Friday, December 12, 2008

Sustainability and Sustenance

As I prepare dinner here on a Friday evening, I'm once again amazed at the food that I am able to pull together mostly from our pantry. I confess the boneless beef short ribs were purchased at one of our local chain groceries so there is no telling where the meat came from or how the cows were treated. All the same, I've cooked the meat together with onions and garlic harvested last summer, two fat carrots pulled tonight, some tomato sauce from the freezer, dried boletes and cooked frozen boletes that we picked last July (see post 7/16/08 )and dried tomatoes. I deglazed the pan with a splash of red wine and it's all been simmering away until tender while we cooked a pot of polenta and a skillet of greens; kale, collards and purple mustard, all harvested this afternoon from the garden.

As I sip a decent Chianti I can't help but feel phenomenally fortunate in the face of all the hard times that are hitting people all over the country. I am truly grateful for all that I have, and it isn't really that much compared to lots of people but I know it's way more than many and especially those around the world that are suffering from famines and war and displacement.

I'm reading A 1,000 Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner. It's about the lives of two women in Afghanistan over the course of the last 30 years and it's so sad it's hard to go on sometimes, but so well written that I am compelled to keep turning the pages. It describes the plight of women as second class citizens and the problems of the country of Afghanistan as a whole as it has dealt with wars, invasions and sectarian violence and it's pretty dark.

I've been worrying, like everyone, about the economy. It's hard not to so I just have to turn off the radio, TV and not read the paper and think of other things sometimes, like how lucky I am to have a garden still making food on Dec 12th.

David and I started dance classes, East Coast swing in November and Blues in December. The dancing is so wonderfully sexy and fun to do together, I'm tickled he wanted to give it a go. We've been digging out all sorts of things from the music collection we hadn't listened to in a while like John Lee Hooker and Elmore James. While the dinner was simmering tonight we enjoyed a few turns on the floor, trying to remember all the moves we've learned and get smoother doing them together.

It's all about frame and reading one another. Good exercise for me to practice following and D. leading and beginning to understand each other on another level. We ate the amazing dinner and now I'm ready to curl back up and read some more and hope that the situation for my two heroines, Laila and Mariam, gets better somehow.

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