Full and happy

Los Angeleno by birth, Northwesterner by choice, Second-hander by nature. Librarian, housebound chef, father, and lowly subject ruled over by the needs and whims of a very old house.
Partial to Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese cookery but will eat damn near anything. Collector of many strange things..the result is chaos and anarchy and a very pleasant place to live.
There is pleasure in accumulation, not just "collecting": music, books and film, in all their multi-formated glory. Outsider artists and those kinds of prints you would recognize if you took liberal studies classes in college. Cooking implements and gadgets for recipes still untried or those ventured. Glasses for most types of libations. Flowers in the garden, herbs in the pot.
It's a life of the senses and a good home life reflects that. Walking helps take in all the rest. Requires no special equipment, opens up the pores, brightens the taste buds, clears the decks for further adventures, puts on the miles, widens the eyes and helps fuel the imagination.

Live boldly, play graciously and love with all your heart knowing that true love comes only once or twice in this lifetime. Speaking of which..donde estas, Empress of my Heart?


"Lack imagination and miss the better story" Yann Martel

"Life is a great adventure and I want to say to you, accept it in such spirit. I want to see you face it ready to do the best that lies in you to win out. To go down without complaining and abiding by the result....the worst of all fears is the fear of living." Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

"Not I - not anyone else, can travel that road for you
You must travel it for yourself" Walt Whitman

And above all, friends should possess the rare gift of sitting. They should be able, no, eager, to sit for hours-three, four, six-over a meal of soup and wine and cheese, as well as one of twenty fabulous courses.

Then, with good friends of such attributes, and good food on the board, and good wine in the pitcher, we may well ask,

When shall we live if not now?

-From Serve it Forth,
M.F.K. Fisher

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cooking with Jane: Saved by Conjunto!

I lucked out on my way to store the other day. I only wanted to bag a bunch of cilantro, a couple, three avocados at the discount grocer. See, I had some turkey left over from a bird I roasted the other day and had a hankering for turkey taquitos, something that every red blooded, wild half Mexican boy can use to help him grow up to be big and strong. But I was way laid, pulled into Goodwill by promise of good sales and such. Had to see what was lurking in the cookbook aisle before I went off and hit the grocery store.

Well, I did find a few cookbooks, even a nifty Mexican cookbook written by a full out Mexican woman living in London! But what thrilled me even more than that was discovering, just as I was heading to the checkout stand, a pristine, still sealed in it's wrapper collection of Tex-Mex Conjunto classics compiled by Arhoolie! I am telling you, I could have set everything else down at the moment and been happy as a clam (or whatever bi-valve you fancy!) I practically skipped out of the store and damn near forgot my original mission. I pretty much ran down the sidewalk to Save a Lot and got the rest of my shopping out of the way, just so I could get home and pop that new disk into my cd player. Do you know how rare it is to come across that kind of music in a second hand store? Rare, baby, rare, just the way I like my lamb chops!

So, I played that album again this morning and was thankful for it. I pulled together a nice omelet, too, and am getting ready for another work day at Helpline. I think of music, cooking and a good day's work and think, man, if it wasn't for that immortal triad I wouldn't have an excuse to get out of bed most mornings. Oh, never mind, scratch that. The cat would make sure I was up and out of bed, if only just to feed him and let him out into the world.

But today I had another excuse to be out in the world myself and it is spelled Conjunto! Go grab some, buddy and tell me if that music doesn't cure what ails you!


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