m not so sure about.  Actually seeing all the politicians on the news is not helping me stay on the sunny side of life.  What IS amusing about it, however, is this.  We were concerned about how we might POINT the antenna, being as how we’re on a hill and what not and everybody told us we’d get no reception no matter what “out there” (as in, “well, you live OUT THERE. What do you expect?”  Anyway.   Once we finally got cables attached twixt pole and yurt, and TV programmed, what we found was this:  We’re getting excellent reception with the antenna pointing straight and directly at the ground, about six feet up.  GO FIGURE.  So, win some, lose some, I guess?

What Year Is It On Your Planet?

Good lord, Gentle Reader.  GOOD LORD.  The Romney today discussed his energy plans if “elected”- essentially, they are to drill the patoot out of every thing in sight, national forests and parks, off shore, in the Arctic, you name it.  Then we won’t have to buy oil from “anyone we don’t want to.”    We’ll all be total crispy critters by this time, not too far hence, even though of course climate change isn’t REALLY REAL (or it might be, just like dinosaurs), but by cracky we won’t have to buy oil from…well, from Those People.  Win win, I guess.  You think?

Then there’s major league baseball.  It’s hard to tell if their drug testing program is designed for the good of the players and the game, or if it’s just a thinly disguised and heavily applied witch hunt.  Everybody at that table has relatively grimy hands, and my thought? Start over.  Make clear guidelines and stick with them, and have those guidelines stem from actual fact about the substances in question.    Right now the rules for everything in baseball seem pretty byzantine and that isn’t a good thing.  You really ought not interrupt a Zen place with politics and plotting that makes the average opera look tame.

THEN? There’s the fact that all these corporate interests who supposedly sell us “natural” foods are giving tons of cash to the political effort to prevent proper ingredient and GMO labeling from becoming required by law here in California.  When you see who owns what, it’s not a happy moment.

And speaking of elections, I am completely confused by the rash of voter qualifying ID malarkey being pushed on the public here.  Suddenly there is massive concern about people voting who shouldn’t be- aren’t citizens, or may just be the wrong size, color, or age.  Funny, but my memory of the election that was dishonest and stolen?  when Al Gore actually did win the election, and not Bush et al? Didn’t involve the citizenry, particularly.  It involved big political groups pulling dirty tricks.  Interesting how this misdirection has surfaced, don’t you think?  But again.  We simply cannot have a bunch of ringers voting in an election that’s already been bought and paid for by our newly defined “individuals”- the corporate and lobbying interests.  Just think what could happen.

So as usual, dystopia rears its ugly head.  Still.  There really is pretty conclusive evidence that we, as humans, emit energy that has an effect on everything around us (and this is just the energy of our thoughts and bodies, not our “actions”!).  Our thoughts are indeed things.  Our hearts resonate a long, long way.  Time to get busy on that positive vibration, one love, think about what we WANT instead of fearing we will be destroyed by what we don’t.  I just can’t believe that such intensive ignorance, such downright stupidity as we are being deluged with daily, can prevail.  I do cherish the notion, however, of a tipping point of sorts.  We don’t all have to totally agree on every single detail about the world.  But the broad strokes of food, water, medicine, shelter, education, human rights, environmental action?  It seems we could get our heads together on that and work together, both those who are inside the system and those who are not.  Call me crazy.

So much I don’t understand

That is probably a very clear understatement, Gentle Reader.  But I find myself Quite Perplexed by Comments.  I get comments now! Which is in itself astounding.  Some of them seem reasonably cogent, but when I look at the addresses, often they  turn out to be from known “Forum Spammers”.  It’s confusing, because one wants to be polite and responsive especially if…well, if there’s Someone Out There Reading.  I even got a B+ last week…from a Forum Spammer.  Anyway, once again my pathological fear of hurting someone’s feelings (surprised?) has revealed itself for further inspection.

Meanwhile, yes:  COOKING.  I was going to bake bread today but simply could not muster the energy.  Lately, among other things,  I’ve made:  Bolognese sauce, spaghetti with same, lasagne, squash and kale calzone, chickpea curry with turmeric, pad thai, mushroom tart, potato curry with mustard and cumin seeds and cardamom scented rice, parathas, chicken milanese, beet soup, glazed carrots with honey and chili, roasted mixed vegetables with pomegranate vinegar, tangerine rice, endive salads,  and cookies cookies cookies as well as an infinite number of variations on leftover roast chicken.   Reunited with my kitchenaid mixer, we whisk through things So Professionally!  We seem to be on a vegetable binge lately, emphasis on Indian Subcontinent.  We had a summer of Vietnamese and Thai food, a fall of Mexican extravaganzas and holiday regulars, dumplings and crisp potatoes…..there are still chestnuts to be cooked and a potential butternut squash souffle.  And then, all the lemons and tangerines.  And, a carrot cake has been requested.

I guess I cook to pull myself together and clear the befogged, stuck in jar of vaseline, head.  We have to eat, so it might as well be good as well as nutritious although this comes more and more to be very time consuming.  Lately I find we don’t buy anything that isn’t organic, and we eat a lot of home grown organic vegetables from our garden and our neighbors’.  This gets into yet another tangled trail, of course, because of the way agribusiness functions in the U.S.  When you ponder the fact that 80% of the antibiotics used in this country go to livestock used for food, and this of course generates our friend, Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria (such as MRSA in pork, recently), that doesn’t exactly whet the appetite.  It’s difficult to buy things because you don’t know if they’re genetically modified or not.  For example, I looked at a package of polenta, a brand I used to buy.  But now?  It doesn’t say where it’s from, if the corn is GMO- just as alot of tofu doesn’t say anything about origin.  Corn and soy are, of course, two of the most highly GMOd items around at present.   I almost slipped and got lazy, buying  bottled barbeque sauce.  Until I looked at the label and it was all chemicals, starting with the first ingredient which was: High Fructose Corn Syrup.  So bad on every level.  I thought the base ingredient in barbeque sauce was, traditionally, tomatoes in some guise.  Not corn syrup.  And milk? Holy, you will excuse me, cow.  So THAT has to be organic too.   All the additives in food for cows, for example: meat additives, corn, things they don’t eat and also? antibiotics.  Which creates…let’s just say, a highly unsavory gut environment for the bovine in question.

Food is just about the most basic thing there is, besides water and air.  People have gotten very detached from preparing their own meals from scratch, much less, in the broad swathes, thinking about where it comes from, or even really taking the time to enjoy and understand what is being eaten.  Of course there are bastions of people who are hyperfocussed on it (what gender is my steak?), and people who are just trying to make things better and get back to some basic connection with what makes and keeps us human (Slow Food, Farmer’s Markets).  I still can’t help but think that if people stopped eating all the packaged stuff, with all the fake sugars and additives and strange fats, and started really eating real food, things might change.  The thought process would  change, become more clear, because that’s what usually happens when you clean up your diet and treat your stomach with some respect instead of like a bottomless kangaroo pouch.  People wouldn’t be so overweight and ridden with health problems.  Things could be grown in a rational way and distributed reasonably.

Still, in spite of all, I do think progress is possible.  Pablo Casals said if we do small things every day we will see miracles.  I think this is true:  You do small things toward a goal, and eventually it does get reached.  You make conscious decisions about your own food so that ultimately, someone else can eat too.  It’s about keeping things in balance overall, and that happens to be something that makes cooking every day ultimately so satisfying and rich, no matter how humble the dish being made may be.

Won Ton W/rappers

Yesterday was a blur of difficulty, let’s just say.  Emotional instability reared its ugly head, dueled with logistical nightmares and potentially lethal snafus, skidded on muddy roads, and eventually baked cookies.  Today started off with telemarketing calls from the moon ( no, I didn’t buy any),  and then the real fun began.  My glass supplier called to say the jars I’ve used for the past several years and just reordered are no longer available.  Period.  Nyet.  Not making ’em anymore.  So, this is getting into real fun, here.  I make and sell a product that, up to now, has been a SPECIFIC SIZE, right?  Because I’ve used the same jars FOR A LONG TIME.  A jar is a stable little thing, isn’t it?  Who’d’a thunk that such a small thing could turn into such a big deal?   Except of course that it is always the things you don’t think of that suddenly afix themselves to your posterior with all the might of their pointy teeth and strong jaws.   Because, see, we have labels that have to be very specific about what is in the jar, including size/amount. The labels have to FIT a certain size jar.  Plus, it’s a certain price for a certain amount and size of jar.  So, basically, this jar isn’t a negotiable item.  We use amber colored glass and not clear or blue or green or purple  for preserving purposes;  plastic is of course totally out of the question.   Glass is essential, versus plastic, for preserving purposes and non-chemical contamination issues.  Why make an organic/biodynamic product and then package it in —– ? However much the petrochemical industry would like you to.  Heck, you can use the lotions that have all their petro stuff in them as preservatives, put it in plastic made from the same lovely stuff, and voila.  Toxic immersion, a concept we’re all swimming in.

My supplier was struggling to maintain composure through the many calls she had to make to tell people their orders weren’t going to happen. It made me feel terrible.   I called another source who reminded me that, as small businesses, manufacturers don’t really give a flying whizzbang about you.  They decide what to make, what not to, and you as the tee tiny business person out there get to, essentially, retool on a dime.  It took a huge amount of tooth gritting determination to keep my mind from completely exploding (again) when I think about the TOTAL FREAKING HYPOCRISY that is rampant, about “small business”, “job creation”, “support for entrepreneurs”, “getting America back to work”, blahblahblahblah….BLAH.   As a small business person, I have not found that support or help terribly available.  I couldn’t get a Small Business Loan at the startup because….I hadn’t been in business long enough.  I really liked that.  The bank wouldn’t lend me any money unless I essentially bought my car over again.  Once per car is enough, don’t you think?   I’d love to be able to expand and JEEZ, maybe even hire someone to help us.  That is definitely out there in fantasy land at this point, as the Partner and I toil on here in Biodynamic World.  But anyway.

I’m trying to maintain a calm, easygoing, upbeat attitude about all this.  It’s just change! A shift in direction! We’ve been thinking that we should raise our prices a bit.  The only jars I can find that are remotely acceptable now are  bigger than our current ones and a fair bit more expensive.  It makes sense to raise the price on something when you’re getting more of it, doesn’t it?   So we get to ponder this price point stuff too.  There’s a whole ecosystem for that, too.  At this point, my products aren’t expensive enough for people with  money to be too interested in them- they are lovely, they work, they’re good for you, but sadly no Swank Factor it would seem.  If we raise the price,  current customers are going to think twice, and we hope continue their purchases but after all.  Things are dicey and money is funny.   This is the life, Gentle Reader!

On a positive note, at least SOPA and PIPA, those two mutant darlings, are off the table at present.  Probably to be..retooled! and brought out again but nonetheless, something good happened there.  Tonight I’m making ravioli (hence today’s title),  another guided meditation to  keep everything loosely connected while we fly through the air hoping there’s a trapeze out there somewhere.  That tree branch I got stuck in last night wasn’t, in the end, all that comfortable.

Vicious Circle Surfeit

It’s getting harder to know what to do about things, Gentle Reader.  How does one participate productively, when do you just shine things on, how does a change in paradigm get implemented and, really? Is it any of one’s business?  Of course it IS quite often one’s business if only insofar as we each have a responsibility to tell the truth and ……oh dear.  Well, you can see my quandary.

We have drama brewing apace here on the hill, which used up quite a bit of my time today.  The good news was that our landlady had indeed returned on Monday with plumbing parts, did fix the leak to a certain degree, and then?  The pipes froze.  That was yesterday.  So when the phone rang and the day went to hell right off the top, I guess I was temporarily buoyed up by the knowledge that the pipes weren’t frozen TODAY! All the water I’d put in buckets all over the yurt could stay there for now! Just in case! And even though my mail wasn’t reaching its important destinations and my calls weren’t being returned, there was still a (temporary) sense of having backed away from the actual edge of the cliff.   But back to the Drama.  Perhaps the importance is in knowing when to say something, when not.  Also to whom.  Stupidity, however, IS forever quite often, and attempting to provide redress to that fundamental gaping hole in things is pretty damned hard.  This particular case in point showcased my general tendency to jump in, sort things out, get the life boat provisioned, and other people’s willingness to send me straight to the front.  Etcetera.  But then I thought, hmmmm.  When it’s drama, and high drama at that, the messenger often gets shot so really it is probably better to wait until everyone is calmer. It has also been brought to my attention that people don’t listen all the time, and that being the case a different approach than talking might be better.  But then people may indeed experience the consequences of their own actions, which sometimes has a scattershot effect, and in this case would be highly undesirable to say the least.

So.  Public policy.  How do you get people to actually act in their own best interests?   A spot of news listening doesn’t cast much light on this, either.  Boehner of our existence, WTF?  SOPA? PIPA?  I actually heard someone say that these bills are, get this! ABOUT JOBS.  Zillions of innocent people will lose their jobs if these bills are not passed because…er….piracy of films online will…..why, it will…..Totally did not get the connection there, except that JOBS are a catchword now, used by Republicans in every context whether appropriate or not.    I think if I hear…(well, and here it is! ONE MORE TIME! Mitt and Newt running their mouths with minimal brain engagement and maximal use of “job creation” ) any more malarkey about jobs I will scream.  Pardon me……

The birds screamed for me just now, the sweethearts.  Still.  It is really something to be on this runaway train.  We can’t agree that climate change is real in the Hallowed Halls of Legislation but we can sure wade in and make sure censorship is alive and well, because why? Because it’s easier than tackling the actual problems of the world.  And? Because the money has to stay where it is.  The laws will still be broken, criminals will still succeed, but by cracky we’re striking a blow for….certainly not democracy.  I wonder what they’re going to call it this time.  All they really need to do now is put Monsanto in charge of the internet, and their work would be done here, the forks could be removed.  They could go back to being Job Creators!  I suspect our fine legislators are just as confused as we are, however, because I also heard something quite interesting from one of them this past week, something to the effect that half of the people in the US don’t pay income tax.  This, it turned out,  was an allusion to people at or below the poverty line not having to pay income tax.  Therefore, it would seem that this person was saying that half the people in the US are at or below the poverty line.  Wow, I thought.  Inadvertent truth!

Anyway.  The sky is completely clouded over, no visibility and dark falling rapidly.  The weather is changing, and winter may have actually arrived in full force.  This will make the coming week a logistical nightmare but what else is new?  Meantime, I found a recipe for pinto beans with garlic and red wine (Lynn Rosetto Kasper, in the JPR Monthly)  and it is a winner.  Simplified:  Cook beans in pressure cooker.  Saute finely diced carrot and onion until beginning to brown, then add 8 or so thinly sliced garlic cloves, cook until they are softened.  Then, a cup and a half of red wine, bring to simmer lower heat and let reduce to almost nothing.  THEN, add beans and their broth, let cook for a half hour or so to meld flavors.    This was a really good variation on pinto beans, and with some good bread makes a good meal.  Tonight we’ll probably make something spicier with them, which it is now time to ponder.  Chili? Cumin? The challenge of making something interesting from a basic and often used ingredient, as well as something good out of nothing particular, is always eventually very enlivening.  Thank goodness.

Je Ne Sais Quoi

Julia Child used to say that about ingredients in recipes, so dashingly, that they’d give a particular dish a je ne sais quois.  It might have been tarragon in something but of course I don’t remember exactly.  I did think yesterday though that bliss might be having all Julia’s tv shows on DVD and us having a..modern tv? Perhaps mounted on the bookcase that constitutes our bedroom wall (Partner’s idea of course) and then when I have those moments when I want to End It All, I could retreat to a parliamentary splendor amidst pillows and watch Julia, who has always had a wonderfully bucking up effect on me.

Meanwhile although the large picture appears ongoingly with startling non-clarity the actual daily stuff seems to contain ever more nuggets of wonder.  I got hugged and bowed to in the post office! Holy smokes.  Anyway what with The Partner still being down with the virus, plants needing to be protected from frost, big upcoming work thing next weekend and all sorts of other stuff (such as actually learning how to keep a wood stove going overnight, for example) I find myself a bit wordless this evening, while making chicken soup, expect to say that, actually? I think magic IS afoot.

Another Day

There is snow dusted over the mountains now; it rained all night, snowed at low elevations too,  and the view toward those mountains  is wreathed in violet.  Out toward the coast the sky is blue and the sun can be seen moving toward the nightly denouement.

We’re putting one foot in front of the other, carefully.  It seems as though everyone is feeling their way toward something, taking what they think are risks and wondering what’s going to happen.  My wish continues to be that all the voices in my head would for..well, regular intervals at least.  Meanwhile, we are cooking a turkey today.  We got a fantastic deal on it at our local grocery and figured, why not? We’ll be eating turkey for a while and are looking forward to it- we didn’t have one last year what with all the excitement and we have some different plans for Thanksgiving this year, so it made sense at the time.  Tomorrow we’ll make stuffing, maybe.  There’s still pies to go, too, which means pumpkins to roast.  Sometimes it really is good to have something familiar to fall back on, to do, especially in times where you can hardly figure out how to brush your hair.  At least *I* am experience challenges on that and, let’s face it, every other level.

In other Surprising News, the “Super Committee” seems to have not been so super.  Wow.  Didn’t see that coming, eh?  Iran is certain to have nuclear weapons.  Seriously, Gentle Reader.  I continue to be amazed that people don’t have this stuff figured out any better at this late date.   Meanwhile, we have a turkey to baste and at least that is something one can get one’s mind around.