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Posts Tagged ‘acoustic guitar’

Butternut squash is an old staple crop here in the Valley, but in attempting to research it on the web, I couldn’t get a clear history (time to ply Farmer Dan for answers). Squash was part of a traditional Three Sisters garden. When my kids were each in 3rd Grade at their school, they planted a Three Sisters garden. Awesome.

You see field after field of butternut all along the Connecticut River. I know the pumpkin crop in New England was heavily damaged due to Hurricane Irene; I’m not as sure about the butternut squash. You see truckloads piled high traveling hither, thither, and yon on the roads around here. I haven’t really noticed this year.

It’s been damp and cloudy for days. I feel like I’m in Ohio except for those wild animals that were running around over there last week. Hubby and I discussed our memories, from about 20 years ago, of living in Kent and reading for weeks about someone in Rootstown who had a wild-animal farm where some little kid got attacked by a tiger. Claims of safety ensued, lawsuits and debates followed. At least I think it was Rootstown. Anybody else remember this?

In this week’s Thankful Thursday, I wrote about homemade veggie stock. I’m simply too lazy to write up a veggie stock prescription right now, but it would make logical sense to have your veggie stock ready before you cook this. Also, in keeping with being NON-CANDY-ASS, you’ll want to have soaked about a cup (or slightly less) of white beans the night before so they’re ready to go for adding to this soup.

Here comes a recipe for one of my favorite soups of all time. FAVORITE OF ALL TIME! That’s a bold statement:

Kale, Butternut Squash, and White Bean Soup                                                                                                                                     from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

1/3 C olive oil
2 large onions, diced
10 C vegetable stock
1 C finely diced canned tomatoes, with liquid
2 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced, appx 2 C
2 C cooked or canned white beans, well rinsed
1/2 lb. kale, shredded
grated parmagiano-reggiano

1. Heat oil in stockpot. Add onions and cook until tender.
2. Stir in stock, tomatoes, rosemary, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Add squash and simmer. Cook 30 minutes until squash is tender.
3. Add beans and kale, cook 15 minutes and serve with cheese.

NOTES: I make this soup in all manner of batches and sizes, usually doubling it or more. The quantities of ingredients are very forgiving. Sometimes I use fresh tomatoes to no detriment, or of course (NOT CANDY-ASS ALERT) the ones I’ve roasted and frozen from the summer crop. I also sometimes use spinach over kale. Just a softer texture, not so much for the flavor. It freezes well and is a great fall soup when the crops are all in. If I use fresh rosemary, I add it toward the end of cooking. I always use my own veggie stock which I highly recommend over store-bought or bouillon.

The recipe was given to me by an old Kent friend, Abby Greer. She made it at a Play Group Christmas Party in 1998. Warm memories and post-partum depression.

For musical accompaniment, you could play “Beautiful Soup” from some manifestation of Alice in Wonderland, the best one being Gene Wilder singing it from a somewhat charming 1990’s TV movie. Or you could listen to this which seems to fit my mood today and the weather we’ve had of late, even though the video was shot in the spring.

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Brookfield Farm carrots–the best carrots I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as a child, carrots were the only vegetable I’d eat (okay, potatoes, too). It’s also the only vegetable one of my daughters eats on a regular basis, so knowing that the carrots we get in our CSA are out-of-this-world good-tasting and organic to boot is a deep satisfaction. Farmer Dan said the carrots got too much water in late summer so they would be small, but this week, I assure you, they were completely normal-sized, if not even larger, than a couple of weeks ago. The flavor is earthy and robust when they are at their best. I want you to know I just held back from making any length-in-inches carrot jokes, too. Like seven of them.

Corkscrew Carrot

Toothpaste tubes, lotion: I can squeeze toothpaste from a toothpaste tube for up to 3 weeks after all of the other members of my family are ready to discard it. I LOVE this. It makes for more counter-top clutter in our shared bathroom because the rest of my family has moved on to their shiny new toothpaste tubes, but the knowledge that I am using the very last bits of a product makes me very happy.

I also cut near-empty lotion tubes in half and use those for a couple of extra days. Good stuff! This model of using up the very last drop can be applied to all manner of consumer products in your household. Unless you go rogue and make your own toothpaste, hand cream, laundry detergent, dish soap….

All righty, then….It’s time for a rare mention of something political on twinklysparkles:

OCCUPY WALL STREET people!!!

Is this the jammin’est thing going in our country today?

This morning, the first headline that caught my eye was an urging of the OWS movement to get THE PEOPLE, as in WE, to move our money to small, local banks and/or credit unions. While this can be complicated and may not work for some businesses with international banking needs, it also can be quite simple and if the free market works, open up more options for all of us, including businesses with international banking needs.

You think the oligarchs are scared? You bet your sweet bippies! Read on, my friends.

Concrete change, change in which an individual can make a choice with what matters most to the political world, may be simpler than we’ve all thought. What matters most? I think this says it rather well:

In a related vein–if I haven’t been completely clear about it before, you should also know that I love Sharon Jones. When I found this this morning, I loved her even more.

If you are PETA or a particularly sensitive vegetarian, you may want to forward through the first 38 seconds or so of the video. But people, you must listen after that. Woody Guthrie turned R and B and interpreted so there’s no doubt about its message. Can I get a witness?

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Dear Readers,

I don’t have an iPod (RIP Steve Jobs) and even if I did, I couldn’t play it through my 2000 Toyota mini-van’s stereo system (see, I used the phrase stereo system, so you know the dinosaur part about me is true).

I bought the new Wilco CD yesterday and I played it in the car on the way to the high school open house I attended last night. I listened to this track twice, once on the way to the school, once on the way home. Wilco played this live when we saw them in Boston last month and it stuck with me…I kept wondering which song was that?

During our 15-minute Geometry “class” at the open house, I tried sneaking reading the lyrics, but no worries, my daughter will probably get an A, unlike me who flunked high school Geometry (or was that Alg II?). Sneaking lyrics wasn’t the only thing I did in high school to get into trouble and I can only hope my amazing, intense, creative, energetic, artistic daughter goes a better way than I did back then.

This song, I don’t know what it’s about, but I think this is the true gem of the album, the one for the ages. There are a couple of lines that kill the hell outta me:

Outside I look lived in/like the bones in a shrine–it’s immediate, sharp and soft at the same time, and reminds me of churches in Prague and I am cold for my father/frozen underground

I’ve lived without my father for so long, lived without knowing him for so much of my life, but I was missing him and picturing him yesterday. I pulled out a bin of old photos.

I forget the damage, you know, the damage of losing a parent when you’re still pretty young. I don’t grieve for him any more, but I am today. How death defines us, underneath all of the geometry and the words and anything else we layer on top.

One Sunday Morning

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
Oh, one son is gone

I can see where they’re dawning
Over the sea
My father said what I had become
No-one should be

Outside I look lived in
Like the bones in a shrine
How am I forgiven?
Oh, I’ll give it time

This, I learned without warning
Holding my brow
In time he thought I would kill him
Oh, but I didn’t know how

I said it’s your god I don’t believe in
No, your Bible can’t be true
Knocked down by the long life
He cried, ‘I fear what waits for you’

I can hear those bells
Spoken and gone
I feel relief, I feel well
Now he knows he was wrong

I am cold for my father
Frozen underground
Jesus, I wouldn’t bother
He belongs to me now

Something sad keeps moving
So I wandered around
I fell in love with the burden
Holding me down

Bless my mind, I miss
Being told how to live
What I learned without knowing
How much more that I owe that I can give

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
One son is gone

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In college, I began as a nursing major, which lasted one year. The great benefit of having been in the School of Nursing was getting all of my science requirements out of the way; in addition, I clepped out of English 101 so that when I switched to “undecided,” I was able to take a slew of Art and Liberal Arts classes. I switched in my junior year to a double French/English major, and finally, just majored in English.

I took four philosophy classes, mostly because I liked the professor, a dynamic, intelligent, charismatic Greek man, Dr. Nenos Georgopolis. 4 classes with the same teacher; how crazy was I?

In any case, when I took Aesthetics, I wondered if beauty, you know, Beauty, was something that made one cry. Beauty defined as what makes me cry.

Of course, my professor dismissed my question, not in a condescending way, but in the way a professor of philosophy must. That is, that everything has an intellectual explanation and can be teased out into its reasons. I think we were reading Kant, but that means little to nothing to me now. I can’t remember any of what I might have read, only some of the people and the interactions in the classroom and the passion of my teacher.

I finally know that while not everything that makes me cry is beautiful, almost everything that makes me cry is beautiful. 29 fucking years after that class to figure this out?

I look for it everywhere and maybe I could give myself a break and stop worrying about my failings as a parent or whether my children have been instilled with good (enough) habits. I am not looking for rationalizations for being irresponsible, but if I could stop wasting mental energy on things I haven’t done or things I think I should be doing, ah, what a different life I could live.

Beauty, all my all.

I know that my current undying love for all things Tweedy might be a bit sickening to the lot of my readers, but I keep finding yummy stuff on youtube. It’s slowly dawning on me that my blog writing is basically just for me, another masturbatory activity, but for those of you who like to watch, I hope you keep showing up and telling me your stories.

Otherwise, fair warning to bow out about now if you haven’t already on yet another l-o-n-g post.

Here’s another couple for good songs, good solid songs and good solid singing and guitar playing. Tweedy, who ranks with the best of them, who is obviously in it for the long haul and isn’t just fucking around, who I think knows he’s been ignited with whatever it is that keeps pouring the light of beauty in and out of himself.

2 videos and then the lyrics to the second song, which are simple but lovely and interesting

This makes me sort of wish I could play the guitar:

I’m the Man Who Loves You

All I can see is black and white
And white and pink with blades of blue
That lay between the words I think on a page
I was meaning to send to
You I couldn’t tell if it’d bring my heart
The way I wanted when I started
Writing this letter to you

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand
I’m the man who loves you

All I can be is a busy sea
Of spinning wheels and hands that feel for
Stones to throw and feet that run but
Come back home
It made no difference
Ever known, it made no difference
Ever known to me

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand
I’m the man who loves you

All I can see is black and white
And white and pink with blades of blue
That lay between the words I think on a page
I was meaning to send to
You I couldn’t tell if it’d bring my heart
The way I wanted when I started
Writing this letter to you

But if I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

If I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

If I could you know I would
Just hold your hand and you’d understand

I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you
I’m the man who loves you

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