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I can’t concentrate on the keyboard. I keep drifting away into the wonderland in my head where Hauschka‘s piano rolls out a stairway in front of my eyes, and I ascend step by step into the air, surrounded by blue lollypops wrapped in red ribbons, and corpulent purple elephants taking an escalator down. Then, there’s a cloud of hippy bees buzzing by, followed by uptight butterflies dressed in unicolored suits and bow-ties.

I’m on zero medication, and it’s the music alone that afforded me a mid-afternoon high.

The reason I’m here today is to save the life of that half wilted zucchini in your refrigerator. There’s also a sad chunk of drying out bacon, or even better–pancetta–in the cheese drawer of your icebox that must be resuscitated immediately. And for the love of Zeus, how long do you think you can keep frozen peas in a freezer? They do expire, too, you know.

There’s no reason to toss food away, when it can be utilized in the most delicious way. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Every week, usually on Saturday, we do grocery shopping. Come Friday, I’m left with a handful of unused produce in our refrigerator, and a brand new challenge of turning it into a healthy, satisfying and comforting dinner for two. I’m not scared. On the contrary, I opt to face the music. That’s when I get to flex my creative muscle.

One of the babies of that intense and inspired labor was my ZUCCHINI, PEAS & PANCETTA MEDLEY. In other words, I saved the precious enzymes, mincro-elements, and hopefully also a few vitamins that then nourished our bodies, instead of being thrown away to the garbage and letting cockroaches rise in power.

The dish is so simple and self-explanatory, one does not even need a recipe. I will recap the steps in an effort to help you stayed organized.

Pancetta was diced and tossed into a hot skillet, and soon after chunks of zucchini followed. I seasoned the bunch gently with salt, as the bacon itself is salty already. Freshly ground black pepper, a touch of paprika, a dash of cayenne pepper for that extra punch in the nose all added flavor to my mixture. Half way through the coloring process (I like my veg a bit ruddy on the cheeks), in went the frozen peas. Five to seven more minutes and everybody was happy enough to leave the fire. A perfect time to finish the creation off with a teaspoon of my compound butter I told you about not long ago. The aroma of garlic and herbs unlocked from the creamy butter wrapped itself around every single green element on the plate, not leaving behind slightly salty and chewy bits of rendered pancetta.

We devoured the side dish along with steamed broccoli and a roasted leg of an organic chicken… Yes, it was a feast, and hardly did it look like the waiting area of an Emergency Room.

Do yourself a favor and save your hard-earned money. Don’t waste food. People in Asia, Africa, in your own city go to bed hungry each day, and only a fraction of them does it for vanity reasons. Let’s utilize more, and trash less. In general.


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Don’t feel left in a limbo after my last entry. I shall be back tomorrow schlepping along that promised recipe for the soup you can make with a homemade chicken stock. In the meantime, it’s Sunday. Also, it’s about 12 hours after a concert we attended with Jason last night. A concert that cannot be left unmentioned.

I hope you’re already in the know, and thus seek out everything Joanna Newsom related. However, if reading the name causes no reaction within your skeletal structure whatsoever, boy, do you have some catching up to do.

Joanna Newsom is a fairy, a little forest creature that, if you were to look very close, you’d discover she has pointy ears and tiny, translucent wings under the veil of her wheat-colored hair. She’s a child and a wizard in one body, a witch and a poet, an old soul trapped within a body of this 28-year old girl. She’s The Lady With A Harp.

She played at the Orpheum last night to a room full of the admirers of her talent, with a number of celebrities of various caliber scattered among the audience. I spotted SNL’s Andy Samberg and Maya Rudolph (not together), Busy Philipps of Dawson’s Creek, along with some other familiar faces I was not able attach a name to. Let me tell you what happened, and what you can expect to experience while listening to joanna Newsom’s music. For the sake of this presentation, we’ll pretend you are there right now…

You, the spectator, sit and make yourself comfortable, watch her come on stage and bow gracefully, then introduce all the musicians that will accompany her tonight. She positions herself by her instrument–the harp–takes a breath and begins to sing…

A crystal ball of a voice is uttered into the air, and suddenly an emotion hits you straight in your chest. You loose your breath for a moment, and the wall of your stomach begins to tremble like a membrane. The emotion rolls over upon itself and lifts inside your body upwards, through your throat that instantly shuts down, and into your skull. It keeps growing as it levitates within and looks for an outlet as you can’t contain it any longer. The emotion swells up, crystal clear like water with a touch of salt, and such impregnated glides over your eyeballs only to roll out through your eyes to the outside world. Your stomach still trembles as an autumn leaf on a tree that readies itself for winter. You struggle to take a breath, and the emotion keeps building inside, and travels the same distance up to your brain only to look for a release through your tears again.

The emotion is thy reaction to the beauty of her music.

Let me share with you one of my favorite Newsom’s songs called “Good Intentions Paving Company” (thank you, Youtube). Listening to this, for me, is like going on a field trip around the world. First, I hop on a stunning stallion and ride through medieval forests and meadows with grass waist-high. Then, Falkor, the luck dragon from The Neverending Story, pulls me up on its neck and off we fly into the skies and float above the clouds and play with their mate–wind–like children. Suddenly, we slow down, and as Falkor sets me gently on a bed of wild flowers I’m surrounded by a circle of fantastical characters. We hold hands and swing sideways creating a wave of energy that begins to spin faster and faster, and then takes me up into the air again, and I’m floating like a balloon, free and completely exhausted, but happy… Affinity.

That’s my trip.

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