I am still in the thrall of that AMAZING 2016 World Series Game 7 that I got to watch last night between two of the best-matched and incredibly talented give-it-all-you-got baseball teams: the Chicago Cubs & the Cleveland Indians. WHAT A GAME!!! I’ve never seen anything like it. It had all the elements of an epic movie: action, mega-suspense, dramatic pauses, laughter, tears, heroic perseverance in the face of fatigue, big league Pressure with a capital P—plus—an unforgettable ending … it was all that and more. Beyond WOW.
Archive for the ‘movies’ category
I posted about my Warm Winter Garden just a few weeks ago when everything was still green and ripening. Just had to post a pic of this platter of lusciousness now that we’re harvesting ripe red tomatoes and having a good time adding these beauties into omelets, sandwiches, and of course, salads, but mostly just enjoying their bright freshness simple and plain with a hint of salt and pepper. And some of the green ones might get turned into Fried Green Tomatoes. (I do love that movie. And especially the book.)
Nothing like a homegrown tomato for ramping up your appreciation of how va-va-voom life is. There’s something about their vibrant red-ness that acts like a natural can’t-miss-it 4-way Stop sign for pausing and noticing all the wonder that abounds when you look for it. What gladness is growing is your paradise? Whatever and wherever it is — enjoy!
This isn’t about the kind of conch (pronounced “konk”) we find all around The Bahamas. This is not about that staple of island life (and a staple that’s so popular—but not necessarily so prevalent these days—that it may well need some common sense seasonal protection to bring it back to a state of plentifulness, but that’s another story!). No, this is not about the beautiful pink-lipped mild conch that lives in the grassy sea banks of The Bahamas and tastes great in conch salad, fritters, or pounded thin, battered and fried into cracked conch (can you tell it’s around lunchtime as I type this?) …
This is about conch as a verb. Something I just discovered thanks to The Art of Eating Magazine.
This amazing independent print magazine (that celebrates all the best in food and wine with in-depth articles about the people, places, traditions, growers, and artisans who produce the freshest and most flavorful fare) introduced me to the term “conch” as it applies to the the fine art of making chocolate ….
Yes. Chocolate! And not just any chocolate. Some of the finest chocolate produced anywhere: Taza Chocolate (where a debate on whether to conch or not conch the chocolate is appropos and just a normal part of chocolate-making lingo!).
What I learned reading the Art of Eating article in Salon.com (click here) is that in chocolate-making “conching” refers to a process by which chocolate’s texture can be smoothed. The original conching machine (developed in 1874) was used to give creamy smoothness to the gritty raw chocolate beans, tempering it for taste and texture. The original chocolate conching machine was shaped like a seashell, and the name still refers to the chocolate mixture smoothing process that happens in the final stages of any chocolate making.
In the true artistry of chocolate purists who craft from bean to bar, Taza Chocolate is unique because they do not conch. They roast, winnow, grind, temper, and mold their chocolate by hand. And they use only authentic Oaxacan stone mills (instead of steel machine mills) to grind their organic cacao beans on a slightly imperfect surface, which allows small small particles of unrefined cacao to pop with intense uncompromised flavor in the finished chocolate, and to give their bars a distinct granular texture.
Chocolate. I love it all. Conched or not conched. And I’m so happy to know that Taza Chocolate exists, and to learn that something sea-inspired is a part of chocolate making history.
And as is the case with all the good things I blog about here, I’m not selling anything—I’m just having fun sharing some of the inspiring stuff that makes life a little more full of wonder and joy—and handcrafted all organic-ingredient chocolate is right up there near the top of that Sweet Life list.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go in search of my copy of one of my most favorite all-time movies: Chocolat! (I’m wondering if there’s a conching machine or grinder anywhere in the background that I didn’t notice before … and even if there isn’t, I just love Johnny Depp in this, don’t you?!)
Indulge! (And share a note about your favorite chocolate-lovin’ treats!)
This blog started out as a list of a whole buncha stuff I love …
… having fun making art collages is definitely on that list, especially when I’m inspired by the fabulous ARTchix Studio …
… ARTchix inspired their chixies to create Twinchies (2″ square collages) in a red, pink & green color palette …
… featuring “I love …” messages of whatever strikes our fancy at the moment … I loved making these …
… with snippets of this and that … bits and pieces from a magazine … great images and goodies from ARTchix …
… recycling … refreshing … renewing your creative spirit … reminding yourself of some favorite things that make you smile …
… yes, I love making art … making collages … taking little trips into the imagination … especially in The Bahamas!
ps … 5/18/2010: I’m posting the back side of the twinchie collages now. The originals have been mailed out as part of the swap and are arriving in their new homes … I like to leave some small element of surprise for the recipients of the originals when they receive them in the mail (in case they’ve already seen the card fronts in other ARTchix places!). For me, it’s just as fun creating the back side of the cards as the front side, so here they are!
I just love this movie. It’s the kind you can watch again and again and again. (And that’s only funny if you’ve seen it!) Will Punxatawney Phil see his shadow this year? Will there be six more weeks of winter? Or will you just hop on a flight to The Bahamas and enjoy the shadow of your beach umbrella!
Oh, sweet life.
Swaying to a samba beat.
A sheaf of smooth writing paper.
Eclectic embraces of everyday exquisiteness.
Aqua ocean vistas.
Basil and tomatoes plucked from the garden patch.
White sand beneath my feet. Movies screened on a moonlit beach.
Books. More books.
Veni. Vidi. Visa. (I came. I saw. I shopped!)
Luscious Italian everything.
Abundant wispy plumbago plants.
Gardenias. Night blooming jasmine.
Mary Anne Radmacher’s word gardens of inspiration.
Anne Lamott’s writings.
A freshly sharpened bouquet of pencils.
The Beauty & Truth Laboratories of Rob Brezsny.
The light in my husband’s eyes.
That little inside joke that makes my daughter laugh every time.
Seriously silly stuff.
Long, deep kisses that last three days. (And the movie, Bull Durham, where that line came from!)
Playing with words and images and impressions and ideas.
Having fun making art. Supporting art.
The steady thrum of a printing press.
Vintage wines. (And whines!)
My dear, dear wonderful family and deeply fabulous and funny friends,
(each enchanting in their own way).
Making a difference.
A lot of alliteration!
High tea. High heels.
Time and tides.
A tender touch.
And writing. Yes, definitely writing!
Those are just a few of my favorite things. (I really did start out to make a succinct list of just a handful of things, but then one happy thought leads to another, doesn’t it?) It’s hard to stop once you start to put a list like this together … so many pleasures and inspirations to ponder. I love it all. And I want it all. And writing that down helps me remember that I already have it all when I take a breath and really look and sit still long enough to simply enjoy and reflect on the swaths of sumptuous blessings that flow both through me and to me every day.
That’s what starting this blog is about for me. I am inspired by the wisdom, wit, and whimsy that wing their way through the web and keep us all connected when we’re brave enough to open our hearts and share all the things we love about life, as well as all the things that haven’t quite made that list just yet! We can talk about those another time; right now I’m just pleased to be giving this blog a first twirl ….
The mysteries and marvels, musings and music, are tuning up. Let’s dance!