"In my terms, I settled for the realities of life, and submitted to its necessities: if this, then that, and so the years passed. . . . I had wanted life not to bother me too much, and had succeeded--and how pitiful that was."

I picked up the book for a few dollars at a flea market, and it steered the entire weekend. 

I held it before, last year, but put it back, knowing it would find its way back into my hands.

People used to paint these views.  The vantage point of birds, the un-human, of gods, of animals.

Mark the fleeting.

Take note of the new.

Appreciate that which you would not, could not, do yourself.

Enjoy surprise endings.

Indulge, not always, but in bursts.


Beginning of biji jjigae (ground soybean stew): pork, kimchi, green onion

I traveled home this weekend. 

As always, there was cooking involved.  I (mostly) watched.

Soybeans are rinsed for the biji jjigae

There is something comforting about watching someone cook for you.

Pureeing the soybeans

The pureed soybeans go in last.

Halibut.  Alive yesterday.

Downtime flower gazing and piano playing

Mussels in an impromptu broth of the mussels' own briney flavor and garlic

A mishmash of dishes, just the way I like it

Driving home, I saw a soft farewell

I love wine.  It all started in the year I worked at a high end catering and events company, back in the day.

These days, I have the urge to stock up--blame it on an obsessive personality.

Left to Right, trying my best to give only my inartful thoughts:

2011 Yalumba Viognier
One of wine club's monthly picks.  Whoa, almost effervescent at the start, but underneath, a cold stream full of ripe fruit, a little tart, super fragrant.  On day two, quite mellow, still fruity, but the tart edge worn off.  Easy sipping.

2010 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grezeaux

Asked the folks at the wine shop what they were loving currently, and the guy grabbed this off the shelf.  Recommended decanting it for a while, maybe even a day.  Tried it right after opening the bottle--really funky, in a good way.  How to describe it?  Like dark, juicy berries, gently decomposing in wet forest soil.  A little sweet, a lot earthy and funky.  After giving it some time in the decanter, I tasted it again.  Mellower, but still really interesting.  Reminds me of eating herbs, and vegetables, and fruit.  I want another bottle.
More info on the Les Grezeaux here.  Info on Bernard Baudry here, in French, or here, in English.

2012 Domaine de la Fouquette Cuvee Rosee d'Aurore
I was hoping to find a bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol at Whole Foods, but they were out.  Instead, a persuasive French man told me to try this Fouquette.  Drink it chilled on a warm day or room temperature on a chilly day, he said, like a 50-degree day in Paris.  Sold.  Plans to take this along on a picnic.

2011 Rocky Gully Shiraz
Drinking this tonight (post to follow).  It's mostly shiraz (syrah), with a bit of viognier.  Not sure yet.  I taste the plum, and the finish lingers.  It's a bit light for me, although that nice finish makes me want to take another sip.

2010 Les Crozes Hermitage Syrah
Another wine shop recommendation.  (Have I mentioned that I love my local wine shop?)  Looking forward to opening this one.

Ok, this is a red herring.  This is no wine but one of my favorite beers, from Goose Island.  I've posted about this Belgian style pale ale before.  Going to wait for a warm day and drink this outdoors.

And that's about it.  Trying hard not to buy ten more bottles this weekend.

An excerpt from one of my favorite poems:

". . . I know it is impossible to hold
for long what we love of the world, but look
at me, is it foolish, shameful, arrogant to say this,
see how the snow drifts down, look how happy
I am."

Manna, Joseph Stroud

I don't believe you can buy culture ("China," "Vietnam"), especially in the form of a meal alone.

A false sense of knowledge is dangerous.

With that said, here I am, eating.



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