Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Cutting Edge

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Happy Happy, Sharp sharp

One thing that makes me crazy is not having a good sharp knife to cut food with. I've never understood why so many people have knives that are dull and useless, sitting around in their drawers, taking up space. Maybe their grandmother gave it to them long ago and they have sentimental attachments to it; or maybe their husbands have used it too many times for "other purposes" out in the garage. Whatever the reason, there are a lot of old dull knives around that should have been thrown out along time ago.

Which brings me to my happy news. I bought a new knife while I was visiting the Bar Area. Don't get TOO excited. I know there are some people out there who will fail to understand why I'm so delighted, but I also know that there is acknowledgement out there in blogland; folks who are nodding there heads and smiling because they know what a sharp knife means in the kitchen.

I don't like to spend a lot of money on things. I'm a real "thrift shop" diva; but some things are sacred and knives are one of them. My oldest son gave me a Gerber classic walnut handled 10" cooks knife about 15 years ago and my obsession was born. He set the standard for me. I have no idea how much it was then, but I have it professionally sharpened every so often and it has become my knife of choice for just about everything. Since I can't afford the Gerbers, the Henckels or the Wusthofs , I'm always looking for the perfect knife that isn't too expensive. Well, I found the bargain of the year at T.J. Maxx. It's a Santoku knife made by Kitchen Aid. No kidding! The knife has a high-carbon, steel 4.5" blade and a black, riveted handle. It's light weight and the balance is wonderful . I don't think I will ever have to sharpen it ...., and are you ready....., it was only $6.00. Yep! Honestly! I'll be slicing those home grown tomatoes in style this summer.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


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Revealed bodies and lunch on the river

The prospector(my husband) and I left the foothills and drove down to Sacramento today. It was a beautiful, spring-like day and everything had a green glow. Our brown hills have started to change color.Even our "Happy California Cows" seemed more contented than usual. No poppies yet, but it's only a matter of time.

We had been talking about going to see the controversial Bodies Revealed exhibition and decided that this would be a good day to go because we had heard that the weekends could be very crowded. There was a good share of negative publicity about this exhibition because, after all, these were real bodies that had been preserved using a process called polymer preservation. Well, it was an amazing experience. Seeing these human beings from the skeleton to the outer skin was breathtaking, but also kind of overwhelming.

At first I was fascinated seeing the insides of these bodies; but then the realization hit me that this had been a living being with feelings and emotions. I found myself saying "I'm so sorry" to these whole, very dead and exposed humans. I started thinking about Hannibal Lecter and all the real bad horror movies I had ever seen. You know. The ones where you close your eyes during the scary parts. But I couldn't close my eyes. I started looking at the complexity of these bodies, our bodies, my body.... and I was caught up in the wonder of it all. When you see the whole circulatory system standing on it's own, with this network of blood vessels and the heart making it all work, you think that something is going on that is way bigger than anyone really knows; that this heart, that beats continuously inside of us until we die, is a remarkable thing. I saw how the amazing nervous system works and how connected everything is. To see the brain; the mysterious organ that runs the whole show, and learn that we are the only animals who know we are thinking, is, well... food for thought. The human body works in harmony with itself until we damage it or life wears it out. Seeing this exhibit gave me knowledge, a sense of wonder, and a kind of organic (dust to dust) reality. It was sometimes hard to look at but I'm glad we went.

We drove down to Old Town Sacramento for lunch: Ate good sandwiches at a restaurant on the river and looked through some of the shops just for fun. Bought some toys for my grandson's birthday next month and a caramel apple for dessert. YUM!

Got home in time to feed our spoiled dogs and pick a few weeds that were appearing( way to fast) in the garden. Didn't feel like a big dinner so we grazed our way through the evening and watched four more American Idol contenders bit the dust.

Good to be home.