Saturday, June 13, 2009

What I Believe

I believe there is no justice,
but that cottongrass and bunchberry
grow on the mountain.

I believe that a scorpion's sting
will kill a man,
but that his wife will remarry.

I believe that, the older we get,
the weaker the body,
but the stronger the soul.

I believe that if you roll over at night
in an empty bed,
the air consoles you.

I believe that no one is spared
the darkness,
and no one gets all of it.

I believe we all drown eventually
in a sea of our making,
but that the land belongs to someone else.

I believe in destiny.
And I believe in free will.

I believe that, when all
the clocks break,
time goes on without them.

And I believe that whatever
pulls us under,
will do so gently.

so as not to disturb anyone,
so as not to interfere
with what we believe in.

by Michael Blumenthal from Days We Would Rather Know

Friday, June 12, 2009

Amazing Balsamic Caesar Dressing (ABC Dressing)

Yields about 1/2 cup but can easily be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 anchovy fillets
1 minced garlic clove

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the dressing has a homogeneous consistency. This dressing is very nice with chopped romaine and home-made croutons.

**Original and traditional balsamic vinegars are made from a reduction of cooked grape juice. They aren't vinegars in the usual sense, but they have been made in Modena and Reggio Emilia since the Middle Ages. Balsamic vinegar of Modena is actually an inexpensive modern imitation of the traditional product. We use this kind for salad dresings and, together with olive oil, to dip bread in.

*There are three types of Balsamic vinegar:

1. Authentic traditional artisan balsamic vinegar, also known as Balsamico Tradizionale

2. Commercial grade Balsamic vinegars which are mass-produced

3. Condimento grade products, which are usually a mix of the two above

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

If you are in the Southern California area and have NOT been to Lotusland... GO! I love being a tourist in my own city or state. I recently made reservations (yes, you absolutely need reservations) to visit this beautiful botanical garden in Montecito. The two hour walking tour was lovely. Not only did I learn about Ganna Walska - the eccentric woman who married six times and owned the property - but I also managed to learn some interesting facts about different plant species, the five elements of a Japanese garden, how to tell the difference between male and female flora... I thoroughly enjoyed and think that most anyone would be interested in the magic and many stories that lie within the walls of Lotusland. So take a camera and toy with a topiary, frolic with a Fishtail Palm (which, by the way, is a misnomer - they are actually Cycads), giggle at a bonzai Ginkgo Biloba (but beware of the female Ginkgo trees - they smell like BMs when they are producing fruit), prance amongst some Ponytail Palms (these guys are actually Agaves!) and enjoy the ostentation of imported tiles, reflection pools and paths paved with semi-precious stones.

Fishtail Palms

An impish statue in the theater garden

Madame Walska's beautiful shells that
surround the pool in which she skinny dipped