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


  1. Oh, what an intro! Had my attention in an instant! Love what you made here. Spaghetti squash would be great, too! ;) Thanks for participating in WHB!

  2. Oh we do still have our "Lady and the Tramp" stature safely on the top shelf in our little curio cabinet. A daily reminder of our commitment will be 28 years in September:-)

    You know I have enjoyed some buckwheat noodles and even Bryan will eat them and don't forget spaghetti squash.

    As far as oregano goes I am putting the oil on my checks 3 times a day, putting some in my drinks and also consuming in pill method. Yes the power of OREGANO POW!

  3. Chris - Thank you so much! WHB is such a neat idea, and I'm happy to be included!

    Mom - I'm glad I can live with a clear conscience that those Two Lovers yet live...

    And, yes, now I'm jonesing for cold spaghetti squash & oregano. I still have one sprig left! Huzzah!