Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer of Food

I love food. I love to cook, I love to smell, I love rituals around food, I love to read about food.
Summer is on its way, and summer eating is light, fresh, interesting, casual, health-giving.
In celebration of summer's bounty, and of farmer's markets, and of backyard gardens, and of strawberry picking, and blueberries, and of summer salads, I would like to invite you to join me in this celebration by posting a recipe, picture, Wendell Berry quote.....whatever local food-like post you wish, on Tuesdays of each week this summer.
If you, like me, are passionate about the flavors of summer and local food (with the occasional chocolate chip cookie, of course), then grab a button on the left, add your name to the list so we can all share recipes and foodie love, and let's visit with each other over the summer blogging fence!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pesto

Who says you have to wait for basil to come in to make fresh, local pesto? I tend to throw things together in the food processor, and pay no heed to amounts. With pesto, it's hard to go wrong. Taste as you go, add what you need, and put the extra in jars. Yum.
Two pestos:
Cilantro pesto
Olive oil
Parmesan
Cilantro
Lemon juice
Walnuts
Sea Salt
Fresh garlic

Arugula Pesto
Arugula leaves
Fresh garlic
splashes of lemon and lime juices
Pepitas
Parmesan
Sea Salt
Olive Oil

We put pesto on everything....rice, bread, veggies, pasta, you name it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Food

Earlier in the year, I had purposed to rid my diet of sugar and flour products. The reason behind this arose from concerns about pre-diabetes, depression, and lethargy. I wanted to at least rule out dietary reasons for my physical struggles.
Well, about 13 days ago I finally mustered up the courage and eliminated these things from my diet. I naively believed that I would immediately feel lighter, freer, more energetic and just like that, be done with it. It hasn't happened that way, and instead it has led me to delve into a healing journey. I did initally feel better, but now I am experiencing headaches, fogginess, depression, and extreme lethargy...the very things I've wanted to escape! But in my reading, mostly The Body Ecology Diet and The Self-Healing Cookbook, I am convinced I am going through a cleansing...a ridding of toxins. These symptoms won't be there forever, thank goodness, and I want to honor the emotional reasons behind this cleansing as well. I am focusing on cleansing my liver, and to that end will be dealing with growth surrounding anger and irritation.
I tell you all this because I am going to stay quiet, wrestle with what I need to wrestle with, and hopefully come out stronger, free-er, more forgiving, more loving. In other words, I'll hunker down with my journal and stay away from this space for awhile, to allow for quiet reflection and healing.

Friday, May 14, 2010

I'm here....barely

Life has been so full I don't even know where to begin. I suppose I will begin again.
Please come to the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival! I'll be there in my booth, spinning and peddling plant dyed yarns, and I might even tell you a story or two. Or sing a sheepy song, when pressed.
I'll leave you with two quotes I love enough to put on my "business" cards (I hesitate to call it a business because I am not a business-minded person, and I wish I were wired that way more than I am now.)
"Art is the proper task of life." Friedrich Nietzsche
"Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest" Goethe
Have a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beauty Walls

Of late, I have been contemplating beauty. I observe others, quietly listen to what is being displayed as beauty, what is noticed as beauty. Does this ring true for me? Well, some of it, yes. Some of it, not really. Most of the ideals of beauty out there, to me, look like various riffs on Hallmark Card themes.
 Beauty has been asking me what I think of her, and I must say that I feel a little self-conscious about my feelings for beauty. For I often think my idea of beauty is not what anyone else's idea of beauty is. It seems there are so many walls built around Beauty, to hem her in and make her fit in little boxes. This adherence to ideals creates also a picture of perfection, a perfect lining up of elements, a fitting into boxes, a wall of appearance. In the presence of such a beauty wall, I have been known to compare. I have been known to drag out every insecurity I have and I have been known to despair that my own self and life could never quite measure up. (which, in itself is beautiful because it sometimes motivates me to make positive changes!)
I must remind myself that many times, the lining up of elements, that synergy, is creatively hard-won and longed for and sincerely earned. I, too, have worked for such things. They seem elusive and fleeting for me, but nonetheless they are there.
I must remind myself that I cannot naively believe everything I read on the internet and what is presented on blogs. We are all real mothers making real progress and real mistakes.
I just want to make meaning of the whole, because there is more to Beauty than what is widely accepted as beautiful. We see this in the way women have been handed warped cultural perceptions of what their bodies should look like. We have also been handed other warped perceptions of beauty....that of a perfectly clean house, always-smiling mother, financially secure man taking care of the household, everyone always fulfilled all of the time.
It is also beautiful when one encounters the first flutterings of a midlife crisis.
it is beautiful when one walks through a dilapidated house and only sees the potential.
it is beautiful to struggle with a friend, grow angry, then feel safe, and forgive and repair.
it is beautiful to sit in  therapist's office, after having dug up the dirtiest, messiest issues imaginable, and wring them out in a clean tissue, with a clean pain.
it is beautiful to hold your firstborn and think you will stay forever with her dad.
it is beautiful to have dirt under your fingernails
it is beautiful to hold a sick baby, and feel so tired, and ignore the state of your house
it is beautiful to lose your cool every once in awhile, and be met with total compassion
(and so much more)

There is so much beauty in the not-beautiful if we only dare look....
What if we were suddenly able to see the big picture...the beauty of the lessons learned, the gorgeousness of hindsight?
I don't want to place the whole of my life in boxes labeled "good stuff" and "bad stuff". Surely there is meaning and beauty to be found in all of it. That is how we hope...how we keep going....how we put faith into practice.


“A conversation is interesting to me when people are being genuine, when they’re more concerned with sharing difficult truths than with showing off… we’re all in the same boat. mysterious flesh-and-blood creatures, radiant and broken – and of course the boat is sinking, but there’s still time to share a story or two as the night comes on.” ~ Sy Safransky. The Sun Magazine