In this era, when verbal poetry is losing the charm it exerted on the masses … a new form of poetic expression has arisen and can reach every beating heart on earth … a poetry of the people is there, seeking its way.
It’s easy to feel down and discouraged about the overwhelming barrage of messages and photos and news and information that we receive every single day, whether we like it or not. It’s easy to regret the days when a letter or a photograph was a rare and precious thing. It’s easy to be sad about the bloated, disappointing state of American film. But maybe it’s better to think about this new endless procession of snapshots, which capture an instant, are taken in an instant, and are shared in an instant, as a form of poetic expression available to most, and capable of reaching every beating heart on earth. Equal parts hopeful and foolish.
We have tons of chard from the farm, which makes me very very happy, because I love chard. I decided to try something different with it, and cook it in a chipotle coconut milk sauce. It turned out really tasty! I added broccoli and kidney beans for substance, and lime and spices for flavor and brightness. We ate this with basmati rice, warm wheat tortillas, and a fresh salad made of avocado, cucumber and tomatoes, but you could eat it just with rice or any other grain you like.
Here’s Photo Jenny by Belle and Sebastian
I was doing a good job of turning off my anxieties. I wasn’t listening to the little voice that considered the possible perilous pitfalls of every single situation. “Most likely it won’t happen. It could happen, it probably has happened, sometime in history…” Malcolm fell in some nettles and came up crying, holding his head. I thought he’d hit it on a rock. But he hadn’t! We thought we heard a chain saw ahead of us on a secluded path, which conjured all sorts of nervousness. But we hadn’t heard one! There was nobody there! I was anxious about going to work each day because there was a festival in town and David would be busy with the store and my boys might wander off… Probably not, but you never know! But they were fine! And our Clio was off leash, leaping up and down brambly hills, merrily greeting every dog she met, and so happy and joyful it was impossible to feel too apprehensive. And then we saw some dogs up in the distance. They were off leash, too, and getting along with each other. Clio raced towards them, around a small bend in the path. And then I heard cries of pain, and saw a little commotion. Clio came running back to us with a gaping wound in her side. It will turn out to be fine like everything else, I thought! If I pretend it’s not so bad it will go away! But it didn’t, and the poor girl needed stitches, and now she’s all dopey and crying and she has to wear what Malcolm calls the “cone of shame.” She was at the vet all morning! And I was so nervous and separation anxiety-y that David suggested I chew up some of her toys, since it seems to work for her when we’re gone and she’s missing us. And then I picked her up and she seemed subdued and reproachful, she didn’t fall all over herself with glad-to-see-me-ness, like she usually does. Oh what a dark and grey-day mood I found myself in! Because it’s a rainy day, and I kept thinking that this is what I get for letting my guard down! This is what I get for letting myself not be anxious every single second of every day! Because obviously my constant worrying is what keeps everybody safe! I make protective walls around everybody with my unceasing uneasiness! I talked to the vet and told them I think Clio’s mad at me, and they laughed at me and said, “she’s on drugs!” Ohhhhhhh. And she’s got stitches but she’s fine. She’s cuddled with Malcolm and Isaac on the couch and they’re all fine. And now I just have a little voice in my head saying, “Get over yourself, honey, you don’t have that kind of power!” And yes, it’s a gloomy day, but the new life everywhere is bursting with vivid greenness against all the grey. And the next time the sun comes out our whole world will wake up! Our whole world will shine!
This is another of my honey and tamari numbers. The boys loved it! It’s very simple and quick to make. We ate it with rice, but you could eat it as a side dish or with long noodles, or however you like.
This was a delicious sauce. It had a lot of ginger in it, which gave a nice little zing to the tartness of the lemon and the creamy sweetness of the coconut milk. It would be good with other vegetables as well – broccoli would be nice! We ate it with long thin pasta, but it would be good over basmati rice as well.
Here’s Mississippi John Hurt with Joe Turner Blues
My story is after the jump, and I’d love to include yours, too!
This recipe is inspired by the Indian dish sag aloo, which is an addictive puree of spinach with soft comforting pieces of potato in it. This is collards, instead, because I love collards. And sweet potatoes, because they go nicely with ginger and lime, which were the seasonings I chose. It’s a nice dish to have with basmati rice and flatbread, or as a side for any other meal.
Here’s Children’s Story from Slick Rick. Classic!
So, broccoli, chickpeas and corn in a curried coconut sauce. This was delicious! And every member of the family liked it and ate several helpings, and I ate the leftovers cold before bed one night. It struck me that the mix of ingredients and spices was a little odd, but I liked them all together. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, and quite savory all at once. We ate it over basmati rice, and that was nice!
Here’s Saint Behind the Glass by Los Lobos (from Nacho Libre), because it seems to fit!
And this was a piquant dish! It’s loosely based on an Indian Makhani recipe. Makhani means “with butter,” and this does have some butter and a little bit of cream, so it’s quite rich. But it also has tomatoes and spices to keep it lively. The cauliflower is roasted separately and added at the end, stirred in carefully because it’s delicate and flavorful.
Here are Jordi Savall and Christophe Coin playing St. Colombe’s poignant Les Pleurs.
I started this meal before we left for the epic hour-long basketball game, and I put it all together when I got back. So it’s a good meal for when you’re distracted, it doesn’t take long to make, and it keeps well, either together or in its separate elements. You roast the chickpeas, cauliflower, shallot, garlic and herbs all together, and if they sit in a warm oven, they only become better. You boil the kale on top of the stove, and then you add the raisins, almonds and cheese at the end, with a squeeze of lemon. If you don’t have manchego, not to fear! Any cheese you like would work here, or no cheese at all! Similarly, if you don’t have kale you could substitute chard, spinach, or collards. The boys mixed this with basmati rice to make a sort of pilaf, and David and I ate it atop lightly dressed lettuce and arugula to make a sort of warm salad. Good either way!!
Here’s Jurassic 5 with The Game.
This was a strange weekend to be at work – so grey and dreary, the restaurant was not at all busy, and I just wanted to be home, where it was warm and bright and my family scampered through the day. I thought all day, too, about making this curry. I wanted something bright and warm and comforting and flavorful. So that’s what I made. It’s got a sauce made with cashews, golden raisins and coconut (I used just plain old sweetened flaked coconut, as it happens.) And it’s got kale, potatoes and chickpeas. It had a nice texture, soft, but not mushy, and the flavor was a little sweet, a little spicy, and balanced with lemon. And these naan!! I had some ricotta left over from a tart I made the other day, and I decided to make the naan with that instead of yogurt, as is traditional. And I added an egg and some melted butter. Maybe I should stop calling them naan, as I drift farther and farther from the original recipe! They turned out so delicious, though. Tender, flavorful, simple. I couldn’t stop eating them!! None of this was hard to make, either, it was an after-work meal, after all.
Here’s Ombra Mai Fu, from Handel’s Xerxes. My friend Diane suggested it yesterday, and it’s so beautiful!