American Beauty


“To see beauty is simply to learn the private language of meaning which is another’s life – to recognize and relish what is.

I told JJ once that he should consider stopping thinking about what he wants and start thinking about what he likes. Maybe I said that wrong – he might consider stopping thinking about what he wants and start enjoying what he is. I did. He was a really bad cook, but I still thought he was beautiful.

I’m pretty sure he wanted me to be something different. He didn’t like me to be me.

seize_the_day_by_drjemnutcase-d5j63n0

Art work compliments of a 13 year old girl with grand mal seizures

But what does he know? I’m quite capable of making dinner, which, in the greater scheme of life is pretty damn important.

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“The first step to the knowledge of the wonder and mystery of life is the recognition of the monstrous nature of the earthly human realm as well as its glory, the realization that this is just how it is and that it cannot and will not be changed. Those who think they know how the universe could have been had they created it, without pain, without sorrow, without time, without death, are unfit for illumination.” ― Joseph Campbell

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Grated Fennel Relish (from http://foodinjars.com)

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium fennel bulbs (approximately 2 pounds)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, roughly cracked
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley

Instructions

  1. Prepare a boiling water bath canner and 4 pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. Shred the fennel in a food processor or on a box grater.
  3. Finely mince onion (a food processor is easiest, but you can also do it with a knife).
  4. Combine grated fennel, minced onion, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard seeds, salt, fennel seeds, red chili flakes, and black pepper in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  5. Cook the relish at a boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until the liquid has reduced some.
  6. Add lemon zest, juice, and parsley and stir to combine.
  7. Remove relish from the heat and funnel it into prepared jars, leaving approximately 1/4 inch headspace.
  8. Bubble jars well. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.
  9. When time is up, remove jars from canner and place them on a folded kitchen towel to cool.
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