My cousin posted this beautiful photo on Facebook.
Another cousin confessed his lack of aeronautical engineering knowledge but said he was “grateful they stay attached to the plane during flight”. Me, too! The photo speaks to me of anticipation of a wonderful journey, and, as I’m setting out on a brief trip today, it inspired a haiku.
bring me there safely wings that show me new worlds and then take me home
what i thought i knew how to view and feel and say i knew not at all
If you are into haiku, this book is for you. It is a book of haiku while at the same time being a book about haiku. It is quiet and peaceful and illuminating. And thoughtful. And challenging. It is making me a better haiku-er, slowly.
While honeymooning in the Tuscan region of Italy some years back, the Grill-Meister and I stumbled on the Florence American Cemetery and Memorial. Thus began our fascination and respect for the beautiful reminders of the cost of peace that are managed by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). They are special places, and we’d like to visit as many as we can. In professional career (knowledge management and social learning), I’ve had the opportunity to meet the Knowledge Management Chief for the ABMC, a tiny little woman who is a bundle of energy, warmth and intelligence, and her passion and drive for ensuring that these monuments can continue to “tell their stories” made me respect them all the more. You can read about the ABMC here.
So far, we’ve only made it to two of the monuments managed by the ABMC: Florence and Cambridge (in the UK). In both places, we spent hours quietly walking among the graves, reading the plaques, absorbing the history. I’m sharing a few of our photos here to commemorate Memorial Day and all that it means. When we make it to some of the others – and we will – I’ll share those, too.
I posted this picture from Paris last month, with a simple statement:
In Montmartre, I looked up and saw a fence, some flowers and a tower. I love Paris.”
One of the comments on the post was: “
Such vivid color! I love the photograph of the fence/flower/tower….it’s almost something like a visual haiku…”
“Visual haiku”…I like it!!! A collection of three things that make you want to walk into the picture, or learn the story. Or post one of your own.
A New Visual Haiku
So here’s my latest visual haiku, one that is very similar to the first. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call it derivative. Maybe I’m doing an iron fence series…but this one is for Memorial Day to honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
At Jackson Square in New Orleans recently, I looked up and saw a fence, our flag, and a bright blue sky. Let freedom ring!
Happy Memorial Day, not only to Americans everywhere, but to all who have lost loved ones in the cause of freedom.
The Memorial Day forecast calls for rain in Southeast Texas, but that’s fine by me. A rainy Monday Memorial holiday calls for sleeping late, a date with a good book, some barbecue in the afternoon and a war movie or two. Whether or not you’ve got rain in your forecast, here are a few tried and true recipes that are just right for the Memorial Day table.
If you’re vegetarian, try the rub from the ribs recipe on grilled eggplant; my blogger friend at Pleasant Peasant Cuisine suggested that in a comment on my post about the ribs. He used the rub on his Stuffed Squash Blossoms, which would be a great vegetarian main dish for Memorial Day or a lovely side.
What’s a barbecue without a slaw on the side? Here’s my slightly spicy Pepper Jelly Slaw recipe.
Serrano Ham and Corn Pudding is a great side for ribs (actually, I think it is a great side for anything, and it’s not even one of my original recipes).
Why not finish off the meal with some great big cookies that are chock-full of cookie goodness? You’ll like my Glover Gardens Comfort Cookies, and since they have nuts, oatmeal and dried fruit, too, they qualify as “healthy”. That means you can eat more of ’em!
Happy Memorial Day! And no, even though I’m blogging about the menu, I haven’t forgotten the reason we celebrate: those who gave their lives for our freedom. In their memory, here’s a photo of our flag, taken at Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC. I love how prominently it is displayed there.
In addition to his many BBQ accomplishments, the Grill-Meister makes a marvelous homemade tomato juice. When we started growing tomatoes at Glover Gardens, he found a recipe online and then honed it over several summers, tweaking the spices, amounts and fresh peppers. Here it is, hopefully in time for your summer tomato crop, or, if you don’t have a garden, those deep red beauties you’ll find at your local farmers’ market.
This amped-up tomato juice doesn’t need anything but vodka and a squeeze of lime to make a perfect Bloody Mary. On the other hand, it’s so good, you don’t really need the vodka!
4 lbs fresh tomatoes
2 jalapeno peppers
1 serrano, cayenne or fresno pepper
1 medium yellow onion
2-4 cloves of garlic (you guessed it, we use 4)
1 TBSP kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 c water
freshly ground black pepper (optional)
celery stalks (optional)
Blanch tomatoes and remove skin and core (see pictures below for how-to instructions); cut into large chunks. Dice peppers and onion; mince garlic. Combine all ingredients in large pot; simmer for 30 minutes. Allow mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes; puree in blender. Use medium sieve strainer to remove pulp from tomato juice (reserve the pulp to use as base for soup, salsa, guacamole, etc.) Cool in refrigerator for minimum of 3 hours. Serve chilled, garnishing with black pepper and a stalk of celery.
A friend of mine shared a poem he wrote on Facebook that speaks volumes in its simplicity. I’m sharing it here with his permission. I was itching to give it a title, and then realized that part of its beauty is that it nameless. It just is – which is kind of the point.
I sit and ponder Searching for answers In a world full of wonder
Days come and go Everything changes Will we ever know
Days of joy and sadness Peace and turmoil Brilliant ones and those of darkness
How I miss some days Thankful some are past Nothing ever lasts
Cool summer breezes Autumn chill Gales of winter Yet I cannot feel
Dusk approaches Without fail Hide if you must To no avail
Prepare for the dark And wait for the light For surely it’s coming Your soul will take flight
To sit and ponder And search for answers Robs you of joy In this world full of wonder
The past is sadness Yet it has gone The future brings worries It steals our song
Live for today It is our present It’s where we are
It’s where we have been It’s where we are going Live for now And welcome not knowing
Thank you, Casey Sullivan, for voicing these feelings about the embracing the now in a world full of wonder.
As I was preparing this post, I saw a photo my son posted of a friend on Instagram, which he took just before finals week at the end of their freshman year at the University of Texas. It is such a perfect match for Casey’s poem. Looking at the picture, I can almost feel my son and his friend enjoying and absorbing the now of the near-dusk at Lake Travis in Austin, TX.
Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook (except the poem and photo)