Monday, June 30, 2008

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

by Mary Oliver, from The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chipotle is Mint For Me

1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, mostly drained
2 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, packed
1/3 roasted and salted pistachios
1/2 - 1 whole chipotle pepper from a can of peppers in adobo sauce (the amount depends on your capsaicin tolerance)

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth. Add extra salt or chipotle if desired. Serve alone or garnish with caramelized shallots, avocado, or queso fresco. This is a divine dip for flatbreads, crackers, chips,or veggies. Plus, it's a great accompaniment for poultry and beef dishes. I'm thinking this could make a cameo in a taco or spread on a new-fangled cross between a sope and a pizza.

recipe by Cristina Paul

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

During a recent visit to my local post office, I saw the line and assumed they were giving away free Priuses. Nope, just a whole lotta people sendin' a whole lotta stuff. So, sans book or phone, but with plenty of imagination, I decided to list the top ten things to pass the time in line:
1. Kegel exercises (sorry boys, this one's more for those of the XX persuasion).
2. Count the number of freckles on your neighbors face - WITHOUT getting caught.
3. Think of a compliment to give to somebody in line or the person who helps you - my person had awesome turquoise jewelery.
4. Imagine the secret contents of each box and package of every person in line. Then imagine what each of them thinks you're smuggling or toting. There was a man with a magnificent peroxided mullet at the front of the line. He was sportin' some seriously obsolete sneakers and a Hawaiian shirt. I imagined he was pulling some kind of Adam Sandler trick like in Punch Drunk Love involving lots of nerdy math, coupon clipping, and the will to go far (like 26 miles to Catalina Island) all on someone else's dollar.
5. Imagine what you would trade at Burning Man if you were radically self-reliant rather than a khaki-wearing, regular-flosser who compulsively moisturizes and always remembers to take vitamins.
6. Give yourself a simple hand reflexology massage.
7. Think of what you will wear for the entire week.
8. Plan the menu for your next dinner party; you should also think of a good excuse for the dinner party, for example, the upcoming meteor shower on August 12. OR you could contemplate the concept for and recipient of your next CD Mix - thinking of a good title is often the best place to start.
9. Resolve on one thing to spend big on. Now, resolve to forgo something wasteful - like a take-out menu (you can always check one out online), wooden chopsticks (you'd be surprised how many precious trees are cut down, instead bring your own or don't frequent a place that uses the cheap stuff), you get the picture...
10. Write a tender love note (something you feel, but could never say) on the floor, with your feet, to someone you admire. Hey, it's a good ankle strengthener and people will think you are crazy - which means they may want out of the line and - voilá - it's your turn!