Saturday, October 31, 2009

Amaranth is so cute.

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I decided to cook up some Amaranth that I had purchased, for reasons I can't remember, and even though I do not like its smell while it is cooking, and I find the taste strangely "smoky", I must say that I was smitten by its cuteness.

Particularly when it's sitting in a spot of sunlight on the kitchen counter.

I just looked up Amaranth on Wikipedia and discovered that in its wild form it is Pigweed. The whole story of Amaranth is pretty fascinating. I will have to find some interesting recipes for it, perhaps like the Mexican one the article mentions, where it is popped and mixed with honey. Not something I want to try, however, without precise instructions!

In the meanwhile I am stirring it to some soup I made yesterday with fresh chopped cabbage, carrots, a bag of frozen shitake mushrooms, chopped garlic, chopped fresh ginger, all cooked in filtered water with a bit of sea salt. To make it more flavorful and even more nutritious, just before serving it I add in some organic yellow brown rice Miso paste and, once it's in the bowl, a tablespoon of that fresh cultured Live Salsa I'm loving so much.

I've felt a resurfacing of the cooking urge lately. In fact I recently bought Super Natural Cooking by  Heidi Swanson, local author and the creator of the excellent online recipe journal 101 Cookbooks. Maybe I should look in there, I bet I'll find something with Amaranth. Do you have a favorite way to use it?

Monday, October 26, 2009

40th Anniversary of Woodstock - Part 2

I'm stubborn, so I refuse to let Blogger get the best of me and I am going to continue my previous post where I left off, in the hopes of having better luck this time with the spacing issue.

Great body, but maybe wrong party?

5' x 4' sculpture


Tie-dyed backdrops

A magnificent tree that has seen it all many times over

Something this little girl really wants


There was one naked man, but it wasn't this one. It would have been better if it had been.
Believe me.

I held up for 3 hours. By the time I left, at 1:30 p.m., the crowds had grown, the sun was high, and I was craving cool air and quiet.


40th Anniversary of Woodstock

I spent three hours today at the 40th anniversary of Woodstock in Golden Gate Park, and I survived. I survived the inhalation of three kinds of smoke: copious Marihuana, sage smudge sticks, and, worst of all, billowing clouds from the burning flesh of chickens and pigs coming out of the food vendors' stands. I'm not a vegetarian, because I do eat fish, but egads, that smell was bad and I could not find a thing to eat. All I really wanted was a beer, but there was no alcohol for sale. It seemed like all they were selling was water, so maybe I missed a whole section, which seems unlikely since I walked back and forth from one stage to the other under the blue skies and energizing sunshine, at least four times.

When I got there at 10:30 the crowds were still sparse but very colorful and already joyous.

There were even entrepreneurs in the mix.

It was really too hot for dogs, but there were many, some enjoying it more than others.

Good boy, human and dog

What I enjoyed the most were the colors, particularly on several buses.

Blogger s making me crazy...just saying. I am going to end here before I lose the entire

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm loving this stuff

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Yes, it's purple, because it has cabbage in it. Sort of a salsa/sauerkraut. I love it but I can eat only one heaping tablespoon at a time, because, well because it's like sauerkraut.

So this morning I sauteed some potatoes with turmeric in butter and olive oil, scrambled two eggs, put a little ketchup on the potatoes, with the Live Salsa on the side, and savored every delicious bite.

Instead of coffee I had a cup of Matcha, something I just started yesterday. It's supposed to be very good for you. Friends say so, Dr. Weil says so. Amen.

It's expensive, but if you actually get 75 cups out this, as the label says, then it comes to about 24 cents a cup, which I think is very reasonable. The orange thing is a squash.

A squash that looks like a bird.

I've but him in his nest for the night.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Got a Touch of the Blues

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My cousin called me today from Italy and we had a long conversation about growing older, life in general, and the feeling I have lately had of being rootless. I love talking with her, because we were very close when we were much younger and both lived in Italy. Now our conversations are fun but infrequent. Life gets in the way.

I've never suffered from depression and don't really think I do now, but lately I have grown very introspective and have been in this trying-to-figure-things-out mode. For some reason the talk with my cousin made me very blue, and only increased my sense of not having roots. When I was a child my father was in the military so we traveled back and forth from Italy a couple of times. I was not quite ten when he retired from the armed forces and we moved back to Italy. When it was time for college I came back to the US and after college I went back to Italy. Three years later I moved back to the US. I think all this wandering in my youth has finally taken its toll.

I decided that even though I often don't see the point of doing a page in my visual journal, this might be the day to do just that. So I started out using Lisa Bebi's paint over technique  from the Spring 2008 issue of Somerset Workshops, but ended up painting around the images instead of over them, for the page on the left, or not even around them, for the page on the right.

I was going to write stuff about siblings and ancestral roots, but instead opted for the tiny strip of paper that has been floating around my chaotic little workspace for about 10 months, and which I thought for sure I would never be able to find when I wanted it. Miraculously, I immediately found it in a little container of odds and ends and glued it
down. Finished.

The children on the left are my mother and her younger brother, maybe 1920, and the woman and young boy on the right are my father's mother and his older brother, maybe 1915.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A little bit of heaven on earth

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It can mean different things to different people, but to me it's a few days spent with friends in a lodge surrounded by fields and trees, open skies and star filled nights.

It is golden trees,

BIG trees, and

silence deep enough to hear condensation from the trees hitting the carpet of leaves below.

It is long shadows

and hikes.

It is a place to sit and relax together  

or alone.

A place in which to create art: big

and small.

A vast space in which to hammer away on a tiny piece of silver

A small jewel of a chapel for morning prayers and compline.

Delicious communal dinners

Children playing

Even the Mantra Trailer

and sock synchronicity.

St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church's annual retreat at the Bishop's Ranch in Healdsburg, 75 miles north of San Francisco, where I just spent two half days and one whole day filled with all this and much, much more.