Thursday, April 30, 2009

recipe resource

I am feeling the need to gush about a recipe discovery, thanks to another blogger, at Twin Yolks . . . the one I tried was the super-simple, nameless one dish that she writes about along with the breakfast eggs, at the post titled "oui, asperge." The epitome of compliments came last night [upon my first attempt at the dish] when, after the first bite, my dinner guest said, "Wow--this is great! Can we have it again?" Considering the fact that I am never comfortable with making a dish until I know I can do it well, I figured this was a good sign. I also was quite pleased with the sum total for the groceries, considering that I ended up with leftovers enough to make the entire meal again, planned for tomorrow. One tip I would add is that I ended up getting a foccaccia from a local bakery, and I suspect that such a firm and crust bread was the perfect choice. I was also able to save by getting the day-old discount which, as I was baking it anyhow, made for a perfectly tasty end product!

Monday, April 27, 2009


I rather habitually listen to podcasts while out for my run. One favorite is Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett. The other day I was particularly moved by a posthumous airing of an interview with the Irish poet John O'Donohue. During the course of the interview, he commented on the way in which Western culture is such that people have developed the capacity to move through daily existence with little, if any, substantive human interaction--we can simply cycle through shallow conversations without noticing how parched we are for touching at a heart level.
So tonight, after an evening lingering over heart-felt conversation, I muse on the blessing of friends with whom such connection is possible. It has not always been: there have been times when my life circumstances, role, and location, have prevented such a blessing. As such, I do not take this blessing lightly--rather, I feel a bit heady with the joy of conversation that flows effortlessly, heedless of the passage of time. This, I think, is one of the things we were created for: to connect with another created soul. To speak out loud words which come out spurred only by the sounding board of another. To be moved to tears at the beauty of a transparent friendship . . . and God saw that it was good.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

dear dairy

As I was just lamenting the lack of a local dairy farm the other day, with my mother, it seemed happily serenditipitous when, yesterday, I met one of the owners of Cruze Dairy Farms.
So I am now enjoying the most delightfully farm-fresh milk--which is something, since I generally don't like milk in this country, being spoiled my fresh dairy in other places I have lived. This discovery, consequently, is a delightful one. And it seemed fitting, this afternoon, to give my glass of milk the royal treatment, serving it in the same fashion as one would a glass of fine wine . . . Cruze in Crystal? ;-)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

just a spoonful

My mother left yesterday, after an all-too-brief visit. And I miss her. Who else would have, upon a random impulse, shared such an oddly happy moment with me . . .
While out running errands [more to the point, I should probably just admit that Walmart was our destination], our conversation ended up settling on ice cream. You may need to know here that, our family being the sort of family it is, such a discussion is certainly not unusual--and definitely not one to be taken lightly :-) Inevitable, after such a discussion, we decided we had a hankering for a good old-fashioned McDonald's ice cream cone. Having just had dinner, we didn't need much. And as we were due back at my grandparents' house, we needed to stay on the road. So we spent the remainder of the drive sharing a single ice cream, in a happy mixture of contented bites and comments on how nice it was to be able to count on such a consistently indulgent treat. And it being just Mom and I, on the road, it was the most natural thing for us to share that ice cream, with one spoon, and, in an interestingly flashback-way, with Mom spoon-feeding me while I shifted gears, lanes, and trains of thought . . .
Did I mention that I miss my mother? :-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

this is the egg . . .

. . . so gleefully green, that I rudely stole from Mother Hen. But my boldness did not stop there: I went so far as to witness the birthing process!
All I can say, in my own defense, is that I did not mean to be so intrusive. Nor did I expect to be: neither A.B. nor I had ever seen such a sight. So we had no reason to suspect this to be the day.
But what would you have done had a hen up and laid right in front of you? Why, you'd watch with happy wonder, of course . . . and that, my friends, is precisely what we did!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

he is risen indeed

I was quietly repeating this portion of the liturgy to myself this afternoon, long after the service had ended. And this image spoke those words to me once again; so I had to take this photo. What I probably should not admit is what I had to do to get the angle I wanted . . . so I leave it at that :-)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

more than sufficient

Da-dayenu, Da-dayenu, Da-dayenu . . .
So we sang during one of the songs of this evening's traditional Seder Meal: four hours of meditational readings, songs, commemorative food-tastings and wine-drinkings, and a traditional meal. Not being an official part of the Jewish community, we gathered in this way in order to prepare for Resurrection Sunday. And I found it deeply meaningful: one in a series of profoundly significant rituals and practices, that have all culminated in a sense of wonder at God's gracious patience with my recent tendency to rush through the cycle of faith with little attention paid to healing power of the practices. There is a depth to ritual that has a way of piercing through the hardness of our hearts, allowing God to touch us even when we are at our least deserving, our most distracted . . .
Da dayenu . . . "It would have been sufficient . . ."
But our God is not a "sufficient" God, is he? No, our God is a God who delights in the art of creation, who confounds out limited expectations, who demands our awe. So it would have been sufficient--but it was not all that was offered . . . all that was offered was all there was to offer.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

this is the hen . . .

. . . so happily laying, from whom I brazenly pilfered two warm eggs this afternoon. Upon A.B's assurance that it was normal to do so, I lifted her up, snagged the eggs . . . and promptly high-tailed it out of Her Hen-nesses reach :-)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

shade of thumb

I must have stood out amongst the more professional browsers, because no sooner had I arrived than I was approached by a green-thumbed expert and kindly asked if I needed help. Admitting that I would probably benefit from some guidance, I followed him towards a hardy variety of aster that, he assured me, would bloom with no effort on my part. Admiring the violety-fuschiay blooms for a minute, my gaze then drifted to another, odd-looking vine. So it was that I learned an intriguing moniker tidbit: "Solomon's Plume" is a unique little vine that is often confused with its more stately cousin, "Solomon's Seal." In fact, my learned companion continued, the Plume is more commonly referred to as "Fake Solomon's Seal."
I empathize with the poor plant, as I could probably just as easily be known as a "Fake Gardener." So much so that my lack of skill extends even further than the planting itself: I was going to include an illustrative photo, but it was not to be. You see, I am so deadly to plants that they even shrink from me when I am a camera-length away: so the photo that I took did not turn out in the slightest . . .
Resisting the temptation to purchase a doomed horticultural delight, I returned to enjoy what I do best in the yard, and worked on the partially-mowed lawn :-)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

sand and "sun"

We rolled in yesterday evening, weary from the day's drive but ready for our much-anticipated stay at the beach. Neither of us, we realized, had actually checked the forecast before beginning . . . on my part, this was due to a desire to remain in a sort of a blissful ignorance. So during the drive, each time a radio announcer gave a weather report, I stubbornly repeated to Cassie my assertion that weatherpeople simply do not know what they're talking about: it seems that the sun is supposed to come out again the day after we leave. But befitting my stubborn denial, I donned my suit as the day's drizzle subsided, and I dashed into the waves in a hardheaded desire to be able to say that I did, in fact, get in the ocean while at the beach. Cassie documented my dash, capturing the rapid dip, and even more rapid race out of the water!