Posts Tagged ‘love’

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Sycamore, my brother, my child

How I long to be connected with you,

and we are, I do know,

but life is so funny, so fragile, so fast,

how do I keep up and let the moments last?

I find myself so wrapped up in me

that it becomes hard to just float

with you.

So many things in my mind come and go,

the days are broken yet very sweet.

I am looking for peace within myself

so that I can live in the moment with you.

I know it is hard to understand

why sometimes I am here

and others I am gone.

Always I love you.  You have my respect.

I admire you so,

your strength and your ways.

Can you feel it, young boy,

do you know where I stand?

I hope so because you deserve so much,

it is my intention, my lasting hope,

that you feel this man who is now your father,

to understand the love that pours forth

and shines upon you.

I will continue to strive to be here for you.

I will continue to love you as this life unfolds

and I will pray that when you look back

you will be able to know that your father

was always so proud to be

connected to YOU.

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the new year chimes

like a cracked and destitute

liberty bell…

my soul rises on fire…

I am ready to bake

my god damned cake…

i’m ready to eat pussy

and pick fruit…

firecrackers and gunshots

sing sultry songs…

the bayous swoon…

music plays out loud…

rhythm…

handsome beats…

time don’t stop,

for me….

The scent of jet fuel lingers in the lobby.  Tom DeLay smiles for the cameras on CNN.  My feet hurt in black boots that aren’t always comfortable.  Bottles of water cost $2.89 at the fancy coffee kiosk.  The toilets suck one gallon per flush;  no charge.   My tiny vinyl seat holds on to my ass like a horny girlfriend.  My wife don’t love me no more.  I find myself in airports often these days.  All of this traveling is draining my bank account.  I shouldn’t have a bank account anyway.  Maybe I will dig a hole and plant my money in the ground.  I might just quit paying my bills.  All I really want are my children.  They want me.  We want to be a family.  We want to be together.  That is all.

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Eternity… a poem.

Posted: September 9, 2013 in Spiritual
Tags: , , , , , ,

It was there

by the golden shore

with God’s fine light

casting long shadows

across my nearly endless foreheadIMG_9121

that I became overwhelmed

by the prospect

of eternity.

The full weight of it

hit me with a force

equal to or greater than

the Vatican’s vast darkness.

I thought to myself,

“Holy shit, man!  You are doomed

to meander this twisted realm

for a long time to come!”

And then, with blood pumping in my veins,

I sauntered off…

into my fate.

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I love jalapenos.  I love spicy food in general.  I love pickled and fermented foods.  Pickled and fermented foods love me.  It’s a great relationship.  I’m striving to get my other relationships in such a lovely state.  I grew up thinking pickled foods must be difficult to make.  At first glance it appears the process would take a lot of time, patience and skill to do it right and have it come out well.  I was wrong on all accounts.  It is crazy easy.  This particular “essay” is on Jalapenos, but you could do any vegetable you like.  You could even do hard boiled eggs, little fishes, mushrooms, whatever…  Some vegetables are good to pound first, like cabbage when making “sauerkraut.”  Even then it is not completely necessary.  This technique also allows mild fermentation which produces many healthful and beneficial side effects for your gut, and elsewhere.  FDA approval?  I quit listening to the FDA a long time ago.  So here’s how to do it.  Brace yourself!

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photo by Helen Geisler

Take a bunch of jalapenos, the jar pictured has about eight large jalapenos.  I cut them into “rounds” and put them in a quart sized mason jar.  Be careful not to rub your eyes or any other sensitive areas.  I could tell you a funny story about that, well not eyes, but it isn’t appropriate for this blog!  Fill the jar nearly to the top with your peppers.  You can also add onions, carrots or other types of peppers.  I happened to have a red pepper around that needed to be used so I cut it up and put it in too.  Grab some herbs, whatever you like, it is fun to experiment with different ones, and put them in too.  Use an amount that seems reasonable.  I have yet to find a herb that I used that I didn’t end up liking.  I then add two tablespoons of sea salt.  After adding your salt fill your jar to nearly the top with fresh, good water, preferably from a nearby, untainted spring.  Good water is important.  Once full with water put the lid on and shake.  I like to make sure everything gets well distributed and that the salt is fully dissolved.  Once this is done I wipe the jar and then put it up on the shelf.  Don’t hide it away!  It will look beautiful out where people can see it.  I usually wait three to four days before eating them.  The spice will diminish with time which is sometimes nice as the fresh jalapenos can be super hot at times.  I find the flavor mellows with time and the elixir becomes very rich.  I have had certain batches around for months at a time and they remain delicious and nutritious.  Don’t be alarmed if air comes out when you first open the lid.  It can happen each time you open it.  I am so addicted to these things!  Jars of them don’t last long.  I am moving on to experiment with other vegetables as well and will keep you informed of my progress.   I really did make pickled fish once.  My friend and I had caught a bunch of “chubs” from a nearby river.  The chubs are not prime cooking fish and have lots of bones.  We cut a bunch into nice filets and then put them in just as described above.  We let them sit for quite a while, a week or two.  When it came time to try them I was nervous as pickled fish seemed a big stretch for me at the time.  I was blown away at their flavor, texture and how much I truly enjoyed them!  Unbelievable.  Our kids were young at the time, my friend’s and mine, and they formed a little musical group.  What did they call their band?  The Pickled Chubs of course!  Anyway, the sky is the limit.  It seems the more I learn the more I realize that quality food is simple and that this Earth is incredibly abundant!  What a magical world!  Spice up your life!  Much love to you and yours!

lion's mane mushroom

photo by Helen Geisler

Have you ever stumbled upon this strange looking fungus in the woods?  I remember the first time I saw it.  It was so unique and thought provoking that I spent about ten minutes with it not realizing at the time that it was a choice find.  I knew no better then. To this day I still feel a bit silly for my ignorance.  That one I saw all those years ago was lucky to get away!  The Lion’s Mane is a SCORE!

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The proud author with a super fresh and sizable find!
photo by Helen Geisler

I like to call this fungus the Seafood of the Forest because of it’s delicious oceanic flavor.  This interesting looking mushroom, when prepared correctly and sauteed in a hot pan is a lot like fresh scallops!  I recently brought one to the restaurant where I work and gave some to my friend’s who own the place.  I’ve brought them mushrooms before, but upon looking at this “creature” they both seemed a bit skeptical.  I reassured them.  Once prepared and eaten they couldn’t believe their taste buds, high marks all around.

These wonderful “mushrooms” are medicinal and have been used for millenia in the East and who knows for how long here in the Americas.  I’m sure the Indians could have told us plenty about them.  The Lion’s Mane is said to be good for memory and nerve damage in the brain, amongst other things,  which is  especially poignant in this age of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Dementia. Drop the pharmaceuticals people, look to the Earth!  She has all we need and it’s fun to go get it!  This incredible fungus is delicious and good for you!  To think that for all these years people have said health food doesn’t taste good!  What a joke.

When you find a Lion’s Mane check how fresh it is.  Sometimes they will be yellowy or brown around the edges or full of water if it has been raining.  If you are lucky it will be prime.  Either way it is worth taking with you.  I have, on rare occasions, not taken one because it was too old and weathered, but that is rare.  If it is wet bring it home and slice it into steak size pieces.  You can then use towels to absorb excess moisture by pushing down on the pieces you have cut.   After that put them in the fridge on a plate and let them sit for a couple hours.  I have found them frozen on trees and it doesn’t seem to effect them poorly.  They do like hardwoods and especially the Beech trees which are majestic, a smooth grey and have a bark that resembles elephant skin.  The Lion’s Mane, like most things, grows to different sizes and sure, bigger is better!  More to eat.  This fungus has no poisonous look alike.   I have found them  hand sized and I have found them, one this year, about the size of my head (see photo.)  They are easy to prepare and stay fresh for a considerable amount of time in the refrigerator or outside in mild to cool temperatures.

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Looks like a brain and is good for your brain!
photo by Helen Geisler

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Golden brown and ready to eat!
photo by Helen Geisler

I like to cook these mushrooms as I would seafood or scallops.  Simply.  Use olive oil or butter and get your pan hot.  Slice your mushroom into half an inch thick steaks. Lay your slices in the pan and let them cook until they are a light golden brown.  Use some sea salt, pepper and maybe an herb you like to season them.  Once done take them out, set them aside and give them a try.  They are phenomenal!  My kids love them too!  You can use these mushrooms in other dishes as well.  They easily serve as the meat of an entree you are preparing or are perfect as a gourmet appetizer by themselves.  Lion’s Mane are versatile and their flavor holds up well with sauces.  My first choice is to eat them on their own, simply cooked!  These are one of my favorite fungi.  The season to find them is fall in the eastern woodlands here in Virginia.  I am told that they are found in all of North America, in temperate Asia and in Europe.  Keep your eyes open.  Some folks have said they have found them in spring as well, winter too.  I have spotted many while driving as they are a striking white and stand outwhen you do see them. They are unmistakable once you are upon them.  Lion’s Mane are magical, like most things in nature, and will make your day a special one indeed!  Bon apetit and happy hunting!

Author’s Note:   This mushroom is somewhat of an exception in that it has no look a likes at all, poisonous or otherwise and is regarded as safe. It is very important to follow the rule “when in doubt, throw it out!,” or, better yet, leave it alone!  It takes time to become an experienced forager so err on the side of caution when hunting.  It is good to reconnect with our food gathering roots, so do it wisely!

simple tacos

photo by Helen Geisler

Simple tacos?  It seems hard to screw this one up but time after time I have been given, or have bought, crappy tacos.  How could it be?  It all seems ludicrous but unfortunately it is true.  Living in Virginia for the past 14 years probably hasn’t helped.  This post is an effort to change all of that.  Now if I were to be asked the question “If you had to pick one type of food to eat for the rest of your life what would it be?”  My definitive answer would be Mexican food.  No questions asked.  I love just about everything, but the simplicity and deliciousness of Mexican cuisine is above all others in my humble opinion.  This is when it is done well!  Fresh!  Handmade!  Refried beans, carnitas, carne asada, enchiladas, guacamole, so many salsas, fresh lime, cilantro and peppers of all sorts, just to scrape the surface, keep me coming back for more.  Much of the food I ate growing up was Mexican food and I was lucky enough to spend time with lots of people from there or descended from those roots.  They are blessed roots and I feel honored to have been put into proximity with their culture and ways.  That being said I figured a little post on simple tacos was in order.

The tacos pictured were made using fried tortillas and are “hard” tacos.  Many people love soft tacos and so do I.  Either way is great. To me a taco isn’t a taco if you aren’t using corn tortillas.  My favorite corn tortillas are those that are handmade with corn, lime and salt.  I think that is it.  Many store bought tortillas are littered with a bunch of other crap thrown in there that I really can see no purpose for.  Tortillerias or little Latino tiendas are common now in most of America.  You can find good hand made tortillas in most of these.  The ones pictured above are from Whole Foods and have minimal ingredients, taste good, but are not “da kind” so to speak.  They work.   Get some good tortillas.  If you want to fry them, which is a delicious way to go, it is easy.  I have used pig fat, olive oil, coconut oil and even butter to fry them.  I avoid most canola and other “vegetable” oils as they are low grade.  Butter and olive oil are easier to burn so you have to be careful.  Either way get some good oil or fat.  If you know an organic butcher or your local market has left over pig fat trimmings see if they will give you some.  You can take it home and render it yourself.  The “fat” myths of the past are just that.  Eat good fat.  So once your oil is hot, but not psychotically hot, put your tortilla in.  Give it a little time and then fold one side over.  You can put something in between the two sides, like a carrot, to keep a nice little space open so that your taco shell is not too tight.  Let them cook until they are rigid.  You don’t want to burn them.  You can do them two by two or one by one depending on the size of your pan.  If you want to keep them warm put a plate in the oven on low and as they finish put them in the oven. Make as many as you need.  I wouldn’t make more than you need as I never have had luck in keeping them.  They are difficult to store.  If you prefer soft tacos I would just wait to heat your tortillas until after you are done with your fillings.  For soft tacos you can easily heat them on the burners of your stove if you have a gas stove.  I have many times had all four burners going as I rapidly heat up lots of tortillas in a short time flipping them as I go.

As for what you put in the tacos??  For these simple tacos I would suggest making a salsa, grating a little cheese and preparing some meat, usually pork, beef or chicken.  Many times I have used venison that I have hunted.  Fish also works though I may make my “toppings” differently in that case.  Vegetarian tacos can be made using refried beans or tofu, tempeh, or grilled vegetables.  Whatever you decide to use this technique will be delicious. These tacos in the photo were made with organic pork that we scored at low cost from a friend.  I would always try to use organic or locally raised meat.  After the tortillas are done I usually just throw my cubed or diced meat into the same oil if it still looks clean and good.  Many times the tortillas absorb the oil so the pan is just right for cooking other things after they are done. If there is too much just pour some off into a container.  For pork and chicken I cook the meat through, with venison and beef it is not as important.  Sautee your meat with a little bit of sea salt.  I don’t spice the meat much as I like the flavor to be distinct and simple, later you will be adding herbs, onions and spices on top of the meat  Cook your meat until it is beautiful and then you can put it in the oven with the tortillas.  Keep the oven on low heat and do not keep your meat there very long as you don’t want to dry it out.  If I am going to add cheese many times I put it directly on to the meat after I turn the heat off.  It melts smoothly over everything that way and is easily moved from pan to tortilla with a small spatula.  It is fine to just grate it too and then add when you are building your taco.

For salsa, in this case, I make a simple salsa fresca or pico de gallo.  Many other salsas could be used and are delicious as well.  For this recipe take three roma tomatoes, depending on how many people you are feeding you can alter your amounts, we’ll say this is for two people.  Dice them up and put them in a bowl.  Cut half of an onion, use your favorite variety, and dice it up smaller than the tomato pieces.  Next take a jalapeno, cut it and check it for spice level.  Jalapenos seem to fluctuate drastically in their spiciness.  I’ve had some that really hit you hard and then I’ve had some that are almost completely spice-less.  Check the one you are using and then put in your amount accordingly.  Dice it small, I usually include the seeds.  Take a nice handfull of cilantro and chop it up.  I don’t cut mine super fine.  Cut it evenly.  Take one lime, cut it in half and then, once all of your other ingredients are in the bowl, squeeze it over everything.  Finally add a bit of sea salt.  Mix everything together.  Once it is well blended taste your mixture and see if you need more salt or more of any of the other ingredients.  This simple salsa is one of my favorites, it has a distinct fresh flavor that lights up any room and any taste buds.  If you desire you can make a light crema to put on top as well.  I usually do this by putting some sour cream in a bowl, adding a bit of lime juice, salt, black pepper and a little water to thin it down.  You can vary the thickness with how much water you use.  Stir it until it has a nice smooth texture.  The tacos in the photo above are crema-less.

Now that you have everything made you can build your tacos.  Take your tortilla and put the meat with cheese on first(or put your meat in and then add your grated cheese,) add your salsa and then the crema and you are set to go.  These tacos are fucking delicious, fresh, clean and hard to stop eating.  My whole family loves them.  You can vary any of the recipes above, add avocado to the salsa, put your favorite hot sauce on them, whatever. I would try them first just as I have described them and then go from there.  I love to serve them with homemade refried beans as well. I will add my refried bean recipe at a later date.  The sky is the limit with tacos.  They are versatile and a lot of fun.  They are great with your favorite cold beer!!  So buen provecho, amigos!  Y gracias a la gente Mexicana por toda la comida buena!!!  Adios!