Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. - Rumi

Saturday, April 28, 2012

These are a few of my favorite things…. enjoying good food

I love to cook.  I love taking my time to prepare a dish of something delectable from scratch. 
Although when I was young and forced to learn to cook I was terrible.  I couldn’t even read a recipe, let alone follow one.  There were the muffins that I put a cup of salt in the mix instead of sugar.  That was bad.  There were green shrimp curry, under cooked chicken, and hard biscuits. 

In college I was blessed with a roommate that loved to cook and used the Fannie farmer cookbook.  She gave me hope.  She also loved to bake and taught me how.  I learned how to make bread from scratch and got to the point where I could make bread without even looking a recipe.  I learned to make chocolate chip cookies, banana bread, cinnamon rolls.  I was instilled with a new inspiration for preparing food.  I also learned how to make quiche and ratatouille, one of my favorites.
Fast forward to becoming a mom.   I tried re-creating the thanksgiving stuffing my mother made, it was horrible, I now stick to box mix, we like it.  I made new traditions for my sons.
I have a few favorite cookbooks and for a while Martha Stewart taught me a few things.  Like roasting beets.
I find recipes in magazines, websites like food network.
And sometimes the new dish becomes a part of the rotation and sometimes it does not.
It’s the being in the kitchen; relaxing following the steps to prepare a dish I know my boys will love.  That makes me happy. 
I was married to an Italian man and he loved food and cooking and that aspect of our relationship worked.  I learned a lot from him, I actually loved for him to cook for me.  I thought he was a magician the first time he prepared chicken cutlets for me.  I made pasta from scratch, sauces from scratch and it was a big old love fest.
My son’s palettes are Italian and Asian with some burgers thrown in for good measure.  They are not pot roast and potato kinda guys.  When I tried to throw that in the rotation they would rebel.
I am learning to cook for myself now.  In my rotation are kale and beets and soups.  I love a good homemade soup.
I love the process of stripping the kale leaves and washing them and then slicing them into strips before putting them into a wok with garlic and onions already caramelizing.

Farmer’s Markets have always been a favorite place.  Especially in the summer when the fruit is at an all time peak.  The peaches, cherries, melons, the tomatoes.  I love the fresh carrots and beets.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Man candyland

Saturday night I had the good fortune to go to a Clippers basketball game.  I have not been to a game in forever.  I was also blessed with amazing seats, like right in front near the players.

I called it Man Candyland!!

There were all these delicious, fit, athletic men running (literally) around me.  It was all I could do to control myself not call out for some attention.  They were that close.  “Hey you sure are cute, can you smile for my camera”.

Candyman Land!! I felt like I was at a dessert table.  A man dessert table.  
My eyes didn’t know where to look. 

I know where the men are now…. The Clippers game.
Maybe I will do that again.  It was fun.
Did I enjoy watching the game? Well, basket
ball is a hard game to watch for me, it moves so fast.

There were some high points to the game, but I saw them on the replay camera.  Wow! Is there a lot of running and being in each other’s face.

I was happy sitting there watching all that man candy run up and down the court. Can I get an amen!!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Letterwriting - A lost art

What a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand-clasp.                              ~Author Unknown

Recently, I was having a conversation with a good friend lamenting the lost art of letter writing.  There was a time when sitting down with a pen and paper to communicate with someone was important.  When writing, one often took time to think about what to say, how to say it and reflect on the joy the receiver of the letter would have.
Now a days it’s all texting. Texting this, texting that.  Texting for everything.  And it’s challenging, because texts mean a shortening of  words and funny expressions and what if you don’t understand the happy face symbol.  I just learned what the :) means.  I didn’t know.  Texting is not good for the English language and children learning to spell.  While being able to communicate with someone instaneously it has it’s benefits, it’s not good for dating.
For trying to make that first connection, it should be face to face, to read the nonverbal signals.  Not through a text message.  But texting is fun, quick little conversations through out the day.  I send a little text message and wait to hear the trill of my phone telling me someone has responded back. 
Back to dating, texting makes it hard to know if someone is sincere.
What happened to long phone conversations on landlines?  That’s what I like.  But the information highway didn’t consult with me before saturating the market with phones that can do all sorts of things beside just make phone calls.
There is nothing more beautiful than getting a piece of mail.  A hand addressed note written on a piece of stationary chosen by the correspondent.  It says someone took the time to compose and articulate a thought to another person. 
Of course I learned to text because my son was going off to college and informed me that was the way I could communicate with him.
But I did take to it. And enjoy sending out little good morning messages to my friends.
But back to letter writing, I reiterate, there is nothing so sweet as a getting a piece of mail, handwritten.  I like writing thank you notes and sending them in the mail. I like the idea of surprising someone.
Texting, writing, calling:  it’s all about communication, vital and important in our world.   Reaching out and connecting with another person sharing the beauty of life.

(for the sake of this post I didn't mention email (focused on texting), but that is another blog post)

 To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart. 
~Phyllis Theroux

Monday, April 2, 2012


"Sometimes you
hear a voice through the 
 door calling you....
                          This turning toward what you
                          deeply love saves you."
               - From Rumi "A Voice through the Door"

I have always loved flowers.  This is a peony that grew in my Grandmother's garden in Northern California.  It was the first bloom of a plant that typically does best on the east coast.  She had green fingers and plants grew for her.  It took her many years to get this first blossom.  Gardening is an art of love and patience.  I recently came across this photo and it reminded me of my Grandmother's strength and patience.  I love this image.