Exiting Eden

My family was fortunate enough to see Maui this past March, and we were giddy with excitement about it. In the car, en route to the airport, we stated our vacation goals. Husband: to do as little as possible. Youngest: to see a dolphin and a turtle (in the interest of which she wore one dolphin and one turtle earring). Oldest: to snorkel and swim as much as possible. Halfway through the holiday, they were all meeting, and exceeding their goals. “And what was I hoping to do?” I asked. My youngest piped up in a let’s-speed-this-along voice, “Mom, we know. You filled that gelato punch card. That’s it right? That’s really great Mom.”

As enjoyable, if not admirable, as it is to fill an entire punchcard with holes at Maui Gelato, the goal I specifically stated at the beginning of the trip was to do something I had never done before. I don’t make gluttony a goal. That’s like making blinking at regular intervals a goal.

Keopuka Rock, viewed from The Garden of Eden

So I left them. Really, I had no choice. I knew I couldn’t make it all the way to Hana, but I wanted to see part of the famous (62 miles from Paia to Hana, 620 curves) road, and I figured the only way not to get carsick was to be the driver. This famous highway is shocking. Even though you are hugging the hillside, trying not to die, going from tight to tighter switchback, someone is always riding your tail. It astounds me that the death toll isn’t higher. I didn’t want to go further than a third of the way, partly because I knew I would have to drive back on the ocean side and I was dreading it.

I parked in one of the micro pullouts and rock-hopped up a stream to take a quick dip at the base of a waterfall, but I mean quick. Why didn’t I bask in the jungly solitude? It’s embarrassing and ridiculous, but I was alone in an eerie shaded canyon, near Keopuka Rock, where the opening scene of Jurassic Park was filmed. Despite repeated self-beratement, I could not shake the sensation that a carnivorous dinosaur might come lumbering hungrily out of the ferns. They are extinct, you say? Most people don’t even get the last word of the previous sentence out before they are eaten and partially digested by something enormous.

At mile marker 10.5 lies the Garden of Eden Arboretum and Botanical Garden. I knew it would be lovely, because I read guidebooks like novels. I stopped on my way back and saw a 100 year old mango tree, traveler’s palms as big as a garage, and loads of flowers in vigorous, riotous bloom in the heavy tropical heat. The colors were intense, outrageous, the way everything is in the tropics. The screeching and warbling of birds was constant; the insects were deafening; I could hear myself sweating. I leaned over a viewpoint to see the dizzying, winding road below that I would soon be back on. If I was going to get back on the horse, I needed reinforcements.

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One of many Hana Highway one-lane bridges, completed in 1911

20170403_143352 (1)At the exit was a food truck, the Garden Gourmet Cafe. This nomenclature felt like a missed opportunity to me. No Eve’s Eatery, Forbidden Kitchen or Tree of Knowledge Cantina? All the meals sounded fantastic, but I was thirsty and Hawaii is a great place for juices. At the window I beheld a young woman of absolutely absurd physical beauty. As I mentioned, everything is over the top there. She was the Keawakapu Beach of females – impossibly beautiful, yet, there she was. It’s the humidity, I guess. I would never work in a food truck if I were her. Like a unicorn, I would be frozen near a reflective surface, (pond, mirror, spoon) utterly transfixed by my own perfection. I tried to rub the raccoon eyes off my lower lids, straightened my stretched and sagging bikini top, (I threw it away that night) and choked out an order: pineapple-strawberry smoothie, with a bit of citrus.

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painted gum tree

It was simply fresh fruit with ice and a wheel of enormous, aromatic, green-rinded lemon laid on top. I have never seen this fruit’s like, and still don’t know what type of lemon it was, but I ate it, peel and all, after drinking the best smoothie of my life. The pineapple and strawberries were a recent harvest, grown on the island. Fruit eaten ripe and so close to its harvest is as good as life gets.

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I paused near my car as an aggressively fabulous peacock strode by, trailing an endless gown of shimmering emerald feathers. Peacocks are gaudily gorgeous anyway, but this one, like everything else there, made me feel like I was using psychedelic mushrooms. Just like the food truck Lilith, this creature was seven times prettier than necessary. I wanted to take my drink with me, but it was so icily, fruitily divine, I finished it right there, near the spot where Eve succumbed to the serpent. That sly devil must have tempted her with this very same forbidden fruit smoothie. I would give in, too. I always do.

Forbidden Fruit Smoothie (if you dare)

I generally avoid temptation, unless I can’t resist it. -Mae West

a small variety of strawberries, preferably local, dark red, and very sweet
(no need to remove stems)
some Maui Gold pineapple, chunked

If you have a powerful blender, you can even use the core, (my mom taught me that) which tastes delicious but is normally too fibrous to eat as is. Blend the fruits up with ice and enjoy. Top with citrus or squeeze some in.

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A Walk in the Woods

Stars, when you shine, you know how I feel.
Scent of the pine, you know how I feel.  Nina Simone

I wasn’t raised on hiking; my parents favored gardening for exercise, and my mother played tennis. I have proved lacking in intuitive gifts in either of these areas, but in Colorado, I discovered hiking. That was in my 20s, but it’s my 40s that have truly been my Cheryl Strayed – minus the heroin addiction – decade. I have spent glorious, verdant hours in the woods, and I have loved it. I have hiked in the desert too, (narrowly escaping death [see “Die Another Day“]) and actually, that was pretty fun too. Trails often mean swims, and they always mean picnics.

This year, I was off to a joyful start when I took my oldest to Little Si in January, on what proved to be the only nice day for several sodden, frigid months. I had to abandon my plan to hike once in each month, but am picking it up again in 2018. I live wonderfully close to the Olympic National Forest, where some of my favorite spots are. Getting to the North Cascades requires more time and tedious traffic, though as I was recently reminded, it’s worth the effort. Behold:

Gregory at Picnic Rock, Lake Serene

My longtime friend, Gregory Ann, and I converged at the trailhead to Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene. She came from the north, me from the south. Her washing machine exploded as she was trying to make her escape, I encountered hours of traffic, and 30 Mad Max minutes in the warehouse vortex of Tukwila, asking people at the side of the rode if they knew where I could get gas. No one did. I finally had to render some fuel from discarded briquettes I found behind an abandoned house. It’s a simple process really.

I hadn’t been on Highway 2 in a few years, since the time I hiked to Surprise Lake after a night spent (surprise!) in my minivan with my sister in the Gold Bar fire station parking lot. I don’t always plan well (though I always bring my dad’s 65 year old snake bite kit from the Korean War). But fortune favors the bold, (and sometimes the idiotic) so in spite of the day’s repeated thwartings of our goal to just please meet up for a hike for pity’s sake, I arrived in the dusty parking lot within seven minutes of her.

I will say this: if you can get to this place, then go. Be sure to take the side trail (this adds one mile to total 8.2) to the falls. Then get back on the main trail and go all the way to the lake, even if it takes hours. In 100 Classic Hikes: Washington, Craig Romano rates this hike “moderate.” Okay, for an ultra runner, maybe. Greg trots up mountains with a goat’s nonchalance, but on this humid, 80 degree day, we agreed this was on the rougher side of moderate. I am just telling you so you bring enough water. My advice remains: get your ass up there.

And since you’re going, swim in the lake. I felt deeply humbled by the purity of it – the teal green depths cupped perfectly below eerily beautiful rock formations. The water was not nearly as cold as I braced for, and as I slipped in, I felt my good fortune surround me for a moment: a good friend, a perfect spot poised between heaven and earth, and of course, a picnic.

Cookies to Get You There

These are such good cookies. When you make them with macadamia nuts, you swoon; so make sure you are not perched on the edge of a precipice. Macadamias are expensive, so feel free to use another nut, chocolate chips or another dried fruit.

1 cup flour (I have used almond flour, though it’s hard to get the dough to cohere)
1 cup rolled (old-fashioned) oats
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (I sometimes replace the oats with more coconut)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup dried cranberries

Mix flour, oats, nuts, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. In separate bowl, beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until blended. Beat in the egg until smooth, then drizzle in the maple syrup and vanilla until incorporated. Turn mixer to low and gradually add dry ingredient mixture and dried cranberries. Blend just to combine.

Chill dough up to 30 minutes, covered. All cookie dough, in my experience, works better after a bit of chilling. I have chilled it longer, but it gets a bit firm. Bake in walnut sized balls at 350 for 9 minutes. As always, that’s an estimated baking time. When they are lightly browned on top, they are done.

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Tall, Green, Crunchy

Growing up, I spent a lot of time foraging in the woods. When the neighborhood girls and I weren’t in the midst of an epic hissy fit, or wreaking revenge on each other, we were building forts in the forest. These endeavors constitute some of my most vivid girlhood memories, especially the construction of the kitchen portion of the fort. I was forever concocting a “salad” of leaves, grasses and pine cone croutons. Whether this boded well or ill for the future of my cooking, I can’t say. I do know that it planted in me an abiding love for greenery, on my plate and around me. And all that scrounging around for ingredients was the beginning of a life of inventive salad-making, with or without lettuce.

It’s true: you don’t need lettuce to make a salad. If you are from the Midwest, you know this, my friend Jana informs me, because you have been making salads for generations with cool whip, Snickers bars and marshmallows. The thought of that concoction sends me running for pine cone croutons and cedar frond frisee. Recently, I have reunited with an old favorite staple of the lettuceless salad: celery. Ah, the discreet charms of this oft maligned plant!

When my girls were wee, they would watch Olivia, a whimsical children’s program based on the adorable Ian Falconer books. Olivia’s mom is one of my mothering role models (I get most of mine from children’s literature because the mothers who aren’t dead of a mysterious wasting disease are often pretty good). She has three children and runs an event planning/catering business. She stands in her kitchen, trotters jutting out beneath her sensible pencil skirt, reassuring a client that yes, there will be gluten free options at the bar mitzvah. Erstwhile her piglets run amok through the house, and she remains the picture of everlasting maternal calm.

What does this have to do with celery? Stay with me. Another character I enjoyed was Olivia’s monotone best friend, Julian with his ever present ipod. When Olivia asks, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Julian replies, “I’m just trying to get through the day.” I hear you. Julian was assigned to be celery in the school play and his song went, “Look at me, I’m Cel-er-y. I’m tall and green and crunchy.” Heck yes. Surely there is no need for a more ringing endorsement of a vegetable than that?

julian

I love celery, and the stalks and leaves serve perfectly as the base for a crunchy (tall and green too) salad. My rendition of this dish was inspired by a salad recipe from Seattle blogger and restaurateur, Molly Wizenberg. You can add pasta to this and call it dinner. Feel free to call it dinner if it gets you full as is, but my cavernous stomach refuses to fill up without some pasta. It has to be whole wheat though; white flour is a younger woman’s game.

Everytime my youngest comes to me with pickings from the yard, nestled together in a bucket of dubious cleanliness and asks, “Are these all edible?” I see a future saladmistress in the making.

Easy Salad Even Piglets Might Like

One big head of celery, leaves included, sliced
One jar of artichoke hearts, cut in half (preferably grilled and marinated by Trader Joe’s, of course)
One can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
a lot of chopped parsley (add alternate or additional herbs if you prefer)
chopped chives (optional)
shredded parmesan
olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice to taste

Combine it all and stir. Eat it in a tree.

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Gingertini

Isn’t that spectacular? On our recent vacation, I was fortunate enough to take a trip to the Molokini crater aboard the Four Winds catamaran. Like so much of family life, this excursion was a mixed bag. I am not one to book a tour, being a cheapskate and a crowdshunner, but I was fascinated by the partially submerged crater out there like an enormous toenail clipping. I doubt I will ever see water so blue again. It hurt my eyes, and almost made me tearful; I can’t describe the emotion it called up. It was just so utterly… blue (like no blue I ever see again will be blue, it will be something else). The water was choppy, making my two skittish daughters, who fear most modes of transport, even more edgy and weepy, (imagine traveling with a cat who has been caught up in a funnel cloud, and a seizure-prone rabbit).

The snorkeling felt frenetic, though the water was clear. I was grateful for the crystalline view of flippers and bronzed gluteal globes in those buttless swimsuits that threaten to be perpetually in style, before either of these items whacked me in the head underwater. But still, it was worth it, since I was never going to get there any other way. Plus get this: my husband went down the kid slide on the back of the boat. Not noteworthy in and of itself, but he let out a whoop in an effort to show off for the nearby, vomiting children. An Australian woman in the water said, “Now I don’t feel so bad about my girly scream, mate.” You can’t put a price on that.

Did I mention there was an open bar on the Four Winds? Okay, not as thrilling as it sounds, because Coors in the morning is something I will only take part in under duress or post-apocalyptically. Instead, I had about seven of the most delightful plain seltzers mixed with ginger puree, poured for me by Dave, a charming lad of indeterminate age, who was so easygoing he defined the island ethos. I insisted Dave name the drink, and after some collaborating, we pronounced it a Four Winds Gingertini (not the name of a bikini for a redhead, or a nickname for my youngest daughter, though perhaps it should be). At home I add lime, and I am thinking of trying it with kaffir lime leaves and a drop of coconut extract. If you are going to start drinking before lunch, best to stick to this refreshing mocktail.

The boat trip back to the marina included a surprise encounter with two dolphins, the first we have ever seen in the wild and the first ever, period, for my daughters.* This was moving and gratifying, but there’s more! We witnessed what must have been the final trio of mother, baby and “male escort,” humpback whales, preparing to depart for Alaska. The boat idled as we watched the baby learn to flip its tail around and be both adorable and awe-inspiring in the way that only a massive marine mammal can be. Again, a first. If we are lucky, not our last, but I don’t want to get greedy. The male escort will see them back to Alaska, auditioning for the role of next season’s mate. It’s not a bad system, since you don’t really know someone until you travel with them. I wished him luck, and nerves of steel, since he would be traveling with an adolescent. Smooth travels, my enormous friend.

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*We were pleased to learn on our visit to the Maui Ocean Center, that the county of Maui does not allow dolphins, porpoises, or whales to be held in captivity. May the rest of the world follow suit. Are we beginning to realize that inspiring, intelligent animals were not put on earth to alleviate our perpetual boredom? Should we encounter each other in their habitat, we can count ourselves blessed by the chance meeting. If we never do, well then, they haven’t missed much.

 

Island Fever

I recently returned from Maui, my first trip back to that island since my first glimpse, 35 years ago. I stepped off the plane as an adolescent, into the sweetness of plumeria on the soft air, and pronounced it (as so many have before and since) “paradise.” That was the early 80’s, when Maui was in its surge of popularity and growth. “Here Today, Gone to Maui,” was the motto on the t-shirts and minds of everyone over 18 (the former legal drinking age in the islands). It wasn’t as packed, cheek by sandy, sweaty jowl, with tourists and poorly planned development as it is in its current (still jaw-dropping, yet…) state of paradise partially lost. Though even if it had been, it would have still seemed like Eden to a girl from south Tacoma.

It’s a testament to the stunning beauty of Hawaii that I remember that trip so fondly. In truth, I got sunburned, soundly, on the first day. I was in such whimpering agony for the rest of the trip that anytime another person, an article of clothing, or my 1982 asymmetrical pony tail so much as brushed my skin, I felt an electric nervous jolt followed by itching of biblical proportions. And yet, I have spent every day of the ensuing 35 years longing to be there again. I now use sunscreen, lots, though still too little, too late, I am afraid.

I was so mesmerized by the plumeria trees on that long ago trip, that I bought a perfume in the airport right before departure, using it sparingly for years until it turned brown and grainy in the bottle. I have never found that same scent again, despite desperate and determined sniffing of every perfume available in airport gift shops.

Though the beaches are splendid, and the swimming transcendent, dining can be a mundane, yet pricey, experience on Maui. I had a few meals I could have done without, but I will say that Coconuts restaurant makes a delicious fish taco with mango salsa. But it was the frozen desserts, not the main courses, that were the star of the trip.

Ingenious tables with holes

I received an admonition from a transplanted Mauian residing in Olympia, to go to Ululani’s Shave Ice. I had never tried shave ice before since I assumed it was a glorified, overpriced snow cone. The only snow cone I ever bought, was knocked from my hand by a passerby when I was 11 and, not being a particularly resilient child, I never ordered another. Ululani’s sign states they serve it up with “Alohatude,” (gratitude with the spirit of Aloha) and the young employees did not disappoint. For the remainder of the trip, I found ample opportunity to inquire of my offspring, “Hey! Where’s your Alohatude?” Surprisingly, this was not received in a spirit of Aloha(tude).

At Ululani’s we discovered Roselani’s ice cream. This delicious treat is produced on Maui and can be deposited in the bottom of your shave ice so you get creaminess and iciness in every bite. Allow me to recommend these flavors: coconut-pineapple and mango cream.

We were thrilled to our sandy toes to discover Maui Gelato near our condominium. They also served Roselani’s, along with their own gelato. I am mad for pistachio anything, and their’s was fantastic. Though I was skeptical at first, since it wasn’t the signature green I have come to expect (obviously, the green is dye, but it may be the one time I support its use). I was surprised since they clearly had a free hand with the artificial colorings in their other flavors (local doesn’t mean natural, after all). But the caramel colored (perhaps it was actually dyed that color) pistachio was excellent.

I was playing fast and loose with my gelato intake for the first time since my trip to Europe at age 22 when I first encountered the stuff. I was rising, somewhat ponderously, from the table, claiming to the girls that I was going to just have another, when my oldest said with the sanctimony unique to preteens, “Well, I certainly am not.” My youngest turned on her and said, urgently, “Don’t try to be a role model! I like the way mom is on vacation!” It’s true, I am easy to be with when I know I will be in the sun and ocean every day, even with my flesh slightly stuffed into my two-piece as a result of relaxed standards. After all, in the absence of debilitating sunburns, they needed something to remember the trip by: “Remember that time we got to eat tons of gelato and mom got a stomach ache and looked embarrassing in her swimsuit? Ya, that was fun.”

On a calm, made-to-order morning on Keawakapu Beach, I watched my daughters caper around in the surf, get bowled over and disappear in froth. They bubbled up, grinning, every tooth visible, their faces partially covered in tentacles of soaked hair. I love the ocean – I live for it – but perhaps no bliss I experience can compare to the intensity, the purity, of their youthful exuberance. For just a moment it came to me, the fragrance reaching me over the aerosol sunscreen, sizzling Wisconsin shoulders and wafts of Maui Wowie. There is was: plumeria, the scent of paradise regained.

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My favorite vacation mates

 

Naked Lunch

The weather* (don’t ask me to describe it, because I am running out of synonyms for abysmal) has given me a burning hot case of Spring fever. Are you similarly afflicted with the urge to strip down to your pallid flesh and leap, starkers, into a body of water? Well, thankfully, it was time for my annual jaunt with my girlfriend, Lori. This year, it was back to Oregon, but no urban restaurant hopping this time. We were headed into the woods, to Breitenbush Hot Springs, or, as my husband calls it: naked camp.

It’s so good to get away, I thought, as we wound our way into the snowy Williamette National Forest. What?…Wait a minute – snow? Where’s Spring? I had pictured myself skipping along the hiking trails, observing the budding new foliage while birds landed on my finger like in Cinderella. But Persephone can’t be rushed, apparently. The goddess of Springtime was still huddled up in water-repellent gore-tex.

So instead, I found myself watching a deer, her bored companion beside her, standing chest deep in the snow, masticating heaven knows what flora, for a quarter of an hour without taking another bite of anything. I became transfixed, and also sympathetic to her girlfriend, who reminded me of my friends/husband who have had to sit by patiently while I consume fibrous, labor-intensive salads. What was this dogged ungulate working over, pine cones? Pebbles? How, you may wonder, given my negligible attention span, was I able to observe this little tableau with the attentiveness of a Chinese filmmaker? Well, without the distraction of cell and internet service, a person can become obsessively attuned to nature. I was actually in Qi Gong class at the time, starring out the window while beaming emerald green light to my liver with an invisible ball of energy. Don’t knock it, my liver has never felt better. I figured if I was going to be at an unapologetically – and rather touchingly, I admit – hippie enclave, then I better start my morning with Qi Gong. Why do it if you aren’t going to do it?

I gave in, a bit, to the lingering winter, and had a moment in the pool at the edge of the woods, with snow falling softly on my face, that I thought maybe this is what it’s like to be in Japan. I was finally, blissfully unclad, and no one was around. I am a devoted nudist, (partly because I find it difficult to coordinate outfits) but I am also an introvert, so I don’t need company while I am bare. It was all so lovely. Then, the next day I awoke to seven fresh inches of snowfall and a car that looked like an enormous snow cone. I was, as my companion will grimly concur, a little grumpy.

But allow me to rhapsodize about the food at Breitenbush. It’s vegetarian, organic, plentiful, and fully deserving of its sumptuous reputation. Thrice daily I waited, practically panting, for the sound of the bell. At one point, I was in yoga, breathing through my heels, when it gonged. I was about to jump through a window and land on the deer, when the teacher said in a soothing-to-crazy-people voice, “I forgot to mention we go a few minutes over time in this class. We can eat any time, but we can’t all come together like this any time can we?” Is she really asking me that? Eat anytime? Who’s the crazy one here?  When we did our final release of energy – or something – she said, “Here we are, relaxed, refreshed and -” “Hungry,”  I interjected, pathetically. You should have seen me hightail it to the dining hall for breakfast where I found dates to put on on my oatmeal along with a two-cheese frittata! HOW DID THEY KNOW??

One of the breakfast cooks, Jamel, said, “I put a lot of love into the food, so it’s so great when people notice.” Then she hugged me. She definitely put love into that frittata, because if two cheddars doesn’t equal love then I don’t know love. Food made with love will get me out of bed in the morning and yes, I will walk through the snow for it, and even do pre-breakfast yoga. This is what drives me on. Martin Luther said nothing is accomplished in this world without hope (the hope of breakfast, for instance, or Spring). But nothing – NOTHING – worthwhile is accomplished in the kitchen, without love.

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*This was the coldest winter since 1985, the wettest February on record, and rainfall from November to mid-March exceeded that normally received in an entire year.

 

Be Well

Let’s face it, the only advantage to being sick is the grousing you get to do. That, and the free pass to binge-watch This is Us (or as I call it: This is Handsome – are the men on that show for real?). My youngest and I had the flu at the same time and spent three codependent days in a loop of starring at the ceiling, brushing her dolls’ hair, and dozing off. I really don’t know if she has gone to school at all in the last month. She isn’t here now, so I think she went back. I had every possible symptom and suffered immeasurably and – wait! There is another benefit to being sick: boring people to anguished tears by describing your experience!

I got the virus, my husband got it, my friends got it, my mom and sister got it, and then, once the plague cycled through, everyone got a secondary ailment. I landed a lingering case of the blues (right before a second – but shorter – round of the virus).

I get horribly morose when I’m ill. On one of my low days, I went on a quest for some kombucha. (I transitioned directly from ridiculing kombucha drinkers to being a kombucha drinker. Life is funny). I walked into Ralph’s Thriftway when, for the first time in my life, an automatic door shut, firmly, on me. I was pressed for a moment between the squeezing panels until they registered my feeble resistance and retracted. It was as I had feared: I had ceased to be. Illness had leeched away my essence and even the automatic doors no longer recognized my personhood. This is how I get when I am sick. It’s why marriage vows used to include “in sickness and in health,” before everyone realized the “in sickness” portion was too tall an order.

My mom and sister both drop about 7 pounds apiece when they are sick. They emerge, weakened but winnowed, looking like Marlene Dietrich. They complain to me about it, and I listen, feigning sympathy over the phone while I munch, munch, munch on my third bowl of honey coconut oil popcorn. Loss of appetite? Maybe someday when I am ready to kiss this cruel world goodbye, but for now, illness doesn’t dampen my desire for meals. Although it may prevent me from being energetic enough to cook them.

I recently discovered the subdued charms of miso soup. My phone autocorrects this to “misogynist soup,” but I am trying to ignore that and assume it isn’t part of the larger cultural zietgeist. I don’t feel justified in offering a recipe for this, since any carton of miso will tell you exactly what to do (mix with warm chicken broth and bonito flakes, add scallions, tofu, etc) but I do want to recommend it, in case you are one of the remaining ill in Olympia.

I made it a couple times recently and at my daughter’s urging, added rice noodles. It’s convenient to have a container of the paste in the fridge so you can make a quick cup up anytime you are feeling sick/morose. And if you use Better than Bouillon, which comes in several varieties, then you don’t have to open a whole carton of broth.

Drink a cup, and contemplate just how horribly I suffered during this gruesome cold and flu season. And if you want to call, I will be happy to tell you all about it.

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