May 16, 2013
Often it’s eggs and cheese and toast. No vegetables. There’s no time when I’m skimming around the kitchen with wet hair and bare feet. (Cold, bare feet. My cozy birthday slippers aren’t always where I think I left them.)
There are complaints. Breakfast is boring. Eggs are disgusting.
That is, until I started making thin omelets. A few months ago I remembered what my friend Chie showed us, way back at the beginning of this blog. I started using only a few tablespoons of eggs scrambled with salt, pepper and a splash of water, swirling it around the pan like crepe batter. And since I have the pan out, I slow down long enough to chop up a few leaves of greens and squeeze a clove of garlic through a press. It doesn’t take much to fill a couple of omelets – one for my egg-averse daughter and one for me – seeing as the two of them were made from a single egg.
The more available the produce, the better. Another reason to love late spring, when a few farmers pull a portion of their crop up early so we can eat the immature bulbs of sweet onions.
When I’m done eating them sautéed in butter and wrapped in an eggy cloak, I’ll try roasting them whole or popping them on the grill so we can scrape the gooey insides onto our plates or mix them in with the pestos and gremolatas that will be springing from the food processor.
March 21, 2013
This week my friend Pat sent me a birthday gift (I love it when my birthday goes on and on like that). The box was stout and heavy and wrapped in black and red paper. Inside I found a real mortar and pestle, a set like Pat’s that I’ve been eyeing for several years. With his, he grinds salt into powder in a way I can’t manage with my trusty miniature one.
I haven’t used it yet because it’s new and there’s something about receiving a beautiful thing that makes me delay gratification. I look at the creamy bowl every day (mine doesn’t yet have a home on a high shelf like Jane Kramer’s does) and think about how much I’d like to make pesto in it by hand. It’s part planning and part anticipation, sure, but I’m also intentionally waiting so I can enjoy its presence as a new presence for a little longer. Once I crush the first clove of garlic or pulverize some peppercorns in it, my relationship with this object will change.
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February 14, 2013
In his book On Writing, Stephen King throws this out:
“On the other hand…there is Harper Lee, who wrote only one book (the brilliant To Kill a Mockingbird). Any number of others, including James Agee, Malcolm Lowry, and Thomas Harris (so far), wrote under five. Which is okay, but I always wonder two things about these folks: how long did it take them to write the books they did write, and what did they do the rest of their time? Knit afghans? Organize church bazaars? Deify plums? I’m probably being snotty here, but I am also, believe me, honestly curious. If God gives you something you can do, why in God’s name wouldn’t you do it?” (p. 147)
I’m not sure you can appreciate, without reading King’s quote in context, how funny this came off. Funny and dead on. Sure, he sounds flip. But I believe him. The author of (now) over 50 books and more than 200 short stories is having a hard time understanding what the holdup could possibly be.
He’s right, of course. He questions them as a means of questioning us. What are you, writer, doing with your time?
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February 7, 2013
Last night I was sitting on a concrete floor, getting a kiss from a big sweetie of a dog.
My husband called the pup over while I sat in the chair, listening to a shelter volunteer read bits of the dog’s history from a thick folder in front of her. Then he’d ask a question and I’d sink to the floor again, call to the dog and try to persuade her to give up her stuffed toy. By the end of the evening, she’d abandon it readily and wait for me to play with her.
After our visit I’m trying to figure out if the big dog I’m imagining is this dog.
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