Sunday, August 30, 2009

blue period

a california summer day

no cool breezes,no tongues of fog,but a heavy stillness , ripe like a full belly fig or a pile of yellow leaves, hung there.Off to Ubuntu we went,with temperatures around 100o in the land of grapes.Ah.. Ubuntu, a temple of color and taste that makes the eyes widen before the mouth rejoices.Most plates are like art canvases, where an impressionist chef would have casually placed as if with brushstrokes the petals,the droplets, the tiny leaves, to make each dish both visually stunning but also absolutely memorable.The offerings are vegetarian, light enough to not keep you from a meditative afternoon if desired, but satisfying in its just right richness.The melon and lemongrass cold soup starts as a mini meadow in a bowl,where a server pours the creamy rich coconut broth.Heaven.

here is their version of heirloom tomato salad:

or fritters:

So, after my second visit to Ubuntu, I would say to the chef: keep your philosophy, your creativity and style...5 stars !
To my readers:
I will bid good bye for a while, as I am about to face the biggest challenge of my life.When I return, my voice will bring you back to the doorstep of my transformed self.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

greek isle

There is a greek portion of my heart.I do not know which one or where because there is absolutely no greek ancestry in my background, but somehow, I feel pulled by the white and blue, the cubes of feta drizzled with local olive oil, the khol eyes donkeys with their laconic personnalities, the cycladic art,the pines forests, the retsina next to a bowl of just picked lemons but mostly the ouzo at sunset..... We had a trip planned some years back but had to cancel at the last minute.I am not giving up and may be soon, I will see some Greek Isles.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

ver veine

a little French word pun:
verveine is lemon verbenna, but when you split it, ver means green ( actually spelt vert but said with a silent t) and veine is luck or veine.I prefer luck as in green luck.
Now that the French lesson is over, we can move on to more important matters.
Like a watercolor with a greenish absinthish tint. It is my first attempt at a bigger format( 9x12) .If I sold some of these for a modest sum, I would be a very lucky person.....
Nothing like the company of friends over a cup of homemade verveine tea.
I will have some boxes of my melanges for sale come fall.I call it" plant poetry". If people like them, I will be even more lucky.

Monday, August 17, 2009

carpe diem

The Latin poet Horace would have been proud.
The weather was sparkling, the pique nique was planned, the swimsuits were packed.
Off we went to my idyllic spot,through foresty roads and golden hills.easy parking, the place was amazingly empty on such a gorgeous day.Against the fence , we plopped our necccesary collection of beach chairs, umbrella, cooler and Sunday paper. Then I went for a swim. The water was unusually warm and at the same time invigorating and healing.I spotted a woman next to us and noticed that she was wearing the same bathing suit. not holding back, I started talking to her which led to eventually exchanging numbers for a possible house swap.....carpe diem number 3....After lunch, another swim against the small waves, letting my hair get wet like the underwater blades of kelp.
On the way there I had noticed the roadside table of organic cider and apples and remember a time some years back, when we had stopped before and bought some. New, fresh apples just picked from the backyard of the red house with the bleating sheep.So, on our way home, we stopped again, and got a couple of pounds of the crispy sweet beauties.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I have a very strong attachment to the nesting principle.
Recently, my neighbor the squirrel hopped onto our deck one early morning and started to chew our chair pillows to get to the batting.Smart little beast. When I put later on some lint from our dryer ,trying to save the pillows: he refused. Well, it falls apart for one and get squashed. may be too fast....
When I finished harvesting and plucking the leaves from the thyme branches for my herbal tisanes, I felt compelled to shape them into a nest, and bury my nose into its cosy and fragrant center and breathe.

Monday, August 10, 2009


We drove up the Sonoma coast, past Jenner on the way to Gualala.The weather was blind-sunny, the pacific ocean a deep blue, the pine forests creeping down the hillsides, making bold shadows on the natural canvas before us. It was so amazingly beautiful that I was very happy to have agreed to a shared house with friends for a mini get-away.
a walk to the drift wood beach sampling blackberries on the way, books read, talks, simple and delicious meals.It is good to see new vistas and feel the sea breeze , making the dandelions flowers tremble underfoot.

Friday, August 7, 2009


When we would arrive at 9 am, the restaurant kitchen would be still, empty and dry.But in no time, chickens would be hacked, rice noodles would pop up in hot oil, big as white afros , mushrooms would be soaking, crab shells would be floating in giant stock pots.......a hushed ballet would follow,crisscrossing between the three rooms, only the scrapping of the woks would be heard over the din of the dining room.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

last chance

After the Bings and the Sours, I felt that I needed to grab the last bags of Rainier, yes I know they are from Washington state , but who can resist a meaty,juicy, sweet, picture perfect last of the short season Rainier ?