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[NOVEMBER 2011.]

Somewhere very far in back of new parenthood, a tiny curtain has gone up on a tiny stage and unveiled my book of stories on its tiny silver plate. All the peeled-away sentences and trashed drafts have been hastily swept into the wings. My reigning mood by far is surprised gratitude for everyone who’s taken an interest, from the publisher on down. Festival of thanks!

(implementing “Recipes Without Quantities,” a minimalist food spec)

Eudaimonia Tempeh
Marinated tempeh strips (store closings meant we went with the pre-marinated Turtle Island brand this year, but you can do it yerself with soy sauce, garlic etc); half a big orange kabocha squash, oven-baked twenty minutes, then diced; blue lake string beans. Into the skillet, medium-high with sesame oil, rice vinegar, as much grated fresh ginger as feasible. Toss till sizzly. Add soy sauce, sweet Thai chili, a bit more vinegar if you like. Sizzle again, serve.

Hill of Beans
Dice and olive-oil sautee five minutes in a stock pot: Anaheim pepper, poblano pepper, two jalapeños, a few celery stalks, garlic to pleasure, plenty of leeks. Toss in black beans, white beans, can o’ diced tomato, cup o’ veggie stock, big dollops of chipotle paste, cumin, oregano. Simmer twenty minutes or until pleasantly goopy. Separate and blend half; remix with unblent portion. Serve topped with sour cream, cilantro, avocado slices.

Root 92
Slice turnips, parnips, celery root wide and thin. Toss with salt, pepper, thyme; heap and spread in buttered baking dish; pour in enough milk to two-thirds drown them. Bake 45 minutes at 400, checking every 15 minutes to turn over browned bits and press the softening assemblage into the milk. Stir in a cup or more grated Gruyère; bake 45 minutes more till homogenous and browned on top; serve the deserving.

West-östlicher Divan
Sautee pine nuts in olive oil, set aside; sautee chopped onion in same oil, stir in brown basmati rice, add plausible amount of veggie broth, cook covered 40 minutes; stir in dried cherries and continue cooking till satisfactorily fluffy; stir in sauteed pine nuts, thyme, pomegranate seeds; serve the meritorious.

Friends of the San Francisco Botanical Garden
Mixed greens, persimmons, fennel, dill, walnuts. Toss with sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, bottomless jar of lavender pepper.

Mother’s Pecan Pie
Guarded by family. Don’t overeat!

Human Milk
You must be shorter than this sign.



Congratulations on another birth! Goes on my Christmas wishlist.

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