Sunday, August 15, 2010

Eat, Pray, Kill!

Late summer, and the heat exhausted my hanging containers of petunias, despite twice daily watering, and the hornworms exhausted my hanging tomatoes despite daily picking off, who knows how these little guys managed to locate and climb up to the tomatoes, what powerful instincts. Anyway, these are all now in the woods for the animals to shelter in and eat and generally reduce to new topsoil. And they have been replaced with some nice bright new yellow daisies.

Meanwhile, it being late summer, reading is going on apace, and vague plans for Fall new projects and learning skills. Every fall I used to take up a couple of new pursuits and some of them have stayed in my life, others have fallen away. Playing recorder and flute were a couple of them, and they'll never go away.

Learning Hindi was one that fell away very fast, after the teacher announced on the first night of class that of the eight sessions planned, she would be in India for a wedding for three of them, had not mentioned this to the school admins...and her English was so heavily accented that I couldn't tell when she was speaking English and when Hindi. She was nice, but a nonstarter for me. I got a refund.

But nowadays it's harder to get out in the evening. Recorder monthly meetings will still be on, but classes, meh.

However, I do have plans. A terrific book I found at the libe, and have ordered for myself, since it will get use in the kitchen, not a good environment for a libe book, is about bread making.

And the great part is that you are making a risen bread but you don't knead it. My hands are not up to kneading, never have been, so this is a great notion. And these blessed writers point out that you can use a spoon to mix the ingredients, you're not stuck with massive pieces of kitchen equipment such as food processors.

I'm against machinery in the kitchen, beyond my little stick blender and a tiny version of a processor, a gift, and a little hand mixer, largely, figuring I'm not running a factory floor.

But a lot of recipes demand the food processor for breadmaking and I'm not sure what the heck to do if you don't have one, so I pass on them. But this one is definitely on the schedule for as soon as the weather cools off enough to switch on the oven again. And these writers explain how to make dough ahead of time, keep it in the fridge and be ready to bake a loaf when you need one.

So this is the Big Food Adventure of the Fall. I will either go very quiet on this if it doesn't work out, or I will bore you senseless, dear blogistas, with pictures and much bragging if it does work out. In which case the pix will have to be taken fast before the food has vanished. HP is definitely interested in what transpires on this front.

That's the Eat part of today's thoughts. Then there's Pray.

The Japanese stone gardens book is a wonderful browse just as an art journey, no need to have one or build one in order to enjoy them. But I do suddenly have plans for miniature versions of these, maybe installing my tiny moss gardens with their glass globes in a tray of gravel, combed into interesting shapes.

Sand would be nice but as a cat owner, I hesitate. All you cat owners will know if you put out a nice arranged tray of sand anywhere in the vicinity of cats, it will quickly be adopted as a luxurious new litterbox. So sand is out. But we'll see about other items that might work. As to praying, this is a very meditative art.

And finally to Kill. Robert Parker is always a great, fast, easy read, suspense and puzzle all about murder and wit and excellent dialog and no wasted time on descriptions, perfect for summer when your brain is kind of at a lower ebb than usual. And he wrote dozens of them, with various different detectives, sardonic Bostonians, sardonic female mixed up Bostonians, sardonic psychologists, sardonic Westerners, sardonic gay giant guys with great unarmed combat skills, you get the pic. And I'm undyingly (!) grateful to Maureen J. for introducing me to him a while back.

Great fun to read. Well, all the Eat, Pray, Kill books are great fun to read.


  1. Do love your daisies! Daughter BJ gave me a Japanese garden a long time ago. Tray, sand, rake and three or so stones. (No cat here!). I have lovely stones, both raw and polished by the sea, so played with that for a little while.

  2. We have that bread book and have used it many times. Just don't expect your loaves to turn out looking 'perfect'!

  3. Looking forward to seeing some great bread. Yum, nothing like the smell and taste of home baked bread.


  4. Oh, I am so looking forward to fall.

    And I am so impressed with my little suburban library. They have the bread book and the Japanese stone book in their collection. A bit of a wait but that's fine.

    I am not baking bread in these scorching temps we're getting here in Vancouver this year.

  5. Good blog title. One thing, even if the bread doesn't work out, the smell while baking is heavenly. It would be lovely to have an outdoor gravel garden (I have pea pebble paths) but I need one of those little old Japanese gentlemen to be there every day carefully raking and weeding. So far he hasn't shown up.


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