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Pickle Me This

August 10, 2008

You can't control it all

This weekend, I found myself in the ridiculous predicament of only having delightful things to have to do. Not counting the things I didn’t have to do, like go out for lunch with my husband, take a long long walk up to the Type Books location in Forest Hill. But that my to-do list contained the following: 1 Bake two blueberry pies; 2 Finish knitting cardigan (which has been on-going for ten months; 3 Finish rereading the brilliant The Girl in Saskatoon and work on interview questions for Sharon Butala; 4 Continue work upon my own story (which has just reached 25,000 words; 5 read the entire newspaper (sans any mention of the olympics, of course, which made the whole experience a lot shorter).

You can’t control it all, though. The list didn’t include being awakened at 3:55 am by a massive explosion that shook our house and turned the sky a fiery orange (and do note how far away we live from where the explosion occurred). A blast so powerful it made my husband roll over in his sleep (and this is remarkable, mind you). Nor did the list include me not going back to bed until past sunrise (after listening to the radio in my cold and darkened kitchen [it was thirteen degrees, news and weather together] searching the internet for more news and finding only a livejournal forum [which proved quite informative, actually]). Oh, it was frightening, it really was and we are so fortunate that devastation was remarkably contained and that so few people were hurt.

June 24, 2008

Fun with Ichigo

For the second year in a row I’ve found my bookish pursuits in line with the season. It was almost a year ago that I first read Animal Vegetable Miracle, and I’m now reading The Perfection of the Morning, having finished the mesmerizing Prodigal Summer just before it. Both books inspiring a yearning to get closer to the earth, and so I did when any earth loving city dweller does for such a connection in the month of June–I ventured out past the suburbs.

Around our house June is one of the best times, full to bursting with fun and fetes, the sunshine and the solstice, and then the strawberries. I don’t have faith in a lot of things, but the very fact that delight manages to grow itself on trees (or at least bushes) suggests to me the world’s inherent goodness. The amazing abundance of summer time and sweet things, and all of this is well celebrated with a trip to the strawberry patch.

I went on Saturday with our friends Carolyn and Steve, and proceed to pick far too much out of fear of not enough. It was a gorgeous afternoon, well-spent toiling in the fields in suburban fashion. Ten litres I picked, an entire bucket and more, and I also acquired some new freckles and aches in my old lady knees.

Afterwards we came back to my house and the toiling continued (for a woman’s work is never done, moan moan, but of course, as usual, I did my suffering in silence). Carolyn and I made batches and batches of jam (albeit freezer jam, as our preserving ambitions still have some way to go). We used an obscene amount of sugar, and then ran out of sugar and had to go buy some more.

Soon the fridge was full of jammy delights the kitchen resembling a strawberry explosion. Dripping down the cupboard doors, staining counter tops, a couple of grubby finger prints up and down the telephone. Piles and piles of dirty dishes and utensils, and then, for fear of not having dirtied absolutely everything (and because it is one of my favourite things to do), I baked two strawberry pies. One for eating that evening (and it was delicious), the other put away in the freezer for a while. I intend to do as much with every fresh fruit appearing all summer long, and then come winter have a defrostable treasure trove of summer fruit goodness.

September 12, 2007

I made a pie instead

The Poet’s Occasional Alternative — by Grace Paley

I was going to write a poem
I made a pie instead it took
about the same amount of time
of course the pie was a final
draft a poem would have had some
distance to go days and weeks and
much crumpled paper

the pie already had a talking
tumbling audience among small
trucks and a fire engine on
the kitchen floor

everybody will like this pie
it will have apples and cranberries
dried apricots in it many friends
will say why in the world did you
make only one

this does not happen with poems

because of unreportable
sadness I decided to
settle this morning for a re-
sponsive eatership I do not
want to wait a week a year a
generation for the right
consumer to come along

from Begin Again Collected Poems, 2000

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