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Monday, August 29, 2011

Bean Soup, Marrow Bone Soup, Sylvia Plath Disease and Wally World

Green Blog Aug. 28;

Here are again, nearly full circle. In late August, there are leaves turning red, and the stores begin to fill with the artifacts of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even Christmas.
It is also for many of us seasonal allergy hell, and I myself admit to being a victim this past week of bad sinusitis, or “Sylvia Plath’s Disease” as I call it, since the poet suffered from it more than anyone else I’ve ever known or read about.

I was forced to phone a doctor, something I never do. But, nothing would work, I had the joy of being treated like am imbecile by the teen-something clerks who work in our various grocery stores and pharmacies. One was amazing; the blue streaks in her hair matched her blue eye shadow, matched the blue rhinestone brooch pinned to her uniform, matched her blue nail polish. She was a vision in blue and white, a Delft figurine or a Blue Willow plate animated. I’ve been using ATMs since before she was born, and debit and credit cards, yet, here she was showing me how to punch in my numbers. That Leap Frog has created monsters.

Don’t even start me on my Walmart adventures, fever and all. I stood and than sat and waited for about half an hour, with everyone at home mad at me for being late. The doctor insisted on faxing in the prescription for the Z-pack, not giving it to me, and it was my debut at Wally World. And, my last performance. It through there system. I was directed back and forth by Shirl, who paused to visit her boyfriend, organize lunch, help a very nice older lady with a knee brace that still was not the right size, well, you get it.

Finally, after they all forgot about me, I was told they were “filling” my prescription. Since it comes packaged and filled, I have no idea what they meant. Just as I had know idea what the first W pharmacist meant when he told me that “my prescription was here, but in trouble.” Trouble? How? Did not pay a tax? Did it not look both ways before crossing the street? I was flabbergasted, and sick, and I had to go to work the next two days.

I’m still dragging, and something is causing me the worst heartburn ever. Well, I don’t feel like overeating, a good sign.

Take comfort in the leaves, and the late flowers, and the tomatoes ripening on the vine, and my bottle gourds that are in amazing form, and promise and excellent harvest of craft projects.

Here are some recipe tips and ideas:

For red velvet Halloween cupcakes, my student Cassie likes to scatter crystallized sugar over the frosting to imitate “broken glass.”

Easy white bean soup; my mom’s recipe: Combine 12 0z, canned, or fresh-soaked navy beans or butter beans. You can use any beans, but black beans are sort of rich for this recipe. Add one 6 oz can tomato sauce. Add about half the can or 3 oz water. Throw in chopped onions, any kind, and celery. Add one 12 0z can chicken broth or vegetable broth, canned or homemade. Bring all to a boil. Lower to a simmer, and take care that you add water a little at a time to keep it from burning. Salt and pepper it to taste. Simmer about 20 minutes. Serve with salad and homemade bread.

If you add rice and no beans, and cook it the twenty minutes or so it takes to cook the rice, you have a nice pilaf. If you add Spinach, usually drained canned or frozen, but fresh works, you have a classic Greek soup.

If you cook a piece of pork in the broth with no beans, add big pieces of celery, and then some lemon, beat the whites of about six eggs and fold it into the cooling mixture. You have a classic Greek celery and pork dish.

Bone Marrow soup:

Combine beef marrow bones, one 12 0z can chicken or beef broth, one 6 oz can tomato sauce, chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste, and maybe 1/8 c. beer or white wine. Let it all simmer, taking care not to let the mixture burn. Bring to a boil and simmer as with bean soup. You may add vegetables to this. Once it is a rolling boil, and the bones have begun to brown, add about 1 c of orzo, or other types of bow tie, fusili, elbow macaroni, angel hair, or chopped up noodles and spaghetti. Cook till the pasta is done to your liking. Serve hot with bread and salad.

These are not recipes she actually wrote down; they are memories I have of helping her and watching her cook. These are the best ways I remember her, and when I feel her standing beside me.

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