zirconium: Russian tins of fish (Russian tins of fish)
Today's subject line comes from An Extraordinary Adventure Which Befell Vladimir Mayakovksy In A Summer Cottage, which I recently learned was the source poem for Frank O'Hara's A True Account of Talking to the Sun at Fire Island. Here's a choice morsel from the Mayakovsky:


Give me tea, poet,
spread out, spread out the jam!


I baked bread tonight, which surprised me by rising higher than I'd expected...

baking bread

... and provided both satisfaction and entertainment. It smelled good, made the BYM smile, and then there was this:

The BYM: *comes out of the shower, bows to the kitchen counter*
Me: *raises eyebrows to ask, You are genuflecting to the tortillas?*
The BYM: It looks like an altar.

baking bread

OK. There is something of the sun about it. ;)
zirconium: (Decatur sculpture)
Today's subject line is from Destiny Hemphill's "dna is just anotha theory for reincarnation: me, sitting in a burning tree (c. 4063)," which is the featured poem at Poetry Daily at the moment.

Bloody cough. Bloody heel and shoulder. Bloody paperwork. The BYM is fighting another cold, too. The list goes on. But I happened to catch Tank Ball reciting a poem about an ex as broken Walmart merch. I found a geocache and treated myself to a latte, which felt very soothing. I bought more avocados and am eating one (wrapped in a flour tortilla, with leftover shallots and soy sauce) as I wind down with turmeric-galangal-honey "tea." I have two big bowls of dough rising, one for bao and one for bread. I received a poetry acceptance. I made inroads on the housework. I took a looooong nap. I heard from people I love. The roads to and from church weren't dangerous. My leggings fit over my laddered tights. And that list goes on as well.
zirconium: signage pharmacy Eilat (pharmacy near Eilat)
So, the show that hoovered up many of my waking hours (as well as hefty chunks of my sleep cycle) this past summer is up, and it's splendid. And me and my frock received many compliments throughout the day, and I dealt capably, competently, and/or creatively with assorted wrinkles and monkey wrenches prairie-dogging me through this and that ...

.. and then came home, and caused dealt with more mayhem, including the cooking of chicken livers, and then the BYM came home.

BYM [peering suspiciously at the stove]: Is that organ meat?
Me: Yep.
Me [after wincing during a hug, points to blister on collarbone]: Burned myself.
BYM: How did you manage that?
Me: Flying organ meat blood.



On a slightly less ridiculous note, here are two glimpses of the dancing at last month's Fandango. I'm wearing a short white lace dress and long white leather gloves.

A New Leaf
Marjorie's Sou'wester
zirconium: snapshot of oysters enjoyed in Charleston (oysters)
Today's subject line comes from Muriel Rukeyser's Effort at Speech Between Two People, which I loved when I first read it at age 16 in John Frederick Nims's Western Wind, and had a sudden urge to reread just before I went to bed.

This week, I am giving thanks for nipple covers. Sports bra --> zit --> yeowch. Also, they're handy on "where the hell are all my bras and socks" mornings, which have a way of corresponding with clusters of 13-hour days.

I am also giving thanks for the shower rod that indeed required no tools to install, for fun stamps, for Dorothy Parton singing with Sia, for Garden & Gun (that "Good Dog" column gets me every time), for seedless mandarins,

I am mystified by gas jugs showing up out of nowhere, how to fold Louise-du-Ha! Ha! properly, why my heel still hurts, where I last put my dance shorts, how I became someone hunting for shorts four hours before a flight -- and quick-pickling peppers three hours before same.

OK, that last one isn't a mystery: I come from peasant stock, and salvaging/preserving anything remotely harvestable is what we do.
zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
I was drawn into Christian Wiman's "He Held Radical Light" excerpt at Poetry Daily earlier today because I became curious about where he was going after calling a good chunk of another writer's body of work "flavorless as old oatmeal." But the part where I sat up straight was when my own dour mutterings about eventual nothingness ("Look, I'm not going to get wound up about not getting anywhere with x when humans are going to be extinct within a few hundred years...") suddenly showed up on my screen like a mirror:


Nothing survives, I suddenly realized. Dante, Virgil, even sweet Shakespeare, whose lines will last as long as there are eyes to read him, will one day find that there are no eyes to read him. As a species, we are a microscopic speck of existence, which, I have full faith, will one day thrive without us.

Still, abstract oblivion is a small shock as shocks go. When over lunch one day my friend and then poet laureate Donald Hall turned his Camel-blasted eighty-year-old Yeti decrepitude to me and said as casually as he bit into his burger, "I was thirty-eight when I realized not a word I wrote was going to last," I felt a galactic chill, as if my soul had chewed tinfoil. I was thirty-eight. It was the very inverse of a calling, an ex post facto feeling of innocence, death's echo. In a flash I knew it was true, for both of us (this is no doubt part of what he was telling me), and yet the shock was not in that fact but in the nearly fifty years of further writings Don had piled on top of that revelation. "Poetry abandoned me," he writes in his little masterrpiece Essays After Eighty, the compensatory prose of which is so spare and clear it seems inscribed on solitude itself. If there were any justice in the world, this book would be read by my great-great-great-granddaughter as she gets ready to die. But of course there is no justice in the world.


I submitted two new poems today. I filed a rejection for four others, and made notes about a handful more to craft by the end of the month if mind and fingers and electronics cooperate. And, like quite a few other locals, I could not resist whisking out my phone yesterday when I saw this from the parking lot at work:

downtown Nashville, 7 pm

downtown Nashville, 7 pm

My being in the parking lot at that point was a compromise -- because of bloody honking deadlines needing to be met, I stayed at the office past the point of getting to the dance lesson on time, but I did go to the lesson, which ended up being a fine time -- the group was practicing "St. Margaret's Hill" when I arrived, and there was enough room in the studio for me to walk through the figures on my own. The rep for the rest of the evening included "Miss De Jersey's Memorial" (the dance of the month), "Kelsterne Gardens" (as a 4-couple dance), "Key to the Cellar" and several others in Scottish sets, "The Introduction" (which I requested after we collectively struggled with right and left diagonals during "The Weevil"), "The Young Widow" (which I requested when given three dances to choose from because it was the one I hadn't done yet), and "Bonny Cuckoo." We talked about regional differences/practices, including "the Philadelphia rule," which is when you're not the caller of the dance, shut up and don't "correct" the person who is leading the dance if no one is about to get hurt. Very sensible people, those Philadelphians.

I am too tired at the moment to be sensible, so while I knew full well that I needed to sit tail in chair and fingers to laptop to get to bed earlier, I went ahead with baking a cake (along with chicken that needed to be roasted sooner than later) and scrubbing this and that. Pacing will out. Anyhow, there are worse fates than snacking on chicken skins and listening to Monteverdi while editing docs on Italian art...
zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
[Today's subject line is from Mika's We Are Golden."]

Work out. Decide against buying fancy soap on sale. (Points to me.) Work. Swear at VPN fail. Clean. Correspond. Cook beef shanks with chicken and jasmine rice and assorted spices and frozen spinach. More cleaning. Extended chat with service provider over billing/cancellation issue. More correspondence...

Sleep for 11 hours. Fry pancakes. Clean. Card-writing. Log receipts. More birddogging of provider, this time on the phone. Recognize two of the musicians in Dark Carnival (guest band in "Says You" rerun) as members of Bare Necessities (renowned English country dance ensemble). Begin loading car to escape neighborhood before game traffic ties up outbound routes. Swear at drippy remnants of lunch leftovers I'd forgotten to take in. Clean up gross drippiness and line surfaces with tote bags. Load rest of things to shlep.

Head to suburb to pick up lantern (for winter paddling, after sundown). Stop at JVI Secret Gardens to pick up more soil (no one at the till, because a baby duck had shown up. This is not so usual for Dickerson Pike...). I also grin at the car I parked next to, which is plastered in humanitarian stickers (including the same Amnesty International decal I have on mine) ... and one of "Basic Snape," which makes me laugh my ass off (and order copies for friends as soon as I get home).

Head to lake. Car-powered pump fails to work -- Kaylen at Nashville Paddle to the rescue. She's whom I went out specifically to see in any case, since today I am dressed for quality time in as well as on the water (unlike the kayak lesson I had with her earlier this month, which was sandwiched between work and rehearsal, with heavy rain less than a mile away):

New bikini top

The timing is perfect -- the other women in the group are more interested in photographing one another and chilling in the cove, which means Kaylen is free to demo the two self-rescue moves, and then to sympathize as I struggle through them. After smashing my chest against the edge of the kayak several times, I swear to get serious about building arm strength. But I do ungracefully manage to complete each one, and Kaylen and I then joke about how it's going to look when I next borrow a yak and try practicing them 30x (i.e., dealing with passers-by who don't realize I'm messing around on purpose, the better to deal with messy situations on real trips).

A family on the bank plays a bunch of Latin tunes, and I dance-bounce to them. Kids in a kayak shout, "Nice moves!"

I cannot resist hacking at some weeds, the better to harvest more peppers and take in one of the Julia Child roses:

IMG_4398

Clean. Cook (flounder and corn with leftover rice and the first of the peppers). Clean. This has been a summer of finding weird stuff left in books and binders: Two TBI ID cards from a couple of decades ago. (Irony: I bought the book for a friend hospitalized for an illness exacerbated by government issues. Cue grim jokes about how government has a way of exacerbating things even at the best of times, which are most certainly not these.*) A phone message slip, possibly from before I was born. Four postcards pasted onto two sheets of notebook paper: Edinburgh Castle's Stone of Destiny, Minnesota Boundary Waters, Hotel Viktoria Hasliberg, and Brough of Birsay.

Ahead: Tea. Work. A rose I shall sniff from time to time. Sleep.

* Related story -- last year I had a biopsy done for some mysteriously inflamed tissue, and I reported to a friend the results: "In a nutshell: it's not cancer. They don't know what specifically caused it, but my body has a history of overreacting to irritants, and that is basically what's been going on." The friend promptly responded, "Since last november we're all reacting to one very large irritant, so it's no surprise."

unmapped

Sep. 1st, 2018 08:10 pm
zirconium: snapshot of oysters enjoyed in Charleston (oysters)
During this afternoon's driving around, I caught part of the TED radio hour's rerun of a feature on a boiling river that didn't appear on any maps before a Texas grad student's aunt connected him to a shaman who has allowed him repeated access to it.

On a far more mundane level, my cabin at Splashdance didn't appear on the map. Finding it -- while hauling a tub and duffel with my weekend bedding and clothing -- was an adventure; I've never been so happy to wear a headlamp (originally purchased for night padddling) in my life.

The weekend was a blast. I would have liked to have arrived much sooner and much more rested (having been warned that the camp was off the grid, and wanting 48 hours away from redlines and deadlines anyhow, I worked more than 45 hours while fitting 14 hours of driving prior to reaching Flat Rock). But I had energy enough for exhilarating waltzes and frisky contras (with a bit of blues and some squares in the mix, along with my beloved English country figures), and I snuck in naps on the bleachers, on a paddleboard, and in a hammock (heartfelt thanks and apologies to Cameron, who was very gracious about my mistaking her hang for community property -- it was a revelation to snooze between and beneath the pines, and I've since added "camping hammock" to my wishlist). The 6 a.m. breakfast prep assignment was a perfect fit for me, as I spent half of the shift cracking dozens of eggs while chatting with a whitewater guide, and the other half scrambling them eggs. I loved getting dipped by Shep (a carpenter I first danced with at an Orange Peel waltz night a few years ago), and grinning at Bill every time he soulfully yet wholly unseriously clasped my hand between his palms, and enjoying a few more turns with Dan, one of my favorite partners during the July workshop at Brasstown we'd attended. I'm not yet much of a lead, but that workshop gave me enough confidence to ask more women to waltz, which resulted in some memorable conversations as well.

Splashdance 2018
Posing in the photobooth during the Saturday night dance


It is fun to be a more confident dancer in general. I screwed up plenty of times, but there were also plenty of smiles and compliments. One I'm still glowing about: one partner's pleased murmur about how people were actually dancing to "Sapphire Sea," not merely walking their way through it.

The rest of the week was even more "wait-what-whoa-JESUS" than usual, although I managed to avoid bellowing "Sonnnnnn!" at anyone (which happened last week when a particularly hapless Carolina driver veered into my way. Sometimes the South just leaps from my mouth...). Though some of my Congresscritters (TM Marissa) and other so-called representatives need to be deluged with more than mere exasperated hollerin', but that's a rant for another time/venue.

anchovy aioli

Today's moment of culinary inspiration: making aioli with leftover anchovy oil. (That's galangal sprinkled onto the sauce. It didn't add much, but hey, points to me for experimenting.)
zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
[Today's subject line is from Frank O'Hara's Having a Coke with You, which I encountered via a marvelous introduction by the keeper of the Read A Little Poetry blog.]

I hadn't planned on writing any full poems today -- the reasons I worked a nonstop 12-hour stretch yesterday are not yet dispatched to the land of Done -- but I do have one soon-closing-market's guidelines stored on my bookmarks bar, and when I clicked on it earlier this morning (largely in a Please Let Some Fun Prompt Park in My Head To Amuse Me While I De-skank My Kitchen Floor instead of Brain Hamster-Wheeling Ad Pointlessium Through All the Things I Have to Crank Through Tres Vite), some conversations that took place the past two days tilted into the brainpan and twined-extended-curled themselves into a new story. Eventually.

Today I also produced several batches of tomato pumpkin bao . . . .

Tomato Art Fest 2018

. . . . and ran into various people from various circles in the course of wandering around my neighborhood's annual Tomato Art Fest, and inadvertently accomplished some Christmas shopping, and picked up a yard sign for my preferred vice mayor candidate (#TeamTorah) from the voter registration booth. I have also spilled sparkling wine on the gas bill, transplanted two Christmas pepper seedlings, made anchoïade (so tasty on pak choi!), boiled a potful of peanuts, and tugged at a few weeds around hollyhocks I didn't plant. (Yay for self-seeding!) I received some invitations and queries this week that have eased a bit of the ache/insecurity of not being as important to various people as I used to be (the head totally gets it -- it's not as if I stay on top of personal messages or correspondence myself -- but it has to quell the tendencies of my inner eight-year-old (and eighteen-year-old, for that matter) to grieve wholly foreseeable results and turns. I contain multitudes, and they are sometimes seriously tiresome.

But I also received a sparkly-fun six page letter from Rae today, and the BYM has been good about sending me updates from the road, and my poem "Decorating a Cake While Listening to Tennis" (text and audio) is now up at Rattle (it appeared in print earlier this summer). And, I just soaked for as long as I wanted in my tub, with the water as deep and as hot as I could make it, with a stack of magazines (mostly from my mom-in-law) and a fragrant candle (from my gal Rooo) and a box of matches with a Conan Doyle quote (from my assistant). Any one of these things would have been viewed by eight- or eighteen-year-old me as a very special treat -- and I get to enjoy them practically every day. It is wondrous to have these things, and I do not take them -- or, really, anything of comfort or convenience or connection -- for granted.
zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
Tonight's subject line comes from the first line of a letter Elizabeth Bishop wrote to Robert Lowell on April 1, 1958. It was actually a sunny day here, but I liked seeing the phrase just now, as well as the pleasure of peeking at a letter written sixty years ago (replete with frustration about a worker stealing apples and singing awful songs, a snotty jab at my beloved Ciardi, and kinder talk of work and mental health, along with paragraphs on babies, birds, books, and cities).

It would have been nice to go singing, shopping, or simply walking/biking around in the sunshine, but my body was tired, my brain fried, and my kitchen filthy, so I put on a nightgown when I rolled out of bed and have spent the day moving slowly between chores and diversions. I wrote a postcard poem and postcards to voters:

postcards

I abandoned my plan of trying a new recipe with the chicken thighs in the fridge; instead, I tossed them into a pot with bay leaves (from my big sister), carrots (that had been in the fridge for weeks), a yam (that had been on the counter for weeks), the dregs of a jar of pasta sauce, and garlic (from Penzeys) and let it all stew for a while. Tomorrow I may add lima beans and an onion, but I may also just let it sit some more, as there will also be two services to sing in and tax paperwork to tend to. Plus I'd like to paint my nails and retouch my hair and sleep for about a week more before heading back to the office. Wishes, horses, la la la.

The timing is not right for me to sign up for The Iteration Project Partner Program, but it sure sounds cool.
zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
The subject line is from "The Church in the Wildwood," a hymn Ann Green apparently used to sing whenever she went back to Mississippi. Made a cheese ball with pickled peppers for her service (because, by the time I got around to figuring out what to pull together on a school night, it was too late to get started on benne wafers, and I have in fact lived long enough to recognize that), and brought sweet potato crackers to go with it.

Lawd, this week.

Transplanted the geranium from Desire to my front yard a week ago. Three days later, every leaf but the smallest one looked infected. Can't tell if that corner is fungally cursed -- last year's results were wildly, weirdly mixed -- or if said geranium just doesn't like Tennessee clay, even though I aerated the hole and mixed in some compost and tried not to get its feet too wet. The French hollyhock a few feet away survived the winter and now looks glorious. Perhaps it's yet another chapter in the universe's attempt to school me in not trying so damn hard that I get in my own way. (Which, not incidentally, is what a waltz partner told me at the Orange Peel a couple of months ago.)

Lawd, this week.

Anyway, I binned all the leaves except for that sweet little leaf at the tip of one stalk, and we'll see if what emerges -- if anything -- looks better. My car reeks of pine chips because I've been too busy to unload eight cubic feet of mulch from it. I would probably do best to compost the mallow seedlings in my sunroom because I waited too long to transplant those, but it's nice to know that the dozens more in the pet food tub are likely still viable.

I am sipping Hild Elbling Sekt and snacking on Milano salami at this hour, because a gal's gottta unwind. Some good dancing tonight. I was tempted to road-trip to Blue Moon later today, especially since there is a waltz workshop on the schedule, and because Jed-who-drives-up-from-Huntsville is a favorite partner, but there is too damn much to do right here at my kitchen counter (so much that I'm going to have to skip a choir thing already on my calendar). Maybe next year...

A singing thing that did happen this week: singing backing vocals on a video, at Jeff Coffin's studio, and chatting with him about his upcoming trips to Tuva and Myanmar. And he's the second person I talked to in person in Nashville this week about Tuvan singers. I do like my life.

My Garden & Gun subscription has kicked in (read, frequent flyer miles from an airline I don't fly that frequently on), and Roy Blount Jr.'s column has beautifully paired opening and closing sentences. The opening sentence: "I'm walking up Dauphine Street in New Orlenas when a man turns the corner carrying a tuba and walking an enormous hairy dog, simultaneously."

A message I sent to a friend in Asheville yesterday: "PUT THE PHONE DOWN and go ogle art at Blue Spiral or eat a marshmallow at French Broad Chocolates or pet the crocheted coats on the cats near Laughing Seed Café."

Wall Street, Asheville
zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
Toward the end of last month, a close friend ordered me to sleep more in 2017. Which I agreed would be a good idea, so I am hitting the hay in a few minutes instead of seeding kumquats for marmalade. But I have sterilized some lids and put the pint jars in the dishwasher, so "guessing game jam" may be on the horizon.Read more... )

The kumquats, Meyer lemons, and grapefruits (plus an orange) are from the New Orleans backyard grove my big sis shares with her ex. I made sorbet last night with some of the lemons (using a Mark Bittman recipe as a base, with the advice of several blogs on making ice cream sans machine), and spiked a pitcher of water with slices of lemon and ginger.

making sorbet without a machine

Today's attempt at dinner was passable, even though the BYM later commented that the salad "smelled like feet." Really, the preparation of everything is experimental. I'm going to sleep on that. :)
zirconium: photo of Greek style coffee, Larnaca, October 2011 (coffee in Cyprus)
Hullo-ullo-ullo! We are starting out slow, 2017 and I, with cleaning and cooking and tugging at weeds between light spatter-downs of rain. It is a good way to get going -- the pedal will have to hit the metal soon enough. Today's subject line alludes to an article in the Holiday 2016 issue of Edible Asheville, about Carolina Ground, where grain is milled.


[Tara Jensen's] baking practice is influenced by her desire to keep a relaxed attitude, even when the fire is hot and her soul is weary. "What makes a baker exceptional is the ability to recover from mistakes without going off the rails," Jensen says.


The BYM peered into the oven as I was cleaning or prepping something else.

He: Whacha makin'?
Me: Cornbread.
He: Oooh... but, tell me this isn't some superstition thing.
Me: No. Although it does contain black-eyed peas.
He: DAMMIT.
Me: ... because I don't have to use as much milk.

I was actually thinking of a spoonbread recipe I'd looked at earlier when I said that; the bean variation of Bittman's cornbread recipe involves 2 eggs, 1 cup milk, and no white flour -- not a significant savings in the milk department, variation-wise. But my main goal was to try something new that would go with the beef burgundy from the freezer. I also made lemon-garlic kale salad, albeit with pecans and gorgonzola instead of almonds and parmesan.

It is true that I picked up the can of black-eyed peas yesterday at the store, because hey, there it was on the endcap, and then I put kale and kielbasa into the basket as well, thinking the three would make a good combination for lunch. But what I actually craved this morning was I grew up calling "mee whun" -- a simpler version of this rice noodle recipe. The version I prepared today contained just bean threads, cabbage, carrots, garlic, and pork.

bean thread package

first lunch of 2017

Other stirrings: one rejection reached me yesterday; I sent two submissions to editors today.

Closing the day with the good kind of hot water: a mug of Li Shan Pear Mountain tea and a hot bath. I'm pondering what to replace tired tulips with, in the shade beds in my front yard, but the truth is also that I might be best off tending to just the soil itself for a long while. I had the old gonna-fail-two-classes-because-I-didn't-go-to-them nightmare this morning -- my subconscious hasn't developed any subtlety over the years. Basics first, you imbecile. Right. Got it. On with the hoe.
zirconium: Photo of cat snoozing on motorcycle on a sunny day in Jersualem's Old City. (cat on moto)
Today's mailman asked about the dog, having not seen her for a while. He said she was one of the few who didn't bark at him. I might be snuffling as I type. Read more... )
Finally: I started this entry some hours ago. Night has fallen, so let there be light.

first night
zirconium: photo of Greek style coffee, Larnaca, October 2011 (coffee in Cyprus)
It took time to harvest the Christmas (aka Prairie Fire) peppers, some of which were hidden behind and below many leaves:

pepper at the heart of a bush

Read more... )

processing

Aug. 1st, 2016 09:31 pm
zirconium: photo of pumpkin on wire chair (pumpkin on chair)
It is Ewe Day according to the Jacobin calendar (h/t [personal profile] okrablossom), and Lammastide in other circles. There has indeed been some harvesting and preserving among my relatives and friends. The aunt I visited on Saturday gave me a bag full of figs and blueberries from her yard. It turns out fresh figs are highly perishable, so I spent a good chunk of yesterday evening rinsing and slicing and pureeing the lot, with 1.5 cups going into two loaves of fig-lemon bread (improvising off of the recipe for pear-pecan bread in Joy of Cooking. I saved a few of the least smooshy ones (which were still plenty ripe) for breakfast:

a fig from my aunt Cherry

I also combined the too-tired-for-salad cherry tomatoes with the last stub of red onion and a pepper and some water, for a cold soup I carried to the library courtyard for lunch.

A friend spent part of her weekend pickling summer squash and okra:

pickled okra and summer squash

This same friend gave me a quart of homemade fire cider earlier this year. I sipped some tonight over ice while formatting some submissions. Hello, August.
zirconium: photo of cupcake from Sweet 16th, Nashville (crackacino cupcake)
[Subject line from Mary Chapin Carpenter's "Jubilee"]

I took the cookies to work, labeling the bin "oatmeal-flax cookies" so as to warn for allergies. The container was empty by the end of the day, and two colleagues told me that the biscuits tasted good for something that looked so healthy. ;)

The lemon tart is really, really good.

The dawg is delighted with the steak drippings and potato salad dregs from tonight's supper.

The rogue rosebush produced three blooms this round. A relief to know my ill-fated attempts to propagate it (by taking cuttings that then didn't take) didn't kill it.

IMG_9807
zirconium: snapshot of oysters enjoyed in Charleston (oysters)
Today's efforts, brought to you in part by the Department of These Leftovers/Lemons/Yogurt Need To Be Used Up NOW:

* pan-fried ground turkey, to go with defrosted jar sauce on leftover penne, with red onion and cheese
* mashed parsnips
* leftover green beans seasoned with leftover bison drippings, with the four last radishes from the first spring crop, with their greens, plus a fistful of mint from the garden
* lemonade
* (in progress) oatmeal cookies with yogurt (using this recipe as a springboard, but with regular sugar instead of Splenda, a hit of Crisco to make up for the not-quite-a-cup-ness of the yogurt, and nutmeg and coriander added to the mix. Turns out I have only two cups of oats instead of three (and quick oats, at that), so adding another cup of flour, plus some flaxseed I picked up a few days ago from the Herbiary's sale bin.
* chicken thighs seasoned with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin. I'd read a recipe for Lowcountry Cinnamon Chicken in Charleston Receipts Repeats that looked interesting but too sweet and too fussy for my taste, so I then consulted a nutmeg chicken recipe and simplified it to four chicken thighs with white wine, olive oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cumin, baked at 375 F until cooked through. (Didn't track the time, what with other things on both literal and figurative burners claiming my attention; just peeked in when things started smelling/looking good, flipping the meat once and turning the oven off when I got going on the veg and starch.) Wine was Molino a Vento pinot grigio, which I think was from a Woodland Wine Merchant 6 for $60 bag.
* leftover brown rice, stir-fried with onions in olive oil and seasoned with tomato sauce and a bit of ancho pepper powder.
* asparagus. Chucked into boiling water for a couple of minutes; then turned the heat off and put the lid on. Perfect by the time the rice was done.
* (in progress) Shaker lemon tart

Onward!
zirconium: black pearl pepper plant at Cheekwood (black pearl pepper)
Phew. Intense week. I was tempted to blow off the pear-cinnamon Bavarian cream I'm attempting for a party, but yep, the instructions said it would need to be in the fridge overnight, so I eventually rode a second wind to the whisk and the stove:

Bavarian cream

Beyond that, though, all I was good for was some tidying up of the indoor tomato plants. I find them endlessly entertaining, though, even when I'm not stone tired. That the vines hold yellow blossoms, green fruit, and red fruit all at the same time is part of the fun.

tomato plant tomato plant tomato plant
zirconium: snapshot of my healthiest hollyhock plant (French hollyhock)
Today's subject line comes from Sam Anderson's piece in the NYT Magazine on blind contour drawing:


It turns out that the world, on close examination, is gloriously strange. Things are lumpier and hairier than we have been led to believe. . . . Sleeve wrinkles can be as beautiful as the most exotic flower. Every object (book, pencil, glove, banana) is in fact a bewildering universe of lines.


Today has been a letting-my-brain-regrow day, what with logging over sixty hours of work this week between the day job and a side project. There have been some weird-even-for-me meals, what with the piling up of dishes and deferring of grocery shopping and miscalculating of minutes left in my lunch break: today's mint-chard-miso soup was a result of me shredding the greens and herbs for a salad on Thursday, realizing I had to returning to the office before I'd finished assembling the salad, and then coming home to a frozen slab of leaves because I'd neglected to wrap the plate in plastic wrap before shoving it into the fridge. Oops.

I was stone tired all this morning, so for breakfast and lunch I supplemented the leftovers with runny fufu:

fufu

For dessert, some jello I'd made with agar-agar I'd bought as a prop for my Heartbreak Happy Hour performance back in February:

Filipino agar-agar bar agar-agar dessert cups

For dinner, I might roast a chicken. But the BYM is frolicking with goats today, so maybe I'll just make another mint-chard salad and do the rest of the dishes and trim dead leaves from the tomato jungle:

tomato plant

Without the cooking and cleaning and contemplation, there would not be the stamina for helping with the constructing and chronicling of more glamorous events and exhibitions:

The Frist Center at night
zirconium: sunflower core against the sky (sunflower sentinel)
Cox Arboretum
Cox Arboretum, Dayton, Ohio, August

While the knives seek the pumpkins
the fish glides along.

aging zinnia zinnia
Nashville, October

Who will tell the zinnias
it's long past Labor Day?




A fun thing: last week, a verse I wrote was selected for Pilgrims' Stride, and today the verse to follow it was picked. The most fun part seeing the sixty-some directions people pursued...

A frustrating thing: local businesses failing to return phone calls.

Today's work will include: mixing ink and cutting paper.

Today's cooking will include: Greek cinnamon chicken. Maybe. The recipe looked like just the thing when I was reading it in bed last night, but we have neither bay leaves nor dry white wine in the house, nor (uncharacteristically) onions (not counting the scant quarter-cup in my freezer). Hmmm.

Profile

zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
zirconium

January 2019

S M T W T F S
  12345
6789101112
131415161718 19
20 21 2223242526
2728293031  

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Feb. 23rd, 2019 08:06 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios