Sunday, August 26, 2012


It's exactly a week after my last post, in which I rhapsodised bit about the Haruki Murakami book I was reading 1Q84. At the time I was still on volume one. I have now, just a couple of hours ago, come to the end of the book. Sigh. It's in three volumes, drew me onward and onward, and delivered fully on its promise by the time I'd reached the end, over 1100 pages later. I am so sad to have finished it. And now the story, and the intricate puzzle pieces from which it is assembled will go on reverberating and cross-connecting in my head.

But there's no time for all this! I must get on with immediate tasks! Book tour starts soon, and lists of recipes to teach, photos to show, talks to give, are scribbled in various notebooks, actual and electronic, in various places. Yikes. Time to take hold!

No, no, let's cool it down a little: over-anticipation and over-readiness is not useful. It just means that I spend too much time on a project or an obligation. So I'm working on keeping my equilibrium, getting things done as necessary, but NOT trying to get ahead of the list, or in other words, making a real effort not to over-anticipate.

Tomorrow there's a journalist coming to shop with me and then cook all day from the BURMA book. We'll have fun, I expect. And I'm also looking forward to it as an opportunity to get a better idea of which recipes I should pick for book tour. There's a nice end to the day too, because I'm expecting a bunch of people to drop by in the late afternoon and evening, ready to eat and drink and chat. There will be loads of food waiting for them, if the day goes as planned.

Everyone is coming by because the following day Dom, my older kid, (a young man of twenty-four in fact) is heading to London for three and a half months to philosophise with various professors and students at the University of London. What does that mean? I gather it means spending time reading, writing papers, and talking with people once he gets there. And what it means for tomorrow is that we will come together to celebrate his departure and tell him how much we'll miss him while he's gone.

Good thing there will be lots of food to console ourselves with.

This hot sunny weather that is giving us sweet ripe peaches and tomatoes is almost successful at disguising the fact that we've reached late August. But it can't really keep the news from us, for the angle of the sun, the place it reaches in the western sky as it sets, has already shifted a number of degrees southward.

I'm not ready for this lovely summer to be over. No-one is, are they? It's been a delight, full of enriching travel and experiences, and new beginnings of various kinds.

August is also bringing us a blue moon this coming week. A beautiful card came today from a friend reminding me of that fact. Let's be sure to celebrate its specialness. The clear limpid skies of the last six days have let us see the moon grow from slender elegant sickle standing tall on its pointed end to fattening-into-fullness glow. She seems so rich and rounded at this time of year, already full of the promise of autumn fruitfulness. No wonder the ancients worshipped her.

And in my garden the tall anenomes are coming into bloom. Their luminous white glow is another signal that August is coming to an end. They'll stay in bloom until the first frost, bright against the dark wood of the building out back, glowing in the dusk of the last days of summer.

We'll see them out there as the evenings grow shorter, as we retreat inside to eat our evening meal. And they'll be small consolation for losing the pleasure of eating out under the summer sky, as we've done for the past three months and more.

Now I'm whining. Sorry!

It's time to think of the positive: the surge of energy that comes with cooler weather, the chance to bake, and to roast meat and vegetables, the opportunity to rediscover our sweaters and other interesting layers, and our boots. Tomorrow we'll be making several Kachin meat dishes, and a Shan spiced jerky, as well as a grilled eggplant dish, heartier fare generally than most people would associate with the subtropics. It's a good start on autumn cooking. And to acknowledge summer there will be lighter dishes too: a Burmese ginger salad and an easy vegetable stir-fry, as well as Shan tofu and silky Shan soup.

Can't wait!

1 comment:

chelle hanna said...

I love your gentle reminder about the blue moon. It is still good howling weather. Your post kind of tortured me a bit, beautiful sounding recipes--I am waiting with great anticipation for Burma to arrive in my kitchen. Thank you for creating it, I am sure it will be my favorite book for years to come.