April 2010

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Do you cook much for yourself?  I don’t.  When I am on my own, my efforts are pretty slapdash, grabbing this and that, and often eating while standing up in the kitchen, as I just did (I’m writing this on Wednesday afternoon), happily consuming two slices of Dave’s Killer Bread with a light smearing of unsalted butter, a giant spoonful of white bean dip (made on Sunday to last the week), a slice of Havarti cheese, and a kiwi.  I guess I’ve never seen the point in making an effort when it is just me.  In contrast, I receive great satisfaction in making food to share with the hubster.  I like the time in the kitchen, the gathering of ingredients, the easy rythm of cooking, like the best jazz.  Then there is the pleasure of sitting down together, chatting happily about whatever strikes us, and having just enough so he can take leftovers for lunch the next day.  Sweet perfection.

Then the book pictured above, The Pleasures of Cooking for One, by Judith Jones, came along and got me wondering.  She’d been married a long time, and when her husband died, she didn’t initially cook for herself, thinking it wasn’t worth doing.  Then, with time, and some encouragement from some of her readers, she decided she would do it and found it an exciting and enjoyable challenge to adapt recipes that serve many into individual servings or those that can be morphed further into new meals over the course of days.  More than that, I think it is about deciding that, as individuals, we are important and merit the preparation of a delicious meal.  We matter.  What we eat matters.

Though Judith and I don’t share all of the same tastes (tongue and organ meats not being among mine), we are both economical shoppers and make every attempt not to waste.  The photo is a perfect example.  I was on my own for dinner (the hubster was working out), and I decided I would really make something for myself rather than my usual slapdash meal (though I did double the recipe so he could have some when he arrived – I love to share).  I looked in the fridge and realized it would have to be the souffle because I had neglected to go to the store that day, and we didn’t have much on hand.   I had eggs, rice milk, a little bit of Appenzeller cheese, and butter lettuce.  The souffle left me with two egg yolks, so I decided to gild the lily and make a hollandaise sauce.  The timing was perfect, too.  I made the souffle batter, put it in the oven, made the hollandaise, washed and dressed the lettuce with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, and had about one minute to spare.  As I sat there on my own, with a crazy bun atop my head, wearing sweats stretched at the knees, I felt kind of special, savoring every bite, even oohing and ahhing, like I was being treated to a delicious meal.  Which, I guess, was true.  I treated myself, because, as they say in the commercials, I’m worth it.  Aren’t we all?  I’d definitely do it again.  Thank you, Judith, for the inspiration and the recipes.

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Light & Sound

Oh friend, understand:

The body
is like the ocean
rich with hidden treasures.

Open your inmost chamber and light its lamp.

Within the body are gardens,
rare flowers, peacocks, the inner music;
within the body a lake of bliss,
on it, the white soul-swans take their joy.

Mirabai

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Hello friends!  We’re back in Hawaii (at least virtually) and a tranquil day on Waimea Bay.  During the winter, this is literally the center of the Surfing Universe, with waves reaching up to forty feet!

White, very white.

I’m snorkeling in Shark’s Cove.  What a delight to have the undersea world opened up to me.  There were hundreds of beautiful fish!

Though new to the sport, the hubster is very serious about snorkeling.

Despite the simplistic nature of snorkeling, it made us super hungry.  Something about being tossed around by the sea, I suppose.  These shrimp shacks line the north coast along the Windward Shore, near where the shrimp is harvested.  This particular shack was run by three adorable local teens who were equally comfortable speaking Japanese or English, very cool.  We had finger licking good garlic butter and spicy garlic butter shrimp, served with rice, of course.  Double yum.

The view from La’ie point.  The large hole in the island was caused by a tsunami literally punching through it in 1946.  Thankfully we missed out on activity of this variety.

We still got to see some pretty serious waves and beautiful blue water.

Happy haolies.

Kahana Bay

Driving to Yokohama Bay on the Waianaie coast.

More snorkeling!

Yokohama Bay – the end of the road.  Oh what an end…

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I love a good surprise of a film.  When we got this one in the mail we, quite frankly, were a little worried.  A killer with Alzheimer’s?  This can’t be good.  Why did I even put it in the queue?  Besides, we’d been on a Mad Men Season Three spree (one more DVD to go!) and weren’t terribly keen on breaking up the flow, but, reluctant as we were, we did, and boy were we ever glad.  This is a fantastic film.

The story follows two men on very different sides of the law.  One, a cop who cannot let go of a particular case involving a young girl, and the other, a professional hit man.  Each man is damaged and worn in his own way.  Vincke (the police officer) is obsessed by work and a great loss, and Ledda by the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and a past he thought he left behind.  The two men’s lives intersect when they both find themselves working on the same case.  Vincke wants to bring the criminals to justice, while Ledda prefers them dead.

It is a race to the finish, as Ledda, with a clear lead over the police, leaves them clues and calls them out on their slowness.  It is an expertly written and well acted story.  Full of moral ambiguity, surprises, twists, and odd bits of humor, this film was a worthy pause in the Mad Men frenzy.

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Goodness is the only investment that never fails.

Today is Earth Day.  Be good to yourself and the Earth.  You can’t go wrong.

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