Category Archives: every day life

Food as ballast

Food as sanity. Food as pleasure. Food as ballast, continuity, novelty. To prep food is to focus. That’s benefit enough, but there’s also how assembling ingredients performs a kind of magic, a magic that is at once artful and one of the most pedestrian domestic chores going. How is that possible?

Furthermore, because we get hungry over and over again, there’s no scrambling for motivation. It’s built in. How great is that?

This year has found me regularly trying out new recipes. Nothing as disciplined as working through a cookbook, but still . . .

4 garlic cloves, sage, mint, oregano, S&P, EVOO, and lemon juice

Sage and mint from the garden, oregano from the cupboard. I cooked the quinoa with a little saffron. The recipe didn’t call for that but one a few pages later did and I don’t know about you, but I often fudge things that way.

Since I don’t always have some of the more exotic ingredients, I apply a loose standard and that’s fine, since it’s not about perfect replication but rather about stretching my palate and experimenting a little, getting out of my domestic ruts.

For example, this Ottolenghi dish called for Persian dried lime powder and sweet potatoes. I used fresh lime zest for the former and left out the latter. I can see how sweet potato chunks would be a tasty addition, but the salad was PLENTY good without them (see what I did there?)

I gushed over this one in my usual over-the-top way. Oh my god — this one’s restaurant worthy! [Moan] Wow, this is good. Too bad we don’t run a B&B! Served a little bit warm, rice on the toothsome side, the feta adding a luscious creaminess, trust me when I tell you it was outstanding.

A few cherry tomatoes gifted from a friend’s garden added a perfect dash of color and acid, tasting like summer and sunshine.

My husband doesn’t say much (and I guess I gush enough for the both of us), but when he gets up for seconds, his opinion is clear enough.

Water and sky

Hot and muggy here and a sky blotted by smoke.

Hard to complain (I’m not really) with what’s going on elsewhere. I just moderate like mad — two blocks with Finn instead of the usual two plus miles. No gardening. AC is heaven.

Tomorrow we go to the beach in Rockport and a new person comes to stay with Finn. I’m so glad! It means we’re not dropping him somewhere. Five days. I plan to shimmy my fat ass into a bathing suit and get in the water. Eat fried clams. Read. That’s about it, really.

All the rain has been wonderful for the garden.

Not so idyllic in my town, however. There was ANOTHER murder in Newton yesterday. Gawd. Domestic abuse. Man beat his wife to death with a baseball bat in front of their kids. “Dad stop! You’re killing her!” The TRO hadn’t been served (and really, even if it had?)

Three weeks ago, three people were knifed to death across town. Two had just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. A man with a grudge off his meds?

What is happening?

And that case in Long Island? Holy shit!

And, just because I need to delete a few screen shots from my phone, here’s a good one.

Honey I’ve Shrunk!

I’ve lost half an inch — which means the next time I lose half an inch, I’ll be 4’11” and a half. I know it’s indicative of spine deterioration, aging, blah, blah, but I also find it funny. FOUR-ELEVEN and a HALF — REALLY? (I’m looking at you, Dottie!)

At my annual yesterday, my PCP managed to be efficient and personable at the same time. I got to air my concerns. She referenced reports from specialists and reviewed them for both of us. She even asked after the boys.

Are you lucky enough to have a doctor that gives you enough time?

In other news, this week’s Paris Collage Collective double image is dedicated to Tommy Tuberville who recently announced that white nationalists are Americans and not racists. He has since walked this back.

I agree with the commentator who said it was hard to tell if the man is more racist than stupid or more stupid than racist. And then there’s this:

Paris Collage Club — this week’s image

The printer is working again, so there will be paper variations this week.

Climate and continuing

Placekeeping today. Followed by the quotidian.

Yesterday’s Robert Hubbell newsletter was a very amplified version of the comments here on my last post (thank you everybody who commented here! No acts strike me as too small). Hundreds of people wrote in about what they’re doing about climate change. It’s worth a look.

Third Act is an activist group that organizes boomers, recognizing that many have resources that can be wielded to make a difference.

About boycotting fossil fuel industry in your investments, this was from The Financial Times yesterday:

Did you know that there are now “climate crisis therapists”? This week’s New Yorker article entitled “What to Do With Climate Emotions” talks about them. And of course, about the dilemma of being alive today and paying attention. The following paragraph is from that article.

“It may be impossible to seriously consider the reality of climate change for longer than ninety seconds without feeling depressed, angry, guilty, grief-stricken, or simply insane. The earth has warmed about 2.3 degrees Fahrenheit since pre-industrial times, and the damage is irreparable.”

From NYTimes, The Trillion Gallon Question

Today, it’s raining. Finn and I walked the shorter loop on account of it. I’ve just baked a chocolate cake and made mint cream cheese icing for a special somebody’s birthday (which is later in the week but since it’s just the two of us we’ll eat cake every night for days!)

We had family over to celebrate early this weekend. I don’t like to post pix of myself but since this reminded me a bit of one of my recent favorite TV shows (The Bear), here I am.

Woods, words, and stitch

Discovered a new park. Less than two miles away!

Reading my book again. Primary take away: it’s really good and I shouldn’t give up (good thing that’s my takeaway because I checked Query Tracker this morning and there it was in red : 49 queries, 100% rejected). It’s also good to reread to catch more typos or content questions.

Mixing cowries and pawpaws? Must research a little more and then fix.

Still life. I’m gonna make a heart for myself. What do you think of that?

I continue to populate this one with windows and roof outlines. With all the dire climate news this and last week, part of me wants to either : fill in all blank areas with scarlet red stitches or surround the piece as is with some of the Global Warming sections I have downstairs. They’re full of hot colors, swirls for storm maps, out-of-control vegetation — all overstitched with words like “hoax” and “try raking the forest.”

What is THIS?
Sweetspire everywhere!

Happy fourth everyone! I may listen to Frederick Douglass’s speech as read by James Earl Jones over on YouTube later this afternoon.