Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Cat I Called Haiku

Rainbow 'round the moon--
Vishnu climbs over the fence
to find me at home.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Moon: Of the Balance

Gentle readers, I've been away; we have some serious catching up to do.  I'm afraid I have rather too much on my mind tonight to attempt putting any thought into words, but I didn't want to let the day pass without giving some small token of my attention to the Fall Equinox, which is occurring this year under the auspices of a full moon...I hope this day finds you well, wrapped lovingly in the arms and legs of change, and ready to go out and kick some Autumnal ass.  Peace.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Evening Out

Something rather miraculous has happened.

Actually, a few things.

Firstly.  Last night, despite my being stupidly feverish and dehydrated as well as generally sick and tired on top of partially retarded, I prepared, completed and subsequently stored away three entire and large batches of soup, all at the same time (though not exactly simultaneously, they came together within a very close frame of time).  I must tell you I could not possibly done this without my (previously only suspected but now proven to be) indispensable Pots & Pans, with which I could not possibly be more enamored or, at a very minimum, happy.  They kick ass.  Not too long ago I was thinking maybe they were too much, too many, just another Mark of the Beast, yet another yuppy tattoo on my Volvo-driving ass, but now that I've had the chance to put...oh, what was it? five or six of them to use at the same time (I don't even have that many burners.), I can only congratulate myself on being--if and only and even if a complete and utter failure at practically everything else in recent memory--keenly, prudently, awesomely good at getting really amazingly fine stuff, at a damn good deal.  That one stockpot, the one that was probably just an indulgence, the one I loved so much just because of how big it was and how great it looked next to the smaller one?  Totally could not have even attempted to begin to consider making stock for three soups without it.  As I said, indispensable.  Also it's sorta nice to know I've got at least a few things that will last me the rest of my life (assuming no hijacked planes crash into my kitchen and melt all that steel...). 

Secondly, over the course of the past few days, some of the Golden Treasures have been slowly and surely ripening, changing skins from firm green brushed by shy yellow to sunny orange-streaked gold.  I might be dreaming, but even a couple that were completely green seem now to have glowing, curly tips.

Thirdly, I think I may have, at long last--without any recipe to guide me--managed to achieve a Zucchini Soup which is not entirely unlike my Mom's indisputably delicious and classic version.  Just zucchini and onions, garlic, a few herbs, salt, pepper and stock, simmered and then pureed.  Add sauteed mushrooms, crumbled bacon, croutons and parmesan... pretty darn not bad at all.

Fourthly, after a few heaping family-style servings of love sauce with pain balls last week, coming home with a doggie bag full of low-grade fever, sniffling and chest cough, followed upon my return to work by a few treatments of good ol' mainstream corporate cynicism--and despite my weary hacking, The Job twisting my ears, the daily longing to come home to comfort food on the stove and some fluff on the tele--I've felt more sweetly at peace in the past few...hours? in a way that I have not for such a dear, long time, that it's actually got me worrying that maybe I'm just seeing the old slide show of my memories of home, for the last time, before they flee my poisoned mind forever...  Oh come's just Fall, you ripe nut.  The air is cooling, the light is fading and I've got this urge to wear sweaters and snow pants, get myself a nice slow-cooker and start listening to some new records.  The Equinox is so close, you can almost taste it, can't you?  Ah, September, drifting like a leaf on the river...

Lastly, it's not yet 10:30, and I am going to bed, for not the first time in the past week.  Sweet dreams, all, I hope to see each and every one of you soon, for real.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

I think Vishnu missed me, as evidenced by the decapitated squirrel in my backyard and the dainty pile of guts and puke left on the sidewalk.  He was on the back step when I opened my door last night, in the cold rain, plaintively calling for me to let him in, claws reaching toward the screen, and I--wondering at this rather uncharacteristic behavior only later--did not stoop to greet him or even utter an acknowledgment, but only turned and closed the door behind me.  I might have shown a little more respect, I suppose, to the essence of all beings...

Vishnu and Lakshmi on Shesha Naga

A few things have changed at home since I've been away.  The tomatoes, which were tenuously staked but nonetheless thriving, have mostly toppled over due to what I can only imagine must have been a rather heavy downpour.  They're still covered in ripening green fruit, though much has rotted on the vine and those spaztastic tree-devils can't seem to get their teeth into enough of it (as expected. but grrr.).  Cabbages are ready for picking (harvested two heads of broccoli, also, the day I left).  The eggplants are now neck-high on me, with leaves as big as my head, still covered in striking purple blooms and setting their dark little fruits, some of the Japanese sort and some round and lavender streaked beauties of a variety I can't remember...not sure they'll fully ripen, but they're a joy in any case. The datura is sprawling like crazy, so large and so covered in pods and blossoms that I can hardly believe it's only one plant.  Blackberry lilies are popping their bright little heads open and the delicate bells of Korean Beauty clematis are cascading over the fence.  The sweet basil I lopped for pesto a few weeks ago has completely bushed out again, while the lemon basil is sending up towering spires to tantalize the bees (who are nowhere to be seen on this dark and chilly day, though I notice the hive has once again increased in stature...full of honey, I would hope).  As it happened, my house-sitter made the kind mistake of picking all of my bumper crop of Golden Treasure peppers while they were still green--a rather laughable turn of events, though something of a disappointment...On the upside, they've been put to good use and I'm looking forward to some good home-cooking in return, a welcome offering and I daresay one I've not received before, the gift of food which I grew that was prepared by someone who's not a family member (could that be?  hmm.).  I swear the peach and plum have both grown another foot higher in the last week, thanks in no small part to someone actually watering them every day.  The Mission fig, a recent addition to my indoor garden, along with a Meyer lemon, isn't looking so hot, but both are still holding their sweet treats, for now.  (I've had three or four so far, of those figs.  Can't say they're the tastiest I've ever had, but I'll be working on that.  Still, yum, and wow.)

Awaiting me in the kitchen this evening are umpteen ears of corn, to be shaved and made into corn-potato chowder, green (tomatillo, jalapeno, cilantro) corn soup, and red pepper-corn soup, all recipes learned and loved from Annie Somerville's Fields of Greens.  Also, on the table, piled high upon the screen lifted from my over-sink window, is a harvest of Hopi red dye amaranth, chock full of gorgeous, tiny, jewel-like seeds, chock full of nutrition, wonder, and ancient wisdom.  Hopefully I can figure out some way to get them out of there and into jars (and thanks to my sister for thinking to shake them out of their velvety ripeness and into her palms) and from there into cereal, salad, pancakes, what have we.  Oh, yeah, and zucchini and fresh (giant, this year) onions, for Z soup; Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes; enchanting Ha-Ogen melon, and a Cream of Saskatchewan too; patty-pans, sun-burst and pale green; black eggplants; chervil and garlic chives and dill... these are just what I brought home with me, just a small portion of the gardens my parents tend, to do with what I can.  Best be getting busy...

Oh yeah, and I was on vacation last week, seven days on the shore of the Great Lake called Superior, otherwise known as Gichigami. I took a few spectacular photos, which I'll be posting just as soon as I can sort through them.  Also have a few from the gardens and home front this year which I might get around to sharing soon...guess there was that whole Paris thing, also... How time flies. Hope you're enjoying the fruits of the season.