My soul is wedded to the sky

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[Prompted by a friend, and by the words of George Eliot: “Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”]
 
My soul is wedded to the sky.
 
That great chasm of life that yawns up particles and sends back revitalizing rain; the depth of time in a breath and great span of eternity that gapes between here and a hundred-thousand stars.
 
The sky which enraptures with the play of blue behind spring-green leaves and beckons golden at the day’s end; the call of silhouettes in winter: bare, scraping trees black against that velvet moment that precedes the night but couldn’t quite be called dusk. The fracture of a storm that swells without but is felt within, and the rolling of night wind that terrifies yet hypnotizes; rarest green before the worst that hits, and rainbow hues when the dust returns to earth. Hints of angels between the clouds of night, when the moonlight is refracted and seeps under the skin. Breaking morning with the stillness of dreams, and all the flowers stretch their arms in anticipation while the trees drop dew into rivets and grass. The splendor that affronts the eyes at midday, reigned in and leaking out again in hazy drips across hot fields.
 
The one thing that we taste and smell and feel and see, hear and touch and sense and dream, all at once we know and ignore, and when we pray we tilt our faces into it and know the eternal im-mediated.
  
My soul is wedded to what I breathe, the ever-present emptiness, the closest thing to nothing and yet containing everything. What sustains the birds and suppresses the dirt, lifts up the waves at moonlit heights, calls unending in lonesome nights, but fills the senses at spring and harvest. What settles in the dress of fog or rushes in on unexpected rains; what lilts with snow and bursts with sunshine.
 
The ubiquitary sky carries all and carries me; wrench my soul away from it and I shall wither like a cellared shrub. Stick me in it, and I might sprout wings and brush up against its edges, calling on eternity.

Turnip Chips

Turnips are so underrated. Delicious, healthy, autumnal. I usually roast them with other root vegetables or put them in soups. Today I made them into chips. Gnom gnom gnom.

Thinly slice turnips and lightly spray or toss them with equal parts olive oil and water. Sprinkle with finely-minced onion and sea salt. Bake at 350F for about 15-20 minutes, watching them and turning them over if necessary. The end.

It’s-still-technically-Saturday Smoothie: Apple Pie

Apple Pie

1/2 C cooked pumpkin or sweet potato
2 apples—I like to do one sweet, one tart—cored and, if your blender sucks as much as mine does, peeled
Sprinkles each of nutmeg, ginger, cloves
Two or three sprinkles cinnamon
Small handful very young dandelion leaves
1/2 teaspoon each fresh lemon juice, vanilla
Enough water to blend—this one I like to drink at room temp, but if you like your smoothies cold, add a little ice.

Tummy all filled up

Today I asked my little one if he wanted the rest of his “cookie,” a food item which he loves so very much (if only he knew how many vegetables are baked into those things…) and he said, “No.” Then he told me there were “Wots” of cookies in his tummy.

If only adults (self included!) knew how to stop eating when there were “wots” of “nummies” in our tummies already. Such a simple logic, and yet… Continue reading

Smoothie Saturday! Watermelon Mint

If you haven’t noticed—and I hope you have!—I try to create smoothies with in-season produce, with the painfully obvious exception of bananas… which, as far as I know, have never-ever been “in season” in the US midwest. But there’s something delightful about using things that are in season. Actually, several somethings that are delightful about it:

In-season produce tastes so much better.

It’s also cheaper.

It’s also environmentally conscientious.

And it leads us to think of new ways to combine foods: ways that may have once been standard, but are now lost to our grocery-store and this-was-my-mother’s-recipe habits. Not all such habits are bad, but it is certainly fun to explore new flavor combinations and appreciate the different seasons in more than just our wardrobes.

This one may not be unique to some of you, but it’s delectable all the same.

Watermelon Mint Slushy
2–3 cups fresh watermelon, de-seeded (sorry to state the obvious, but ya never know)
Small handful fresh mint leaves
Small handful fresh spinach leaves
Ice
Tiny squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Cayenne Kettle Kale Chips

For those of you kale chip lovers, here’s an alliterative twist on the classic toss-em-in-olive-oil-and-hope-they-taste-okay kale chip. And may I just add that I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how all these internet folk are “lightly tossing” anything in olive oil? The only method I can think of that effectively, evenly coats anything with olive oil is to drizzle it in a ziplock bag and shake shake shake. But this would be a sinful waste of plastic bags, if one were to do it every time one needed a pan full o’ kale chips (or, you know, whatever else). Here’s what I do: Keep a small spray bottle in the kitchen filled with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 water (to keep it from clogging the bottle), and every time you need to “lightly toss” something, lightly spray it instead. Just make sure you shake the bottle first. Now, without further ado, may I present— Cayenne Kettle Kale Chips:

Break some kale into bite-sized pieces, and remove the stems if you don’t like the stems.
“Lightly spray” your pan and then the tops of the kale chips, as laid out on the pan. With olive oil*, that is.
Sprinkle sea salt, raw sugar, and cayenne pepper on top.
Bake however long you like your kale chips baked for. Me, I usually go 350F for 10-ish minutes.
Consume.
Send me a thank you note.

*On olive oil
The short version: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/720875

The long version: http://olivecenter.ucdavis.edu/news-events/news/files/olive%20oil%20final%20071410%20.pdf

Monday-to-Monday Yoga

This week’s routine is a little different: instead of holding several poses for several breaths each, each of these poses is held for only a half-breath and the set is repeated 10 times.

Mountain—breathe in
Back bend—breathe out
Mountain—breathe in
Forward bend—breathe out
Slide forward on hands into plank—breathe in
Low plank—breathe out
Cobra—breathe in
Downward dog—breathe out
Forward bend—breathe in
Mountain—breathe out