26 April 2015

"I am doing the best I can."

Julia and the small clay globe she made at school for Earth Day.
She also learned the following song sung to the Farmer in the Dell tune ...
We love the Earth, our home -
Its oceans and its trees.
We eat the food and breath the air,
(inhale deeply)
So no pollution, please!

Several things coincided with Earth Day this week: one was the Table of Faiths dinner sponsored by the Greater KC Interfaith Council and one was AIDS Walk KC.

I celebrated Earth Day by increasing my understanding of watersheds during an informative presentation by the Blue River Watershed Association and by watching a striking film called “Chasing Ice,” which follows the work of James Balog as he tracks and photographs the rapidly melting glaciers that are the dead canaries in our coal mine earth. The long list of contaminants in our water and the startling statistics on how rapidly our climate is changing motivated me to redouble my actions, even as they also left me feeling discouraged. Will I and my efforts really make enough of a difference?

A few days later, on Saturday, I attended AIDS Walk KC for the first time in my many years in this city. I was so moved to see so many people gather for the same cause. Many people walked in memory of those they’ve lost; others walked simply in solidarity. Each person there put a drop in the bucket of support. It is a bucket that needs filling and that can only fill one drop at a time. 

In my mind I went back to the night before Earth Day, to the Table of Faiths dinner that Sergio and I attended. During the closing remarks, Reverend Kelly Isola invited everyone in attendance, which is to say people from a wide variety of faith traditions and people who represent a broad spectrum of religious expressions, to “do the thing that is yours to do.” Which, of course, means different things for different people.

I decided that maybe the things that I do - the actions I take to combat hatred or environmental degradation - are the things that are mine to do. And maybe it doesn’t matter that they are small. They are mine and I am compelled to do them.

Maybe it is my job to be a hummingbird ...

19 April 2015

Stinging Nettle

"Stinging Nettle" - such an "Eye of Newt" kind of name

This is stinging nettle. It's a wild edible, I suppose, although you can't eat it when you find it in the wild. I didn't actually find it in the wild myself - I found it at the Eat Local and Organic Expo. It was my farmers who found it growing wild on their farm. I bought it out of curiosity.

It's stings your skin when you touch it (hence the name) but it's safe to eat if you cook it first. ("Really?" I asked the farmer. "Really?" Sergio asked me when I told him. "Really?" You might be asking yourself.) Really it is.

I followed this recipe which instructs you to steam it for 20 mins, which I did and which takes away the sting. This site also says that nettle puts kale and spinach to shame. ("Really?" I wondered, having long since been convinced that kale is the "valedictorian of vegetables.")

Low and behold it is rich in antioxidants. I wonder, are all those nutrients cancelled out if I cram my stinging nettle into a hot mess of eggs and cheese? Even if it's local/organic/free-range eggs and cheese? Maybe. Maybe not. But it tasted good. The recipe worked almost perfectly apart from the fact that I don't know how to make an omelette; any shortcomings of this dish were due entirely to my ineptitude. The stinging nettle was great. Spinachy-tasting in the omelette, though it gave off the most complex minty-potato-ish kind of smell while it steamed.

I wondered why it is I've made it this far in life and haven't learned how to make an omelette. I guess it's because I don't like them all that well.

But I liked this one for sure.

Looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow.

Stinging Nettle Omelete (or Omelette?)