Archive for the nice things Category

Oh woe is me

Posted in life, nice things, this-n-that with tags , , , , , on August 15, 2008 by bosquechica

This would be the post in which I whine about my pathetic life, with violin music in the background.

Well, no not really. Maybe just a little in the beginning.

To date: I had a wearying and self-absorbed three weeks at a new job (with benefits) and thought I was going to suffocate or go mad. So much like an assembly line, a sweat shop, so rote, so . . so . . so wrong for me.

I am a free-range chicken, apparently.

I’ve gone back to private practice. Back to the road. Back to my free-wheeling, take your chances contract life.

In other news:

Mrs. BC and I went to the Jemez last weekend for our anniversary and enjoyed it mightily. Friday was my last day at the new/old job, Saturday was the first anniversary since our lovely wedding last summer in Quebec and the 11th since our first ceremony.

We slept a bit and made good food and had massage and tubs at the hot springs. Then we went shopping and picked out jewelry for each other from the street vendor outside of the biker bar on the main street in Jemez. 

We played Scrabble and read cheap romance novels. We had bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches for lunch.

The massage I had on the third day was the best. The massage therapist directed me to visualize my “happy place” and I, being quite malleable after three days of soaking, napping and lying around, immediately saw my own front yard, from various angles. The grape vines, the honeysuckle, the rose of sharon, the hollyhocks. The barns, the willow tree, the cottonwood, the geese marching solemnly, wings tucked back hasidim-wise, nodding their heads thoughtfully.

What a marvelous thing, how fortunate we are, my wife and I, to live in our own happy place. How lucky I am to be able to turn around and walk right back to my previous work, without even missing a step. How lucky the two of us to have found each other.

No woe allowed. I am too damn lucky.

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How to eat like a millionaire

Posted in family, food, garden, home, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal, this-n-that, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2008 by bosquechica

Wow, I love this headline.

I’ll interview all my millionaire friends and let you know. Back soon.

Well, first of all, they tell me billionaire is the new millionaire, so I’m going to raise the bar.

Second — I was thinking it must be all about eco-friendly, sustainable, local food. Rich folk are locavores this week, right? Here’s the food-for-the-rich scenario as I had imagined it (turns out to have been entirely wrong):

“I’ll have my au pair drive to the farmer’s market to buy all the freshest just picked vegetables – the lettuces, the leeks and onions, the rainbow chard, the homemade pies, the early baby creamer potatoes, the hand-salted goat cheese. It can be a lesson in sustainable farming for my seven-year-old. Truffles dug up by my yard man’s farmer friend Joe. Corn and raspberries are hand-picked and delivered to my home weekly.”

As I looked into it, I realized actually that’s how I eat, and I am not a millionaire. Or billionaire. Plus, I don’t have kids, an au pair or a yard man. Wish I did – at least a concierge or something.

How do the very wealthy eat? I did some light reading, and this is what I found. Let’s go look at some of the finest restaurants in the most expensive cities in the world:

According to selected menu items listed in the SPellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, the very wealthy might be eating at this very moment:

Snail Porridge
Bacon and Egg Ice Cream
Warm lettuce hearts soaked in vanilla brine
Sheep’s milk curd seasoned with hay and toasted fern
Beef roasted with the embers of vine cuttings
“Macaroni and Cheese” (butter-poached Maine lobster with mascarpone-enriched Orzo Pasta)
“Oyster and pearls” (a sabayon of tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar)

This convinces me that I am not a billionaire. However, thanks to the beautiful farmer’s market in the small village where I live, I do eat like a millionaire of home-grown tastes. Very sensible of me. Only without the yard guy or the au pair.

With that in mind, here is a recipe for your basic pasta primavera:

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
Pasta
assorted fresh spring vegetables
goat cheese 
herbs de provence:

Preparation:
Set your pasta water on to boil. Prep your vegetables – chunky or thin sliced, as you prefer.

This is what we had yesterday:

  • Onion
    Garlic
    Yellow bell pepper
    Yellow squash
    Zucchini
    Fresh oregano
    Herbs de provence – chervil, rosemary, savory, lavendar, tarragon, marjoram, mint (variations are common)
    Goat cheese

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil at a medium-high temperature. When these are soft and clear, add each vegetable in turn. Denser vegetables first. Don’t abuse your vegetables by mashing them about with a spatula or boiling them to death. Add a generous splash of vermouth or white wine. 

Drain your pasta and dress lightly with oil or butter.

Plate the pasta, sprinkle an ounce or slightly more of goat cheese on it. Spoon the sauteed vegetables on top of all that. Add salt and pepper.

Serve hot, with a glass of chilled white wine. Have some while you are cooking, too, if it seems advisable.
Light mixed green salad on the side.

Life can be relatively easy, can’t it?

Wee babies

Posted in family, goose talk, home, life, nice things, pets with tags , , , on July 8, 2008 by bosquechica
Goslings in a basket

Goslings in a basket

Here are the goslings I brought home from a feed store last week. They are half grown already, but in this photo they are still peeping fuzzballs, sitting in a laundry basket on a rug in the kitchen.

We’ve named them Abelard and Heloise. Pointers for new farmers: don’t name your goslings until it’s clear that they are strong and likely to survive. They are fragile when first hatched.

They’ve more than doubled their size since then. Today, they chewed on my shoes, ran around the coop flapping their short awkward wings, and made whooping sounds that sounded a lot like adolescent giggles.

Their favorite food right now is grass. Stomped upon. See green carpaccio for more on that.

Summer fruit in Tuaca

Posted in chickens, community, family, farm, food, garden, geese and guineas, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2008 by bosquechica
melon boat

melon boat

Choose a variety of ripe summer melons:

Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Honeydew
Crenshaw

Add some other fruits:
Strawberries
Grapes
Cherries

Other ingredients:
Tuaca
Fresh mint
Juice

Cut one watermelon lengthwise in half to be a melon boat.

Using a melon baller, make a colorful selection of balls. Place in melon boat. Slice and add your other fruits. Add juice (orange, mango,  or watermelon) and a small amount of Tuaca (or Triple Sec, the usual choice), just enough to enhance the flavor of the fruit. Chop the fresh mint and sprinkle on top. Serve chilled in small bowls, on your patio, with your family and friends at a weekend barbecue. Save some for brunch on Sunday morning. Give the melon rinds and other fruit scraps to your geese and chickens!

Uh-oh, it’s July already

Posted in bird talk, chickens, family, farm, geese and guineas, home, life, nice things, this-n-that with tags , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2008 by bosquechica

Well, the chicks, guinea keets and goslings are all peep-peeping in their new coops. The grown geese and ganders are standing guard. All is secured. The goslings grow inches overnight. They are two weeks old — the guinea keets and the chicks were just hatched Tuesday. About the size of a golf ball right now. 

I’ve made a commitment to blog every day in July. Maybe twice today will catch me up?

The topic on nablopomo (huh?) dang – let me get back to you on that, with link – anyway, for the month of July, is food.

 

who eats who

I can write about food. No problema, chicos y chicas. I can write about food chains, about predators, about bechemel, making a proper roux, about grilling fish, about what chickens eat. Ah — a starting point!

Today: food for hatchling chicks

Ingredients:
Starter scratch
Water

Preparation:
You’ll need tiny little watering jars, usually a standard mason jar with a lid that has a specially designed lip to provide water for the peeps. Fill the jar with water and turn it over. chick watererIt must be teeny-tiny or new-hatched chicks will fall in and drown. Do not assume instinct will inform them. It does not.

Notice:
Keep hatchlings separate from your other birds. They need more heat and protection. They are easily stomped to death, and are prone to die with very little provocation in those first few days.

Next:
You will also need little feeding dishes, also made with mason jars and chick designed lids. You can buy these at your neighborhood feed store. They will also sell you incubator lights and guide books on how to raise chicklets. Now, if you live in a city, don’t assume that you can’t have chickens. In most cities, hens are fine, but roosters are not. You can order your chicks sexed (funny job, that), online or through your feedstore, and even hens who do not have roosters will lay eggs every spring. They will also eat bugs and provide manure that can be used in your garden (another topic for another day).

Pics of chicks as things evolve.

I’ve got a new job and a bunch of other stuff too, but for now, think about baby birds. Peep-peep!

Goslings from the cacklehatchery.com gallery!

 

 

Doppel

Posted in body, family, life, nice things, personal history, random, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2008 by bosquechica

On Friday, I was shopping at Smith’s on my way home from work. I bought tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, wine and ice. Company expected. On my way out, I paused at the freezer to pick up my 10 lbs. There, I was stopped by a tiny old man with a snowy white beard. He was riding a red electric scooter chair, and his eyes were a sparkling, electric blue (not unlike my husky’s eyes). Morgan

“Whoa,” he said. “I gotta follow you for a little while.” I looked at him and smiled absent-mindedly, thinking more about my house and how to get ready for guests with less than an hour to spare. I crossed the parking lot, stopped at my car and opened the trunk. Then I realized that the little man really had followed me. I looked at him again and he looked back with those sparkling eyes, big smile.

“Excuse me, but I just had to tell you that there is a golden glow shining all round you, and following you, too. You are beautiful!”

“Thank you,” I said. “You know, you remind me of my friend Eunice F.”

“Why?” he asked. “What’s wrong with that person?”

“Not a thing,” I said back. He did a nice little preen, put his hand up against the back of his head as if puffing up his hair, and said “Well, thank you kindly” and looked delighted.

“You have a nice weekend, now,” I said. He scooted on to his own car, right next to mine, and put his things in the back seat. His license plate had DAV plates (disabled veteran) and a bumper sticker that said “Honor the dead, heal the wounded, end the war”.

I went home feeling decidedly perked up by this exchange, and thought about his strange similarity to my good friend Eunice F. Eunice F. is the seventh Eunice in a long line of Eunices. She is 63 years old, with electric blue eyes. She attracts lightning, and has been struck several times. She is an apple-faced hippie lady who lives in a stone cabin in the mountains east of Albuquerque. She is a doll-maker and an artist. She has a beard (not snowy white) that she does not remove, and she is a calm and moving storyteller. She is very poor, hauls water and raises chickens. At 63, she is suffering from the effects of a life of hard labor, and she has a lot of physical pain. She made me a doll with wings who flies around the house and appears here and there on window sills and mantlepieces, apparently at will. storyteller doll

I went home and told Mrs. Bosquechica about my strange meeting and she was amazed on many different levels. First of all, who gets stopped by total strangers with that kind of comment? Second of all, another Eunice F.? Astonishing! Funny thing is, though, that like Eunice F. and her repeated encounters with lightning, I have been stopped periodically with the “you are glowing/beautiful/ or something equally surprising” by total strangers, both men and women, since I was very young. Not, you know, weekly or anything, but about every two or three years someone does this. It’s been awhile, though, longer than usual, and I started thinking about that and about Eunice and the little man and his bumper stickers, and healing the wounded and electric scooters and lightning.  It occurred to me that, like the storyteller doll that Eunice made for me, maybe I have started flying again, maybe there has been time for healing and resuming whatever that glowing thing is that attracts lightning to some and odd compliments to others.

And here is the amazing Eunice F., for those of you who have made it this far.

Eunice F.

 

 

Yard sale rhapsody

Posted in community, life, nice things, random, this-n-that, Uncategorized, writing practice with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2008 by bosquechica

I love yard sales. I love the beginning of yard sale season. Like yachting, all the cheerful colored signs bobbing along on the horizon. Other people’s stuff.

I love yard sales the way I love eavesdropping, a guilty pleasure a search for rare treasure, a treat a retreat a brief moment away from my own life and into yours.

I love yard sales, the free box, the sticky lemonade and the 11-year-olds who wistfully offer me some for a quarter. I love the bad portraits of your mother’s cousin Jean, the macrame holders still tightly wrapped around 2 liter coke bottles, with leggy spider plants hoarily clinging to that crafty harvest gold past.

I love yard sales and talking to strangers, agreeing on the dangers of overpricing, underpricing, bad weather and early morning poachers. I love finding out that my girlfriend dated your son back in high school, I feel so local, and that he’s married now with two kids but having problems and then changing the subject.

I love yard sales and looking at other people’s decorative choices. The red walls with blue accents, the rock garden, the swoopy window treatments, kitchen appliance excesses, the incredibly organized and labeled garages of you not me. The beaten and smirched record of your children’s discarded toys, your baby’s first velvet dress with the little matching mittens.

I love yard sales and the over and under valueing we all do of our stuff and our stories, the unexpectedly good artwork inexplicably stuck in the workshop behind the arc welder and the broken rakes. I love the costume jewelry, the plastics and resins, the hand-blown glass beads and the tarnished milagros. I love rummaging for change, the good faith willingness to hold your perfect estante rústico until this afternoon when I can come back in the red truck with some muscle and moving straps.

I love yard sales, the lumpy old dogs, the ladies in sequined sweatshirts, the avon bottles shaped like ships and trains, the huddled men comparing tools and two-stroke engines. I love getting home with yard sale amnesia. Unwrapping the little packages in anticipation, I become my own secret Santa, pleased and surprised at the silliness in which your past becomes my present, rubbed clean and new and ready for whatever comes next.