Friday, March 25, 2011


ready to head out early tomorrow. 6+ hour drive in what is predicted to be lousy weather. Will be happy to get to Cincinnati!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


from the Main Street Farmers' Market recently. I wish I'd gone to the potluck last night, but I didn't. Sometimes, running up and down the mountain gets pretty tedious. And costly.

Looking forward to going here soon, though . . .

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

outdoors again

More yard work today before the rains come. I hear it snowed in the Northeast yesterday! I don't miss it, certainly not in March.

However, looking forward to going up to OH and seeing relatives as well as Miss Mouse and L (and maybe L's boyfriend!!). I'm bringing the camera, so watch for photos here . . . rather than boring notes on general daily life.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Random early Spring . . .

Hoeing, raking, general clearing up. It felt good to get out and get busy.

Tarragon lives! Last summer, I thought it wouldn't make it through the awful heat, but here it is. I hope it thrives this summer. Tarragon vinegar.

The rosemary still exists! See the green sprig, slightly right of center? Also others, blurry, at upper left . . .

Beginnings of sauerkraut; I hope at the end of two weeks or so I have a batch to stash in the refrigerator. This is 1.5 lb of cabbage sliced up.

AND: editing test sent in.

Monday, March 21, 2011

editing test

I WILL vanquish this test!

(I hope . . .)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

new blog post

I'm glad to see the back of last week. Last night's hyper-full moon signified a turn in the year for me. And so of course I started another batch of sauerkraut, spurred also by last Wednesday's New York Times (Wednesday's being Food Day, I always try to remember to pick up that day's paper). There, Julie Moskin's compendium of recipes, D.I.Y. Cooking, is a real inspiration.

I had a sauerkraut disaster a year or so ago—a sodden grayish gloomy mass instead of pickled cabbage. Then, for some reason last fall, I started anew, using Eugenia Bone's book Well-Preserved and it couldn't have been easier: 1.5 lb thinly sliced/chopped cabbage to 1.5 T pickling salt, weighted down with a resealable bag containing 1 L water w/1.5 T pickling salt dissolved (in case the bag leaks, it contains nothing but brine). Leave on the counter for 2 weeks or so, et voila! She has you further can it in a boiling water bath, but I just jarred it up and stuck it in the refrigerator, where it continued to cure and just get better.

It is from Well-Preserved that I also found the will, after finding cauliflower on sale, to make her recipe for Pickled Cauliflower. Once you put your mind to it, hauling out the canning equipment is not as daunting as it sounds. (But you still have to clean off a fair amount of counter space . . .) Having the jars of white nodes in my cupboard is cheering, at least to me. And tasty too.

"D.I.Y. Cooking" has some very intriguing ideas: testa, a form of bacon that uses nitrites. Eugenia has a recipe that is similar but she has you roast the pork belly at the end. I can't get my mind around that oven aspect, though. Julie Moskin also has a method to make a kind of Lillet or Campari, which I am definitely going to attempt, as my new summertime drink this year is the Americano, taken from Nigella's new book: 1/2 sweet vermouth, 1/2 Campari, topped up with sparkling water and a slice of orange (blood orange, if you can find one).

Onward, to summer and beyond . . . a smoker may be in my future. We'll see.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Trying to make sense of the editing test, which is a very, to me, garbled genealogy. And I'm not sure of the rules governing the format. Tomorrow I'll give it my all, and then we'll see what's what. Sigh

Friday, March 18, 2011

not many words

Just a remembrance: today my mother would have turned 81.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I got more memory and an updated operating system for the computer today! D took the massive unit, which is a G8 (or is that a summit?) way out to the other side of town (thank you, D). I now have 4Gs of memory and Leopard OS, which is the most this processor can handle, since Apple made it obsolete by switching to Intel on subsequent iterations. So, instead of paying about $1200 for a brand-new Mac, I spent about $210 (plus tax) for this upgrade.

Granted, I can't stream Netflix movies on it (because they work only with the Intel processor), but doing actual work and tasks, switching between applications, and so on is a dream. I can't believe I would sometimes wait literally 5 minutes for Word to whir and the computer's guts to groan before I saw a change made.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all who celebrate; since this was my father's favorite holiday, I am not a fan of it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I have to take an editing test for a new client of a client. I hate these tests, I really do. But in a strange way I also love the challenge.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011


lots of words there, but I can't seem to get the hang of tweeting. Maybe it's because I don't know how to text. Or why.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


were you in 1982? Last night I made tahini/garlic/yogurt/lemon/dill dressing from one of the many Moosewood cookbooks there are around. Instantly, I was transported to 1970 something or other and to the gentrifying mill/college town through the woods and across the river from my own snug dorm room.

This dressing is a grassroots hippiedom recipe. I used to make a similar one when I worked for a natural foods restaurant, adding tofu to it, churning it up in a giant industrial mixer so that the tofu became a grainy part of the putty-colored gloppiness. So satisfying poured on salad. What else, really, do you need? Maybe a cornmeal muffin . . .

Then of course I had to dig out my copy of Hilltown Cooking: Recipes from a Rural Food Cooperative, put out by the Shutesbury-Leverett Coop in 1982. A little self-published, spiralbound paperback. Predating the desktop computer for sure. The recipes were typed . . . on a TYPEWRITER.

Lots of gluten, carob, and bulgur in here. Gluten Parmesan, anyone? Where are Judy and Raymond of Shutesbury, whose recipe this is, now?

Perhaps you should follow JGH's lead, as I did, and track down a very entertaining book, Lucy Horton's Country Commune Cooking, which is Lucy's account of her 1971 odyssey around the country in search of communes and their best recipes. A well-written book, with some pretty good recipes too.

Maybe it's time to unleash your inner peripatetic 1970s yurt dwelling soul  .  . . but you may want to pass on the Nutritional Yeast Gravy.

Friday, March 11, 2011

more words

I have lots of words I'd like to say, but I have to wait . . . my father, after years of disastrous decisions, made the operatic grand finale of final decisions.

Thursday, March 10, 2011



Old sprit, in and beyond me,
keep, and extend me. Amid strangers,
friends, great trees and big seas breaking,
let love move me. Let me hear the whole music,
see clear, reach deep. Open me to find due words,
that I may shape them to ploughshares of my own making.
After such luck, however late, give me to give to
the oldest dance. . . . Then to good sleep,
and — if it happens — glad waking.

-Phlip Booth

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Farmers Market

Going to the weekly Wednesday gathering of local organic farmers! I resisted going down to it for quite a while, not being able to justify driving all that way for some greens and eggs, but putting it on the agenda and working errands around it has made it work. What an enlightening group. They have consistently had at least hearty greens for sale ALL WINTER LONG. Granted, this is the South, and it's more temperate, but still.

The further I get from corporations and globalization, the better I feel. I was a staunch supporter of Green Life when it was a local business, but now that Whole Foods has gobbled up it and its sister store in Asheville, I no longer feel compelled to drop in very much. The push to present locally grown and produced food and goods is now pretty much lip service to the long march of the 365 brand. Frankly, you have to read those labels in produce to find the organics amongst the nonorganics.

Yes, yes, of course Whole Foods does organic, but here's a piece on CEO and founder Mackey from the NYorker:

That's it for today.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


unlike last year, when I was almost busier than I could handle, this year is rather worrisome. Luckily, D is busier than he has been in years.

Don't take my retirement Social Security money away from me, crazy loony right wing. It's all I have.

Monday, March 07, 2011


a trip to the post office these days yields little else besides catalogs and bills. I'd like a real letter, thanks. I remember writing letters from England back to my mother on that thin airletter paper. I wonder where they are now . . .

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Sunday, seeds, + Allegra Goodman

This morning I went up to the veg patch. I didn't realize how cold it is outside, until I got halfway across the empty playing field that borders the plots. The wind was (almost) Siberian (for Tennessee). I had planned on planting a few things, but within minutes my hands were too frozen to manipulate anything as tiny as a seed.

I had hoped to see the peas up that D had planted, but instead I saw that some of the seeds had popped up to the surface, from a 2-in. depth! Pushed them back in so they will sprout. I'm willing this year to yield a much better growing season than last year.

A favorite author of mine is Allegra Goodman: here is a link to her giving a speech at the 2010 National Book Festival. I'm listening to the introduction, so let me know if you listen.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Thoughts to words

I've decided that my blog is like my yoga mat. I should focus on what happens here, and not stare enviously at the smooth lines and lovely images elsewhere. Take them in, admire and appreciate them. certainly. Use them as inspiration and incentive. Keep my drishti gaze focused. "During practice, it is not advisable to look around," says I don't, however, want to lock my thoughts, which seems to be a problem for me. I can't get on the page quite what I mean to say.

I'm devoting this month to working on this conundrum.

Friday, March 04, 2011

one word

my response to the word prompt final at one word:

The end. finals at college. at last. what? blue book exams. long tables. girls. anxiety. high windows. spring. late winter. winterim stretching out. filling out one blue book. snatching up another

I rather like this practice; you get a word and 60 seconds to write whatever springs into your head. Like waking up after a long slumber. I might get a bit better by the end of the month.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Theme Thursday: Book

what is it about words that frighten so many people that books are actually banned? As if anyone could clap a lid on the imagination. I cannot imagine not allowing someone to read something. Piles of books abound around here, and some of them seem to have been, at one time or another, on someone's banned book list. Imagine banishing a book from a shelf . . . I really cannot get my mind around that.

The scourge of anti-intellectualism and anti-education seems to prevail throughout our country right now. Not a good time to be a publicly educated young person, for the most part.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


One of my high school English teachers once said her favorite word was crepuscule, twilight. Then recently I read or heard someone say it is the worst word in the English language. Whom to believe? Twilight, l'heure bleue; makes me think of that period just before it is truly dark, when there is still the possibility that a great calm is awaiting us . . .

T. Monk with Crepuscule with Nellie

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Words: this month's daily mediation

It's what I do — fiddle around with the words of others, when what I should be doing is fiddling around with my own. I shy away from it, though. It's easier to fix the work of someone else than try to catch my own thoughts and corral them into meaningful sentences and paragraphs. But I will sit down here and try mightily to come up with something, because I do love words.

I love crosswords, Scrabble. but these are isolating games, aren't they? You don't string the word beads into necklaces of sentences. Well, today is the first day of March, which came in like a lion around here, and the first day of NaBoPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, which seems to be every month of the year).

Watch this space. It might start making sense.