consuelacooks

cooking, poetry, and unapologetic intense moments in a life

Category: cooking

“Every man’s memory is his private literature.” ― Aldous Huxley

The Four Agreements are:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
4. Always Do Your Best

I learned about the Four Agreements one summer while working in the Berkshires from my friend Tom. A Toltec Shaman named Don Miguel Ruiz published them in a book in 1997. Tom would often climb a nearby mountain and play a flute.

This was the same summer my best friend’s stepfather was hit by lightning in his canoe, along with his nephew, both killed, and drug to the bottom of a lake in Ocala by alligators, only to later be identified by dental records.  This was the same Summer I once again gave servitude to a company I worked for, as, starstruck I listened to it’s elders for guidance, hoping that they would give me wisdom on how to grow up. I just wanted someone to tell me things like, “Don’t do drugs.” or ask if I knew where babies came from. No dice. I learned much about being a teacher, figuring things out on my own, and how to allow heroes to step off of the pedestal every once in a while to give them a break. Heroism was as exhausting for them as my need for a hero was for me.
This is the same Summer I slept only hours a night, seeking solace in the people who lived  most extremely. Everything was liberally done. Including damage. Facebook reminded me of this Summer today.

Facebook loves to remind you of things, and also today it reminded me that three years ago today I was in the Giants stadium in San Francisco. I took a job with a theatre company out there, being hired with stars in my eyes by a beautiful, charismatic, brilliant leader.

I will remember a few things about that place:

Mount Tamalpais : I climbed and climbed and climbed. I was searching so desperately for some warmth in this place I had come for work. I mean, there was no way for it to live up to expectations, and the self loathing, reinforced by leaders, was verbose. Mount Tam was a metaphor for the EXTREME sadness I was feeling, the worthlessness I had assigned myself. I was trying to get up and out, trying to see the world more clearly.

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The Pacific: Never have I walked so much on a beach. Never have I thrown so many questions to a body of water. And never have I considered pulling a Jeff Buckley more than in these weeks.

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Fort Point : The production I worked on took place here, and inside the walls you could find the signatures of all the men who were at the ready in the 1800’s for a war that never came. I learned every curve, every stone, every ghost.

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Golden Boy Pizza,  John, and Jamie: I knew already that I loved one of these yahoos, and the Jamie came later, brilliant, with a madman’s eyes, a poet’s heart, and a sailor’s soul. These two gentlemen, the patterns of good men, unknowingly kept me alive these months.

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The Giants : By God, they might be the most disappointing team in MLB right now, but they were a glorious constant then. There was nothing like sitting against a redwood in a forest with a game being funneled into my ears. There was something to root for. There was a home team. Watching a no-hitter in that stadium was the highlight of my Summer.

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Facebook also reminded me:

Nine years ago today Michael Jackson died.

One year ago I was on Peak’s Island saying poetry to a new crowd.

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Seven years ago, I was getting ready to perform at the Eno River Festival in North Carolina with Rebecca, still eating fire, still being a Carolinian and a Nickel Shakespeare Girl.  Still loving and being in love with one of the best friends I ever had, and ever will have in this life or any after.

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Four years ago I was cooking for a family in the Berkshires for side money alongside one of the dearest, most rock-hard strong women I have ever known.

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They became dear to me -to us- this family, and we became family to them. Sadly less than a year later, the patriarch took his own life, just like his father before.

 


One year ago my friend John was playing Lear in our show Dark Rooms. He knew he was dying, even then. A few weeks later, he was gone, and we were rehearsing a play he financed-literally his dying wish- about the first poet and the first prophetess. We spoke his name every day, and did our very, very best every moment. People came. People fell back in love. People fell in love for the first time. People grieved.

 

I am grateful for all of this, painful, joyful, wince-worthy, and formative. I hope I’m getting better at the four agreements. Thank God there won’t be a test.

“The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things which now lie hidden. A single lifetime, even though entirely devoted to the sky, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject… And so this knowledge will be unfolded only through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them… Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced.”
― Seneca, Natural Questions

 

 

WARNING! MELANCHOLIC MUSINGS! or Let’s just read the funny papers

I have terribly neglectful of this blog. I think it is the general lack of mindfulness I’ve been experiencing. The Berkshires beat on like beautiful retired war heroes yawning at the sky and my snow peas reach for that sky. There is a melancholic air to all and as I am like every other human I am trying to unpack the story.

So many bad dates. So many nights without sleep. A summer that gallops apace without me at the company where I work. A summer that isn’t at all what I thought it would be at the other work. It’s been over a month since my dear friend passed and a little over a month until another one marries. I turn 40 in 27 days. Is this where most are at this juncture? I would love to know if it is.

My Mom always asked why I did things the hard way. Even without purpose. Leaving home early, choosing to wait on marriage, choosing an impossible field to work in, choosing impossible places to live, being on the road living in a tent for so long, having such a long period of being so sick, and fighting for what I believe in as opposed to watching injustice happen (even if I never live to actually see results for that fight) are the things she doesn’t understand about me and also the things she respects the most.

Sometimes, not most- but sometimes I tire of it.

And then sometimes it becomes the song I sing.

And sometimes, just sometimes on a bleak and beautiful cool Berkshire morning like this as the fan hums and the cat perches in the window and there is stillness and quiet– at these times- at this time- I just want to read the newspaper with someone and sigh in the knowledge that I have a partner in crime- and rest easy in the knowledge that this partner will not now or any time for the rest of our time need or want to go anywhere else.

Can I have both? Certainly. I think. As I get older I am underwhelmed by wooing antics and proclamations of obsessive love. With so much experience in love comes a great responsibility to be patient while the other party meanders like a Cocker Spaniel puppy through their feeling world. Recklessly banging around and pawing and overturning food bowls in the name of excitement. What I need is a great long beautiful sophisticated Great Dane. One who knows who he is. One who is completely fine with the space he takes up in the world. One who is OK with my days of Saint Bernard and my days of Chihuahua.

But I digress. Adventures continue. Love will continue. Seasons will pound on in fours and August will come and go and I will enter in to my fifth decade.

I laugh every day out loud and don’t think for a moment that I take that for granted.

I am just missing that puzzle piece. That one little one that becomes the priority.

Henry Rollins says this perfectly-

“I want a soul mate who can sit me down, shut me up, tell me ten things I don’t already know, and make me laugh. I don’t care what you look like, just turn me on. And if you can do that, I will follow you on bloody stumps through the snow. I will nibble your mukluks with my own teeth. I will do your windows. I will care about your feelings. Just have something in there.”

And that pretty much sums it up.

 

Swim in this, and hold your breath.

Last night there was certain magic that occurred.  I slept well for the first in my new apartment. I think there might be a few contributing factors to this happening.

One:

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This girl. Frances Maui. A new addition to my life. Smart, fast, beautiful. Kind. Funny. Sleeps under the covers with me.

Two:

The dinner.

Homemade Guacamole, Pico and lovely chips.

Slow roasted pork and tofu (Chipoltle peppers, Honey, Molasses, Cumin, Lemon Juice, Cashews, Almonds, Chocolate)

Couscous with Pine Nuts, Cilantro, Onions, and Tomatoes

Beets roasted in Malbec with Molasses, Cayenne and Sea Salt

Three:

The People. A lovely bunch. Jo, Luke, Caroline, James, Caitlin and I. And Franny the Cat. Who was on her best behavior. Like always. It filled up my heart, filled up the house, and filled the creaky spaces left with questionable energy with love.

Four:

I started writing again. Revisiting poetry from the past year. Sprucing it up. Humaning it. Making it breathe.

Post lizard-hunting activities

One day until wheels leave ground and I am airborne

And two three dancing at the derby and

Three four spine like I will travel down old paths

And old familiar eyes

Angels and batboys both need running shoes

And twenty years later will I say your name?

The house is burning, sweet Jesus- the smoke!

Skywise it puffs up like proud bird and God will go bowling soon

I’ll point my toes toward the red

If only for a day more

A night more

One love at a time at a viper’s speed

Pouncing on heart and freeing the room that was left

Behind years ago

Where falling leaves live, and earthworms the size of

Stormtroopers, cats the size of

Two-stories, hands the size of

Me.

And I pause for dreaming

I remember running, running so fast, so far in rain

At six or seven, running in stealth, me and Roberto

Fast with tight white Florida shirts baring

Arms, hands brown

Shorts baring brown legs, dirty knees

(post lizard hunting)

And that lightning could have pounded me in the chest as he

Closed in fast

Closed in grabbing

Arms tight closed in hard and fast

On pink mouth with kiss

And the rain ran down curiosity

The rain ran down a different take on Father

The rain ran down balloons and birthday scotch

I felt tongue muscle slide across wet bottom lip

Fierce Florida destitute forlorn poor kids

Learning the way to longer days

Punching the sky with boredom and new-found

Belly clenching activities

I don’t want to give, I say. I don’t want to

Have to quiet down.

I want to yell it scream it kick it whisper it

Bigger than my life before

I want to swim before and after by MY hand.

I want to keep my words, and my womb and my wicked hands

And throw them slowly to the sea

I want to learn 5 ways to say I desire you.

I want to be silent and only watch.

I want a different take on this all.

I want to rub chocolate on the white house and

Eat from my yard

I want to eat you like a whole almond, he said.

Me and time we see,

And I never knew the shape of trees in a hurricane.

And I love has never left me so full as these years, three

And I wait for your foot on the stair.

A little trip to the promised land.

ImageAnd so we return from Mecca. Exhausted. Unshowered. Fulfilled. Road weary. 16 states. 26 hours of driving. 30 mix CDs. Time with 18 different friends. 1200 miles. Terrible food. Wonderful Food. Too much food. Sweet Tea. One Grotto. One Apple Orchard. A million moments of gratitude. Lots of tickling. 4 billion hugs. Silliness with a 7 year-old. Silliness with a 3 year-old. Silliness with a baby. Silliness in general. More hugs. Hoarse throat from singing with Caitlin driving through New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and other states. Player’s Retreat. Possible work offers. Nostalgia. Melancholy. Going back to the Ampitheatre. Going back to the teaching Theatre. Going back to the Mainstage. Falling in love with the Shimmer Wall. Seeing the huge new world at the Science Museum. Talking a lot about the Nickel Shakespeare Girls. Loving. Living. Being as alive as is possible. Every day.

ImageThis one I love.

ImageAnd this one.Image

Also this one.

Raleigh nights remind me of so many things. Danger, love, terror, losing my mind a few times, laughing, late fits of artistic frenzy, desperation, learning, making love, being anesthetized, all those crazy kids. bands, and almost losing it all.

 Locked rooms and locked doors and

Sun bursting through the cracks

 I smash my face against the rock to feel it

My imagination allows me your breath

You see, I’ll never see you again

Light, night, reeds the smell of

green and leather and blue, deep purple

Filled with little feet

And I can’t see you for the lights through the door

I can’t see for the vein on your hand

The freckles on your cheek

Wrinkled knuckles

Time weary eyes

I seek, I sue, I breathe in Technicolor

One touch will never

Can never be

Fingers of yellow fill your eyes

Peel your spine right from you

Peel your skin

You would be my skeletal lover

Wrapped sharply, sucking heart matter

Leaving me with one real touch

And a memory of jade

Wines, wires, party games, wind

I love you I said and he knew

I adore you I said and his mouth found me.

I worship you I said as he walked away

And I name the days (This skeletal lover)

For each piece of your vertebrae, each constellation

Every day my body shrinks [Blackout.]

Lover, come home.

 

but, for mine own part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more news too:

Greek Night. Bitches.

Orange Mustard Dill Roasted Leg of Lamb

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Briam: Zuchinni, Tomatoes, potatoes, red bell peppers, Olive Oil, Capers, White Sugar, Dill, Oregano, Salt, Pepper, Garlic, White Vinegar

Spanakorizo: Spinach, Onions, Garlic, Dill, Tomatoes, White rice or Orzo, Salt, Pepper

Dill and Orange Tilapia: Dark Mustard, Orange Juice, Dill, Oranges, Garlic, Oregano, Lemon Juice, Lemon Rinds

Greek Honey Orange Cake (Made by the Caitlin) ((She is single)) (((You’re welcome)))

Homemade Hummus and Tzatziki

A good, exhausting day. We start moving in tomorrow. Oh Boy. I might poop or puke.

Anxiety: High

Hope: High

Worry: Low

Want to get on with it: Sky High.

A poem:
Mama saw Icarus Fly
I can say anything to you, I said.
In the quiet of the fur-lined bellows
yellow treeswooden bones
snow tongue
flat feet
wobble knees
You can whisper so nobody will hear
thinking I won’t listen
But Hero-I let it fill brow to toe.Empty enemies with empty coffers
wonder where you went.
Mama had a story
covered in the same grass, free of fire
filled, delectable salt water
waiting, waiting to be heard.She watched far off this encounter
Papa was in his huge airplane
proud, beautiful, uniformed mustached Papa.
Dutiful daughter ran to the field to watch.
Lovely pink toes
tight, bright, slight punch bodyto see take-off
He: Pilot, Poet, Deity
She: Lover of roar, wind, heat, arms
It only took two minutes for the engine to catch
barely off ground.Young baby girl could not believe her eyes.
Blue lit up with flame like St. Petersburg noon sun.
(She knew it so well)
In this moment she grew woman-wise in quiet.
Blinking took hours.
The thought to walk wouldn’t reach her feet.
She washed her hands ten times a day.
The ash was like cotton rain.

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Good Night.

Doing what is right and cutting the tip of my thumb off.

 

 

So today I went in with my cohorts and did an Asian feast.

Spicy peanut Chicken: 20 pounds of chicken soaked in spicy peanut sauce. Peanut Sauce: Peanuts, Peanut Butter, Garlic, Chiplotle. Lime, Salt, Pepper, onions, Cumin. Did I mention Garlic? Chipoltle? Yes. Olive Oil. Orange juice. Cranberry Juice. As you were.

Ginger Teriyaki Pork and steak with peppers and onions: Flank Steak, Pork Loin, Teriyaki Sauce, four huge heads of Ginger, Garlic, Salt, Cumin, a bit of Cinnamon, a bit of Cranberry juice, Olive Oil… Add rice.

Homemade Spring Rolls! This is a lengthy process. Beware. It’s fun, but lengthy, you must have paitience. Shred these veggies- Yellow Squash, Zuchinni, Mushrooms, Carrots, Brusell sprouts, red peppers, green peppers, onions. Make a beautiful mix. These are pretty together. Add shredded fresh ginger and lime. Salt. Pepper- NOT to overpower the ginger. Ginger is key. Garlic. Take wonton wrappers into a diamond. Place mixture in middle. Wet top corner and do burrito wrap. Deep fry for 2 minutes. DO NOT LET ENTIRELY BROWN. Serve with peanut sauce, Ginger teriyaki Sauce and Sweet Chili Sauce. These are a game changer.

Today I learned this about the number 51:

51 is one of the most powerful numbers of the 6 series. Pandit Sethuraman opines that those whose names vibrate to this powerful number start from a humble origin* and advance to unimaginable heights. Ideas will flash like lightning and there will be an abundance of energy in both body and mind. Such people are able to work for very long hours, get less sleep but speedily progress to their goals. It is a very fortunate number.

  • I have lived at a 51 for a year and am moving into a new 51 in less than a week. I am sure it means something.

There are a million endearing qualities about people. I tend to notice laughs. And good laugh lines. I witnessed these tonight while playing Cards Against Humanity. I cannot help but notice what is handsome or beautiful. I see it everywhere. Blessing/Curse.

So I am trying to do the right things. I am trying to be calm and push through. The whole December thing is waning and I feel more in control of my heart. I am sleeping more. Eating.  Being more aware. Being more caring. Having less fun. You know, as it all was before. But maybe there is that beautiful middle ground somewhere.

We start moving in soon. It feels real. It feels scary and exciting. And ultimately it feels much like a commitment which I am always adverse to. I am lucky, though. I am not in it alone. And I am finding that no matter what I do, surprisingly, I am NEVER in it alone.

I love you with so much of my heart that none is
	left to protest.- Beatrice

Deer Tick in the Morning

So the lovely New England beats on. 

  • Birthday Parties
  • Lots of Cooking
  • Checking the Crazy card for a few days
  • A lovely day off
  • An audition (surprise, Carmen!)
  • Two days until move in

We will go in reverse order:

The Day off: Around these parts at Shakespeare & Company (http://www.shakespeare.org/)  we have what is called THE day off. We call it THE day off because largely there is only one of them in any seven day cycle for contract employees. Contract employees are those who do not have a managerial, administrative or director (of) position. This means all of the education artists, production designers and craftspeople, the Food Services staff, the ticketing staff, the interns, the training faculty, and basically anyone else who isn’t maintenance, housekeeping or in a place we call the Miller Building. The Miller building is where the big stuff happens- Artistic decisions  financial decisions, marketing decisions,communication decisions, training and education decisions- all decisions- all important stuff. It’s a bee hive of trying to make art happen 11 months out of the year in the Berkshires. It’s a modern think tank. It’s a slightly dilapidated and beautiful shell of a building that holds the future of more than just the people we are, but also all of the future thousands of young artists and actors we will teach, the shows we will produce, the festivals we will satellite, the money we will raise in order to keep making art in this time, the lives we will continue to try to change, and the hearts we will continue to move.

So. With that being said, It is one day off. In that day I got a lot done. Sleeping an uncommonly long 10 hours (after making a fun old hip hop mix on Spotify the night before), spending three hours talking-fitting a sweater- pulling things for the house with a good friend, doing financial things, grocery shopping, starting laundry and then betting a message that (Surprise!!!!) I have an AUDITION in 20 minutes, finding a pair of nice pants in the laundry, throwing them on, zooming to the company- auditioning (doing Come civil night (Juliet)), doing pretty well and feeling ok about it (I didn’t have time to get too nervous), starting laundry, driving wayward not-warmly-dressed workshop participants home from Laundromat  coming back to said laundry establishment, talking to a lovely guy named Tim for a bit, retrieving my red-headed buddy, zooming to the best pizza place in the world (http://www.babalouiespizza.com/), heading to a fun little wonderful place that seems to be home for us so often (http://www.yelp.com/biz/rumpys-tavern-at-the-village-inn-lenox) and then checking on a friend’s house, getting stuck on the sheet of ice driveway, getting pushed all of the way out, then sleeping by midnight. I would have loved one of those lay-about-all-day-and -just-rest days, but I honestly think I would get bored. Maybe I’ll grow into that some day. For now I have had two people whom I love call me a ‘Funny Creature’ in two day’s time. I’ll take that.

Preparing to pull away from the Berkshires– drive to my Raleigh, spend some stress-free time with lovely Caitlin, see folks who mean the world to me, see some bands, get my stuff… yada, yada, yada. Perhaps squander some Bojangles sweet tea. I love me some sweet tea. And if you know sweet tea, you know it doesn’t get sweeter than Bojangles. An offensively named establishment that does teeth-rotting tea right.

Checking the crazy card: I am pretty sure some seasonal depression has kicked in. This means a couple of things. Drink less, sleep more, avoid new relationships, avoid heartbreak, nuture, nuture, nuture, and then if all of that doesn’t work- go to the doctor and get some assistance (a means to move the boulder away). A wonderful friend left me prayer beads on my pillow last night. Maybe I’ll resume praying. It can never hurt. So- I’ve been feeling that lack of clarity- that cloud- as it begins. That persistent lack of laughter (And I can laugh, I tell you), the excessive sleeping, the lack of patience, the getting-the-feelings-hurt-more-often thing, the eating-less thing. Pretty textbook. It’s not terrible yet. It can get pretty terrible. I think it’s been happening since late November. So–ACTION NOW! Noone likes a sad bastard.

A birthday party! Let me be clear. Meeting new people is painful for me. I live on nerves at parties. But I did ok! Just like the audition I didn’t have time to prepare, so I just went as I was and celebrated the Great Travis Daly. I adore him, so it was easy. He’s such a happy guy and does so much for the Berkshires and kids. So, there was a party. He turned 30, so I made terrible jokes about his back going out every time he bent over. I have very seldom, if ever seen him frown. Inspirational, he is. Wonderful. I really like working for him.

Food. Yes. Pretty in Pink soup, Chicken and Dumplings, Parsnips, Squishy on the Inside Soup and more. For now I will just talk about these. Let me be straight. I don’t like cooking complex carbs for people who have extreme issues with appearance, health, and sustainability in a 14 hour workday. They will crash two hours after the meal, get hungry hours before dinner, overeat at Dinner, crash during the evening in a horrible food coma and not enjoy the work. So- knowing they had an easy night on Elizabethan World Picture Day- I WENT FOR IT with Caitlin. I made a carby feast. It was the night before THE day off.

Chicken and Dumplings from scratch. We made those Chicken and Dumplings our bitch. And they are easier than you think. Time consuming, but easy. Get some Bisquick ready, essentially cut Chicken into large chunks, make a yummy broth with sauteed carrots, celery, and onion- add CUMIN, salt. pepper, Chipoltle, GARLIC, pepper, add a crap ton of veggie stock, add chicken, simmer for 12 minutes, drop each teaspoon of dumpling batter into simmering concoction, let simmer for another 15 or so (BEWARE! Dumplings will BLOW UP like the Stay-Puft marshmallow man! Use a BIG pot!) What you will have is a yummy gooey feast for any potential Southerner. We heard screams of joy from the food line. ALSO- Caitlin made Gingerbread from scratch. This is no joke. It took forever, but Holy God was it good. She also whipped cream to go on top. Yes, she is single. You are welcome.

Pretty in Pink Soup– Roasted Beets, Parsnips, Rosemary, Chipoltle, Garlic, Salt, Brown Sugar, Cloves, Nutmeg, Pepper, throw it in the Cuisinart, and it is FUCHSIA! And Yummy.

Parsnips! Chop 25 pounds of them up! Put them in two hotel pans! Add a concoction of Honey, Maple Syrup, Cranberry Juice, Orange Juice, Basil, Salt and Garlic. Roast for 50 minutes. Voila! Yum!

AND THE DRUM BEATS ON. Life has happened, death has happened, I will continue to try to love in earnest, check the crazy card, pile high the joy and come to the table with all of those whom I love.

Not a whit, we defy augury. There is special providence in
the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to
come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come—the
readiness is all. Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows what is’t
to leave betimes, let be.

-Hamlet

And flowers in her hair…

” I think I need to say to you that your aggressive nature when it comes to Ginger is powerful.”

-workshop participant.

I know there are a lot of extraordinary people out there who don’t choose to dumb things down or be careful with truths. I’d like to think the folks I surround myself with these days and in days past don’t care for that much either. We would all rather feel or taste or live extremely. Every kitchen I’ve cooked in or stage I’ve been on or actors I’ve directed or love affair I’ve entrenched myself in has changed me. It seems as if things won’t change much in that arena. Not at all.

Recent culinary efforts:

Fire soup: Roasted red peppers stuffed with garlic cloves and basil, drenched in lemon. Wait until they are black. Throw in simmer pot with five large diced onions and a ton of chipoltle. Throw in the Cuisinart. Serve (preferably) with grated asiago. By the way- Asiago spellchecks as Iago. That makes me happy.

Spicy Cilantro, Tomato and Mozzarella Quesadilla with Spicy Bean dip. Bean dip- Black beans, Garlic, Cilantro (fresh), Basil, Cumin, Chiopoltle powder. Black Pepper. Salt.

Easy Pico- Diced Onions, Diced Tomatoes, Cilantro (Fresh), Salt, Pepper, a bit of Apple Cider Vinegar, Cumin, Parsley, Chipoltle, Jalapenos (If you are not deathly allergic to them as I am)

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Loch Ness Pork Loin: Two whole pork loins, trim the fat off and leave a little and then put fatty side down. Cut a divet in the middle of each about an inch. Cuisinart a Ton of Cilantro, Basil, Thyme, Maple Syrup, Olive Oil, Salt, Cumin and Lime and then pour first into the divet and then a generous coating on the rest. Stick a garlic clove in every 2 inches (Into the divet), sprinkle with bacon bits. 450 for 10 minutes, then 350 for 40. Let rest (It will be rare) keep in an oven at 250 for 20 minutes. It will be prefect. Moist and yummy.

I have to mention Caitlin’s Cilantro and Cheddar biscuits that adorned and fulfilled the Mexican meal and also her Cinnamon cheesecake which literally made me cry. Real tears. Maybe it was the push to get a Mexican feast of Tacos, Quesadillas, 2 Soups, Mex Veggies, Biscuits, and cheesecake (all from scratch mind you) ready for 80, but I don’t think so. I think it was the cheesecake.

I’m working on a Cassius speech for auditions. And also Juliet. Neither of them are careful with words. I’m pretty happy about that. I am trying to

a. Figure out what I want to do this summer

b. Move into a new apartment

c. Fall out of love

d. Cook for 80 in a spontaneous and beautiful understanding way

e. get ready for Sweeny Todd

f. Get ready to see twenty old friends who have known me forever and have seen me at my worst for the first time in two years

g. Go on a well deserved road trip with a cool girl

h. Take care of my body and try and get over this damn flu

i. Not fall into my pattern of believing I’m not enough.

j. still be in love with the world

That about sums it up.

I’m a lucky girl.

I love you.

Good Night.

Grace in her heart

Recap of days. 16 days until road trip. 8 days until apartment move in. 3 days until the flu is over. One more day of getting over things or not. One day more I get to spend with people I love. 14 more days of the workshop. 18 more seconds before I actually begin writing this blobbloahhg.Image

Flu, flu, ping pong, Seas of laundry. Pork loins. Pictures. Laughing. Missing. Strawberries. Getting accosted by workshop participants a bit. Loving. and loving. getting a sweater knitted for me. having hard talks. Missing people. Talking to far away friends. Laughing. Making epic mistakes. Fixing them. Eating Caravaggio cheese. Watching half a movie and then chucking the movie for a good conversation. Having pizza. Coughing a lot. Wondering if I’m doing the right thing. Knowing I am. Hating it. Really liking and disliking myself simultaneously. Wondering where all of the time went. Feeling 14. Flirting. Getting caught flirting. Getting extraordinary news that made me feel really valued. Getting passed over. Cooking my brains out and feeling really good about it. Having incredible girls around me. Spending time with people who make me want to be a better person. Have peace in my heart for the first time in two months. Missing the past two months. Loving.

Pork loin, awesome style– Two huge pork loins, create paste of fresh basil, cilantro, honey, lime and cumin, stuff with garlic cloves. add cinnamon, crank to 450 for 10 minutes to seal paste, cook at 350 for 45. Then salivate.

Orange chicken– cut that poultry up, throw some fresh thyme and oranges and cranberry juice with some currants into a cuis with some olive oil and a double shot of cayenne. slather, add fresh oranges to the top. 350 for a bit. yum.

Fresh roasted beets with shredded carrots, ginger, and radishes with garlic. Yum. Roast for a long time. Don’t get disheartened when it all turns purple. That’s the charm of beets, I guess.

Sitting under the yum yum tree soup (Named by Steffan the workshop participant)- Sweet potatoes with garlic, apples, oranges and ginger. Cook for 2 hours at a simmer. Add heavy cream, another 30 minutes, add butter, another 15. Cinnamon  nutmeg, clove, salt and a little pepper. Puree. add dry paprika. Salivate.

Buddha called, he found Nirvana soup. (Also named by Steffan) – Use a ton of Butternut squash and use above recipe. Better with Butternut. Not quite so sweet and better consistency. Make sure the ginger is fresh. And make sure you have enough for everyone. They get snarky if you don’t.

Gluten free Baby it’s cold outside soup– Quinoa, Sweet ground sausage, Diced tomatoes, Spinach, a few sweet potatoes, A little butter, fresh basil at the last moment. If gluten is not an issue this is really good with large barley. But must be fresh.

I will think of more of these later. Also the broccoli slaw recipe should go up soon. We did a birthday the other night for one of the lovely participants and she cried. It was beautiful Caitlin outdid herself with an earl grey frosting on a vanilla cake and I made roses out of the rinds of oranges and lemons. It was pretty special.

I make the wrong folks priorities sometimes. I should just focus on what is in front of me, i imagine. I have a lot to love that gives back always. It was very foggy today and I thought of the idea of home.

Home is people for me. Home is touch and taste and eyes. I am home.Image

Big Girl Undies

” Your Chili was so good I don’t know whether to kiss you or slap you in the face to restore order to the world.”

-Gluten Free guy in the Month long Intensive on his second bowl of Cincinnati Chili

In brief. Comfort food aplenty. Spaghetti and Meatballs, sauteed Kale, Lime and Cilantro Chicken, yada yada yada….

But the Chili was good. Yes it was. Sweet and delish.

So today was full of text messages I wish I could take back and some I want to save because they are that funny, but mostly I ran from that sad bus all day. There didn’t seem to be a song I could play, a person I could talk to, a food I could eat, or a picture I could love enough to shake these stupid blues. This 48 hour thing is horse shit. I guess you just miss someone until you don’t. And then what? But I am learning the cyclical nature of the whole beast. It only ever lasts half an hour. Ride it out and it will move through, I found.

Today was a myriad of musical offerings. In the kitch, I mean. Ice Cube, Eminem, Aphex Twin, Trampled By Turtles, Skynard, Sex Pistols, Amy Grant, Glee, Janet Jackson, Butthole Surfers, etc. It never really gets boring.

Today because of my cooking I was proposed to three times and propositioned twice and winked at a few times. I like the winks the best. The redhead just waves. Actually that is the best. The waving. Freckles around the eyes get me every time.

Every time.

It’s really time to put on big girl undies and quit this boo-hoo stuff. I am really lucky. I have awesome comrades and even better besties. I have a great fam and I love to have fun. Too much. All the time. I’m good at things and I’m easy on the eyes.

Applying big girl undies? Now.

Maybe I should just go on that date. Maybe I just need to be treated to something.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day of cooking. Boss man leaves early and it is us! Just us! Little Sous Chef and her cohorts. We will rock it. We will make Chef Ron proud.

And we will sing and have fun and say tremendously dirty things to each other.

Because that’s how we roll at Larry Hall Kitch.Image

“What do I do when they all fade?”, she said. ” Do I imagine them there or do I forget?”
She said… ” Each one was a deliberate moment of touchingnd each was a promise.” 
She said…” Each is a hand print of eloquent love, of raw want, and of maps to new worlds.”
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