It has been another day of such beauty and fine temperatures that one is tempted to call it the prettiest day of the year. We have quite a few prettiest days of the year in early spring and in fall. This is a good thing to remember when summer's heat and humidity and the threat of hurricanes (all three getting worse every year as the earth's weather changes rapidly) make life in this part of the world so vastly unpleasant.
To put it mildly.
It never got over sixty-six degrees today and according to the weather forecast, will drop thirty degrees by dawn. That's okay with me. I'm in no rush for the crushing weight of summer's hot breath, expelling mosquitoes and yellow flies upon us.
Some of the family went to St. Mark's Wildlife Preserve to celebrate Rachel's birthday today. At least Hank and Rachel did. Lily and May had to work. It would have been the perfect day to go. Relatively bugless, cool, clear, probably lots of birds and gators to see. We decided to stay home, however. My foot is so much better but I don't want to push it by trekking about. And I was so happy here, doing the small domestic things. I hung laundry on the line and almost took another picture of it because for some reason, the act of pinning the clothes up and the sight of them blowing in the sweet, tea olive-perfumed air makes me so happy but it just seemed ridiculous.
I wish I had.
I know I've said this a million times but my napkins and place mats, kitchen towels and regular towels, our underwear and shirts always look like prayer flags to me. Perhaps they are. As they flap and dance they may be a sort of domestic and pragmatic worship.
Why not? If that's what they look like to me, then that's what they are.
I had found a recipe on the NYT's app for Birria de Res which is a beef soup that you serve with tortillas, cilantro, limes. It intrigued me and I saved it and when I was in Publix yesterday I bought a few things I needed for it. I thawed out a nice venison roast, not too big, and today I made the soup. When I finally had it cooking, my kitchen was a huge mess. (See above.)
It is a dish that I consider to be "real" cooking in that there are many steps in putting it together. Grating ginger, peeling garlic, charring and peeling, stemming and seeding fresh peppers, preparing dried peppers by roasting and soaking, sauteeing onions, browning the meat, toasting sesame seeds, pureeing the peppers and spices and garlic with crushed tomatoes...
ALL the cooking.
I loved it.
And now it is simmering on the Thermonster although the recipe calls for it to be simmered slowly in the oven. I decided I would use the extra-low simmer burner instead. Why not? My kitchen smells amazing. Besides the ingredients listed above there is cinnamon and oregano, bay leaves, and vinegar, cumin and pepper in it. I added a bit of ancho chili for its smokey heat. Although the recipe does not call for it, I think I will make rice to go with the broth, and I bought corn tortillas yesterday although if I were a real cook I would make my own. I picked cilantro from the garden and I have limes and also avocados. I think I'll make a little salad with our greens and some cucumbers for coolness and because we cannot stop eating them and their days are numbered. Mr. Moon and I watched little bees going from flower to flower on the bolting arugula plants this morning. Can you imagine what honey made from the pollen of arugula must taste like?
Something you'd eat in heaven, I presume.
Some Sundays are absolutely the darkest and densest of days. If the Black Dog is inclined to visit you, its shadow can swallow you whole on Sundays. But today was not one of those Sundays for me. Even as I scrubbed toilets and sinks, I felt a lightness, a rightness. A goodness in setting things right rather than a resentment about never-ending chores. I watered my porch plants, I appreciated their green spirits. I observed the beginnings of the wisteria buds and appreciated them for the way they look now, looking forward- yes- to their future purple glory but in no hurry for that beautiful inevitability. I walked without limping. I loved my dear husband. I made a soup.
I have felt no need to thank a god, a superior being. Instead I have paid attention to the real world around me and gloried in it, amazed enough at the simple fact that this is where evolution and history, nature and gift of birth have placed me.