Saturday, August 1, 2009

first is first

Today, I saw a baby hummingbird
A stranger marvels, “No”
that’s a hummingbird moth
(… ! …)
Oh to be wrong, and the delirium of discovery increases

by Cristina Paul

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pickled Nectarines

If you like spicier pickles, use a 2 inch piece of ginger root instead of just 1 inch. 12 apricots can also be substituted in this recipe.

6 medium fresh nectarines
1 1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 - inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and cut in strips
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 small sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

1. Quarter and pit nectarines; set aside.

2. For pickling mixture, combine water, vinegar, sugars, cinnamon, gingerroot, salt and red pepper in a Dutch oven. Bring to boiling, stirring to dissolve sugars. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.

3. Add nectarines and onion to pickling mixture; return to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 3 minutes or just until tender, gently stirring once or twice. Discard cinnamon stick. With slotted spoon, divide nectarines and onion evenly among two clean 1-quart jars. Pour pickling mixture into jars; cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 3 weeks. Serve nectarines with a slotted spoon and drizzle with a little of the juices. These pickles taste great as an accompaniment to cheese, on top of a burger, and alongside grilled meats.

***Before filling the jars, wash them in hot soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Pour boiling water in and over the jars and let them stand in the hot water until ready to fill. The pickled nectarines are stored in canning jars, but are not processed as canned. Therefore, keep refrigerated and eat within 3 weeks.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

According to Vonnegut, "traveling is dancing for the soul". But long distance flights can also be a preview to menopause - the plane flying through Little Thailands of the skies one hour and coasting through toe-chilling Siberias in the clouds the next. The extreme temperatures aboard a plane aren't so bad if turbulence can be avoided. I recently experienced the extreme-sports version of turbulence which wrapped a rickety blanket of fear around me made of long and thin human hand bones.