Friday, November 21, 2008

It tastes better than it sounds.....

It's recipe week in my little blog circle, so here, as requested:

Carrot Cashew Pate
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed OR 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
2/3 cup water
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon curry powder (Madras is my favorite)
1 cup cashews
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. Saute onion and garlic in melted butter until translucent.
2. Add carrots, water, salt and curry. Cover and cook until soft.
3. While carrots are cooking, put cashews in the food processor and grind into a coarse meal. Add enough oil to make a paste.
4. Add carrot mixture and process until smooth. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm.

Use as a dip with crackers or crudite, or as a sandwich spread.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This is what procrastination looks like

I'm way behind in my homework and in a side project, so I rearranged furniture, went out with Chef to get stuff for my next costume, had lunch with a friend, cleaned house and made a cheese & veg tart (like quiche, but not so deep. Helpful. Not.

Now I'm wasting time on the computer. So, tag, I'm it with the six secrets game.

Six of my secrets:

1) I rearrange furniture when my energy feels stuck.

2)I take photos that make people say "What did you take that for?"

3) Given a choice between an 'art' film and one where stuff blows up, I will usually pick the one where stuff blows up.

4)My absolute favorite thing about pastry work is making dough.

5)I recently came to the surprising and somewhat painful realization that I am tired of being a spinster. This has thrown my perceptions of myself into a fair amount of turmoil.

6)Deja vu is a common occurance for me.

Ok, enough of procrastination. Time to go do some homework. Right now. I'm going......

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Masks , Body Paint and Ritual

I found this on a friend's facebook page. For all that went wrong with the Mists of Avalon miniseries, this part went just about right. Enjoy.

Update: Jenn pointed out that not everyone has read/watched Mists of Avalon, so here's a very condensed backstory: Arthur has to undergo a rite of kingship in order to claim his throne, the Priestess personifies the Goddess, the king personifies the Horned God, their mating symbolizes the creation of the world and the blessing of the land, and makes the king once with the land, thereby solidifying his kingship. Beltane is the Celtic festival of fertility.
There is also a subplot going on with Arthur, Guenivere and Lancelot, and a subplot with Morgainne and Acteon, both of which happen much later in the novel, but tie into the theme of the video.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

weather and the state of the roads

Jane Austen, patroness of civility
I invoke thee
By Jane and Elizabeth Bennet
I summon thee
By Elinor Dashwood
I call thee
By Mr. Knightly, Colonel Brandon and Mr. Darcy in the final chapters of Pride & Prejudice
I beseech thee
Bless this farewell dinner party in Laura'a honor
Keep dysfunctional tongues mild and kind
Let conversation be civil
Turn barbs to compliments
Let those who cannot think of anything appropriate to say
confine their remarks to weather and the state of the roads.
So Mote It Be!
It worked. The party Laura was dreading, the one to which Bevin and I were implored to come as a buffer zone, was actually quite pleasant. Everyone was on their best behavior, and aside from a distressing moment involving a story about Laura's mother's wiener dog falling out the car window (she says it's fine), things went smoothly.
Thank you Miss Austen. Whether it was Jane, the full moon, or merciful providence, the farewell dinner is now a pleasant memory. Well done.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Carpe infrequentia

My neighbors use a leaf-blower. I'm more primitive. I use a rake. Back and forth, the crunching roll of leaves, the chiming of the metal tines, the occasional 'ping' as I hit a stone, over and over and over. Raking becomes a meditation. My mind empties, the mental chatter ceases. There is nothing but the motion and sound of raking. I suddenly realize that whole minutes have gone by without a thought, just awareness of the motion, the sound.

Moving meditation is easier for me - Solvitur ambulando - it is solved by walking. Or solvitur purgamentum (sweeping - the closest thing to raking in latin) in this case. Repetitive motion soothes my busy brain, thoughts and cares drift away, leaving a serene emptiness in its place, if only for a moment or so. Hands to work, hearts to God/dess, hands to repetitive movement, mind to emptiness. A rosary or a rake, it's the repetition that frees us.

When my mind gets too busy, when it spins out of control, physical activity brings me back to center. It's part of why I love pastry. It's tactile, it's repetitive, it requires focus. There's a zen to it, a zone where everything but the moment falls away.

Carpe infrequentia. Seize the emptiness. Wait, that's not very zen. Seizing the emptiness won't work.

Complexo infrequentia. Embrace the emptiness.

That's more like it.

Note: aside from solvitur ambulando, all latin translations were done with an on-line translator. so, accuracy is not guaranteed.

Friday, November 7, 2008

An Ode to Flannel Sheets

Soft & warm,
one comforter is all I need.
The heavy weight of many blankets
no longer necessary.
A light cocoon
not too hot, not too cold,
it's just right.
Cuddled instead of crushed,
I slumber peacefully
and awake refreshed,
looking forward to the day.
they were on sale.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Start small, start where you are

See what can happen when you do something so simple, yet so hard. I get chills when Barack Obama speaks, (my president, Barack Obama. I really LOVE saying that). Last night, when he spoke of his journey starting in the backyards and on the porches, starting so small, with just a dream, a vision, a hope, spoke of that beginning, suddenly years of reading became real. It's one thing to read 'start where you are'. It's another thing to see it realized, to witness another's journey, to suddenly know, without a doubt, that I can do this too. I can start small, I can start where I am, and amazing things are possible.

I don't envy Barack Obama the mess he is walking into, but I have faith that he can handle it. He will start where we are, with a vision of where we could be, and he will motivate and inspire us to work with him. Inspire, from the latin for breath/breathe. A deep, collective breath, and off we go.

Go read this post, it's also inspiring.

One more thing. Senator John McCain - last night, you were magnificent. Gracious in defeat, you showed yourself to be the honorable man who truly does put country first. You did not get my vote, but you do have my respect.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Samhain Part Two

Tonight was the Witches' Ball, and I was in a much darker mood when it came to the facepaint. A dark mood due in large part to having been rejected or ignored by every match I initiated communication with on Eharmony.
Najah's costume was also darker than yesterday, because it's Day of the Dead, and we were going out at night.
The Ball was attended by Kali, Isis, the GreenMan, Caesar & Cleopatra, lots of faeries, goblins & witches, a fallen angel, pirates, refugees from the Renaissance Faire and two flying monkeys. We drank & danced, and then left with Najah's friend Gretchen to go to the Thin Man, for their Day of the Dead party. Which they turned out to not be having this year, because of Halloween falling on a Friday. However, we did get a standing ovation for being in costume from some rather tipsy young people who had dressed up and were feeling out of place. After couple more drinks and some in-depth conversation, we went in search of food and ended up at an all-night diner at about 12:30. We were not the only people in costume; apparently McCoy's is the place for after-party dining.

Here I am, wingless, worn-out, and crushed by my bustier at one am. Up way past my bedtime, but very content.