Here’s Owl City with When Can I See You Again, which Malcolm’s class sang at graduation. I swear there’s nothing like these pop songs they play at dances and choir concerts to get you all choked up when you’re feeling stupidly emotional.
I know that Clio considers walking the boys to and from school her job. She knows by some mysterious internal clock when it’s time to get them, and if I make any move around that time, she follows me frantically, worried that she’ll be left behind. What a wonderful work ethic she has! She knows where she’s going and she heads there at a relatively steady pace. If you were, oh, I don’t know, writing a novel, say, this would be the equivalent of writing a little bit every day, forcing yourself to write a few pages so that you will get where you’re going in a timely manner. We don’t take the same route every time, but we always arrive in the same place. She’s happy to let the walk take her where it will as long as we’re headed towards the school, but if I try to turn in the wrong direction she stops. She looks at me with serious, wondering eyes, she won’t move. She’s goal-oriented, but she’s willing to explore different options in achieving that goal. She’s willing to let herself get distracted by important things, like squirrels or sparrows, she’ll gladly stop to greet a friend, but she always has one paw back on the path, ready to continue the journey. Most of all, Clio’s work is full of the weighty buoyant responsibility of love. She enjoys the walk, sure, and she doesn’t mind the wait at the other end, as long as she has a few sticks to chew on. But the real reward is leaping happily on the boys when they finally emerge from the school. Her love for them has brought her out, in every kind of weather, when the sidewalks were slick with rain or treacherous with slush and ice. She’s joyfully, bouncingly dogged. She’s a true amateur. This is so easy, so delicious, and so versatile. It’s a little like guacamole, a little like salsa, and a little like a cool chickpea salad. You could add anything you want to this! Garlic, raw or roasted, onions or chives, jalapeños, olives, capers, hot sauce, cheese…anything! I used cilantro from our garden and beautiful golden oregano from the CSA that we belong to. I like this to stuff inside a pita or tortilla with some croquettes or beans and rice.
We’re just coming out of summer…floating up through the thick moist august air into the cool days of autumn, and I feel as though I’ve got the bends! I’m forgetful and moody and I’m having a hell of a time concentrating on anything. The boys are back in school, and my list of things I’ll get to it as soon as the boys are back in school is languishing in some pile of other things I’ve misplaced and forgotten all about. As the mornings and evenings draw in dark and chilly, I feel as though I’ve started casting out my silky and yet freakishly strong threads, and I’m winding them around everyone I love, pulling them home, where I’ll feed them warm food and keep them safe. I feel a bit like Clio, actually! Walking Isaac to school and meeting the boys at the end of the day are the highlights of my life at the moment, and everything in between is a confused blur. I’ll get back into a pattern, eventually, there’s so much I want to do. But for now, I’ll enjoy walking Isaac to school as a sort of meditation, a facet of my training as a student of Isaacstentialism. In my dazey half-awake state, I’ll put my hand out without looking, and know that his will be right there to take it in less than a moment. I’ll half listen as he talks and talks and says the sweetest things, and I’ll think about them for the rest of the day. Today he said that when he grows up he’s going to have a big field in his back yard, with grass in it that’s taller than his children, and they’ll play hide and seek in the grass, and Malcolm’s children will come over too, so all four of them (?!?!) will be there. And there will be a sort of maze in the grass, but a path through it, too, so they can all find their way home safely. And Isaac will have a porch above the grass so that he can see where his children are running, and he and Malcolm will sit on the porch and talk while their children play in the long green reeds below. Yeah. Next week everything will be clear and organized and I’ll get to work. This week, I’ll imagine myself like a child, running through long grass taller than me, all the world a beautiful shifting confusion of green, with a path to carry me safely home. “When a body catch a body coming through the rye…”
Leftover corn-on-the-cob is fun! Who knew!! This time I combined it with avocado, cherry tomatoes, french feta (but you could use regular feta or any crumbly cheese you like), fresh basil, fresh cilantro, pine nuts and lime juice. Fresh, sweet, salty, tart. Very nice indeed. I didn’t add any oil as a dressing, because I think the avocado serves that purpose. And the cherry tomatoes from the farm have been sweet as candy, so between those and the corn, I didn’t feel I needed to balance the lime juice with any extra sweetness, but you could always add a drizzle of honey. You could also add roasted garlic, hot sauce, or any other thing you like.
Here’s Whispering Grass by The Ink Spots.
This was a yummy dinner!! I roasted some thinly sliced potatoes with sage and olive oil. Then I piled them high with roasted mushrooms, black beans, corn and spinach sauteed with chipotle puree, smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, pickled jalapenos and fresh, chunky guacamole made of avocado, tomato, cilantro and lime juice. Smoky, earthy, fresh, satisfying. It was fun to eat this! We ate it like nachos. The boys stuffed the black bean mixture in some soft tortillas.
Here’s Linton Kwesi Johnson with Reality Poem.
My boys have a book called Mixed-up Animals. Each page has a picture of an animal and is broken into three sections. You can turn a part of the page to line up another animal with the first. In this way, you can make a creature with platypus feet, an armadillo body, and a caribou head. A platadillibou. They’ve also always loved the game exquisite corpse, in which each person draws part of a creature without seeing what the others have drawn. Isaac still gets very excited when the paper is unfolded to reveal a mis-matched monster! This salad reminds me a little of that. It’s part tapenade (olives & capers) part guacamole (avocado & tomato), part pesto (nuts & basil), and part caprese (mozzarella, tomato, basil). I had a just-ripe avocado, and a small bowl of nicoise olives. These got the rusty little wheels turning in my brain, and the rest just sort of fell into place!! So you end up with guacenade. Or tapamole. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious! We had it with some crusty bread, but you could make it into crostini, or serve it with big chips. Or just throw it onto a pile of mixed lettuces and call it a mixed salad!
The first is “chick patties.” Part of an ongoing series, here at The Ordinary, in which I attempt to make homemade meat substitutes. Fake meat from the store – fakin bacon, veggie burgers, soy sausage – although frequently very tasty, is also very expensive and full of questionable ingredients. (Questionable to me, anyway, because I don’t know what they are, and my old eyes are getting so bad I can’t read the small print!) So, here in the test kitchens of The Ordinary, we have a whole division devoted to coming up with simple, economical versions you can make at home. Our motto is, “It’s all in the seasonings!” So we’ve made flakin bacon, veggie burgers, “meatballs,” and sausages. Well, we thought it was time to tackle every child’s favorite – the chicken nugget. I love the texture and flavor of roasted chickpeas, so we started there. I’ve been obsessing lately over the combination of lemon, sage and rosemary, so we continued in that direction. And I have fond memories of making lemon pepper chicken when I was very very young, so we added a big dose of black pepper. (Might be the first meal I remember being proud to share with people!) We fried them lightly in olive oil, and then ate them with oven roasted french fries and guacamole. The youngsters dipped them in barbeque sauce.
I’m very proud of my guacamole! It’s simple, yet flavorful. I add cilantro, lime, cumin, cayenne, tomatoes and a bit of honey. A lovely balance of sweet, hot, tart and creamy. Just in time for cinco de mayo!!
Here’s Organized Konfusion with Who Stole My Last Piece of Chicken. I love this song so much. And the video, too. Food and memory. Beautiful!!
This soup came about because I bought a job lot (as Thompson and Thomson would say) of avocados. Avocadoes? Avocadi? They were at that moment of perfect ripeness. The first night we had one on a salad, but I continue to be bitterly disappointed by lettuce and tomatoes this time of year. So the next day, whilst whiling away the hours at work, I had the idea to use them in a soup (the avocados, not the whiled-away hours. I wonder how whiled-away-hour soup would taste?). When I considered the various flavor combinations I could use, I kept returning to the seasonings I use for quacamole (I make a mean guacamole). Viz: Cilantro, cumin, chile, lime and honey. So that’s how we did it. I added cauliflower, because I seem to be incapable of making soup without cauliflower lately, and because I thought the puréed cauliflower would save the soup from a certain slimy texture that puréed avocados sometimes attain. (I’m sorry, avocado, but it’s true) Well, the soup came out very nice. A little of the warmth of summery flavors combined with the warmth of a wintery soup.