Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Beginning

Good day.

That is how I hope to start this new blog. This whole new life.

Three weeks ago I boarded an airplane from Vancouver, British Columbia with my five month old son, my mother-in-law, a few bags, and a Thomas Haas double-baked almond croissant. I know now I should have followed my intuition and packed my favorite books (the Mary Oliver poetry, the Moosewood cookbooks, Supper of the Lamb). Live and learn. Four days later my husband set off in a blue truck with his father and our cat.

We have moved home.

I have decided the last three weeks don’t actually count in the equation for ‘beginning’. They were the deep breath before hurling oneself off the side of the pool for the polar bear swim, the awkward pause before adding the flour to the chocolate–slowly, without fear, with determined abandon.

We moved home because it was time to move home. Northern California is home. Family is home. We moved with a few dreams: to build a house; to grow our food; to write; to know home better. We don’t only want to ’settle down’ in the usual sense, but also to settle down as in stop running, stop moving, stop the rocking! Whirling is ok. Whirling in a particular place even better…especially–at home–especially in a field of wheat.

Enough whirling. I begin this beginning with simple food. My husband, K, made me my favorite start-over breakfast: oatmeal. This is a breakfast of beginnings because it helps my palate, my senses, and my body restet. I eat this every once in a while to remember how to be present, how to taste the food, search for the flavor, instead of being bombarded with the lovely and sometimes flashy conglomerate of tastes I tend toward. Have a bowl.

Now this is the beginning.

Chewy Oatmeal

You will need:

Equal parts water and oats (any old-fashioned style rolled grain is great)

itty bitty pinch of salt

(The secret to these oats is to think mushrooms: don’t overcrowd the pot. There should only be at most a cup serving size in the small-ish pot. Get a pot with a wider base if you are the hospitable type and need to feed more than your lonesome.)

Bring water to a boil. Stir in oats. Keep at a rolling boil, stirring as needed to keep oats from burning. When water is gone, the oats are done. Spoon into an appropriate sized bowl, and enjoy plain or with a little drizzle of honey.

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