27 November 2010

Thanksgiving Feast 2010

This is the beginning--

Lula created beautiful tables:

Kids' Table with Oreo Turkeys that they made:

Tony and Mom:
The Feast laid out:

My Dad always finishes his dinner:

And he's a master carver:

Cecily, Tony, and Jared:

The tastiest nugget at the table, baby Lara Eva with her first sweet potatoes:

Hilary and Alexa:

The Snow boys, Kiwanis football:

Taylor and Ingrid, not on Thanksgiving:

For me, this was a perfect day.

26 November 2010

Thanksgiving Feast Leftovers

My favorite day of the year has come and gone.  

As is my wont, I went nuts over the feast and ended up with way too much food and a blown food budget for the next few weeks, so I sat down this morning and made a plan to use everything up, (and also to keep the feast going for a while longer.) 

The thing I miscalculated the most was the stuffing (I have two gallon-sized Ziploc bags full of leftover stuffing) and so need to be extra creative there.  The stuffing was really, really good this year, I thought, with a delicious sour dough crouton (and expensive, because I used good bread), apples, sausage, and parsnips (yum!).  I also bought a good bottle of ruby port for the cranberry sauce, which was terrific and had the most beautiful color I've ever seen, and a bottle of Grand Marnier,  so I need to get busy with those.  I bought seckel pears, persimmons and pomegranates for garnishes and centerpieces, and the pears and persimmons are at their peak of ripeness and need to be used soon.  And, oh yeah, I bought ingredients to make a clementine/jicama salad with queso fresca and pepitas, but ran out of time/energy.  So that's on the menu for next week.

Finally, since I have such bad camera karma, I had to borrow a photo from Chow, which you should be reading anyway, of what I hope my stuffed acorn squashes will look like.

And any thoughts on interesting things to do with Grand Marnier and pomegranates would be lovely.  I also want to hear about what you all ate yesterday, with recipes!

Leftovers Deluxe:

*Stuffing in Acorn Squash and Mushrooms

*Beef Stew w/Port

*More Cranberry/Fig Sauce in Ruby Port

*Persimmon Pudding

*Something with Grand Marnier (suggestions?)

*Apple/Pear/Cranberry Pie (or Galette if I'm feeling lazy, which I probably will be)

*Chicken Breasts Roasted on Stuffing w/Mornay Sauce

*Something with Pomegranates (suggestions?)

*Jicama/Clementine Salad

21 October 2010


One morning I woke up and felt some cramping, and this was different from any other sensation I'd ever had.  I was going to have my first baby.  We lived on 4th Avenue, right off of Geary in the Inner Richmond neighborhood of San Francisco.  In the mornings fog came off the beach and then burned away.  

During my 38 hour labor, I walked the aisles of the corner grocery store, the beach at Ocean Beach, sat in the tub, and went to the hospital twice before I was finally admitted.  Finally, at 10.30 pm, Eva was born, and we were blessed with the most beautiful baby I could imagine.  Today we've been graced with her presence for 20 years.  

Here's a list of some of my favorite qualities about her:

1) She's gorgeous, as you can see--
2) She has a very, very kind heart
3) She's amazing with children
4) She's brilliant, but completely modest in her brilliance
5) She's curious about everything
6) She has great insight and wisdom
7) She has complete integrity of thought, spirit, and conscience
8) She's hilarious
9) She plays the string bass
10) She's got awesome chops in the kitchen

I'm sad I don't get to see her every day now, but so happy she's out in the world doing her thing, and so grateful she's my daughter.

Happy, happy birthday Eva, dear!

25 September 2010


(This image is from this article on the Provo Farmer's Market)

I've been a little (read: a lot) crazy in the past six months.  Today feels like a coming together--all the kids are settled in school, the house is clean, the laundry caught up, and I'm rested and practiced yoga five times this week, which keeps me so much calmer than I've ever been in my whole life.   In addition to calming me down, yoga is keeping my body free of pain--I can't believe how many years I went waking up every morning with sore hips, back and/or shoulders.  

Lula and I had a little date to the Farmer's Market, where, though I promised myself I would be restrained, I spent my entire food budget for the next few days on produce: the prettiest pair of twin stripy aubergines, a bag of perfect peaches, Jonathan apples, peppers, a big, leafy head of cabbage, some tomatoes and zucchini.  Kindra also gave me some sweet yellow tomatoes from her garden, three acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, and some overgrown summer squash with the tough skin (what to do with those?).  We also admired some beautiful hand-made tin jewelery, soaps, and lotions. 
The new calmer, less busy and anxious me is returning to the kitchen a little bit at a time, and renewing my commitment to local, from scratch family cooking to the best of my budget and ability.  So, here are some things I'll be making this week:

*Roasted Acorn Squash/Carrot Soup
*Zucchini Bread
*Sausage Stuffed Peppers
*Eggplant Lasagne
*French Onion Soup (I have to use up my 50 lb. bag of onions)
*Apple Galette
*Spaghetti w/ Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce

15 July 2010


Ingrid can even make this monstrous prom dress look good, especially with the addition of vintage silver heels and by calling it her pink mermaid froth gown.

Ingrid at Viewridge Park in Seattle on her 3rd birthday.  Tonight we'll celebrate her 18th in Seattle--she's a Seattle girl at heart.

Right before we left Magnuson beach on Lake Washington last night, right before Ingrid emerged from the water, she lay down on the pebbles right at the shoreline for what she called a "cold stone massage."  Her eyes were closed and the wake was washing over her and she was, as always, reveling in the sensory input from the world.  Though Ingrid rarely gets from point A to point B very quickly,  I imagine that her journey is much more interesting everyone else's.  

Today she's 18.  Though she's been mature and independent for a long time, this milestone feels huge.  I want to mark it with a list of things I adore about her, and a little bragging.

1)  She notices EVERYTHING.  She can quote any line from any movie she's every scene, or describe the corner of a painting she's viewed only once.  I sometimes use her as my own personal google.

2)  She has the most amusing fashion sense.  On bad days when I don't want to get out of bed, I sometimes motivate myself by thinking that I'll get to see Ingy's outfit.  It may include chemistry goggles, wings, or tiger ears, or kitten heels, a bathing cap or a tiara.  You never know.  I love her fashion writing, too, which you can see at her blog Shaggy Jasmine.

3)  She makes me laugh.  Yesterday on the drive from Boise to Seattle she kept throwing out the most hilarious, incisive comments phrased with a poet's ear.  Did you know she raised a significant amount of money to go on school trips by selling custom written limericks outside of the Creamery, and sometimes door to door?

4)  The girl has guts.  As witnessed by this, and her work at Planned Parenthood, for which she has been vilified by some in our very conservative community.  She's not afraid to speak out and up, and she can usually win over her audience (if not to her point of view, at least they always end up loving her despite her point of view.)

5)  She always knows what she wants.  The famous family story goes like this:  Ingrid refused to wear pants or shorts of any kind as a 2-6 year old.  One time my mom was convinced she could get Ingrid to wear a skort, and purchased a cute pink one with little pink rosebuds.  Ingrid took one glance at it, lifted up the front flap revealing the shorts underneath and said, "These are formen."  Not even Grandma Wendy, her match in stubbornness, could prevail.  Ingy knew, when she heard about Bryn Mawr College at 13 years of age while watching Some Like it Hot, that she wanted to go there for school.  Guess where she's headed this August?

I could go on and on about this fascinating, wonderful creature who I'm lucky enough to call my daughter, but it would be in poor taste, so I'll stop.

Let me just say that Ingy makes my days ever so much better.  

02 July 2010


Maybe it's because she tries so hard to make everyone happy

or because she's so full of ideas, energy, and fun, 

but something about this girl makes me want to do anything to please her.

Like throwing her two full birthday parties, including one with thirty tweens. . . 

or creating a recipe for lettuce wraps for her birthday dinner. . .

and most of all, making these (what were supposed to be completely adorable) slightly creepy toadstool cupcakes.  I don't do crafty crafts or foods,

but anything for my girl.

Happy 12th, Lula Marni!

30 June 2010

Discovery & Some Rhetorical Questions

How have I not known about this blog and it's recipe for bacon ice cream?

Or this recipe, from the same blogger's cookbook, for coconut saffron ice cream featured on David Lebovitz's blog?

And, why does D.L.'s blog make me not want to live in Paris?  

And how excited am I to take 7 teenagers to NY on Saturday (my birthday, so they'd better be nice)?

So, that's me up there with my laptop, and here are the things I'm doing with it right now:

1)  Looking up summer recipes--chicken mango slaw, ice creams, bbq sauce, refreshing beverages.
2) Planning NY itinerary--Fela, fireworks, Evensong at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Dumplings, Coney Island, St. Ann's Warehouse, Yoga to the People and much, much more.
3) Teaching 2010 online at Salt Lake Community College.
4)  Summer tutoring for Lula, Cecy and Mo.
5)  Preparing a show in this space with C for Seattle in July.

I'm always on my laptop.  I love my laptop.  It's a problem.

More later.

17 June 2010

the same, and different

So many things are different this year.
So many things are the same.
Last year, I carried around many more pounds.  Last year I worked less.  Last year was better and worse than this year.  This year, the spring is colder.  This year I do more yoga.  Last year I had all my kids home for the summer.  Same with this year, but the kids are different. Last year, I had never published a book.  Last year I wrote many more blog posts than I have this year so far.  

Something about getting older makes me appreciate the cycles more than I used to, the constancy and the change. 

Here's me, pounds lighter, with a published book, reading from it in Amsterdam:
Last year, I cooked more, and I worked less.  This year I'm cooking differently.  Fewer carbs, fewer sugars, more animal, which goes against what I've always believed about eating healthily and ecologically.  Last year I cooked a lot more pasta.  Here's last summer's pasta:

This year, I have all of these same flowers in my garden, but at this same time last year, the lilies had bloomed, and this year, I'm still waiting for them.  This year Eva's flower arrangements sit on top of a white oval Ikea table, and the wallpaper is torn down, but not replaced.

Last year there was no oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico, though our waters were in danger already.

Here are my eco-inspired poems in Poets for Living Waters.

This year I want to think about different and same, not better and worse.  

Here's to peace in accepting the way things are, not the way I wish they would be.  

Happy New Year in June!

30 May 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

So, I graduated from high school yesterday. Woah. 
I was Co-Salutatorian, and I gave a speech. Here she is: 

            “Hope and future are not in lawns and cultivated fields, not in towns and cities, but in the impervious and quaking swamps.” Henry David Thoreau was very much endeared to a specific kind of beauty—he learned from the East Coast, from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s lush property and from Walden Pond. This quote connects deeply to Walden School Philosophy because at Walden we learn truth from the world around us as well as in books and in the classroom. While Thoreau spent time discovering himself by the famous Walden Pond, Waldenites gain experience from the amazing, rare, and unique ecotope that we’ve created at the school.

            Thoreau is often criticized because he would make bold claims about escaping humanity and embarking on his own, only to take in numerous visitors at his cabin, send his laundry back to his mother, and head to town to spend an evening in the tavern. We named our school after Thoreau’s book in hopes that we could, like Henry David, learn by creating makeshift shelters, foraging for food, and gazing at moose. Anybody associated with Walden can tell you the extent to which we have taken Thoreau’s words to heart—in the spirit of emulating his idealized “impervious and quaking swamp,” we have acquired reptiles, more than a little mud, and sometimes even a pair of waders worn as a fashion statement. Our ecosystem also contains a few decrepit couches, large piles of pseudo-wearable detritus, and many moldy Tupperware containers.

            We operate as something of an ecosystem—after witnessing nature on our many Walkabouts and Moab expeditions, we seem to have done a great job of emulating the organic, symbiotic communities that are present in the mountains and deserts of Utah.  Many say that 80% of Walden’s biomass consists of one species—a certain barefooted, heavily empowered herbivore with certain political views and a fondness for outlandish clothing. Though many students fit this description, I think it’s safe to say that many also defy the stereotype. One such mammal is a friend of mine who has very different political views from me. One issue he is very passionate about is gun control and second amendment rights. About three times a week, we have a conversation that sounds like this:

            “Oh hi, Ingrid! Listen. You know I totally respect your beliefs, but let me tell you about this article I was reading that supports my argument!”

            Then approximately forty-five minutes of lively debate ensue, during which we both learn about the issue and practice what we just learned in class about the rhetorical triangle. The discussion inevitably ends with, “Well Ingrid, I may not share your views, but I just love ya to death. Thanks for talkin’ to me.” And I say, “Well, the feeling is mutual. At least we can agree on that!”—regardless of who fits the Waldenite stereotype, I think the most important thing we have in common is respect and love for each other… at least, while we’re not in the middle of a heated political argument. This little-know biodiversity translates into an amazing education when it is placed on fertile soil.

            Anybody who has experienced the stunning Fiery Furnace hike in Moab has been subjected to the Cryptobiotic Soil video—it is shown mandatorily at the visitor’s center before any hiker may embark. At Walden, this piece of cinematic genius is a classic—though the dialogue is occasionally lackluster and the aesthetics experimental, we all heed the oft-repeated warning that hikers should NOT walk off of the path for fear that the vitally important living soil that is the foundation of the arid ecosystem will be disturbed. Like Cryptobiotic soil, the Walden faculty is an often underappreciated foundation of the school’s ecosystem. Though our teachers may not contain many lichens, mosses, or cyanobacteria, they are a earthy, dedicated, and expert part of Walden and of the lives of the students. Cryptobiotic crust is known for its ability to improve stability of otherwise easily eroded soils, and similarly, I have seen many teachers help the current graduating class with college applications, coaching them through the infamously hectic and draining senior year. My math teachers along the way have had to deal with some real emotional instability on my part, for any long and seemingly incomprehensible equation can sometimes render me teary-eyed and whimpering. The crust also serves the purpose of increasing water infiltration in regions that receive little precipitation, and the teachers have been extremely gracious when it comes to making sure that students have access to and knowledge of every cultural opportunity in Utah. I will never forget afternoons spent this fall in Park City watching documentaries with Bev, or going to physics lectures in the Marriot Center (with such speakers as Neil Tyson and Brian Greene), or that amazing field trip we took during my sophomore year to see Michelle Obama speak in Salt Lake City. And, of course, the faculty is never hesitant to lead us halfway around the world if that is what it takes to quench our cultural thirst. This metaphor, however, is somewhat weak because the Walden teachers are significantly more resilient than soil—a simple footprint is enough to destroy a patch of cryptobiotic crust, whereas I’ve seen the teachers weather the literal and figurative elements many times.

             Teachers, in case you are ever discouraged or have moments where you believe that your tireless work has been in vain, I would like you to know that you have made an enormous difference in my life. I came to this school feeling discouraged about and intimidated by my own education, feeling like I had no future and no talent, and I graduate today, having been treated and taught as an individual, which has given me the understanding that even frightening subjects can be my friends. You have instilled in this class an enormous and insatiable intellectual curiosity, and I cannot thank you enough for the education you’ve given me. In addition, I believe that there are students whose lives you have not only changed, but literally saved. Watching your tireless dedication to service has inspired many students to follow in your path—I cannot tell you how many of my peers have told me that they want to become teachers because of how much they respect and admire you. Your passion for your subject areas has shown us the value of pursuing our own passions. Thank you.

            The Walden School was founded with Thoreau’s ideas and journeys in mind, and has evolved into a strange and lovely ecosystem. This week, Walden took a group of students to Capital Reef. Standing at the top of a cliff with my classmates and teachers, I knew exactly what Thoreau was talking about when he noted that hope and future could be found in the wild swamps rather than the manicured lawns—I saw hope and future reflected in the wild, untamed beauty of the sagebrush and the boulders, but I also witnessed it in the wild, untamed beauty of my fellow Waldenites. Ecosystems in their natural state function in a seemingly chaotic, but in fact perfectly balanced manner. As you cultivate your minds, don’t neglect your inner wilderness—our world could really use the symbiosis that the uncivilized wilderness seems to have perfected. Congratulations to the class of 2010, today is your day! 

29 March 2010

funeral potatoes

Yesterday in Relief Society, Sister B. got up to thank everyone for helping out with the four funerals we've had in the past seven weeks in our ward.

I've been so disheartened lately by the hateful rhetoric and irreconcilable differences heightened by the healthcare reform process, and even uncomfortable at church thinking about how I might be worshipping next to someone who thinks I'm a communist or a baby-killer because of my political views, so when Sister B. said that, I felt the balm of creamed soup come over my soul. After all, no matter what our political views, when asked to bring potatoes to a funeral, we all combine two cans of cream of chicken soup, one pint of sour cream, 1/2 bunch of scallions, and 2 c. of cheddar cheese with a bag of frozen shredded potatoes and bake at 350 in a 9x13 dish. At least that's what I've been doing since I moved to Utah seven years ago. (Although some of us choose to top with crushed cornflakes or potato chips and some of us don't). For a moment I melted, became molten inside, as Scarlett Lindeman described funeral potatoes in this beautifully written article.

This can't be a bad thing, to come together in this way, even with processed, industrial food, to support each other in our trials. And though I've had my moments of alienation in the past twenty-plus years as a sister, this communal spirit keeps me in the fold year in and year out.

p.s.--photo of molten funeral potatoes stolen from this website.

p.p.s.--are funeral potatoes served in any other churches, for instance, midwestern churches, where they also serve a lot of jello?

16 March 2010

the edge of spring

Yesterday two students in my cooking class requested that we learn to poach eggs, which inspired a trip to Clifford Family Farms for fresh eggs.

Driving south from the school towards the farm, the eastern mountains were jagging up from clouds and mist and edges of sunlight were just glowing around the peaks.  

It was very happy.

On the way back from the farm Timpanogas was in full sunlight, really the most beautiful thing I remember seeing.  I love this time of seasonal transition--all the anticipation and first moments of sandals (three of my students wore them yesterday), or arugula, spring dresses or asparagus.

And the eggs?  We poached them.

Cali was scared to eat them.  "They're slimy,"  she said.

"Not slimy,"  I said, "silky.  Eat the yolk with your hash brown."

She did.  She and Katy split one, said they liked it.  Amanda is still processing her first poached egg.  "I'm not sure what to say yet.  It was a different taste for me."  

Megan and Mackenzie didn't taste.  Maybe by the end of the week?

I have many stories and recipes to post over at Walden School Cooks and Eats, so stay tuned, and eat a fresh egg (preferably laid by a galavanting chicken) with asparagus soon.

07 March 2010


For the past ten years I've been moving towards doing more with writing and cooking.  I have several projects going now, but the most tangible and imminent work comes from my teaching job.  I'm working on a really good curriculum that integrates language and culinary arts, and finally, after three years, feel I'm on the right track.  This project is far from done, but if you're interested in seeing what my young students are learning  and writing about in my "Locavore Eating and Foraging" class, beginning March 22nd or in my "Cooking Around the World" class, an intensive cooking class learning from a variety of cuisines, check out our new blog. The blog is in beginning phases, but will hopefully grow quickly, and will chronicle the growth of this curriculum.  I'm posting some writing from last semester, which wasn't a cooking class, but we did have several food experiences to draw from in our writing assignments, including two outings to the Amano Chocolate Factory and a cheese tasting day.   

Next week, so far, we're doing crepes, pots de creme, spinach crepes mornay, apple galette, japanese noodles and tamales.  Any more suggestions for fun, basic recipes?  Anyone want to teach a dish?  Speak to my students?  Host a tasting at their fabulous local restaurant (I'm talking to you Rooster, Pizzeria 712, and Communal)?

My ideal language arts classroom would be a kitchen.  Class would meet every morning after breakfast in a comfortable sunny nook.  We would read, write, cook, clean up and end with lunch. 

28 February 2010

more faith, less hope: an apology and a sermon from brother revell

Every day I have between 4 and 6 hours of good energy--enough to do some dishes, fold some laundry, teach some classes, and then collapse on the couch.  A few hours later, I can sometimes muster 2 to 3 hours more of low energy to help kids with homework, make a simple dinner, read stories, and put kids to bed.  Sometimes, thanks to a laptop I can use in bed or on the couch, I write some things and send them to publishers.  Sometimes, if I budget well, I can go to a party or take a child shopping for a birthday present.  The bard says how I too often feel here, as if he had already read the Elizabethan DSM-IV:

When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes, 
   I all alone beweep my outcast state, 
And trouble deaf Heaven with my bootless cries, 
   And look upon myself, and curse my fate, 
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, 
   Featur'd like him, like him with friends possess'd, 
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope, 
   With what I most enjoy contented least: 

I've been under this energy constraint for the past five years, and sporadically before that for my whole life, when I've had episodes of depression.  It's held me back from doing things I want to, and know I can, do, kept me from consistently putting in the hours required to do everything I'd like.  Every day I hope it will change.  I plan on things changing in the future while feeling frustrated with the present.  Today I want to assess the damage that too much hope has done to my life, to my relationships with my children, my poems, and my world, and to make a shift from hopefulness to faithfulness.

A few years ago, in poetry workshop with the amazing poet and teacher Donald Revell, he taught us that we should have more faith and less hope in our poems.  His reasoning goes like this:  you can't write poems hoping that someone else will love them, or that they'll win a prize or adulation because you have no control over the way other people respond to you or your loved ones, and because the reward of external approbation is never big enough make it worth spending time doing things you don't love.  You can write poems that you love and send them out in the world with your faith.  Some misunderstood poets, like Emily Dickinson, have eventually become better understood. I love Dickinson because she loved her poems so much, and wrote them believing (as opposed to hoping) that others would love them, too.  And they did.  Eventually.  After she was dead.  And that's because she wrote poems she loved.  Which doesn't ever guarantee that someone else will love them.  Only that their author loves them.  Which is enough.  Should be enough.  And because her poems didn't receive love until she was buried in her beloved earth.  Dickinson says:

This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,-- 
The simple news that Nature told, 
With tender majesty. 
Her message is committed 
To hands I cannot see; 
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me! 

(I love how much Dickinson loved the world.  Loving the world makes good poems.)

During Don's lesson, I had a major parenting epiphany.  This statement about hope and faith holds true for children as well as poems.  I realized then that I had not been displaying a full acceptance of my children.  Instead of reveling in their unique presence, I spent too much time correcting, hoping for change and improvement.  This was a huge mistake that robbed me and them of the full measure of love and joy we could have had then.  Here's apology number one: To my children, especially the oldest two, for not backing you with full faith earlier in your lives.  

Apology number two:  I'm sorry world.  I haven't loved you enough.  I have wished you to be different, not lived in you enough.  I want to change.  Here's what Brother Revell says about the world in his poem "My Mojave":
A perfect circle falls Onto white imperfections. (Consider the black road, How it seems white the entire Length of a sunshine day.)  Or I could say Shadows and mirage Compensate the world,  Completing its changes With no change.
Mormon doctrine, the one I was raised with from the day of my birth, has (what seems to me in my fuzzy understanding of Western Christina Traditions) a less dualistic view of heaven and earth, body and spirit, than many Christian traditions.  The earth and our bodies are not so much fallen states as they are stops on a journey.  Every Mormon knows this scripture by heart from the second book of Nephi:  Adam fell that men [and women] might be.  Men [and women] are that they might have joy.  And here's what what we sing as small children:

Whenever I hear the song of a bird,
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face,
Or the wind as it rushes by, 
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by a lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world,
Heavenly Father created for me.

Children, world, poems, Brother Revell says:

I'm not needed
Like wings in a storm,  
And God is the storm.   
But I need you.  
I love you better and better, live in you more and more.

24 February 2010


My friend Courtney from Seattle (now Portland) who used to sing with Seattle Experimental Opera sent me a message on Sunday night to see if I wanted to get together while she was in town and meet her good friends, Rachel and David, who are starting the magazine Edible Wasatch in our lovely Deseret.  

Do I want to meet some folks trying to promote more local food in Utah?  Heck yeah.  

So we had dinner at Rooster, which they kindly kept open late for us, and had wonderful conversation about food, photos, music, Utah, etc., etc.  And I got to see Courtney after more than ten years, who has always been one of the coolest, smartest, foodiest people I know(plus she looks like a beautiful Modigliani, wears sandalwood oil and excellent jewelry and clothes).

It was the perfect happy antidote to this cold grey end of season.

23 February 2010

cardiothoracic & publicity shot

A new poem in Free Verse.  Don't be too grossed out.  I sometimes write poems about pretty things, though I happen to think that veins and needles and organs are really beautiful.  After finishing two books about trees and flowers, I just completed a little chapbook about surgery, diagnosis, doctors, patients and the weirdness of healing/treating/ministering.

My student Caitlin, a talented photographer, took some photos of me yesterday for my book cover.  Here's one of them.  I think it's the coolest one, but not the one I'll use for the book.  My students liked the ones where I looked happy the best.


10 February 2010

Super Pressed Tofu

Does anyone know where to procure this stuff in the Provo area?  Bittman claims it will obliterate your need for non-industrially raised white chicken meat, which we never buy because we would need a second mortgage on our house to fit it into our budget.  I'm loving tofu right now, and had the best tofu of my life at Rooster last night.  (Andy and Simy:  please put these on your menu permanently).  

We ate our fantastic tofu with shitake chicken, ginger/peanut/spinach dumplings, and Thai hot wings, with La Donna Smith, an improviser extraordinaire from Birmingham and an appreciative eater.  Seems like all of the experimental composers/improvisers, etc. that Christian hosts in Provo really appreciate the gustatory pleasures of our town.  I don't know if they're just being gracious, or if the food is really good around here these days.  It's definitely better than when we first moved here seven years ago.  It could also be that these artists, who were marginalized for at least half of their lives and many of whom still exist on what I imagine to be pretty slim margins despite attaining international renown in their fields, still appreciate a good meal.

28 January 2010

Locust Salon Chilli

I have a feeling I've written and posted this recipe before.  Have I?  We had a Salon on Friday night, and I got several requests for this recipe, though Christian's beef and black-eyed pea chilli got eaten more quickly, and seemed more popular.  Not that it was a competition or anything.

I really wish I had a camera and more skills in the photography department.  Words will have to do for now.

The Locust Salon Vegetable Melange Chilli

adapted from/inspired by The Silver Palate New Basics Cookbook’s Vegetarian Chilli recipe

serves at least 20 people (we serve it over rice)


1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil

2 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped

1 head garlic, peeled and minced

1 large bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

2 T. dried oregano

½ c. fresh basil

¼ c. cocoa powder

1-2 T. chilli powder

1 T. cumin

1 T. fennel seeds

3 squirts (or less) or sriracha (if you don’t want it spicy, leave it out—go slow and add one squirt at a time so as not crank the heat up too high for your taste)

8 oz. brown or white mushrooms, cut in half

2 sweet red peppers, cut into uniformly sized chunks

3 zucchini, cut into 3-inch chunks

3 white, yellow or red potatoes in 3-inch chunks (skins on)

1 eggplant, in 3-inch chunks

1 c. sweet frozen corn

2 16 oz. cans each of black beans, garbanzo beans, and red beans, drained and rinsed

2 32 oz. cans of whole tomatoes with juice

2 c. water

½ c. polenta

fresh lemon to taste

salt to taste


1)   Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium low until translucent.  Turn up the heat a bit and add parsley, basil and dried herbs and spices, then cocoa powder.  When everything has roasted a bit, add vegetables one type at a time and soften them slightly.

2)   Add tomatoes and water, then beans.

3)   Simmer for about 20 minutes until vegetables are barely tender, and then add corn and polenta.

4)   Simmer for about 15 minutes more, until polenta and vegetables are at desired tenderness.

5)   Add salt, sriracha (if desired) and a few squirts of lemon until the chilli meets your desired level of spiciness, savory-ness, and brightness.