mulberryshoots

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

a ‘jimmy carter meal’ part 2 . . .

jimmy carter dinner

Here’s our dinner in honor of Jimmy Carter:

3 vegetables: cucumber soup, creamed corn, summer squash;

corn muffins;

and a glass of cold buttermilk!

Made from vegetables from farm stands ready to go on a Sunday afternoon at home. I noticed that it was a delicious meal, made from simple recipes whose tastes complemented each other in a soft and tasty way. Moreover, there was not a hint of obligation to be “vegetarian” – no moral tone to undercut the meal at all. It was just vegetables, cornbread and buttermilk.

I’m thinking we could do this pretty often from now on!

The only thing I might have done differently would be to make the corn muffins from scratch than from a Jiffy box. But the muffins were very quick and easy.

We raised a glass to Jimmy Carter and to his wife, Rosalynn – and hope that their days may be filled with grace whatever comes their way.

a suitcase full of ‘wrong notes’ . . .

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We just heard an anecdote about pianists that some of you might enjoy. It appeared during “The Art of Piano,” a YouTube documentary almost 2 hours long which featured a generation of pianists gone by (Paderewski, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Josef Hofman, Alfred Cortot, Sviatoslav Richter, Claudio Arrau, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz and Emil Gilels among others including Edwin Fischer.)

Someone described a conversation between Clara Haskil, (a noted pianist in her own right and accompanist to Arthur Grumiaux, the violinist) and her companion on a train travelling in Europe. During the ride, the two musicians noted and discussed numerous pianists and what they thought of them. When they got to Edwin Fischer, Haskil said, “Oh, but he plays so many wrong notes! more than anyone we listen to.”

As they got up to disembark the train, a gentleman stood up in front of them who turned out to be none other than Edwin Fischer who had been sitting in the next compartment unbeknownst to Haskil and her friend. He turned to them with a smile and asked if they would help him lift his large suitcase from the upper luggage rack, saying it was very heavy because “it contains all of my wrong notes!”

Numerous contemporary pianists such as Daniel Barenboim, Evgeny Kissin and Piotr Anderdrewski commented on the pianists of yore. And even though the documentary was much longer than we had anticipated, there were notable omissions, at least to me: Dinu Lipatti, Jorge Bolet and Rudolf Serkin.

But it was worthwhile watching– and we thought the little tale about the suitcase containing wrong notes was very funny.

Here’s a link to “Art of Piano”

a jimmy carter meal . . .

jimmy carter mealI read that Jimmy Carter, who has just learned that he has cancer, likes to visit a favorite diner where he lives in Plains, Georgia (Mimmie’s Restaurant) and always orders the same thing: “three vegetables, cornbread and a glass of buttermilk.”

We wish Jimmy Carter well! He’s led by example and pounded the nails at Habitat, worked in the fields and still teaches classes in Sunday School. He hasn’t just signed checks and made speeches as a philanthropist – he’s “been there and done that” for decades since he was President of the United States. At ninety years old, he and Rosalynn are fortunate they’ve had each other while sharing their life journey for so long.

And tonight, we’re going to have a Jimmy Carter meal for supper!

Our vegetables will be leek/cucumber soup, pale green squash, creamed fresh corn and cornbread. I’ll probably have a cold glass of buttermilk too! The soup has already simmered and is cooling on the stove ready to be processed in the blender. I’ll make the cornbread later in the afternoon while catching up on how the PGA tournament is going. And the squash and creamed corn will be prepared right before we sit down to eat.

I’ve discovered a way to cook supermarket corn on the cob which is not usually as sweet nor as fresh as that found at farm stands. But if one doesn’t have time to run around, it’ll definitely do. We husk the corn and make sure that there are no silk strands adhering to the cob; then cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp, serrated paring knife. (the kernels like to hop all over the place but are easily picked up on the countertop if you line it with paper towels.) For 3 ears, I melt about a third of a stick of unsalted butter in a skillet and simmer the kernels gently to absorb the butter. Then, I’ll add about a spoonful of agave nectar (sugarless sweetener) which is the secret of this recipe – others might want to add some light brown sugar. As it cooks and combines, I’ll add about 3 tablespoons of cream towards the end and stir it in along with Maldon sea salt and coarse pepper. The corn thickens slightly with the cream in it and I serve the corn in small bowls alongside the rest of the meal.

It’s so satisfying to eat simple meals from fresh vegetable bounty during the summer and in the heat, it’s refreshing to start with a cool cucumber soup! An added treat after our meal is a key lime pie that I made yesterday (G. squeezed and zested the limes!) which is chilling in the refrigerator. I’ve started whipping cream for the topping right before we serve the pie, so we’ll have that to look forward to while we’re eating our “Jimmy Carter” meal for supper tonight.

Here’s hoping that Jimmy Carter’s remaining days will be filled with as much goodwill and heart as he and Rosalynn have extended to so many for so long.