Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Painter

Sitting between the sea and the buildings
He enjoyed painting the sea's portrait.
But just as children imagine a prayer
Is merely silence, he expected his subject
To rush up the sand, and seizing a brush,
Plaster it's own portrait on the canvas.

So there was never any paint on his canvas
until the people who lived in the buildings
put him to work: "Try using the brush
As a means to an end. Select for a portrait,
Something less angry and large, and more subject
To a painter's moods, or perhaps a prayer."

How could he explain to them his prayer
That nature, not art, might usurp the canvas?
He chose his wife for a new subject,
Making her vast, like ruined buildings,
As if, forgetting itself, the portrait
Had expressed itself without a brush.

Slightly encouraged, he dipped his brush
In the sea, murmuring a heartfelt prayer:
"My soul, when I paint this next portrait
Let it be you who wrecks the canvas."
The news spread like wildfire through the buildings:
He had gone back to the sea for his subject.

Imagine a painter crucified by his subject!
Too exhausted to lift his brush,
He provoked some artists leaning from the buildings
To malicious mirth: "We haven't a pryer
Now, of putting ourselves on canvas,
Or getting the sea to sit for a portrait!"

Others declared a self-portrait.
Finally all indications of a subject
Began to fade, leaving the canvas
perfectly white. He put down the brush.
At once a howl, that was also a prayer,
Arose from the overcrowded buildings

They tossed him, the portrait, from the tallest of the buildings;
And the sea devoured the canvas and the brush
As though his subject had decided to remain a prayer.

by John Ashbery

Get-Up-Outta-Yer-Seat Turkey Meat loaf

This will serve 6 very lucky folks

Ingredients For Meat loaf:
24 ounces ground turkey (not the lean stuff)
4 large, finely chopped shallots (onion is not a completely unfortunate substitute)
8 cloves of minced garlic
3/4 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 large eggs lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme (can substitute 1 tsp ground thyme)
1/2 tsp fresh minced rosemary
1/4 chicken or turkey stock
1/4 white wine (use extra stock if you haven't any wine)

Ingredients For Spicy Crust:
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp fresh minced rosemary
1 Tbsp bread crumbs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all of the ingredients for the meat loaf (except stock and wine) in a large bowl. Knead the mixture with your hands until all the ingredients are blended. Don't over mix.
3. Mold the meat into a 9x5x3 inch loaf and place in the center of a 9x9 or 9x13 baking dish. Pour stock and wine around the meat (the liquids will help the meat retain moisture and extra fat from the meat loaf will run off into the extra space in the pan and can be discarded).
4. Combine the ingredients for the spicy crust and spread this paste on top of your meat loaf.
5. Place your baking dish in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat registers at 160 on a meat thermometer.

*Go berserk with your stir-ins. A meat loaf, like the ideal human, should be well-seasoned. If you have sweet potato instead of carrots, try it out. A penchant for olives or raisins? Toss them in.
*This recipe pairs well with braised leeks and has tremendous leftover potential.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

Jump for joy! Leap year is hopping on a calendar near you. Thanks to the fact that the Earth does not orbit the Sun in a neat 365 days(but rather 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds) us humans have to make a minor adjustment in our schedules every four years. We add a day to February.

When Julius Caesar rose to power, those Romans were still using an inferior 10 month calendar; that resulted in a disastrous addition of up to 80 days every calendar year! Eventually, the Romans caught on and did as the Egyptians do - that is - they adopted a 12 month calendar. So Caesar named July after himself. Then, along came Augustus, who just had to have his own month as well - the height of narcissism if you ask me (but that's Greek mythology). So good old Augustus named August after himself and, in a real show of arrogance, stole a day from February to make his month as long as Julius'. We've all heard of penis envy but... ?