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December 2008
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March 2009

February 2009

When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego

168 Florida Violet
D.H. Lawrence

When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,
and when we escape like squirrels turning in the
     cages of our personality
and get into the forests again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don't know ourselves.

Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like
     burnt paper.

Like You

By Roque Dalton (Translated by Jack Hirschman)

Like you I
love love, life, the sweet smell
of things, the sky-
blue landscape of January days.

And my blood boils up
and I laugh through eyes
that have known the buds of tears.
I believe the world is beautiful
and that poetry, like bread, is for everyone.

And that my veins don’t end in me
but in the unanimous blood
of those who struggle for life,
little things,
landscape and bread,
the poetry of everyone.

in the original Spanish

Como Tú 

Por Roque Dalton

Yo como tú
amo el amor,
la vida,
el dulce encanto de las cosas
el paisaje celeste de los días de enero.

También mi sangre bulle
y río por los ojos
que han conocido el brote de las lágrimas.
Creo que el mundo es bello,
que la poesía es como el pan,
de todos.

Y que mis venas no terminan en mí,
sino en la sangre unánime
de los que luchan por la vida,
el amor,
las cosas,
el paisaje y el pan,
la poesía de todos.

Kid-Friendly Casserole

Peeling a potato
Riley helps with dinner

On my recipe card for this is written this note: "Anna loves this - 1994." In fact, every kid in my life (past and present) has seemed to enjoy this. And this is the right time of year for oven-baked food.  This recipe uses local veggies available now at the farmers market: potatoes (we're at the end of the sweet potato season, the very beginning of the white - either works) and cabbage (or another mild, quick-cooking green like spinach or kale could substitute).  

This went well and looked nice with a green salad made with "spicy salad mix" from Mrs. Carlisle at the Saturday market, dolled up with a few sliced, leftover boiled eggs and a splash of vinaigrette. Very nice.

Late-Winter Potato Casserole

2 potatoes per person
about 1/4 as much cabbage as you have potatoes (4 cups chopped potatoes = 1 cup shredded cabbage)
Butter or olive oil
A little milk, buttermilk, yogurt, vegetable broth, or potato water
Grated cheese (optional)


Shred cabbage by slicing it very thinly in pieces no longer than 2 inches or so.  Chop potatoes (peeled or not) and cover with salted water; bring to a boil then lower and cook till tender. While potatoes are boiling, saute cabbage in butter, olive oil or a mix of the two until tender.

Mash potatoes with enough liquid (options listed above) to make them the consistency you would  like them.  Mix in cooked cabbage. Put mixture in lightly oiled or buttered casserole dish.

Cover with grated cheese if desired and place in medium oven (350 degrees) till cheese melts. Or serve without the oven step if you are not using cheese.

Riley contributed one seriously peeled potato.
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Calomondin Marmalade

Calomondin marmalade 2
This is one area in which our region excels: Oranges in Winter. Oh, it is good. Not only are they high in vitamin C which is very handy this time of year, but citrus fruits are little orbs of sunshine on a cold day.

We used some of the littlest orbs - calomondins - to make marmalade this week. Calomondins originated in Asia and are thought to be a hybrid of kumquats and tangerines - but no one seems to know for sure. They have thin, sweet peels like kumquats, and they peel easy and have easily sectioned fruit like tangerines. They are extremely sour, though, which is why most people grow them only as ornamentals.

We bought four little baskets full from the Hendersons at the farmers market on Saturday and turned them into sweet and sour marmalade. The process took about two hours of my time in the kitchen, although the juice had to rest in the fridge overnight midway to develop the pectin.

I am not a fan of jellies, jams, and marmalades generally. But I love the idea of local ones so much that I truly enjoy them when I make them or get them from someone who has.  And they do taste so much more fruity than the kind you buy at the supermarket. This one is my favorite so far - tangy, textured with little bits of tasty peel, and lovely to behold spread on warm toast on a cold morning.


Select four cups of firm fruit, free of blemishes. Remove seeds and slice thinly. Measure fruit and place in saucepan. Add 3/4 cup water to each cup of fruit. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes. Cool, and place in the refrigerator overnight to develop pectin.

The next day, measure the stock, and for each cup of stock add 1 cup sugar. Bring mixture to a boil and continue to boil until candy thermometer reads 220 degrees.  Pour immediately into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.

Home Again

Live Oak

I think it makes a huge difference when you wake in the morning and come out of your house. Whether you believe you are walking into dead geographical location, which is used to get to a destination, or whether you are emerging out into a landscape that is just as much, if not more, alive as you but in a totally different form. And if you go towards it with an open heart and a real watchful reverence, you will be absolutely amazed at what it will reveal to you. And I think that was one of the recognitions of the Celtic imagination: that landscape wasn't just matter, but that it was actually alive. What amazes me about landscape: Landscape recalls you into a mindful mode of stillness, solitude, and silence where you can truly receive time.

John O'Donahue - Irish mystic, writer, teacher (1956-2008)