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Archive for the ‘Truth’ Category

no more empty plates

I’ve been away from this blog for a while, which is pretty sad since some of you were hanging out regularly.  To be honest, I originally fell away from it because I was tired and uninspired.  But lately, it’s because I’ve been so busy searching for new inspiration in life!  (Taking eighteen hours of university courses has also been keeping me a tad busy.)  If I’m being honest, I’ve also thought, “is anyone even reading this?? who cares?!”  I mean, the entire reason I set this space up was in hopes of sharing a love for food and life and beautiful things with a group of people that share a love for these things, as well.  Thanks to you few lovely folks who have prodded me to continue; I’ve decided to return! 

Even though I have not been blogging, I’ve definitely been eating.  Lots and lots of roasted chickens and pork butts and other bizarre things like lamb tongue pate.  I’ve also picked up some new knife skills and cooked a dinner with Ron Eyester and Hector Santiago.  I’ve made some new friends, thought seriously about starting an “underground” supper club, dreamed of wood-fired ovens and summer nights filled with good food and fresh air and twinkly lights.  I’ve cooked a few Tuscan porchetta roasts and spent a few weeks cooking for precious and wonderful kids that don’t care so much for lemon or garlic or vegetables or anything that is good and flavorful in my book (you want whhatt??  toast with ketchup??!!).  I’m in the middle of a Lenten fast, and I have spent a lot of time on my knees in prayer, wondering what the heck I am doing with my life.  (I think I may want to do lots of food stuff, like start a farmer’s market with community garden sourced veggies in a poorer side of town, and maybe I want to do some market tours and very informal cooking classes.  I’d also like to be a pastor/theologian/counselor that lives incarnationally half the year and spends the other half traveling the world learning about people and loving them in their brokenness, trying to be an ambassador of God’s great redemptive work.  I do really want to travel the world.  The entire world.  Lots.  I’d like to study art and culture and food and anthropology and how it all works together – how we are at once so wonderfully different but beautifully similar.  All of this travel will help me with my new role as curator or something or other at some museum, where I will study old and beautiful things and hope to educate a community about centuries of artistic expression.   While I’m doing some work on myself, I want to meet others who are feeling overwhelemed or outcast or forgotten, and I want to encourage them that they are absolutely cherished and adored.  I’d like to work with a few refugees and people that are trying to make it here, I want to help them transition to this country, cook for them and learn a few things for myself!  And of course, I want to write about it all.  In the midst of all this, I want to eat.  Everything.  See?  Very busy.)

But I have come back around to this little space in hopes that you friends of mine will join back in and share with me – what you’re cooking and eating and dreaming of and being inspired by.  I’m so happy if you can come to my blog and receive something – but please do speak up!  Let’s share with one another.  As for me, no more empty plates!

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grandmas wordsMy Grandma Cecil had a habit of writing her thoughts down on little pieces of paper.  These little paper gems were tucked away all over her house; in drawers, inside of books, in glass dishes, posted on the giant bulletin board that occupied one of her kitchen walls.  Now that she is gone, and now that I am a grown woman with a lot of questions for her, I cherish each of the few little scraps that I have salvaged as insight into her thoughts, her hopes, her affirmations, her struggles, her wisdom, her encouragement.   I am so thankful for the things that she taught me as a young girl, but these little notes must suffice as answers to my grown up questions.  These notes must suffice as the means to understand who she was, woman to woman.   

Perhaps I also assign great value to these little notes because I am a note taker myself.  I know the weight of the good intentions, the proclaimed mantras, the reminders jotted down on small pieces of paper.  Little notes and index cards abound in my house in all of the same places; between the pages of books, posted to the fridge, in pockets of pants, purses and notebooks.  These little notes are my best attempt at bringing some order out of the chaos of my brain. 

About six months ago I came across the thoughts that I frantically scribbled on a flight from Germany to Los Angeles.  I was contemplating some of the biggest decisions of my life; breaking off an engagement, moving away from my family, free education and apartment by the beach in California, pursuing a very intriguing man that I had just met in Israel… lots of things to think about.  I knew that these could be the absolute best or absolute worst decisions of my life.  For whatever reason, Psalm chapter one forty three, verses five through twelve were my prayer.  Each line was a cry for wisdom – each verse had specific meaning to me personally.  I’ve since broken off that engagement, moved from California and married that intriguing man, and my life is the most beautiful it has ever been.  I have revisited that passage of scripture many, many times.  I know it by heart.  It is my personal liturgy when I am seeking wisdom, comfort or council.

So you can imagine my delight and amazement when I opened the pages of a book and out fell a little card with my Grandma’s distinctive script, recording the very same verse that carries so much meaning and significance to me.  I smiled all the way down to my bones. 

 

I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.  I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.  Answer me quickly, O Lord; my spirit fails.  Do not hide your face from me or I will be like those who go down in the pit.  Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.  Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you.  Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.  For your name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.  In your unfailing love, silence my enemies; destroy all my foes, for I am your servant.  Psalm 143:5-12

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bella roma and meHello Friends – I have missed this little community.  Work, ear infections, Italy and the Beach have kept me away from the computer, but I’m happy to say that I’m back!  I have lots that I want to share about Italy and things that I want to cook and eat this summer, but in the  meantime I offer up this excerpt from the amazing Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert:

“…people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you’re fortunate enough.  But that’s not how happiness works.  Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.  You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel the world looking for it.  You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.  And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.  If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment.  It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.”

Amen and amen.  Thank you Elizabeth Gilbert.

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common sense - more to come“… historically, people have eaten for a great many reasons other than bological necessity.  Food is also about pleasure, about community, about family and spirituality, about our relationship to the natural world, and about expressing our identity.  As long as humans have been taking meals together, eating has been as much about culture as it has about biology.”

– from “In Defense of Food,” by Michael Pollan

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