Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Garden dance

Garden Night
—Mitz Sackman, Murphys

She looks out the kitchen window
Her small garden a picture of stillness
In the fading light
She has worked hard this summer
Planting and harvesting
Been abundantly rewarded by fresh food and herbs
She reflects on the turning of the year
Solstice but a distant memory
The cross quarter day approaches
Her garden dance of thankfulness is due
She prepares carefully washing with herbs 
Donning her cloak, she steps out in the moonlight
Slowly dropping the cloak, she circles the garden sky-clad
She thanks the earth for its fruits
For her life and dreams

Image from Photobucket
Poem found at Medusa's place

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's Ruby Tuesday!

A blast from the past.

We're under a severe thunderstorm watch right now - it's hot, humid, the breeze is picking up.  It is the PERFECT day for some lime mango sorbet!

Lime Mango Sorbet


1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Zest of 1 lime (or more to taste)

3 ripe mangoes, about 2 1/2 lbs.
1/2 cup lime juice
Pinch of salt
3 Tbs. tequila


Heat sugar, water and lime zest in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Let cool.

Cut flesh from that weird mango pit; peel, dice and put into food processor with lime juice and the pinch of salt. Process until the mango is a smooth pulp. Pour mango puree into mixing bowl and add the sugar water; use one of those immersion stick blenders* to combine them. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator until completely cold.

Mix in the tequila and pour into ice cream maker, processing according to manufacturer's instructions. Freeze in container - makes about a quart and a half.

NOTE:  The first time I tried this recipe, I put everything into the food processor and the mixture leaked all over the counter - messy, messy, messy. I decided there had to be a better way and using the immersion stick blender was it for me.

**I remembered! Found at Elise's place.

Happy Ruby Tuesday!!  For more offerings of RT, click here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lunar Eclipse

—Joyce Odam, Sacramento

(based on “Maiden Moon” etching by Elaine B. Rothwell)

Death is dancing with the maiden in the moonlight. 
He has made a ring of light for them to dance in. 

She lifts the hoop of light 
and dances away from him. 

He is left standing in the circle 
where he is powerless to follow. 

She has stolen the power of his intention 
with her refusal, and thus has transcended 

both light and dark. Death waits—and waits— 
until she is through dancing and will return to him.

Image from Photobucket
Poem found over at Medusa's place

Friday, June 25, 2010

Haiku My Heart Friday

Muchos besos means
rolling in the hay somewhere
A loose translation.

More haiku offerings can be found here.
Image is Klimt's The Kiss.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Swimming lessons

I love otters.  They are so funny and endearing with, it seems, endless amounts of energy to PLAY!  Someone sent me a link to this video and it is just adorable.  Watch Mom give swimming lessons to the baby, whether it wants them or not!  Notice how Mom grabs that back leg as if to say, "Oh not you don't buster!  Get back in this water right now!"  (You might enjoy the video better by viewing directly at YouTube - bigger screen than what I have here!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's Ruby Tuesday!

I have become a real fan of grilled vegetables - these were some that I made the other evening:  red and yellow peppers, shiitake mushrooms, broccoli, red onion.  Cut them up, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle some kosher salt and ground black pepper.  Heat the grill pan to screaming hot and throw on those vegetables - grill them separately and then toss them together in a bowl when they're all cooked.

I served them with sea scallops and couscous.  Simple and good!

Happy Ruby Tuesday, everyone!  For more RT offerings, go here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice!

Summer night -
even the stars
are whispering to each other.

~Kobayashi Issa~

Image from Photobucket 
John Waterhouse's "Midsummer Night"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - for 15 June 2010

I love tomato sauce.  It's one of my comfort foods, in all kinds of weather.  But, I have different variations for this sauce depending on the weather:  it's slightly richer and more robust in the cooler weather and lighter in the warmer weather.
The recipe is easy and doesn't take all day.  This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago when the weather was warm.  The ingredients were: 

one whole head of garlic, chopped fine
dried oregano - to your taste
fennel seed - to your taste
red pepper flakes - to your taste
Lots of fresh basil, chopped
1 can San Marzano whole tomatoes, 28 oz
1 can Red Pack tomato paste
Red wine - light body like Chianti, Pinot Noir   (confession:  I actually used some White Zin because I didn't have any kind of red in the house!)
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil


In your favorite pot, heat olive oil.  When shimmering, turn down the flame and add garlic.   Stir - do not let it burn.  Add the dried oregano, fennel seed and red pepper flakes, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  Add the can of San Marzano tomatoes, including the liquid.  Stir.  I then take a potato masher and mash the tomatoes until I get the consistency I want - I often leave larger bits of the tomatoes in the sauce because I like it.  Let this cook for about 5 minutes.  
At this point, I take the pot off the flame and add one of those aluminum thingies that prevents food from burning when you have to simmer it for awhile.  Then I put the pot back on that thingie and continue cooking.
Add the tomato paste to the sauce and stir until smooth.  Then fill up the tomato paste can with the red wine - right to the top.  Add the wine to the sauce and stir to blend.  Let the sauce start to gurgle and make plopping noises, then turn down the flame and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 25 to 30 minutes.  Taste for salt and sweetness of the tomatoes - I usually add a little sugar, along with salt and pepper to taste.  
Chop up a handful of fresh basil and add that to the sauce.  Let the sauce continue simmering until you feel like it's done - I usually let the sauce cook for about a total of at least 1 hour.

Variations for cooler weather:  Saute some pancetta in the olive oil before adding the garlic and herbs.  Add the tomato paste to the olive oil and cook; then add the wine and let flavor develop with the pancetta, herbs and spices.  Then add the tomatoes.  Add a bay leaf to the simmering sauce along with a washed rind from your parmesan or grana padana cheese - this does impart a richer and deeper flavor than the warm weather sauce.  Don't forget to add the chopped fresh basil!

If you're making meatballs or chicken meatballs like I do, add a ladle of the sauce to the meat as your wetting agent.  It flavors the meat nicely.

Happy Ruby Tuesday, everyone!  Click here to see other offerings for RT.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Most of you know about my reactions to the Gull Oil disaster - horror, rage, crying jags.  It is a difficult thing for me to deal with because I feel this so viscerally.

I read a lot of blogs daily, more than a few of a political nature.  Today, over at The Confluence, a commenter wrote the following with respects to the oil kill.  She had posted a video that had a phone conversation with Jean-Michel Cousteau who said that this catastrophe could not be handled by us alone.

I like this letter and she gave me permission to post it.  She requested that I entitle the post SOS.  And so I did.

Dear International Community,
We all live on this little planet and we have an emergency in the Gulf of Mexico with the BP Oil Catastrophe that continues unabated, which is the United States of America’s worst environmental disaster which will impact not only many US states, but unfortunately other countries too. We need your help today, nature needs your help today, and we humbly ask for any aid you can send or offer.
HELP,עזרה,کمک, AIDE,Помоћ ,مساعدة,Hilfe,मदद, 幫助, Βοήθεια, ヘルプ, Hjelp, HELP, Помощь, Ayuda, Hjälp,Membantu…
Sincerely and a heart felt thank you in advance for any help you are able to send,
An American who also lives on this little blue planet we all call home.

Image from Photobucket
Letter written by Woman Voter 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Because I need something other than the horror of The Gulf

Salutation to the Dawn

Look to this day!
For it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence

The bliss of growth
The glory of action
The splendor of beauty.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well lived makes every yesterday
A dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day!
Such is the salutation of the dawn. 


Images from Photobucket

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sorcerer's apprentice?

We have been massively intervening in the environment... Like the sorcerer's apprenctice, we are acting upon dangerously incomplete knowledge. We are, in effect, conducting a huge experiment on ourselves.
~Barry Commoner~

Images from Photobucket
Quote found over at Medusa's place
Yesterday, 8 June, was World Oceans Day

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ruby Tuesday 8 June 2010

It was incredibly hot and humid in NJ yesterday - it had been that way for the entire week.  Nothing is more cooling to me that a good fruit salad on those kinds of days and yesterday was no exception.

This fruit salad is made of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, papaya, cherries and watermelon.  Normally, I add several kinds of mint, but since I don't have a garden at the moment (boohoo!), I skipped it.  If you have the following herbs, they are good additions:  peppermint, ginger mint, lemon verbena and pineapple sage, all minced and added to your taste.

Sweeten as desired - I only added a scant teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt.  Then comes the good part - the St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, some fresh lemon juice and some lime zest.  Add those three to your taste.

I wrote about St. Germaine here, in the event you don't know what it is.

Happy Ruby Tuesday, everyone!  Click here to see more RT pictures.

(I was going to publish this tomorrow, but since it is World Ocean Day, I'm posting it today.  Happy Early Ruby Tuesday!!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A scene of green


A green world, a scene of green, deep
with light blues, the greens made deep
by those blues. One thinks how
in certain pictures, envied landscapes are seen
(through a window maybe) far behind the serene
sitter's face, the serene pose, as though
in some impossible mirror, face to back,
human serenity gazed at a green world
which gazed at this face.

And see how,
here is that place, those greens
are here, deep with those blues. The air
we breathe is freshly sweet, and warm, as though
with berries. We are here. We are here.
Set this down, too, as much
as if an atrocity had happened and been seen.
The earth is beautiful beyond all change.  

~William Bronk~

Aurora Borealis image from Photobucket
Poem found at Medusa's place

Friday, June 4, 2010

Visualizing the BP Oil Disaster

I lived in this area for 30 years and loved it.  I'm now in New Jersey and looking at returning the place that has my heart, the Bay Area of San Francisco.  

Why did I put the map of "my" soul home?  Because I think of what would happen if such a disaster like the Gulf Oil Kill struck.  If you click on the link below, you can see exactly how large of an area would be affected if this kind of preventable tragedy struck my "soul" home.

You can plug your area and the map will readjust to show you exactly how it would look in a place that you love.

My heart breaks for the entire eco system in the Gulf that is being impacted, from people to animals to plankton.  I feel so helpless and just cannot imagine what it is like for everyone and everything that is being so horrifically affected.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Good advice...

Never let go the reins of the wild colt of the heart.

—Japanese Buddhist proverb

Image from Photobucket
Proverb found over at Medusa's place

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's Ruby Tuesday - again!

It is so humid this morning and I am hoping that the forecasted thunderstorms arrive soon to cool things down!

Happy Ruby Tuesday, everyone!  You can find more offerings of Ruby Tuesday here.