Saturday, June 20, 2009


If on a summer afternoon a man should find himself
in love with only one woman
in a sea of women, all the others mere half-naked
swimmers and floaters, and if that one woman
therefore is clad in radiance
while the mere others are burdened by their bikinis,
then what does he do with a world
suddenly so small, the once unbiased sun
shining solely on her? And if that afternoon
turns dark, fat clouds like critics dampening
the already wet sea, does the man run—
he normally would—for cover, or does he dive
deeper in, get so wet he is beyond wetness
in all underworld utterly hers? And when
he comes up for air, as he must,
when he dries off and dresses up, as he must,
how will the pedestrian streets feel?
What will the street lamps illuminate? How exactly
will he hold her so that everyone can see
she doesn't belong to him, and he won't let go?

By Stephen Dunn from Local Visitations

Friday, June 19, 2009

Summer Roast with Mint

If you aren't afraid to turn on the oven in the summer... this recipe serves 4


2 small summer squash (about 12 ounces)
4 medium carrots (about 8 ounces)
1 1/2 cups chopped fennel bulb (about 1 small bulb)
1 medium onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped mint

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Quarter squash lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Cut carrots into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Combine squash, carrots, fennel, onion, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread mixture evenly in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Roast for 10 minutes and stir vegetables. Roast the vegetables for 6 – 10 more minutes until the vegetables are tender and the fennel begins to brown. Stir in the mint and serve.

**Summer squash are harvested when they are immature, so their rind is still tender and edible. Summer squashes are actually fruits (they’ve got seeds!) of the species Cucurbita pepo, but they are considered vegetables in terms of culinary use. They are dubbed “summer squash" due to their short storage life.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

During a recent potluck/screening with friends, I was just informed of the origins of this word and event. The potlatch is a ceremony that has been practiced among Native people of the Pacific Northwest. Families would host guests in order to re-distribute and/or destroy wealth. Often, the host would give away his/her most cherished possessions, as would the guests. Sometimes the offerings would be burned and other times the offering would be accepted by guests. Potlatching was practiced more in the winter seasons because the warmer months were typically a better time for accruing wealth. Hierarchical relations within and between clans, villages, and nations, were observed and reinforced through the distribution or destruction of wealth and dance performances involved in a potlach. The purpose of a potlatch was not to get the most but to give the most resources.

I've a lways been a bit of a control freak and greatly feared the non-sensical food combinations that are the inevitable result of a potluck. The historical context of the potlatch, however, has given me a smiling perspective of this ritual and a gratitude for it's abiding existence - even if it means eating off of paper with plastic (YIKES!)