Monday, December 1, 2008


I told you once when we were young that
we would someday meet again.
Now, the years flown past, the letters
unwritten, I am not so certain.

It is autumn. There are toothaches hidden
in this wind, there are those determined
to bring forth winter at any cost.
I am resigned to dark blonde shadows

at stoplights, lost in the roadmaps of leaves
which point in every direction at once.
But I am wearing the shirt you stitched
two separate lifetimes ago. It is old

and falling to ash, yet every button blooms
the flowers of your design. I think of this
and I am happy, to have kissed
your mouth with the force of language,

to have spoken your name at all.

by Greg Watson from The Distance Between Two Hands

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip)

Makes about 2 1/2 cups of sweetly savory goodness. Muhammara is far more interesting than a ho-hum cheese ball and it’s the perfect thing to bring to a holiday party.

1 1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 (12 ounce) jar of roasted red peppers, (about 4 peppers), drained
1 slice whole wheat bread, torn into four pieces
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 -1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and lightly browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool.
2. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, about 12 -14 pulses. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and cover with plastic wrap to let the flavors deepen. Refrigerate for at least a half an hour. This dip can be refrigerated for 3 days and may be served with warm pita bread, pita chips, flatbreads, a sliced baguettes, or alongside fish or meat.

***Christopher Columbus has committed oh so many errors, not the least of which includes giving the bell pepper it's misleading name. When returning to Europe with these fruits, he called them pimientos(peppers) knowing that peppercorns were highly valued at that time. Bell peppers go many names. In Britain, they are simply called peppers, while down undah they are known as capsicum. Paprika, that lovely spice which confers it's lovely smokiness to dishes like chicken paprikash, is made from bell peppers
**Muhummara is a sauce popular in the eastern Mediterranean. The name means brick colored in Arabic.
**Pomegranate molasses can be found at Middle Eastern markets, most Whole Foods, and in the international aisle of many supermarkets.

Adapted by Cristina Paul

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

Marveling At The Ignorance of The Human Mind

*Paris Hilton's My New BFF - grown girls and psuedo-girls with overabundant access to trashy clothes, a proclivity for breathless whining, and a fascinating urge to cry over very serious matters (like whether or not Paris thinks they are "real").

*Facial Feedback - the phenomenon that causes one to be happy if you make a conscious effort to smile or sad if you are a vehement scowler. Kinda cool that the muscles that control your facial expression can outsmart the smartest organ we've got - our brain (and no the brain is NOT a muscle). I had to practice some serious facial feedback when a bird shat upon the handle of my car this week. Luckily, I saw the load of colorful slime before opening the door. Life is just a bowl of cherries.

*The amazing number of synonyms for the word nonsense (which can only have been created because of the extraordinary need to describe what all these dunderheads are doing running around amongst us): flapdoodle (sounds like a whoopie cushion noise or part), claptrap (sounds like the name of the hole in men's undies or long john's), twaddle (not saying what that one sounds like), hokum, hogwash, baloney... and many more. Couldn't the people who coin these words spend their time doing cleaning up the language and ridding it of annoying misnomers like grapefruit and pineapple? I know schools need more janitors... but have you all read a dictionary lately? Messy!

*The entire concept of phrenology. This pseudo science practically rids you of any responsibility for personal problems or intellectual and emotional gaps. Wouldn't it be delightful if we could just tell our friends, bosses, and lovers, "Sorry, the bumps on my cranium just aren't suited to that. But good luck feelin' up someone else's head for more desirable traits." The whole thing doesn't make any sense. Kinda makes me want to crack some 19th century skulls (that was supposed to be funny). I guess, though, that the theory has left us with some pretty cool looking maps of the brain which could possibly be used as decorative posters or toilet paper.

*Okay, so this video is no reason to rejoice in being American, but it will probably make you feel like a superior (albeit ashamed of your country of origin) prick.