Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday Salvation

I love the weekends.  During the week, the Pyrate's at school, the Austrian's at work, and I'm doing my thing and we don't really get to share much quality time til the weekend.  Fridays, the Austrian is usually itching to go out and free his brain from work concerns.  So he's usually calling us up in the late afternoon, trying to get a commitment to some sort of activity such as a movie... Usually it's a movie he wants to see.  But when he called yesterday, I'd just finished cooking dinner, and it was an improvised creation... and it was a real masterpiece (if I might say so myself...), so when he called I was in the middle of feverishly writing notes on what I'd done, so that I wouldn't forget anything.  I couldn't talk to the Austrian about what movie we would see.  In fact, I was really not looking forward to stepping away to go to a movie.  I was sure I'd forget some aspect of what needed to go into this new recipe that I'd just created off the cuff.   So I apologized and told the Austrian he'd have to see a movie without me or wait until today (Saturday).  He was very understanding.  (Love you Bubba)  He and the Pyrate left me alone to my writing and the two hung out at the book store for 3 hours.

As if that wasn't enough love, when they returned, they presented me with Jamie Oliver's new book Jamie's Food Revolution.  Of course, I had to sit up late into the night and go through the entire book.  It's fantastic.  I won't be plagiarizing any of the recipes here, but it is a good cookbook for beginners, or those who feel uncomfortable about improvising with ingredients.  To do so, you do have to develop a sensibility about foods, their compatibility with each other, and their distinct personalities.  It's like a complex sort of astrology.  This book simplifies things down to using a few ingredients and becoming familiar enough with those to be able to use them in a hundred different ways successfully.  It's a wonderful book.

I was up until late into the night working on fine-tuning that recipe and it's up on the blog now.   I really think you should try it.  I've never had anything like it... the combination of the persimmons, the chili, the avocado... so good and so different!   Anyway, that's done.  Today I'll be planning next week's projects.  I'm thinking of going asian all next week.  Japanese, Indian, Korean, Thai, Chinese.... lol.... okay, I probably won't get around to all of that, but we'll see.... I was turned on to something new this morning during my studies... a Korean paste called gojuchang.   I can't wait to experiment with that this week... mm mm mm...

Saturdays this will be a regular part of my routine, so that on Sunday when I go to the farmers market, I can decide what specifically can be done based on what is fresh and available from local farmers.   It's a good way to do things, even if you know what you want to cook, be flexible enough that you're not bamboozled into buying something out of season because you were hell-bent on strawberries and cream in the wintertime, for example.  (what it takes to get strawberries in the winter time... you don't even want to know...)

This is, for me an important part of my agenda here... the idea that life is better when you eat close to the source.  I look forward to shaking the beekeeper's hand tomorrow when I see him and purchase a jar of honey that was harvested from his bees.  He loves to talk about his bees too and when he does, I find myself imagining him in his little "bee suit" with the netted hood, and it makes me smile...

I get a kick out of the cheese lady handing me a wedge of cheese that came from a cow from her farm....sometimes she can even tell me the cow's name.

And then there's the international grocery stores.  We have a middle eastern one and a asian one close by.   The asian one is owned by Koreans but they have a wealth of japanese ingredients available as well.  The woman who owns the store recently sold me a gas burner that I can use on the table for Shabu Shabu...a meal that I fell in love with because of a favorite restaurant in Hollywood.  I'd been in the store complaining that I want Shabu Shabu, but it's sometimes not convenient to drive into town and spend $100 on dinner.   The woman, who barely speaks english,  only understood Shabu Shabu.  The next time I came to her store, would you believe she walked me over to the butcher section and showed me that they now carry meat specially cut for use in Shabu Shabu, the ingredients for the sauces, and a very necessary burner for the table?   I was so grateful... She won my loyalty with that move... So cool!  I love small businesses. 

There is something very emotionally rewarding about getting back to a more basic way of doing things. In our efforts to make life more "convenient" we have isolated ourselves from the truth about everything that effects us.  We remove every aspect of the inner working of life from our forward consciousness and... well... out of sight, out of mind right?   We literally put our lives into the hands of strangers we don't know every day, without even asking a single question... without even investigating whether or not they are worthy. 

We assume the government will make sure all is good.  We are completely unaware.  We don't become aware again until catastrophe happens, epidemics of ecoli, mad cow, salmonella, cancer, liver disease, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, arterial disease, heart disease, and how many other horrors befall us because we don't want to have to know when, how, where and what things work.  We just consume and assume everything will all be fine.  But as we see now, things are not fine...and we are being drawn slowly back to reality because of it.  The truth always surfaces in the end. 

I feel like I'm preaching now, so I'll stop.  You get the idea.  We are comatose consumers.  In my house we are trying to change.  It's funny sometimes... the Pyrate and I will be in the grocery store and because he's been educated well about such things, he'll catch me... "Mom, what color is that?  Is that a natural color for bananas?"  or... "It might be cheaper, mom, but don't forget to see what they left out and artificially embellished to make it so cheap." 

I don't believe in any sort of fanaticism. (except when it comes to my music... be fanatical as you like about that... haha.)  I think we are best served when we use our intuition and our intellect in a balanced way.  So you won't see these things manifest in my living in extreme ways.  But at this point, if each person makes even small changes it will make a difference on a personal level and on a more universal level as well. 

So.  I'm off to go plan some loose ideas for recipes and arrange my other project for the coming week.  Then the evening with my beautiful men... Tomorrow I will post about my trip to farmer's market, and a list of recommendations for music, literature, and other artistic things... Have a fantastic weekend!!!

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