There are no pictures of Pasadena – Saturday 6/23/2007

Because in deference to my back issues, I didn’t carry my camera with me. So you’ll have to settle for this photograph of the little notebook I used while exploring some coffee houses for a project I’m working on with Gia.

Had a great day. Walked and walked. Exchanged my medium point Waterman for a fine point at Vroman’s Fine Writing and Gifts. Signed up for the Vroman’s Gives Back program which applies to the book store as well. You get to pick which charity or organization they donate 1% of the amount of your purchase to. I chose KPCC. [Larry Mantle’s AirTalk is some of my favorite NPR programming.]

Bought a couple of books next door at Vroman’s Bookstore. This independent bookstore is well worth traveling to for a nice long browse. They also have wonderful author events, children’s programs, stationary, gifts, etc. Picked up a copy of Suite Francaise.

Saw Paris Je T’aime at the Laemmle Playhouse 7. If you are in the throes of an infatuation with the City of Light, or if you like watching the short film programs on IFC or Sundance, you will probably like this collection of 20 short films set in Paris. Only a couple fell flat for me, and several were absolutely perfect.

Walked all the way down into the heart of Old Town for more coffee house recon and for creme brulee and espresso (Hydra had a mini cheesecake and coffee) at Aux Delices. Which was good. But honestly, not as good as the desserts you can get for about half the price at Porto’s Bakery in Burbank or Glendale, where the atmosphere is frankly also superior.

Do we see a pattern emerging? Are Sundry and Hydra becoming Francophiles?

To this link-laden post, I will also add a Cool Thing. I come across a lot of cool stuff in my job and because I have cool friends. I’m going to start passing them along when it pleases me.

Cool Thing: Gia sent me this link to morphing artwork. Interesting coincidence since I’d just noticed that all the magazines in the rack labeled Men’s Interests and all those in the racks marked Women’s Interests featured photographs of woman. We are just so…fascinating.


Save the Peaches, Save the World – Friday 6/22/2007

Thus begins the hero’s journey. The limes are just along for the ride.

First I made a brandied peach compote from a recipe I found online. It’s pretty good. I’ll serve it, as suggested, next to pork chops.

I had intended to try honest to goodness water-bath canning, but I couldn’t get all the tools that Indybee suggested when I called her on my way to pick up equipment last night. I realized that this canning thing needs to be approached with a little more forethought and preparation than I expected.

I caved and bought the freezer jam pectin I found on the shelf next to where the small canning jars and other supplies were supposed to be located. It’s not respectable, but it’s easy and you don’t have to boil the jars or even cook the fruit. It tastes soooo fresh! I had some on my Trader Joe’s French Village Cream Line yogurt (yes, it’s good enough to shamelessly plug). Aaah.

Also froze 6 cups of chopped peaches. They are camera shy and hid in the fridge during the shoot. And I made a sauce by stirring a couple of tablespoons of Trader Joe’s Ginger Sauce (basically sugared ginger ground into a paste about the consistency of spun honey) with a few cups of fresh peaches. This is fabulous. I’ll do this again with some of the frozen peaches.

All in all, I came away with about 15 cups of cut up peaches and that was from only about half the harvest. There is more peach freezing to do on Sunday. I’ll try the canning when I have all the stuff assembled.

I took a jar of the gingered peaches to some friends we met for happy hour at Don Cuco’s.

Even a hero needs a margarita sometimes.

Summer Solstice

I practiced my Summer Solstice commitment observation over a demitasse of fresh sage tea. Outside.

I write best when I can conjure that same feeling I get from being in a place of great natural beauty. Dropping the barriers that arise between my self and the other people, flora and fauna on the planet.

Why sage tea? Because when I first started practicing little rituals of intention around my writing (after attending the Art of the Wild conference in Squaw Valley), I found that sage smudges give me headaches. But there’s something about the earthy scent of sage that works for me.

If you want to try sage tea, pour freshly boiled water over 4-5 small leaves in 4-6 ounces of water. If you don’t have small leaves, you can use 1-2 large leaves. It helps to cut into each leaf a few times angling toward the center stem but not cutting all the way through to release the oils inside.