Thoughts on Literature, Food, Faith and the Subversive Power of Living Small

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Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
Fools Crow by James Welch
What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt

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Breakfast of Champions

The garden is in full swing -- no tomatoes yet, but plenty of greens. Yesterday I harvested chard, radishes, carrots (about 4), gai lan (chinese broccoli -- like broccoli raab but the chinese version) and a lot a lot of lettuce. It's all lettuce all the time here right now.

I bought a Foodsaver vacuum sealer the other day and so I spent much of yesterday morning washing, blanching and freezing veggies. My next big home purchase is going to be a freezer, but I'm waiting for the used appliance store on the other side of my alley to get a used one in ... used freezers go fast up here where people hunt and garden. Anyhow, I spent the day packaging up greens for future use, and then this morning I made stir fried gai lan with scrambled eggs for breakfast. For some reason, it just starts my day off right if I can have a big bunch of greens with garlic, and an egg scrambled in the middle of it all.

Here's a "recipe" --
Crush a clove of garlic with the side of your knife and mince. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a skillet, add garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper. When the garlic is sizzling but not brown, add greens of your choice (this morning it was blanched gai lan). Add a pinch of sugar and a light sprinkle of soy sauce and cook until the greens are tender. Meanwhile, lightly beat an egg (or if you prefer, an egg plus an extra egg white). When the greens are almost done, push them to the outer edges of the skillet and pour the beaten egg in the center. Scramble the egg and when nearly set, mix the greens in. Eat with leftover rice warmed in the microwave, or a piece of toast. Go off into your morning feeling like Popeye.

posted by Charlotte at 7/10/2003 09:04:00 AM


Lions and Tigers and Bears

Well, we didn't see a bear up in Suce Creek last evening, but we did come across a mountain lion. We'd had a nice hike; I was with my friends the Campbells -- and had been talking a lot about bears, since Bill is the guy who has spent so much time filming them. Had our bear spray with us, but with four dogs, and general conversation, we weren't really worried. After we got back to the trailhead, we grabbed a picnic table in the campsite -- a really nice one up in the trees, a lot of brush around (which now doesn't seem like such a great thing)-- and proceeded to enjoy a little early-evening beer and cheetos. We were hanging out, the dogs had been exploring around and were all back, flopped around the picnic table when all of a sudden they all leapt up and started barking. There was something in the brush, although we thought maybe the folks who'd left their horse trailer at the trailhead were simply returning. The dogs were very excited, and we called them back and made them sit while Maryanne stood on the picnic table to see if she could tell what had them so worked up. We couldn't see what it was, but the dogs continued to sit and stare fixedly into the brush for five or ten minutes, and so, since we were done with our beers anyway, we packed up and headed back to the cars. Bill and Maryanne were in the car ahead of me, and I was sort of spacing out listening to the radio when I noticed they'd pulled over ahead of me on the access road. Turns out, they'd seen the lion -- it had run alongside the road for about 50 yards, then crossed over. Bill and Maryanne lived in Africa for a long time, and Maryanne was very funny -- "I didn't know they were so big!" she said. "It looked like an African lion." Then she turned to me and said "No more hiking alone for you." Which is kind of a drag, because I love hiking alone, but I think she's probably right. And on the other hand, I also love living in a place where I'm not the highest thing on the food chain. So, time to find a hiking buddy ...

posted by Charlotte at 7/06/2003 11:17:00 AM


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