making peace

Making Peace by Denise Levertov

A voice from the dark called out,
“The poets must give us
imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar
imagination of disaster. Peace, not only
the absence of war.”

But peace, like a poem,
is not there ahead of itself,
can’t be imagined before it is made,
can’t be known except
in the words of its making,
grammar of justice,
syntax of mutual aid.

A feeling towards it,
dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have
until we begin to utter its metaphors,
learning them as we speak.

A line of peace might appear
if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,
revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,
questioned our needs, allowed
long pauses. . . .

A cadence of peace might balance its weight
on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,
an energy field more intense than war,
might pulse then,
stanza by stanza into the world,
each act of living
one of its words, each word
a vibration of light—facets
of the forming crystal.

let’s eat: on the menu

lets eat
My last weekly roundup was posted on June 2, so it’s been awhile since I’ve done this. Never fear, we did eat during the interim, I just didn’t have the time to document it. But this food-focused week seemed a great time to bring it back. The subtitle for our menu should be cleaning out the refrigerator, because that was the basis for most of our meals.

Sunday afternoon I made the second meal of last week’s Blue Apron delivery. Of all the weeks we’ve ordered from them so far, I think last week’s was once of the very best – Roasted Cauliflower Meuniere with Soft-Boiled Eggs & Crispy Parmesan Breadcrumbs. I will make this again. Sunday night we happily let our friends feed us an Indian feast at their house, and they capped that dinner party off with a roasted pear and pomegranate pie. I’ve been dreaming of roasted pears ever since.

Monday night was a busy night, and M fed the girls early and then I made the last Blue Apron meal – Black Pepper-Crusted Tofu with Garlic Rice and Chinese Broccoli. It was so, so good. I prepare tofu a lot, but I’ve never tossed it in corn starch before coating it. It seemed to work really well for the peppercorn rub. Delicious.

Tuesday night we cleaned out the cheese drawer and made Grilled Ham and (Everything) Cheese sandwiches. We use a huge variety of cheeses in our dinners, and about once a month I find I have an ounce of half a dozen or more varieties. All taste good melted over toasted bread and pressed with a cast iron sandwich press.

Wednesday we had fresh Midwest Pasta with jarred marinara sauce. We love this sauce – it’s on the top shelf at Whole Foods (where we pick up the pasta). We toasted up the leftover bread from my office open house last week and emptied out the fridge a little more.

Thursday night we had appointments and events, so we divided things up, and ate out separately for the evening. Friday was Taco Night and then I geared up for some serious scone baking for the Book Fair on Saturday.

Saturday night we cleared out all the vegetables in the kitchen, roasting green beans and making skillet potatoes and serving them with mac n’ cheese.

Last to clean out – a dozen eggs and a large bunch of arugula – so Sunday night I made a family favorite, Pea, Scallion, and Gruyere Quiche (with some lemon and olive oil tossed greens on the side) with Glazed Carrots, and Roasted Pears (I told you that pear craving wouldn’t die). Tonight we’ll serve the last of the eggs and arugula over polenta, topped with the final scraps in the fridge. Then we’ll loosen our belts for the rest of the week.

Hope you have some good things on the menu this week. Share your favorite Thanksgiving dish in the comments if you wish. Happy eating!

saturday nights with scissors and paint

We’ve been staying pretty busy around here, but it’s a different kind of busy. A relaxed kind of busy, if that makes any sense. In between a series of fun events, we’ve been able to slowly clean and organize some corners of the house. M sanded and touched up the baseboard in the stair hall and primed the trim (there is a lot of it!), and then he cleaned and organized the work area in the dining room that was meant to be temporary, but somehow managed to stretch into a long term look. Some years are like that.

Anyway, the house looks suddenly larger and cleaner, although there’s still a lot to catch up on. It’s nice to have the time to tackle little pieces here and there, and it’s also nice to sit and relax for awhile with nothing on the agenda.

Even when the to-do list grows, I’m trying to be very intentional about how I approach it. Last Friday we had two events going on, and I had a part of the organizing and errand running roles for each of them. The weekend before last I started to slowly go through some of those items. Saturday night M took the girls indoor rock climbing, and I had the house to myself. I turned on the symphony (did you know that KWMU broadcasts the performances live on Saturday nights?), gathered up a few materials I had around the house, and got to “work”. It was lovely.

Just a couple of quick pictures – these were some items for the sixth grade social event at E’s school. It was a movie night, and these items were for the food portion of the event. We served movie popcorn in cute little popcorn boxes, colorful IZZE sodas in big metal tins, and Gus’ pretzel twists in individual bags. We also did a candy concession bar with glass containers full of concession type candy, and cellophane bags to fill with treats.

I found this great vintage ticket paper at Artmart, and so I cut out the individual tickets and stapled one to the front of each candy bag to make it easier to grab one and open and fill. (They tend to get stuck together easily.)

2014-11-08_1415485074

I also took some leftover kraft paper from another event and grabbed some white paint and made a quick movie night sign. I raided my stash of paper and made some very simple, unmeasured pennants spelling out 6th grade movie night. I would normally do this with an x-acto knife, but I wasn’t really in the mood to sit at the table, and so I did this one with quick scissor cuts – I even made the “holes” of the letters with the background paper to speed up the more tedious process of cutting out the centers. I used washi tape to attach the triangles to twine and I was done.

Movie NIght

I can’t take any of the credit for setting up or running the event – I was at my office event that same night, and M and my friends did all the hard work. But the prep work was so enjoyable to me – it was so nice to sit down and be creative in an unstructured and relaxing way. I’ve got a few more things to make tonight for the Book Fair tomorrow, and then it’s onto my holiday cards… I think I’ve got a plan!