Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time + Distance

The tea you pour is black and strong.
It doesn't taste like tea to me;
I must have been away too long.

It isn't jasmine, spice, oolong;
It tastes like an apology—
This tea you pour, so black and strong.

Where's that old fork with the bent prong?
What happened to the hemlock tree?
Have I really been gone that long?

I think I hear the saddest song;
It has no words, no tune, no key.
The tea you pour is black and strong.

You're careful to say nothing wrong,
You seem too eager to agree...
Yes, I've been travelling far and long,

And now it's clear, I don't belong.
I watch you sash your robe, as we
sit, sipping tea that's black and strong.
I went away too far, too long.

by Leslie Monsour from The Alarming Beauty of the Sky

Friday, May 29, 2009

Gingered Cucumber Salad

Serves 2
Any variety of cucumber will work in this recipe, but seedless varieties are preferable.

1/2 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil or toasted sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 garlic clove minced
2 -3 large Persian or Kirby cucumbers, sliced thinly (about 3 cups)

1. Mix all ingredients, except for cucumbers, together in a medium bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Add cucumbers and toss. Refrigerate for at least a half an hour. You may marinate for up to one day and toss several times. Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with shiso leaf or sliced scallions if desired and serve.

**Cucumbers are creeping vines in the gourd family that root in the ground and grow up trellises or other supporting frames. The plants have large leaves that shade the fruit. Cucumbers grown to be eaten fresh are called slicers and those intended for pickling are called picklers. Both types are similar. Cucumbers are mainly eaten in the unripe green form because the ripe yellow form becomes too bitter and sour.

*Cucumbers are classified as fruits because they have an enclosed seed and develop from flowers. A few varieties of cucumber are parthenocarpic, which means the blossoms create seedless fruit without pollination. Pollination for these varieties degrades the quality. In the US, these are usually grown in greenhouses, where bees are excluded. In Europe, they are grown outdoors in some places, and bees are excluded from these areas. Most cucumber varieties, however, are seeded and require pollination.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

Nature is MAGIC!!!

This week, a ladybug flew into my Louis Vuitton purse. Either this ladybug has really good taste or I have really good luck - I think the fact that it flew specifically into the purse is a good omen.

Also, if you ever are lucky enough to be sitting under a jacaranda tree there are many fun things you can do. I use to use the seed pods as hopscotch markers in grade school. Now, I've graduated onto bigger and better things. Here is a friend holding an assortment of "jacaranda stems". Kind of like threading flowers together to make a daisy chain, but more beautiful. All you need is a sturdy thread and some freshly fallen jacaranda flowers - thread away!

Here is another friend posing as a butterfly perch - or perhaps the butterfly is posing as a piece of lint.

If you STILL don't believe that nature is magic, check out the Fibonacci sequences in a pine cone, slice open a steamed beet and stare at it, buy yourself some peonies, or pick your own fruit.