Monday, November 29, 2010

Your Aura's Showing

Last week I went for my first aura reading. Not having a lot of experience in the clairvoyant arts, I didn't know what to expect. There we were, the three aura readers, their instructor, an aura artist, and me, shuddering with excitement and nerves at the thought that maybe they'd discover a hidden talent or worse, my inner darkness.

Turns out your aura is made up of seven layers. Mine are orange, purple, yellow, turquoise, sky blue, dark blue, and gold. The readers go through each layer with you in great detail, which I won't bore you with now, however, indulge me as I delve into one of my aural layers.

The third layer represents your emotional well-being. In my third layer the readers saw me, sitting at a window looking out at a beautiful yellow light, experiencing true joy. Just as they were wrapping up the third layer one of the readers says, "wait, look behind her." Turns out there was mold growing on the wall behind me, implying that this beautiful light out the window wasn't making its way in.

And no, I'm not making this up.

Being a Hawaii resident where it is damp and warm, I know that mold grows in damp, dark, and warm places. To kill it you must get light and air on it.

Here's to letting love be my light and air.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Inspiration

After watching Julie & Julia again the other night I became re-inspired, not only to blog, but to cook, and to write, and to generally live life fearlessly. After all, that's what Julia Child did.

Actually, it was after watching this movie the first time that I decided to start this blog. I'm not too sure what I hope to get out of it, but it is fun and it gives me writing practice in the very least (gotta get those 10,000 hours in you know).

For those of you who enjoyed this movie or enjoyed Julia Child's cooking show, you must read My Life in France. It details Julia's life before the fame and sheds light on all the very hard work she put in to get to that point. She was one dedicated, fearless, and deserving woman.

Not that I will ever fool myself into thinking I can cook from it, Mastering the Art of French Cooking is also a must read simply for the tone in which it was written. And for the unquestionable expertise.

Bon Appetit!

Merci Mrs. Child!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pie Crust: to process or not to process

Confession: I do not own a food processor. This only really becomes a major problem when baking, which does not happen in my household more than a couple times a year.

Enter Thanksgiving morning 2010 (aka yesterday) when I was faced with the task of baking two pies. My plan was to make an avocado pie and an apple pie. The avocado pie only requires a simple crust, like pat-in-the-pan or graham cracker so the double crust for the apple felt doable. Alas the avocados were not ripe and slight hysteria ensued. Braving the supermarket did not seem like an option because if one were to fight the crowds, one may as well buy pre-made pies, and this would not do as I had committed to homemade pies damnit! We were all saved when my brother-in-law discovered a bag of frozen blueberries under the half-eaten wontons in the freezer.

But now I was faced with making four crusts. With no food processor. And upon further inspection, no shortening. Google came to the rescue with this all butter crust recipe. Now, if you have never made pie crust by hand you should know that all this butter has to be "cut in" to the dry ingredients with some sort of hand tool, I use a sturdy and trusty fork. This must be done quickly as well so as not to allow the butter to melt. Fifteen minutes later and a blister on my right index finger all that dang butter was cut in.

After mixing the filling ingredients it was time to roll out the dough. With ease the dough submitted under my granite rolling pin and the result was beautiful, thick, golden dough draped generously over each pie. I can't help but think that my admiration of these glorious pies was exponentially increased by cutting all that butter in by hand and feeling that dough come together between my fingers.

So I'll admit it, these did not turn out to be the best tasting pies on the planet, but they sure looked good and I think I'll hold off on buying that food processor after all.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In Gratitude

For all the complaining that comes out of me about not living in France, or having a million dollars, or probably not becoming the next American Idol, the truth is my life is downright good. Amazing, even. In fact, how did I get so lucky? Being Thanksgiving week and all, it is time for a little gratitude for all that is good.

Dear Universe,

Thank you for:

my home
the hammock on the lanai
sending me to live on the island of Hawaii
soft sand
new and old friends
clairvoyance (that was for you, BL)
Big Island Motorcycle Co.
that guy who sleeps in my bed
Hawaiian winters
allowing me to be born in America
family and new babies
those weeds with the pink seeds that glow in the morning sunlight on my way to work
getting me back on a motorcycle
coral reefs
good writers
my mentor teacher
the sky

Feel free to add to this list under comments below.

It IS all good.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Avocado Pie

Thanksgiving is almost here and it has become an annual tradition for me to make Avocado Pie for the occasion. It sounds strange, but give it a try because seriously, what could taste bad mixed with a can of condensed milk anyway?

Avocado Pie (award winning!)

1 pre-baked 9" pie shell (I have a special oil based recipe I use, but use whatever you like. I recommend avoiding a sweet/rich crust due to the richness of the filling)
1 large avocado or 2 "California" avocados (If you live in Hawaii, you know that our avocados are many times bigger than what you can get in the store on the mainland. You want about 2 cups of avocado meat)
1 can sweeted condensed milk
juice and zest of 1 lemon or 2 limes (more if you like it tart)

Mix avocado, milk, and juice in a bowl until creamy. I use my immersion blender to get it smooth, but chunks are ok if you mash it with a fork. Pour into pie shell and allow to set in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve with whipped cream. Always a crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ode to an Artichoke

My once beautiful and productive garden has undergone a resting period ever since schedules got tightened once again around here. In other words, I haven't planted jack in forever and the only remaining veggies are those that last several years or have reseeded themselves.

When we first moved in I planted artichokes and asparagus. The asparagus has done amazingly well and while the artichoke plants are nice and leafy it had only produced one actual choke in three years. Until last week.

No one had even looked at the artichoke plants in many months. I was playing with my nephew in the yard when I noticed it, round and green and ready for picking, a perfect little artichoke crying out to me from its pedestal of pointed leaves. We promptly went inside to get some scissors, picked the softball-sized crown, and stashed it away in the fridge where no one else would see it.

The next night while preparing dinner I cooked myself up a little appetizer of artichoke and melted butter. No, the artichoke was not shared with anyone because trust me, no one else in this household can appreciate a thing like an artichoke at the peak of freshness.

Sitting outside on the lanai watching the sunset and savoring the choke by candlelight was one of the more powerful religious experiences I've had. Each leaf sang hymns in my mouth. And the heart, oh the heart, was my communal bread and wine. "Eat this, in remembrance of me," said the artichoke. And I did, and it was good.

The artichoke plants have been checked daily since then.


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