Archive | Food Matters

Grace and Taxes

Today I spent hours on the phone with the IRS while in desperate need of a super-rare hamburger—and, yes, that’s a euphemism for my period and the attendant horrible no-good cramps. I’m not sure why I bother to euphemize  menstruation-related matters anymore, and, yes, pretend “euphemize” is a word BECAUSE IT BLOODY WELL SHOULD BE.

See what I did there?

Well. The agent was beautifully human with my financially disordered self, and after we arrived at an arrangement that drew less blood than I’d feared, I had an impromptu americano with a friend in the pretty late-afternoon sun. Now I’m putting together a midweek cod-potato-kale casserole to roast in the cast-iron. Permakitten is weaving between my legs mewing companionably and we’re both watching the sun set from my kitchen window, apricot and rose and indigo, deeper and deeper indigo. I’m wearing a velvet robe for the first time this fall and considering a glass of wine and it’s dawning on me: This is middle-age, isn’t it? Equally harrowing and cozy, with the good grace to register all graces, big and small.
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Ahoy Maties Cod-Kale-Potato Cast-Iron Casserole.
(I made up this recipe so I guess it’s my prerogative to give it a goofy title.)
Very thinly slice potatoes and toss with thyme, sea salt, olive oil. Arrange on cast iron pan, and roast for 30 min at 425 F. Meanwhile pull cod out of fridge so it comes to room temperature and prep with salt, pepper, herbs. (Tonight I liked chopped parsley and thyme.) Pull out cast iron and top potatoes with a layer of thinly chopped kale tossed with olive oil and lemon and then layer cod filets on top of that. Roast approximately 12 min, let cool for another 5, and voila! Serve with wine, hot sauce, afghans.

Mercury Retrogrades, So Do We

Mercury went retrograde today, and immediately I went off-plan. All set for a quiet night with a fillet of trout and a certain permakitten, I was invited last-minute to the sumptuous Lilia Ristorante and–well, mama didn’t raise no fool.

As we were mawing mint artichokes, my companion said, “Isn’t Mercury always in retrograde?” and I replied that though technically the planet of modernity (communication, travel, multitasking) only goes retrograde every three months, it happens a lot to force us to unplug. In other words, when it starts moving backward, it’s kairos, or soul time, rather than chronos, or linear time.

The usual caveats apply–namely, back everything up and don’t stay attached to business as usual. Also keep cold hard cash around; banks and digital resources may get especially funked up . Since this retrograde is happening mostly in the sign of Cancer during an eclipse season that’s bopping between Cancer and Capricorn (the mom and dad of the zodiac, respectively), the big issue on the table is protection and nurturing–how do we take care of ourselves and others, how can we do better? I’m not talking “radical self-care,” an eye-roller of a term if ever there were one. I’m talking about investing in the crucial collaborations of our lives–releasing past traumas that block us from being fully present with others, embracing present alliances that can transform us into future champions. No one is pretending this month will be status quo, but so long as you take it slow, its long-term effect should be fabulous. Just remember to–wait for it!–go with the flow.

Mercury retrogrades are brilliant for tuning into the cosmos; schedule a Ruby Intuition session this month!

Of Course I’m Green, I’m Growing*

Photo of me a sloppy second because I ate the salad pasta too quickly to capture it.

You can tell I’m at an impasse with my book because I’m writing to you my cooking and colors have gotten downright baroque, especially while I’m upstate, where the greens are so fresh they’re muddy. Any drive I take entails my pulling off the road to fetch fresh eggs and sun-warmed strawberries from a farmstand, treasures like a chartreuse tee and sky-blue bowl from a yard sale. So, uh, dinner tonight? What I call salad pasta–a bowl of penne and fresh herb pesto topped with peppery greens dressed with horseradish and ginger vinegar and chopped in with mint, chives, parsley, garlic scapes, strawberries (why not?) and, oy vey ist mir, smoked trout. It was pretty good but then again only strong flavors are registering to my still-sinusy sinuses. Ah, and my costume? The lady wore green–a kelly-green shawl K ferried back from his overseas adventure wrapped around a lime sarong from a street fair. As I said: baroque. But that’s the beauty of living and working alone. If you’re lucky, you can tailor to your exact specifications, which matter even when they don’t because attention is love, and love is how we grow. Really, it’s the only way.

*and other lost Erma Bombeck titles.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy