An Everlasting Meal

Nature isn’t persistently bright; it wears and ages.

~ Tamar Adler, An Everlasting Meal

A few months ago, a friend sent me the book An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace.  It’s been sitting on the to-be-read shelf, and I’ve looked at it occasionally, thinking that I shouldn’t be neglecting it as I have been.  It is, after all, a gift, one I should explore and appreciate.  But I’ve learned that some gifts need to be approached at just the right time, and this book is one of them.

Yesterday evening, the last September day of this year, I sat on the deck listening to the birds.  It sounded like there were millions of them roosting in the trees, but I only spotted a few at a time gliding towards the feeder or the trees or some other place they felt they needed to be.  The sun was warm, soothing, melting.  The occasional yellow jacket buzzed by looking for something sweet.  My brain and body were relaxed when I decided to pluck the book from the table and read.  Honestly, I didn’t think I’d read much and in fact, I didn’t.  But it felt as if I’d embarked on a journey into cooking that was perfect for that moment in time.  It was like sliding into warm water and floating for a while.

Floating above the little fish in the pond

The first chapter is “How to Boil Water.”  I know how to boil water, but I never paid as much attention to boiling water as Tamar Adler does in her book.  Reading about it, I wanted to savor the first few pages, and think about the boiling of water and the possibilities that a pot of boiling water represents.  Adler’s words inspired me to slow down and get down to basics in a way I have never gotten down to basics.

Having recently finished a book I rushed to finish because (frankly) I’d had enough of it, it feels good to read a book I want to immerse myself in.

I really can’t tell you more about it than that.  I’m only on page 11.  I love it already and suspect it will take me a while to journey through it.  Food and I have had a tumultuous relationship.  At this point in life, I’m learning to appreciate the beauty of food because I’ve been growing it.  When you go from seed to table, you begin to appreciate the way it nurtures as well as nourishes when approached in a healthy way.

Hurrying through this book just doesn’t seem appropriate.

In other news…

The day started out beautiful.  Clouds have been moving in with rain expected sometime tonight and tomorrow.  Judging by the level of water in the pond and the creek, we need the rain.

Today’s view of the pond

M and I went for a hike yesterday at West Branch State Park.  I’ll have more photos (you saw a few yesterday) from that hike for you soon.  I brought it up today because of water levels and rain.  There is a large lake there and I was shocked to see how low it is.  Areas that are usually under water are now beaches and meadows.  Rain would be a very good thing.

Walking in the meadow towards the cattails and woods.

The color show continues.  There are quite a few leaves on the ground already, but still plenty in the trees.  The maples are just starting to turn.

That’s it from the Bogs for today.  Thanks for stopping by.  I hope your Monday has been as good as a Monday can be.


20 Comments on “An Everlasting Meal”

  1. mobius faith says:

    I’m in heaven. The floater is to die for. And the 2 images with dark blue and the leaves is like starlight at midnight. Grand nebulae of leaf-light.

    • Robin says:

      Thank you so much, Terry. I often think that about the way things look on the pond, as if I’m looking at the heavens rather than the surface of water.

  2. Sounds like a good book, Robin. I try to make myself read books I enjoy slowly enough to make them last. Silly, isn’t it? I hate it when a good book ends. Love the fall photos, my friend.

  3. Joanne says:

    I know what you mean about hurrying a book because you are not enjoying it Robin. I read a book a few months ago and felt that way about it, only to find that it was the third book of a trilogy! Perhaps if I had read the first two books first, I may have enjoyed this one more.

    Our Monday here was fabulous, it was a public holiday, so we are having a Monday kind of Tuesday today. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      lol, Joanne! I find it funny because I’ve done the same thing — jumped into the middle of a series not realizing it was a series until I finished.

  4. Val says:

    Robin, you’ve excelled yourself with these photos, they’re stunning. There’s one in particular I like best and I’ve just emailed you about it.

    The cookbook sounds interesting… are there many ways to boil water?

    • Robin says:

      Thank you so much, Val. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      I suppose there’s only one way to boil water, but the author makes it sound like it’s something I’ve never done before. It’s her attention to all the details, I think. Usually I put a pot or kettle on and walk away. Probably because I was taught a watched pot never boils. Of course that isn’t true, but it does seem like it takes longer when I’m standing over it.

  5. CMSmith says:

    Enjoy your book, Robin. I often take my time with non-fiction. My meager brain can’t usually soak up very much at one sitting. 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Same here, Christine. Non-fiction requires time, I think, whereas fiction is something I can usually gobble up pretty quickly. There have been exceptions to both.

  6. CMSmith says:

    I just love reflections. I can’t get enough of them. Thank you for sharing yours.

  7. Elisa's Spot says:

    I felt the same way about that book. I have a culinary degree and when I got to certain portions in the book that would advocate something that would directly cause severe food poisoning I was disappointed. I continued to read based on the feel of the book, memories of food and experiences of feeling about it, as is mentioned in the early chapters. I didn’t finish it due to ‘bad’ food direction. I still loved the feel of the book. The attention to detail and enchantment is/was priceless.

    • Robin says:

      I think my husband has a lot in common with the author, Elisa. He seems to think it’s okay to leave things out at room temperature overnight. Honestly, he’s often right, but I’m not always sure we should risk it. Since we’re eating vegetarian meals now, I don’t worry about it nearly as much although I still try to make sure everything gets put away in the fridge when it needs to be. Just in case. Meat, eggs, and dairy products are entirely different. I used to take chances back in the days when it wasn’t taking chances because that’s just how people did things (left the meat out on the counter to thaw or marinate, etc.). I don’t think the food industry is as safe so it pays to be more careful now.

  8. Wow!!!! So dreamy!!! 🙂

  9. I love the way you captured the light in these shots, they’re lovely!

  10. Dana says:

    Sounds like an interesting book, Robin. I’m currently zipping through the Harry Potter series (finally!), so I’m not ready to slow down just yet. (I have been devouring each of the HP books in turn– I’m on #6 now– and I can’t imagine reading them slowly, because they’re so enjoyable and fast-paced!)

    • Robin says:

      It’s difficult NOT to zip through the Harry Potter series, Dana. It kept me awake for weeks. lol! I think they were made to be gobbled up. 🙂

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