Tuesday, May 5, 2009




How does the average citizen live in little Macondo by the Potomac? Does she spent her entire time speaking truth to power? Does she have no life beyond tilting at windmills or does she cultivate friendships, tends her garden, bakes cakes, works on her murder mystery novels where she can kill very bad people in amusing ways? Reader, she schmoozes, she gardens, she bakes and she writes. Yeah, verily yeah.
The garden is nearly submerged after three days of rain. Tree peonies droop, lilacs shiver, roses refuse to unfurl their leaves. The Oaxaca tomato seedlings plead for rebozos and the Bulgarian pepper seedlings sulk. It is a soggy, time.
There is much one can do in soggy times. One can start one's annual re-reading of War and Peace, skipping the military battles one so disliked the first time round. One listen to the notion that Monopoly should last forever and that chess games should end quickly. One can cook Persian chicken with sour cherries to be served with red Himalayan rice and a nice Pinot Grogio. One can write a check to Magen David Adom or one's charity of choice, such as the Heifer Project. One can watch a movie, though not the Vietnamese Buffalo Boy which is as soggy is all get out and possibly even more boring than the soporific The Scent of Green Papaya. My own choice would be the delightful Blame it Fidel.

When it rains incessantly, one can write distant friends real letters in handmade Italian paper, penned with a fountain pen loaded with J. Herbin ink. One can transfer all of the photos on one's hard drive to Photobucket, Picasa or Flicker. One could study quantum physics, Sanskrit, The Art of War. Conversely, one can bake pear bread.

Butter a bread pan. Preheat oven to 350.

Take two mushy pears, peeled and seeded and squish them into a pulp
Add three peeled bananas and squish them into a pulp
Add one teaspoon double vanilla
Three tablespoons vegetable oil
Add one cup sugar
Add two eggs
Beat the above ingredient together. Reserve.

Sift together one and a half cups flour, one tablespoon baking powder, half teaspoon salt, one teaspoon Saigon cinnamon, half a teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. fruit, flour and sugar mix. Beat thoroughly. Add one cup chopped English walnuts. Decorate with with rose geranium leaves. Pour mix into bread pan and bake for 50 minutes. Invite congenial friends for tea and serve with copious amounts of Lapsang Souchong. Do not discuss noise pollution or global politics.

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