Here’s REM with Maps and Legends.
For mother’s day Isaac gave me a hand-print flower glued into a flowerpot made of brown construction paper. It was quite a big flowerpot, and I believe he was supposed to fill the whole thing with a poem. In his usual wise and simple way, he wrote, “I love my mom because she’s my mom.” And that sort of says it all. It defies rational expectation, but it’s true–we love our moms because they’re our moms. Because in reality all moms aren’t wonderful people, and no mom is always wonderful, but children have a remarkably elastic and forgiving sort of love, and most of the time, that’s reward enough.
Both of my boys actually liked this meal! I made long tube-shaped pasta called perciatelli. Like spaghetti, but with a hole in it. I wanted to make a brothy sauce to go with it, so I made this concoction of asparagus, roasted red peppers, olives and capers. It’s got white wine and lots of herbs, and a little bit of tomatoes. The boys used the pasta like a straw to suck up the broth, but they ate all the vegetables as well, miracle of miracles.
Here’s Goody Mob with Soul Food
Looking to be one of dem days
When Momma ain’t cooking
Everybody’s out hunting with tha family
Looking for a little soul food
My story, which you can find after the jump, turned out inexplicably sad. It’s a sort of loose retelling of a myth, painted over with grim economic reality.
Here’s Tom Waits with Come On Up To the House, because I borrowed a line from it for my story.
It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners. – Albert Camus
So! Tiny new potatoes, chickpeas and tomatoes, all tossed together with shallots, garlic and olive oil. Seasoned with rosemary and sage, and roasted till crispy and caramelized. Delicious! This smells so good while you’re cooking it. I like potatoes and tomatoes together, for some reason it seems very summery and harvesty to me. We’re not there yet, obviously, so this is like a wish or a preview. This would be nice in summer with chopped ripe tomatoes, but for the time being I used little sweet grape tomatoes. They became almost like sundried tomatoes. Rich and flavorful. The first time we ate this, it was crispy and firm. The second time, I added some white wine at the end, used it to scrape up all the nice caramelly bits, covered it, and cooked it till everything was tender. It was very nice both ways! We ate it on a bed of baby spinach and arugula. Lovely.
Here’s Compassion, by Nina Simone.
This week’s interactive playlist will be all of our favorite songs at this moment in time. I obviously need your help with this one, or it will just be a short list of songs that I like. Funnily enough, all of the songs I added to the list sound wistful to me. Must be springtime! I haven’t been listening to anything new lately. I’ve been playing some songs for the boys that I used to love, and I’ve had a few longtime favorites buzzing around in my head for one reason or another. What about you? What have you been listening to? Add your songs to the playlist, or leave a comment and I’ll add them myself.
This vegan sauce was very smooth and flavorful. I utilized two of my favorite creamy-vegan-sauce making tricks…cauliflower and almonds. They’re both quite mild flavors, but they blend up nicely. This sauce, as you can see, is lovely and GREEN!! It’s a good sauce for spring. I added grape tomatoes and capers, for a little juicy tangy kick, but you could use it as it is, or add any kind of vegetable or bean you like. White beans or chickpeas would be nice. We ate it over orchiette pasta. If you add less water, you’d have a nice purée as a side dish or base for a more substantial main meal. If you added more water or vegetable broth, you’d have a smooth velvety soup…a bisque.
So this is what I’ve been thinking all morning, as I kneaded dough and rolled out dough and shaped quite a few tarts. Baking as comfort and therapy! Over the weekend we made some pizzas. I wanted to make something the boys liked to eat, that they’d actually look forward to, and pizza never fails. I made the dough before I went to work, and then when I came home we made all the toppings. The dough rose for quite a few hours, this way, but it turned out extra crispy! This makes two big cookie-tray-sized pizzas. I made one plain, with just sauce and cheese, and one fancy, with spinach and musrhooms and brie. I’ve given the toppings in amounts here to make two fancy pizzas, but do as you like! That’s the beauty of pizza!
Here’s Elmore James with It Hurts Me Too. One of the best songs ever ever ever.
The way I see it history is like a tapestry, and we’re all madly weaving away at our little portion of it, and making some sort of pattern that makes sense sometimes and makes less sense others. Sometimes we start out in wrong directions, sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we can fix them and cover it up or make a new pattern, sometimes not. So Hitler is the result of an infinite number of choices that his ancestors made, for centuries and centuries, down to his mother and father. Every single tiny choice they made every day of their lives resulted in Adolph Hitler’s existence, and not one of them could have had any idea how that would turn out. They were weaving a pattern in their portion of the tapestry, and when we look at it from miles above the fabric, and many years on in history, we see the pattern and the tragedy of it, but at the time, even after Hitler’s rise to power and the millions of people that made stupid, scared, even evil choices to follow him or not question him, even after that, they might not have seen the pattern that was forming, so close in it, as they were, so busy making it as time flew by them. And so concerned with the millions of other choices in their day-to-day lives that distracted them from the bigger picture, as we see it so clearly now.
Well, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes to me–this idea of history or fate (depending on which way you look at it) being a sort of tapestry. From the beginning of time people have been weaving their own small portion, aware of people working nearby, but incapable of seeing the larger picture they’re all making together until much later in life. They know from the first that they have a pattern to follow, but there’s no clear plan for it, no diagram, they make it up as they go along, trying one thing or another until it makes sense. They might be following a pattern that their parents taught them, or copying from the people working close by. Various shapes and colors will come into and go out of fashion–some will notice and follow, others will not. My father is a historian, and I once did some work copyediting a textbook he cowrote–an overview of world history. It was remarkable to me the way that these sweeping events would overtake humanity every few hundred years: wars, natural disasters, famine, plagues. These formed huge, horrible changes in the pattern that everybody was weaving, but they couldn’t have known at the time. Most of this was beyond the control of ordinary people, struggling to make their part of the tapestry as beautiful as possible. It made it hard for them to weave, or stopped them weaving at all. Caught up in the struggle of keeping ourself and our family alive, so deeply close to it and inside of it, we’re caught unaware by these waves of change sweeping over the tapestry. And as people make a decision to use a certain color, or continue in a certain direction, they’re thinking what’s best for them at that time, they’re making narrow decisions based on survival and their idea of success. (Hitler is an interesting example of this, I think…the decisions he made might have been considered smart for him at the time, because in terms of his career and his ambition, he might have been considered highly successful, up to a certain point. In the view of people around him…well, I don’t want to go on about Hitler too much. I’m not sure he belongs on a stupid food blog.)
Looking back at my own little piece of the tapestry, it’s funny how it’s worn through in parts, so that I can’t even remember what the pattern was like there, when it was fresh. I just have some memory of the color of my mood at the time. Was I blue? Was I rosy? Was I working in golden thread or gloomy grey? And parts of it are folded up on itself so I see them as clearly as the patches I’m working on now, but it’s never the parts that I’d expect to have nearby. Patches that felt impossibly tangled at the time I worked on them, looked at from here are actually quite pretty. It’s a constant surprise.
Well, dear old extended metaphor, I think I’ve taken you about as far as we could go, in the time I now have.
Here’s Fisher Hendley with Weave Room Blues