Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brook Trout.

Even in the clearest water, things remain hidden. Safe. Within the shadows, there lies cloistered secrets, secure within the play of light. Eyes strain to see through the layers of shallow depth, and are assured that there is more there. Look. See...

...the waters veil faces within. "The waters open," I am told. "Do you see?"

It is like those Magic Eye 3D books,The Fisherman says; once you gain your eyes, you'll be seeing trout everywhere. His eyes grin with excitement. I strain, trying to see as this man does, and then feel my muscles relax as I stare into mysteries; and, hypnotized by movement, I see. The waters open. For a moment, a wrinkle in time, the water's dappleing softens into glassy sheets -- there they are, holding deep in the pooling calm, alongside the rapids' threatening rush. Coexistent worlds. 

Fly-fishing is beautiful, and I am captivated. I remain entanced by the water's whispering speech, and its mysteries I have yet to translate.

A 5 mile hike up narrow stoney paths, switchbacking past high spring wildflowers' aphrodisiac offerings to hummingbirds' courting, led to a high mountain lake; but, more importantly, led to a lake birthing a stream.

The Fisherman said that the lake trout would be smaller than the stream trout. Plus, we hadn't waders with us to reach their, these small ones', rises. Eyes, accute to trout-y places, had spied just the spot on the way up. And, to here retreat was made.

Oh yes, this was perfectly trouty. Two big ones were spied holding in the middle deep, and one small one rose on the calm side of rushing, on the percolating edge. I listened intently, as a mind awake in familiar knowledge and rekindled passion, worked logic, strategizing what bug to tie. What would they rise for? What would be worth the risk for them? Like a chess-player crafting his next move in defeating his pescetary opponent, tactics were developed and enacted. Hands steeped in guiding wisdom tied graceful knots in tippet, and an ant was tied as the chosen bug.

I fished when I was growing up, until I reached the age where a state liscence was required; and by then, I had had enough of being snubbed by fish. I theorized that my scent was abhorrent to the fish, and that was the reason they repeatedly chose my sister's bait over mine -- standing feet away...they chose her, again and again. Farther away? Then, we would change spots. Her's must be the special spot. That was it. Nope. They followed her, along with her special secret. I remember catching a tire and a snapping turtle. I do admit the snapping turtle was a pretty 'nify catch; although, I think that after the rather scarring ordeal of freeing those tightly clenched jaws, my dad enacted the rule that if we hooked it, we must unhook it as well. That was the deal.

I have decided that fly-fishing might be my thing: there are few tires above 10,000 ft., and I am assured by the Colorado Division of Wildlife , that turtles will only snap at me from lower elevations. Therefore, I am called Further Up.

The Fisherman told about the Brook Trout's invasion and the Cutthroat's fight to regain its territory. Colorado streams needed to be cleansed of these "Brookies," their population kept in control to make room for the Natives. That meant, we could have a large dinner!

Brook Trout are beautiful creatures. Under the water's guise, glimpses of orange can be seen below their brown bodies - animated stones upon a base of red algae and streamweed. These faint flashes of color are their tell to a developing fisherman's eyes such as mine. Red dots line their middle, neatly arranged by a Creator's hand.

At the first catch, I learned more. "The jaw, do you see it?", asked The Fisherman. It was large in proportion to the body. This meant that these fish were stunted, were hungry, and had been starving nutritionally. I felt a strange sense of camaraderie with this being in The Fisherman's hands. It was hungry, yet could not eat. It's body lived, but not fully. It's organs and frame were not given what they needed and demanded to grow. As it suckled in dry breaths to its wet lungs, I felt pity. I am a firm believer that creatures have feelings, emotions -- thoughts, even. And, as its eyes darted, fading with breath, I could not help but read from its gaze apologies for the body it presented -- it was not its fault, its lack of meat and size...its body was betrayed by the food presented.

The Fisherman caught Brookies, put them all into a plastic bag, and carried them down and off the mountain and home. There is something supremely satisfying about eating fish caught merely hours earlier in the day, with full knowledge that it had a free life, a wild life, up until the very end; and that its end was humane, fleeting, and not in vain. Its life was not a waste, and its being would now enter into another life, continuing on in the cycle.

~ Sautéed Brook Trout in grapeseed oil with garlic scapes ~

Romaine lettuce
Buckwheat groats
Flaxseed oil
Apple cider vinegar
Sea salt
Cracked pepper

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Mountain Joy.

I think that the first image of Romance I can remember, was that scene in Lady and the Tramp, where, lit by candlelight upon a red-checkered table cloth, they slurpily share a bowl of spaghetti. They begin eating, chewing in time with distant accordion chords. A noodle is drawn, orchestrated by Cupid that it should be shared, and young canine eyes widen as they realize the god of love's trick. Noses touch; drawn to a kiss, and now left hanging by a this is love. I remember my parents had a porcelain statue of these dining canine lovers, bought during their honeymoon at Disneyland, which stood as a testament to their own shared love. I have a sneaking fear that either my sister or I broke it, but now I cannot remember its fate.

I haven't had spaghetti since I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and I miss twirling the angel hairs around my fork into a tightly spun nest, gracefully eaten in the polite manner; and, I miss the childish method of finishing up a bite with a mischievously messy flourish, ornamenting cheeks in spiraling sauce.

A coworker of mine brought in a mason jar of herbs to my desk for me at the beginning of the week. They kept fresh in their vase of water, and I lamented taking them home to be used; for, I reveled in the mingling scent of mint, sage, and oregano, which tinctured my cubicle's air.

I finally decided to take a sprig of oregano home. Wrapping its end in wet paper-towels, I fastened these drink-givers tight with a rubber band, and my oregano made the bus-bound journey home safely.

Oregano is really impressive. Its small teardrop leaves belie the nutritional wealth in their possession. I read Oregano's entry in The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, and learned that its name, "is derived from the Greek word oros (mountain) and ganos (joy)" (Murray, 500). These earthy herbs of the mountains, traditionally crowned Greek and Roman newlyweds, bequeathing their essence to the hoped joy of the union.

Oregano's oil, has powerful antimicrobial properties, and is cited in one USDA study, as having the highest antioxidant activity of any food tested -- "oregano had forty-two times as much antioxidant activity of apples, thirty times as much as potatoes, twelve times as much as blueberries" (Murray, 501).

That's an impressive résumé, eh?!

I read about Weekend Herb Blogging, on Cook Almost Anything, and I decided to retire some oregano from desk to tummy, as a contribution to this weeks posts, hosted by Mele Cotte.

Oregano speaks Italian to me, and its seductive accent is what got me started thinking about pasta and candles and tablecloths and dogs in love. Pasta! I must fashion pasta out of something...some vegetable...

I took a carrot peeler to zuchinni, and voilà! Twistable "pasta," perfect for a hot summer evening's sup.

Remembering a porcelain picture of love, I twisted and twirled the threads before me...finding no one on the other end...

~ Zucchini Noodle Salad ~

Peeled zucchini noodles
Sautéed garlic scapes & oregano
Romaine lettuce
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Of burgers and watermelon.

I always notice a man's hands. They tell of his chosen career and also what occupies his hours after. Are there oil and grease trailings outlining the nails? Grass-green stains? Are they a rough display of the care he takes with those he loves?

I promise, I won't get too Freudian, but writing makes one work through things in one's mind. Often, things unstated, consciously unthought, but still effortlessly there. The earliest memory of my Dad, are his hands. His younger face now recalled only through yellow aged photographs held within disarrayed album pages in my parents basement; but, his hands are vivid. Every time I see them, even after years, they are the same. Aged, perhaps, but they are still the Papa Hands I remember. The hands that are crevassed with character, telling of hard work done.

The most severe of these lines come from my family's life on a farm. And, this bucolic existence was spawned, partly, of my own wishes; a joint conspiracy between my mother, sister, and I. My childhood craving for horses, required much work, too much work, of one who did not think their road-apples smelled like heaven and swooned when walking into a stable. Papa's hands dug holes for fence posts, sledge-hammered concrete barn floors because they "hurt the horses' hooves", planted and tended a football field sized garden, tenderly enticed beds of hostas to hover beneath our row of mighty pines (one of which fell during a summer thunderstorm, cracking our banana-yellow canoe in half -- the hostas were fine), and pounded hundreds of t-posts into the ground. This last activity lingers still, tingling and numbing reminders through his arms.

His hands have typed me thousands of wisdomed words which have gotten me through the past few years. Words of understanding...words of mutal melancholy...

Back to Freud.

I have recently noticed that I always look at a man's hands; it's their first impression on me. Thus, I wonder, is this because of my love and child-like admiration of my father's hands? After all, little girls learn what to expect from men and what to look for and look out for, from their fathers, do they not? I'm not a John Mayer fan, but one of his songs has lyrics I've always thought spoke truth: "Fathers be good to your daughters, daughters will love like you do." I have indeed learned truth from my father's hands...from their faithful furrows and silent deeds.

It really is an unfair measurement, this hand-fettish, and I sometimes feel guilty for my imposition of this standard upon these unsuspecting males. One can't help what hands one has been given. But I always notice. Some women notice backs, or shoulders, or eyes or smiles. I notice hands. Some hands are fleshy and soft -- unused. Some show proof of pampering and lotioning at levels I do not find acceptable in the fairer sex, let alone the, hmm, what would they be? Darker? That does not matter. I am easily distracted.

Some, however, speak of work and dirt and grace; of trials through darkness, lonely paths, and things reasoned and accomplished. Beliefs hold fast in the lines, and these are lines that can can be trusted, they will hold. These, are lines of learning love and knowing how to...

There is one food that reminds me of my dad, beside Pepsi, but that being a drink, of course, and that food is burgers. He is a master of burger anatomy and construction.

His hands fashion peculiar patties comprised of ingredients most would prefer not to know: orange popcorn salt; Pepsi; Cheerios; Grape Nuts; soy sauce; Worcestershire, cayenne. It was not just beef that was what's for dinner. Often, he wouldn't tell his Secret Mixture. My father's great triumph was once, a particularly picky eater of a cousin, gobbled up the burger set before him without his usual interrogating "what's in this?" Only after the fact did he ask, and was then surprised at himself at what he was then digesting. I remember my father relaying this story with unabashed gleeful gloating and joyful triumph. Victory was his.

I would like to have made a burger today, but right now, that protein would just sit in my stomach, lump-like, as an aggravating reminder that I cannot digest the normalities of existence.

Watermelon though. Simple watermelon always sets well.

Last time my parents visited, my dad arrived toting two very large melons. Watermelons always remind me of him and I'm not sure whether it is that he actually likes them, or just puts up with them because of my mom and I's affinity for their consuption. And, not just a slice; we insist that the entire melon is split four ways and eaten at once, together. "It will just take up too much fridge space," is our excuse, "we must eat it now" is what we say. Utterances of urgent action which needs taken!

So we did, we consumed this duet of melons as a quartet, in two sittings. My father observed that we each ate our quarter differently. I spooned out balls of flesh, leaving the structural integrity likened to that of Swiss cheese. My mother used somewhat the same holey destructional method. My sister forked out large hunks of the red meat and my father also began at the top, whittling away with fork-marks.

Perhaps, watermelons remind me of my dad becuase of the one Halloween he carved one up, pumpkin style. It glowed a red beamed grin into the overwhelmingly orange themed night.

A few years ago, I came across a story about Watermelon's revelatory new use. Viagra-like effects...from watermelon!? How strange and intriguing and factoidal is that? I repeat this story ad nauseum whenever I partake of watermelon in the presence of others; much as for the viewing the obvious tell of embarrasment -- faces flush to match the fruit's blushed flesh.

But really, the watermelon's nutritional content is overwhelming, holding amazing amounts of lycopene, vitamin C and vitamin A. Often though, the poor fruit gets labeled as "just water."

Without my accompanying quartet, I bought a personal sized melon, lest I eat a full-sized to "save room in the fridge." 
Tonight, I eat through a solo, slowly and thoughtfully spooning out melon balls in silence...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Garlic Curlies.

I found myself at the Boulder Farmer's Market this afternoon. It was mid-afternoon, and tender spring greens wearily wilted in the heat. The closing hour drew near, and people walked quickly through the alley of stands; unlike the morning saunterers who are assured a harvest, I, a late one, rightly got the leftovers.

And so I joined in this promenade for produce. I wanted a tomato. Not just any tomato. For, I admit I had an "any tomato" sitting at home. I craved one that smelled like a tomato vine. You know, that smell of humid garden vines freshly picked tomatoes have? They hold the smell in the stubby stems left from picking, long enough to get from the field to my nose. Then later, taking the remaining petiole and removing it from its fruit, releases again this a time-release air-freshener.

This olfactorial orgasm would be my one indulgence of the day, I promised myself. You see, I have a bad habit at Farmer's Markets, at any produce section for that matter: I want to buy everything, every vegetable, fruit, tuber and leaf. I had just been through this frantic gathering in the produce section yesterday, and resultantly, had an overstuffed fridge. I had a tomato. But, I wanted a fresh one! One that fragranced of farm. And, one that came with a caterpillar. Store tomatoes don't come complete with curious critters. This infant lepidoptera's ride, almost into my salad bowl, made my dinner tangible; Nature's manifest promise of transfiguration...

I broke my promise. I bought more than one tomato...

I was seduced by curls. Green curls of garlic. How could I resist these locks? A bucket of what appeared to be curly chives, or some dried underwater sea creature of some kind, sang as sirens, interrupting my tomato seeking. Garlic Curlies?! Oh really now, I must have those! I had past tables of wicker baskets filled with garlic bulbs, chives, leeks, scallions, and scapes. Yes, scapes...the identical thing at which I was looking...intrigued and captivated. Advertised as "scapes," I walked by, unfazed in my tomato seeking delirium; but, Garlic Curlies? Those could not be passed by. I privately confessed my transgression of oath, and picked out a handful of curly garlic scapes for $1.25.

It is strange that the scape, if left growing atop the garlic bulb scenting the daylight, actually stunts the bulb's growth. Farmers thus trim these scapes to stimulate the garlic bulbs to keep growing. Now, why garlic scapes aren't found as regular companions to their bulbs in markets and grocers everywhere; that, is beyond me. Where do all these scapes go? For, there is no lack of garlic bulbs. But, can you remember the last time you saw a garlic scape in a grocery store? Do most farmers hoard these tender tendrils, much preferring their subtlety to that of the earthen cloves?

I sautéed these curlies in olive oil, just as the beguiling sign instructed, and I slowly welcomed soft nuances of garlic...

~ Indulgences ~

Garlic scapes
Red leaf lettuce
Olive oil
Red wine vinegar
Sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dancing to a drink...

I really like blenders. They are almost as cool as sporks. Almost.

I also get really tired of drinking water. Don't get me wrong. I love water. But, I drink so darn much of it, and often I also get tired of tea. My taste-buds plead for something interesting. Something in whose flavors they can dance, and whose tune can be requested repeatedly.

Juicing ginger is hard on my juicer. It has a funny little history, that juicer. It was given to me by a friend who was recovering his memories, from a vacation they did not choose to take; a life of thoughts, swept away in a rush of a second, were now being ferried home to harbor safely in a mind of resurrected life. And, he chose to make me the recipient of a new memory, strangely appropriate in its unsettling familiarity.

This juicer was adopted in Basalt, CO, when my friend received it from a woman. This woman had recently been divorced, cut her hair short, and had decided that she would go the other way in her love life...attraction pulled her the opposite direction, and this time to her same sex. The juicer was about to be orphaned as an extraneous extra, unwanted baggage in this search for identity, self, and new love.

Thus, it came to me, at a time when I had just been divorced myself, and was contemplating cutting the long-hair, my "one beauty," people said, the waist length golden-gilded tresses which men always loved. What did I care now, what men thought? Or what men liked? I would get rid of attraction. A statement, I thought, this hair-cut would be. A testament to change and to trying -- to trying again. I would, I thought, begin my journey to nun-hood. Not the official Catholic-vow-taking kind, mind you; rather, a sect all my own. I would be devoted to seeking out what beauty I could, through this process of healing and searching for joy and grace; yet still as I was reeling in heartbroken pain.

And so, I was offered this Juicer -- brown with age and stained with beet juice, and its lid missing one of the clips to lock it down, thus requiring the owner to keep one hand holding it down, while at the same time feeding the whirling blade fodder, and holding the catching container. This juicer required feminine multitasking at its finest. Unbeknownst at the time, this offering was part of discovering joy.

When memories of this juicer's provocative past brimmed to mind, my friend quickly spoke the addendum, "Oh, bother...bother! I was not implying or suggesting any such actions be taken down your own path!"

Oh no indeed.

But, back to juicing ginger. That root, makes the old juicer grind and grown under the spicy sinews. When last I performed this feat, the old engine smelled of the work it was doing, letting off a little stench and steam in complaint. I felt guilty.

Then, I discovered that one can blend the peeled ginger root and water up in a blender, and then pour this concoction through a tea strainer, garnering much the same results. And, this method produces no motoring protestations!

My current fascination as of late has been captured by apple cider vinegar. Vinegar, really, of any kind. But apple cider vinegar and ginger? That, I thought, would send my mouth waltzing, its flavored tune danced through, and requested again...

~ A Drink of Interest ~

Ginger root
Apple cider vinegar
Agave nectar

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cabbage Juice.

Cabbage seems to me like it has gotten a bad reputation in the vegetable kingdom. Its cruciferous cousins, broccoli and cauliflower, have established themselves as powerhouse foods; especially the former, what with its tree-like semblance and all. What child doesn't want to reign as Giant King, eating a conjured forest of arbored subjects?

But cabbage. Ah, what to do with cabbage. It seems tolerated when smothered with dressing in slaw, pickled atop a sausage, or steamed to death in accompaniment of corned beef. Simply cabbage though, is unappreciated. I wonder if it is the association of potatoes and cabbage as Poor Man's Food; even, starving man's food. "No," we say, liking to inflate our status, thinking ourselves better off than we are. We can do better than cabbage.

For my gut though, I can't do better than cabbage. Cabbage juice, specifically. Its healing property lies in its extremely high glutamine content, an amino acid that fuels the cells that line the digestive track, especially the small intestine.

I am beginning to view my body as an experiment; an experiment which, more oft than not, results in disappointing returns. If I put this in, what will happen? Chew, swallow, wait...

Juicing a head of cabbage is messy business. And, a surprisingly little amount of juice comes out of that Cranium Cruciferae. A whole head only yielded about 16 oz. of juice. I drank half while I cut strawberries and washed blueberries, packaging them into used honey jars, ready to grab in the morning. I made a salad for the morrow's lunch, and made sure to set out the rice cakes I forgot to pack today -- "good binders," my mom says.

I drank of this harvested green juice while I readied dinner. Potatoes also are reported to be good gut food. This also, motherly advice. Thus, this afternoon at the market, I picked three little red potatoes.

I ate them, these Red Jacketed Potatoes, as sustenance for my journey...

~ Red Jacket Salad ~

Red potatoes
Red lead lettuce
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Sea salt
Cracked pepper

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Apothecary.

A damp day, dreary only in the weather, and this even, this comforting blanket of grey, was wrapped over the day, pleased to cover the haughty sun, reminding that days of darkness are necessary, needed, and joyful.

"The Apothecary", was written on The Day's List. This List, unfortunately, never transitioned to paper form; thus, the satisfaction of crossing things off was denied. On my daily lists, I usually write down mundane things to do, things which really go unsaid as part of daily life. Yet, if one writes "brush teeth" on a list, by 7:00 a.m. one has already crossed one thing off one's list! Magical! I was in search of Gentian Root. A pharmacy or good old Walgreens would not be able to fill this prespcription, written in purple pen, by my Naturopath. I must go to The Apothecary's. Sounds mystical, no?

As I approached the large bay window which glowed greetings to my sloppy feet, I saw through streaked glass, jars of dried goji berries, tea leaves, spices, and a display of charcoal tablets that oddly reminded me of the old Necco Wafers my dad holds a fondness for. Opening, I entered, as the little bell on the top of the door announced my arrival. Worldly scents flooded into my nostrils, breathing of health, and I closed the door quickly to let none of this precious world escape.

I walked to the apothecary's counter, "Gentian Root, please" I said. "Oh!", said this herbalist, a woman with tightly curled dark hair wearing a soft green sweater, "I'm starting to salivate just at its mention." Salivate? I had been told this stuff was bitter, horrid in smell, and I would only be able to swallow down a few tablespoons before my senses said "no more." This herb, Gentian, also known as Bitterroot, is used in Swedish Bitters, and is supposed to stimulate appetite -- my appetite, specifically.

Just a sip of this stuff would get my stomach juices ready...anxious, even, for food.

Gentian's property though, is drying, and would be nicely tempered by Marshmallow Root Tea's moisture, sipped throughout the day. Yes, both please....

Carefully, 2 oz. of each were measured and bagged in brown paper. As I purchased, the apothecary asked, "would you like a bag for these?" My hesitation was broken by herself answering, "Yes, of course you do! Bags make one feel as if one has done something Important. And, you are doing something Important."

Yes, yes I am...

Later that day, on a rainy June night, I again carefully measured this root: 1 Tbs. per 2 cups of water...decocted for 20 minutes. I stirred and watched and felt saliva brewing as the bitter's
power worked even in phantom tastes.

Also on The List, was finding millet. Into my morning head had popped the perfect idea for a salad for dinner that night and I wanted millet. In a small seed store, where I have seen such eccentric grains before, I dug amid dusty bags and found one! My excitement was quickly smothered by the millet bag's neighbors: barley and wheat. That's ok, I told myself, separate bags. Yet, as my companion in quests on The List searched for quinoa flakes, apprehension arose in my gut. This was not safe, it whispered. My gut is always aprehensive, about anything. I appeased the doubt with promises to wash the grains thoroughly...twice..... Surely, this would do. A cleansing baptsim, of sorts.

Nervously, I handled the bag, turning it over and over in my hands, performing an examination through the clear bagged packaging for alien grains.

"What is THAT?!", I turned to the Quinoa Seeker -- he confirmed: "THAT," was a wheat berry. A wheat berry, in my millet! I could not get this bag! I could not, would not, get any bag. This confirmed my paranoia, which sometimes slacks, tiring of being always on guard, always watching, reading, scruitinizing...

Now entrenched deeper is this suspicion of food and originating sources, and I was reminded again to never underestimate the incompetence of individuals.

Pocono Mills Buckwheat Groats were a safe substitution. They are processed in a completely gluten free facility. Always appreciated are the companies that provide peace of mind through this Gut Guarantee.

Supping was shared, grossing happiness...

~ A Gut Friendly Salad ~

Whole buckwheat groats
Red leaf lettuce
Sautéed zucchini
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked pepper

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gross Happiness.

A few days back, I listened earnestly to the NPR story about Gross National Happiness. Bhutan has a "Secretary of Happiness."

Happiness and I are not dear friends. As one who is prone to melancholy and pragmatism, perpetually happy people wear on me. They eat away at me, and not in the way of a sculptor's chisel, eating away at stone to reveal softer, lighter things. They eat away at my bearing of reasoned sense. It seems showy. Pretentious. Too good to be true. "Praise God," is often heard out of the type of person I am talking about, after getting a flat tire, running out of gas, or hitting themselves on the thumb with a hammer. The refrain: "God is good ---all the time. All the time --- God is good," reverberates through their life chords. Now, here is my mind's dichotomy: mined down, the belief in God's character may be the same as is these Happy Ones, yet, my interpretation varies greatly.

I don't think God wants, nor did He create us to be, happy at a constant rate of blissful velocity. I have learned many things, I have found "happiness" (although I'd term it as comfort) in pain. And not, only once the pain is past, but during its stay. I am not even sure I believe Happiness exists. Is being continually happy, even really healthy? For, where then is the tension, the breaking, the healing and growth out of matter once dead. This pain in my life makes me realize that I am alive, even when I'd rather not be. It wakes me to the truth that I can still feel...

And, it humbles me to the point of learning to accept things from others. Pain, and not only its physical manifestation, is the only thing that forces my independence to bow before it, kneeling in awe of its hold.

I might be single, but I am not alone...

...except tonight in eating. Back to the NPR story and Bhutan and its Secretary of Happiness.

The story acutely caught my attention, when The Secretary spoke of one of the aspects of life they measured, one of the indicators pointing to A Happy Life: how many times a week do you eat with family or friends?

I believe that here, at this point in the interview, I audibly guffawed.

Times a week? Until quite recently, this delicacy was measured in months.

Not always am I eating in monkish recluse, but know that eating "with" someone when their meal is comprised of something entirely different, is not eating "with" them. It's just not. There is no shared experience, aside from the physical space, although even that, is altered by taste sensation. Eating an apple in a room is entirely a different atmosphere than eating a baguette and bruchetta, accompanied by oil, vinegar and a split bottle of fine wine. It just is. Memories are tied to taste, and years from now when it's reminisced "remember that evening at the little Italian Place, when Joe told that story about..." well, you might remember the story exactly as he told it, but the experiential reception is different. Not bad. Just, different.

And, while I have grown comfortable and used to this -- I don't mind at all, really, I like apples -- it made me remember how unhappy it can be to not have someone to eat a meal truly eat with.

Tonight, friends and family both, reassured in ways which were probably unknown to them at the time, that food will be eaten...together...soon.

This experience is shared...

~ Salad grossing Happiness ~

Olive oil
Sea salt
Cracked pepper