Archive for May 2010

impulse purchase at the farmers’ market

May 31, 2010

good morning, sorrel!

May 16, 2010

You’re looking lovely today. That shade of green really suits you.

Come inside, I’d like to introduce you to a couple of friends of mine.This is Butter. And here comes Eggs.

Bread and Coffee have been waiting to meet you, too!

And you already know Chives, of course.

See, I knew you’d all get along.

if you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em.

May 11, 2010

Spring weeds greens with…sliced pickled garlic and oregano/chive foccacia

brown rice pilaf with dried figs, almonds, sweet spices

their own roots

polenta, poached eggs, last summer’s pesto, parm


May 11, 2010

I am a dancer. I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes in some area an athlete of God.

To practice means to perform, in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired…

Many times I hear the phrase “the dance of life.” It is an expression that touches me deeply, for the instrument through which the dance speaks is also the instrument through which life is lived — the human body. It is the instrument by which all the primaries of life are made manifest. It holds in its memory all matters of life and death and love. Dancing appears glamorous, easy, delightful. But the path to the paradise of the achievement is not easier than any other. There is fatigue so great that the body cries, even in its sleep. There are times of complete frustration, there are daily small deaths. Then I need all the comfort that practice has stored in my memory, a tenacity of faith.

It takes about ten years to make a mature dancer. The training is twofold. First comes the study and practice of the craft which is the school where you are working in order to strengthen the muscular structure of the body. The body is shaped, disciplined, honored, and in time, trusted. The movement becomes clean, precise, eloquent, truthful. Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it. This might be called the law of the dancer’s life — the law which governs its outer aspects.

Then comes the cultivation of the being from which whatever you have to say comes. It doesn’t just come out of nowhere, it comes out of a great curiosity. The main thing, of course, always is the fact that there is only one of you in the world, just one, and if that is not fulfilled then something has been lost. Ambition is not enough; necessity is everything. It is through this that the legends of the soul’s journey are retold with all their tragedy and their bitterness and sweetness of living. It is at this point that the sweep of life catches up with the mere personality of the performer, and while the individual becomes greater, the personal becomes less personal. And there is grace. I mean the grace resulting from faith — faith in life, in love, in people, in the act of dancing. All this is necessary to any performance in life which is magnetic, powerful, rich in meaning.

In a dancer, there is a reverence for such forgotten things as the miracle of the small beautiful bones and their delicate strength. In a thinker, there is a reverence for the beauty of the alert and directed and lucid mind. In all of us who perform there is an awareness of the smile which is part of the equipment, or gift, of the acrobat. We have all walked the high wire of circumstance at times. We recognize the gravity pull of the earth as he does. The smile is there because he is practicing living at that instant of danger. He does not choose to fall.

At times I fear walking that tightrope. I fear the venture into the unknown. But that is part of the act of creating and the act of performing. That is what a dancer does.

–Martha Graham (b. May 11, 1894)

omelette aux not-so-fines herbes

May 11, 2010

Very often the cycles of our cravings and the cycles of the world around us are intertwined. In the deep midwinter, when there’s nothing left of the garden but a few sacks of dried beans, nothing tastes better than a long-simmered pot of them. And in April and May, just when we’re craving some acerbic greenness, the dandelions sprout forth. I was looking forward to their bracing, bitter freshness as I planned my most recent trip to Roseboom, but then the weather turned nasty and I was in the mood for comfort food. Unfortunately my schedule was not going to accommodate anything long-simmering. Fortunately I had a nice hunk of sharp cheddar in the fridge, and a selection of strong tasting green stuff beginning to sprout: oregano, cilantro, chives, garlic tops. And, OK, why not include a few dandelions?

Not only were the herbs distinctly unsubtle, I didn’t even attempt anything like an omelette. But you know what? The gooey, savory mess was exactly the right thing for a cold spring evening.