Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"Faith" is a fine invention...

"Faith" is a fine invention
When Gentleman can see—
But Microscopes are prudent
In an Emergency.

by Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Root Veggie Roast

Makes 6 to 8 servings


6 ounces grated pecorino romano, manchego, or other salty hard cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, chives, and sage
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound golden beets (about 1), thinly sliced
1 pound sweet potatoes (about 1 light and 1 dark – what most people call a yam), thinly sliced
1/4 pound large parsnips thinly sliced
1 cup leek, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Assorted fresh herbs (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In small bowl toss together cheese and chopped herbs; set aside. Using a non-stick spray or olive oil spray, coat a 2 qt. rectangular baking dish. Mix half of the cheese and all of the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Try to evenly coat the veggies with oil and cheese. Arrange the veggies in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
2. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove foil. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Continue baking, uncovered, 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and starting to brown.
3. Remove from oven. Sprinkle additional fresh herbs. Let stand 10 minutes.

**The beet is in the amaranth family. The most recognized variety is the red root vegetable known as the garden beet. However, other varieties include the leaf vegetables chard and spinach beet, as well as the root vegetables sugar beet, which is important in the production of granulated sugar.
*The color of red beetroot is caused by betalain pigments. Most other red plants, such as red cabbage, contain anthocyanin pigments. The composition of different betalain pigments can vary, giving breeds of beetroot a different degrees of redness. Thus, beets range in color from yellow to a familiar deep red. Betacyanin in beetroot may cause red urine in some people who are unable to break it down. This is called beeturia.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

I recently rubbed elbows (knees?, foreheads?...) with the most bizarre assembly of humans, and perhaps aliens, EVER! I attended a recent Stumbling Towards Ecstasy event. Now, the name of these free-movement fests should have tipped me off on the unfettered fanaticism of spirit involved in this type of social gathering. But... they're within walking distance of my house. So I thought, what the hey? I'll try it. These hippie-cum-new ager-cum-lost soul-cum-21st century guru amalgams of music, movement, singing, and everything else that would appall the middle-American are held in Masonic Temple. Who is in charge of renting THAT space? It's either a brilliant money-maker for the Masons, or something for which they will be punished by allowing outsiders to deliriously change the psychic energy of the space each Saturday and Sunday.

I should've known what I was getting into when I was greeted by a woman dressed in all white. In my opinion, the only mentally sound humans who wear all white are milkmen and dogcatchers (and do they even exist anymore?). Anyhow, this woman glowed with happiness as she buzzed in front of her computer creating the playlist of the afternoon via iTunes. Every now and then she'd pull a microphone out of thin air and say something that sounded like a poorly translated adage on a fortune cookie. Otherwise she just sighed into the microphone, knowing that her sighs would TOTALLY create a spiritual playground for the crazies in attendance.

I guess, though, that I too am a crazy because I was there. When I saw young people, older people, a man in a wheelchair, a woman in a turban, and more people wearing all white literally climbing up walls and softly touching each others' fingertips and swaying in sync I was kind of weirded out. But everyone seemed happy. I guess I felt what an unbeliever might feel walking into a congregation that does the whole touched by the spirit, talking in tongues type of thing.

I won't say I was converted, but I will say that I started dancing. I don't want to toot my own horn... but TOOOOOOT! (That wasn't me, that was just a residual ecstatic yowl that hadn't been released at Stumbling Towards Ecstasy). I'm a good dancer. Some of the music was really good music. So I figured, I paid my $15 bucks - I'm gonna get my money's worth. So I ended up dancing up a storm with myself, dodging the approaches of random strangers to join in their stumbling toward pregnancy and other exchanges of bodily fluids and uncouth caresses. At one point though, I caved and danced with the most incredible, gay black man whose skin shone like a gleaming seed pod against his... all white pants. Afterwards, he made his way around the large room that kind of resembled a high school gym. But he came back every once in a while and beamed, "You're AMAZING! YOU are amazing!". And you know what? I felt amazing. Even after my feet had blistered and my neck hurt from so much vehement jumping and stretching, I sang out on my walk home. My roommate accompanied me and we skipped. I felt as if I had little wings on my feet for the rest of the day. So if you want to scope some REAL WEIRDOS and you are not opposed to acting like one yourself I highly recommend checking out stumbling towards this scene. The worse that could happen is you get an idea for a documentary or short story while listening to one of the characters play their harmonium and touch themselves with the secret pleasure of a cheshire cat.