Lessons in Moments of Silence
A couple of weeks ago, a beloved neighbor passed away unexpectedly. Of all the people I know, why did it have to be him? My neighbor is known for being bright and positive, and such a statement is not of his spirit. That being said, I realize it’s a terrible thought to utter into words. Grief over a loss has mostly been my experience of late, for his passing is the fourth memorial in less than six months. My perception of life has tilted toward the negative. Attempting to wake up happy, I’m moving with a heavy heart against a strong wind that doesn’t cease to take a break. Read more
Shortly after the boyfriend left for the west coast, this soup was made with a delicata squash from the last share of the CSA. It was made my way… very spicy. The boyfriend, who is a tester for many experimental recipes, likes spicy food, too. My tolerance for spicy food could be a bit more than his. When I called him about this delicious soup, he was curious to know how a large pot of soup is made for one person in a household. Read more
Melissa Danielle of Honeybee Holistic sent a twitter request asking to swap my lemon balm for mulberries. Of course, I agreed to the swap, and we met outside of a subway station. Mulberry is a berry originally from Asia. White and red versions are found in North America, too. Prior to the swap, I can’t recall ever tasting the fruit. Maybe, somebody’s homemade liqueur has given me a taste. They’re not quite as tart, nor do they have the same sweetness as blackberries. I was curious about what type of dish to make with the mulberries. Sweets are easy to make, but a friend suggested a savory dish. A cold soup was the answer, and it’s perfect for a robust summer day. The soup is bursting of fresh flavors from the mulberries, vanilla, mint and the elderberry liqueur. The ginger yogurt is a sassy dollop of tang. The bonus: There’s little sugar in this soup, and it’s a healthier dessert or appetizer to a main course. Read more
This is a delicious, quick meal that could be made within an hour on a weekday, including prepping time*. In place of chicken use any seafood to make shrimp, fish or crab chowder**. Unlike chicken, add the seafood to the pot after the potatoes are cooked to keep the meat tender. Using fresh corn will enhance the sweetness of the cream and the meat. During the off-season months, use organic frozen corn, for it has a better texture and taste than the non-organic and canned versions. If using fingerling potatoes, slice them. Baby potatoes should be quartered or cut in half, depending on their size. Some people like to peel their potatoes, but this is a weekday meal. Such details can be overlooked in place of saving time. Besides, the visual appearance of red-skinned potatoes provides a nice contrast in a creamy soup. A simple, green salad and a Chardonnay will complete a well-meaning meal.
*Clean and cut chicken on a weekend. Place it in a freezer and defrost before using.
** Buy shrimp raw, clean and devein. Fish should be cut into chucks. Use precooked crabmeat sold in the seafood section.
Strolling through a museum, a friend asked if I liked Andy Warhol. The answer is usually automated: “Yes, he’s one of the greatest artists of the 20th century!” On that day my perception of art was being challenged, for I wanted to think about my answer. “I don’t know,” was my response, “My opinion right now is based on what art classes tell me to like.” Andy Warhol spiced up his creativity by using ordinary objects in pop culture. He screen printed an image of the canned Cream of Mushroom soup because of its banality of flavor. That day, I had the lovely pleasure of viewing artwork from other artists made with dirt, sticks and clay shaped like unmentionables. It was artwork inspired from the can. Read more