Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I Was Slippin' Into Darkness

This was better than it looks.  Polenta Squares topped with good tasting olive oil, tomatoes, roasted chicken sausage, mushrooms and just a little cheese.  
The potato medallions were the best, pan sauteed and splashed with vinegar, salt and pepper.  It was especially fun to keep saying potata medALLions, as Christoper Walken might repeat it. Potata MedALLions.  You must try it!!!
I love days that look like this.  A day to be yourself.  Something about a grey day that seems to take away all the pressures and pretenses that exist in bright sunny gorgeous days.
Sometimes once the pressure is lifted, humor and fun ideas more easily come to me.  It's like stars aligning.  This is when new dinners can come from old familiar ingredients and players.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hey Baby, What Do You Know About How It Feels

This soup made from egg noodles, pork, kale and mushrooms reminded me of some dish that I can't recall but that I really liked from my past.  A ghost memory.  The taste so familiar but very thin and veiled.
I've read articles recently on ghosting.  A newish term to an old sack.  Ceasing all communication with someone to extinguish a relationship.  Coincidentally at the same time as feeling a victim of said term, I also became aware by more than two others that I was guilty of this cold front.  This made me research in order to justify my actions.  It was quickly apparent that yes, I was in fact very guilty.  Of the three times I'm choosing to concentrate on (unfortunately, there are many more), I was fully conscious of it only once.  The friendship made me feel like a victim, not standing up for myself, being bullied.  Then, I'd grown apart from that friend enough to begin resenting the more subtle but important differences.  I am guilty of not being able to tell the person to their face that I no longer wanted to continue the dance.  Perhaps because it wasn't final, just needed to stop for an indefinite period of time. Time always changea reality or perspective so why not leave it open?
But in most cases, I didn't realize the fade was naturally occurring until it was so.  I was involved in a changing process that required my full attention.  Somehow I was able to move into new skins that didn't hold pockets for carrying passengers.  These folks deserved my attention though.  I only became aware recently that they were out there feeling confused and wondering what had gone wrong.  They felt deserted and cast aside.  Never my intention.
So how did I become guilty of this heinous act I know firsthand can cut so deeply?  And the truth is that I don't know.  I can barely find the memories let alone my justifications.  I can theorize that I learned to survive, first and foremost.  I always considered life to consist of self, with God the only constant companion.  I've always admired the idea of long term friendships but it was a concept lost on me.  It was hard enough to manage myself, let alone a string of other real humans.  One would think somebody as introverted as myself would feel the need to hold on tight to any relationships I did manage to form.  But that might be it.  I may have assumed that once a friendship was established, then it always existed even if only an ember, to rekindle at a later point.  In my heart I always wished the person well and assumed they would carry on and my mere existence could not play any importance in their well-being.
And honestly even recently when I found myself on the receiving end of ghosting, I felt a little needy and selfish for insisting on correspondence.  What was this person guilty of exactly?  No answer felt fair.  You could argue an abrupt end to contact is cruel but there is no way to know intent.  In this case, you're left facing a mirror.  Funny thing is for years I would crab to my then boyfriend that you must water the garden if you ever expect to see flowers instead of a withering dying love.  I insisted he was negligent to think that love works any other way.  And he always looked so confused as to how constant attention could be required for something he felt should simply exist.  And now I recognize my own similar contradicting beliefs.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Good Love is Hard to Find

Even though Christmas is a beautiful holiday that deserves my ultimate respect and attention, I can't help but be relieved to the core when it is over due to the freight train of discomfort it tends to bring with it, fair or not.
So December 26th in some ways is the real emotional holiday for me.  I had a new book, tons of leftovers for snacks, a warm bed, a day off, a semi affectionate cat and this interesting, warm, talented man writing songs in the other room that claims to love me who fortunately happens to be my husband.  What the fuck else does anyone really need?

Friday, December 25, 2015

All is Calm, All is Bright

Nigella Lawson's Aromatic Slow Roasted Pork
Red Cabbage Green Apple Slaw
Banana Bread with Pecans and Chocolate Chips

Failed Mozzarella Sticks

Chipotle Shrimp on Polenta Squares

Antipasto kabobs

Foggy desolate Christmas morning in Brooklyn.  Silent night and even quieter morning.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's Christmas All Over, Again

Nigella Lawson's Aromatic Slow Roasted Pork for Christmas dinner.  Put it in the day before, you remember, Christmas Eve?  And prior to going to work.  The smell like the best scented candle running throughout the house. The night was calm and my shift was no different than the one before.  There wasn't joyful anticipation of Christmas in the air.  Some.  Fleeting though.  Customers were stressed if they were buying a kitchen.  They were using this precious time for renovations, which couldn't be an easy choice. Its a choice you make when all your other alternatives are gone.  So I tried to offer some compassion.  All the other years I expected customers to be nice to me.  I was the one working, you see.  This year I saw their need for comfort. They were here by some circumstance that made sense to them.  I was just collecting my check.  I was just a warm body filling a slot for money.  As a matter of fact, I wasn't there really at all.  I had checked out much earlier in the week.  I was depressed and shut down. The only place I wanted to be was in my apartment.
There we would eat our traditional Christmas Eve pizza slices and I would start on the appetizers and food prep for tomorrow's meal.  I would pull up my big girl pants and try to be adultlike.  Not a sadsack whimpering empty soul that can only see loneliness and the deepest sadness in Christmas 2015 USA.   I would make a meal to celebrate this holiday and that meal would bring peace, a genuine heartfelt offering to the atmosphere.  Some kindle to the small fire that still burns for some.
That night riding home on my bike passing the lonely dark area that I always dread crossing over from Red Hook to the cheerier Carroll Gardens West, the huge bright full moon was peaking out of the clouds.

As if to say, Christmas IS here, even though it doesn't feel like it.  Even though it is less and less of this magical spiritual day for the world, it can still be what it is to you, privately, in your faith here... and right now.  The day Jesus was born so long ago.  I stopped and watched the sky.  Now seeing the moon appear full, I gasped, knowing in my heart only for one brief second how beautiful it must have been to witness so much hope in a place so unlikely.  A savior here on earth, with us, in the form of a newborn baby.  A gift from God to all who would believe.