Kitsch . . .

March 1, 2009

When I was little (and until a year ago, when she moved to a nursing home) a wooden plaque hung on the wall in my grandmother’s bathroom. It was a list of things that someone (presumably the plaque-maker) liked about New England.

In the spirit of this sign, and in thinking about my future life which lies – at the moment – so delicately on the scales of indecision, I’ve decided to document the landscape (as it were) of my own feelings on the inpactive topographies in my life.

What I love about the east coast –

1. Fog on the roads, at night or during the day.
2. The appropriateness of drinking tea and long hot soaks in a tub.
3. The need for winter soups and stews.
4. Small local farms.
5. Hot heavy green in summer.
6. Rugged rock beaches that lead to icy ocean.
7. Marshes.
8. Vernal pools.
9. The moon on the snow at night, making stripey shadows out of trees.
10. Lying under a comforter with a loved one.
11. The smell of snow coming, or just the wet in the air.
12. The rolling and dipping of farmland.
13. Homemade ice cream.
14. Old houses I would sell my soul to live in.
15. Wild gardens in front yards.
16. Bitchy intellectuals who know and care about what they talk about.
17. Academia.
18. Good pizza.
19. Walking through age-old universities.
20. Bull frogs in the summer.

What I love about the (south)west –

1. Red and orange sunsets.
2. The smell of spring and fall.
3. Good Mexican food.
4. Sushi to die for.
5. The lack of judgment.
6. The grungy sprawling wildness of the cities.
7. Warm winds.
8. The shades of pink in the landscape.
9. Fruit.
10. Snow that doesn’t freeze the world and winter that is cold without being cold.
11. Drinking beer in a car amidst the pinons.
12. Fast food that is marginally edible.
13. Driving to Mexico for the weekend.
14. Health food stores.
15. People who don’t laugh at yoga.
16. The smell of flowers and plants in the heat.
17. Faded glamour.
18. Friends.
19. Neverending roads.
20. People who smile

Baking the new way . . .

February 7, 2009

I’ve recently found a great magazine on food allergies and sensitivities, called I’m especially psyched because I’ve been having trouble baking and cooking normally since I stopped eating wheat and eggs. The magazine has some delicious sounding recipes and also lists allergy-free replacers for normal ingredients.

I’m so excited it makes me want to just go bake up a fucking storm.

February 5, 2009

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Tonight’s dinner:

I’m not eating wheat or a few other types of gluten at the moment but there are foods like noodles that I just can’t not eat. Fortunately, an excellent quinoa alternative to wheat noodles has been created and is DELICIOUS. My favorite thing to cook are soups and I have to say in all my experimentation I’ve definitely found that organic/natural ingredients make it taste WAY better. This aside, obviously that’s not always possible.

1. Take a chicken breast and cover with water in a medium saucepan. Add about a half a cup of tomato juice (not V 8) and either one vegetable bullion cube (Rapunzel makes a really good one) or half a cup of vegetable broth (Pacific is my favorite). Let this boil and then turn to a high simmer. Make sure the level of liquid never goes below the chicken breast.

2. Add to this (right away is fine) one carrot cut into large pieces and one piece of celery cut into large pieces, you want to add some later on that will still be pretty firm at the end but this is just to cook down and flavor the soup. Also about a tablespoon of roughly chopped parsley, 3 small peeled garlic cloves, and salt and pepper.

3. Let this cook until the chicken is shreddable (probably about 30-45 min), you want it to do it on its own a bit, but assisting the shredding with a fork is fine. Once this happens you can add the rest of the carrot and celery, probably 2 carrots and 1 more stick of celery chopped fine.

4. At this point put the water for the noodles on to boil with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt. Once it boils, put the noodles in. They take a little longer to cook than wheat, so keep that in mind. The noodles will be the last thing you add to the soup.

5. Right before the end of cooking the soup, chop two leaves of chard (fairly fine). Then toss in the noodles. YUMMY!!!

All is fair . . .

January 23, 2009

This is something I’ve been thinking about quite often in the present as it seems at the forefront of everyone’s mind these days (that and the inauguration). I’d hate to say my generation has set the economy in third place at best, but indeed we seem to have. In our culture of open relationships, threesomes, and polyamory it can sometimes be incredibly difficult to come to a clear understanding of what your own individual relationship is, and what love means to each of us.

Over the years I have become what I term a “serial monogamist,” seemingly incapable of staying out of relationships even when it is clearly not in the best interest of either party to enter into one. On top of this, I find myself continually failing to enter into the relationships I want to be in, but rather opting for the ones that are easy to be in. It’s not actually a conscious choice, but seems to happen time and again. And is this “settling for” fair to either party? It’s hard to say. No matter how good a relationship is, if it’s not actually what you want, is it really a good thing?

A good friend consistently finds herself in the position of being in a committed, if not loving, relationship with multiple men simultaneously. In other words, she is engaging in polyamory or in an open relationship, but usually fails to convey this to her primary significant other. Yet, she is happy, satisfied, and seemingly entirely guilt-free.

Love and fidelity have become increasingly difficult to measure, and yet we continue to try and do so. We all want our needs and desires met, but are rarely willing to sacrifice in order to meet the needs and desires of someone else. It seems hopelessly bleak to say that we each operate in a state of continual half-truth, participating in multiple half-relationships to fulfill our needs and yet that appears to be the status quo.

It is my desire to find a relationship in which I can put in the best of myself, can give to the other individual what they need (and receive it back) – and yet retain my separateness, my activity in the community and in life. I would like a relationship without resentment or deep inner fear. But I have yet to convince myself that even that is a rational desire.