Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Red for the Journey.

This summer, I am eating tomatoes. Vines upon vines of tomatoes. If they were carrots, I'd be hueing orange right about now, in an overdosed stupor of beta carotene. But, they aren't carrots; they are tomatoes, and I am not sure about the skin matching properties of lycopene. Thus, I remain my usual fair-faced self.

Before this spring, I hadn't eaten a tomato in years. Yes, really, years. In my search for answers to discovering my Mystery Internal, I was advised not to partake of the nightshade family. I abstained, monkish in my devotion. Until, their flesh lured me lustily to desire, to taste, to enjoy.

I reasoned that it was no Sin. After all, my mother was doing it too. If there was a drastic change in health, I would return to the Abstinence Abbey.

There wasn't.

I continue on in the lust of this flesh. Tomato flesh, that is.

Strangely, the acidity seems to calm my troubled insides. I ate a pint of cherry tomatoes for breakfast last week and my visiting mother gagged, watching this early feast. I imagine it is very near my reaction to watching someone eat pancakes and bacon for breakfast. The heaviness weighs even my eyes.

And, tomatoes are red. I am encouraged by red. This, depending on theories, is perhaps a troublesome look into my psyhe. There are those who posit that people who drive red cars are more aggressive drivers, they wreck more frequently, they pay more for their insurance, etc.

Red coloration has been linked to intimidation and dominance in the animal kingdom. For a period in high school, my sister modeled her wardrobe after this proven-plummage. What her theory was about who or what she was dominating, I didn't ask. Probably me.

Red though, is for my journey...

My mom sent me that blog post, when I was at a point of confused darkness, emphasizing that for "healing auto-immune disease: wear good red socks for this long journey." She started sending me socks...red socks. I was journeying, and it was getting long. She is on this journey too, this journey of healing. And, in state-crossed solidarity, across many miles, we stand red-footed, ready to walk.

These mental games may sound trite. They, in fact, may be so. And yet, in the morning, when I pull on red socks, why is it that I feel more prepared, more able to embark on that most dangerous business, walking out the front door. . .

While my feet may lead off alone, red reminds that there are others journeying with me.

There is a Fest going on online. It is amazing, really, what happens over these Interwebs. This past week, people have been eating tomatoes purposefully, with thought and consideration, and care --- in preparation for the last week of Summer Fest.

Tonight, I thoughtfully chewed on this...

~ Rice "Polenta" with tomato salad ~

Arborio rice porridge loaf (adapted from a recipe in Living Without magazine).
1. The night before, cook rice into a thick porridge. I added twice the amount of water.
2. Spread the pudding in a dish and cover, refrigerating overnight.
3. Cook. Imitating polenta, fry slices of the porridge in olive oil until crispy and browned on the outside.

~ Salad Bed of Red ~

Grape tomatoes
Flat-leaf Italian Parsley
Romaine lettuce
Salt & pepper


  1. I have fried corn meal mush before & topped it with maple syrup. I'm going to try the fried rice. Would brown rice work for this recipe, or do you use a special rice?

    Love reading your articles. Thanks! Sharon

  2. Brown rice would work just great! Short grain brown would definitely be better than long grain. It just needs to be extra sticky!

  3. I am glad to walk on this journey with you, my feet dressed in festive yet intimidating red. Nice red fork by the way:=) I like the idea of a mock polenta and will give it a try soon.
    I do remember her "red phase"...there have been many phases and transformations along the way.

  4. loved the post (tomatoes were my favorite food pre-face-swelling pseudo-allergy) and liked the links, too!

  5. Basil and tomatoes...makes me wish summer went on forever. Your blog is amazing. The recipes, the writing. And the photos.

  6. Jay - Many, many thanks!
    I am just beginning to learn about fly-fishing and found your wonderful blog doing a search for reports on the kokanee salmon's run.
    I am definitely going to be haunting your site!

    1. Well...I sure have enjoyed the "haunting"! If that's what the kids are calling it these days!

    2. Yes...I think that's the lingo.
      (And I have enjoyed it so much, too)