Here's the only picture I've taken today. I sent it to a friend with whom I trade recipes and food talk and other magical things.
"An obvious favorite," I wrote her.
I had plucked the card from my recipe file as I was indeed making a key lime pie and yes, I've made enough of them over the years to know it by heart but I often check with the source to make sure that I'm doing it right. I did not make a pie shell, however. I have long since switched over to a graham cracker crust which has now become the default for all key lime pies and no one makes a merengue any more, but only uses whipped cream but I have no whipped cream and since you use egg yolks, why not use the whites to make the merengue? And so that is what I did.
I made the pie in tribute to the mahi-mahi Mr. Moon caught this weekend which I shall also cook tonight. A very long time ago, probably in 1986, he and I traveled to Key West with Baby Lily where we met up with my mother and stayed for some days in a nice little motel with a kitchen. Mother had just gotten a divorce and was feeling good about herself and so relieved to have that sick, evil 240 pound weight off her back and we actually enjoyed each others's company so much. I partially attribute that to the fact that every early evening we would put Lily in her stroller and walk to a little bar where we all had pina coladas (except for Lily, poor thing), even my mother who was an absolutely staunch non-drinker, and by golly, we all got just tipsy enough to laugh and be at ease while we watched the sunset.
I think about this and wonder if Mother and I might have been closer if she'd had a few more drinks in her life.
While we were there, my husband went on a fishing trip one day and he caught a mahi-mahi and brought it back to the motel where there was a little tiny kitchenette and I cooked that fish and we had a loaf of bread that we'd gotten from a bakery and that was what we had for supper. Fish, bread, butter. It was the best fish dinner ever. To make it even more perfect, Glen went to the restaurant next door and bought three pieces of key lime pie and we ate those for our dessert and when we talk about the best meals we've ever eaten, that one is right at the top. So this morning I made up the dough for a loaf of sourdough and I made the pie and in a little while, either I'll cook the fish or Mr. Moon will grill it. I think I'll probably screw everything up by also making a little avocado salad but no matter what, this supper can only be a tribute to that long-ago Key West meal which lives in our memories with such fondness. We were so young, so beautiful, and my mother had a good time and Lily took her first steps (at nine months!) in another restaurant there with the whole staff cheering her on.
That was also the trip where I got to shake Matt Guitar Murphy's hand.
It was a very good time.
I feel a little time-trippy lately. Perhaps it's because I have a birthday coming up but who knows? I dreamed of Roseland last night and I keep having visual flashbacks to different moments of my life there and in Cozumel and in Winter Haven where I lived from the age of 12 to 18. Also of different places I've lived in Tallahassee which have ranged from literal shacks with no plumbing or running water to a huge and gorgeous house where we had a swimming pool that sparkled turquoise under the great bowl of sky the house was set under. We've been watching the Netflix docu-series, "How To Change Your Mind" based on the book by Michael Pollan of the same name and I have a sort of itchy yearning to do mushrooms one more time.
There is so much evidence that psilocybin is a key to parts of the mind that are eternally aware of the most profound truth which is that everything is connected, including us, and that if we strip away all that we know as "ourselves" we are able to actually know that in the most primal and truthful way. As Ram Dass said, "All is one." The experience of taking this mystical journey opens us to that in a way that brings great relief to those who may have a terminal illness, to those who have battled depression, anxiety, OCD, addiction and on and on and on.
You know I am not woo-woo. I'm just not. BUT, I have been privileged to ingest not only psilocybin but also LSD, mescaline, and possibly MDA. I may have even told the story before of the first time I ever did mushrooms in which a friend dosed me unknowingly and it was a most wonderful experience and I will be eternally grateful for his intervention in my psyche which was desperate for guidance.
(Rest in peace, B-Boy, I say. To which he would probably reply, "Bite me, I wish I was still alive," and then he would hug me and that would be beautiful.)
The thing is, I am surrounded by cow fields where the psilocybin mushrooms grow freely and abundantly. When I was young, we had no compulsion about stepping over a fence and going hunting but now I am older and far less intrepid (not to mention physically able) to trespass even though my intentions are pure. I am completely certain that I could identify them still. They grow directly out of cow shit, have a top like a toasted marshmallow, a ring around the stem and- most definitively of all- bleed purple.
Plucked and eaten in the field was always my preference and I never once got in the least bit sick nor did I ever have what the media so loved to call a "bad trip".
In the docu-series, most of the portrayals of trips occur in clinical settings, albeit ones with trained, kind, and experienced "guides" and lots of choices of soothing music. I cannot imagine, though, tripping on a hospital bed in a building where medical things go on. I have always been a free-ranger, I suppose, when it comes to tripping, being mostly at home where I am in control of my environment, where I can step outside if I want, to breathe and bask in trees and plants and all sorts of nature.
Well, this is something I am pondering as I am about to turn sixty-eight.
And now let me point out that Mick Jagger will turn 79 in two days and that he and the other old boys played last night to 100,000 Parisians and apparently left the crowd satisfied, sated, and replete. It is one thing for a beloved old band to do a reunion tour which is entirely based on those who loved them way back when. It is another for a group to draw sold-out crowds who consist of four generations of fans after sixty years of never...really...stopping.
Time to go bake the bread. Mr. Moon is considering grilling the mahi outside. The key lime pie is in the refrigerator, hopefully chilling to some sort of perfection.
Darla is still alive.