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

Tag: scallion pancakes

“these are our days” . . .

garden with plantersSometimes it’s hard to remember what we were like twenty years ago. Since then, we may have grown our hair out, gained weight, lost some but still weigh a little more than we did back then. Even more weighty is what our experience has been since then: how did we make out in our professional careers; what do we do and how do we spend our time now? Most importantly, what’s left that we would like to have out of our days while we are in what’s been called our “third chapter?”

G and I when we first met, >twenty years ago. . .

G and I when we first met, >twenty years ago. . .

I’d been thinking about these questions when I came across an article about Carey Mulligan, the actor who appears to be more independent than most. On her dressing room mirror, written in eyebrow pencil are the words:

“These are our days.

Walk them.

Fear Nothing.”

How pure, I thought. No extra words or flourishes. No project management flavored goals, timelines or milestones. How refreshingly free of “shoulda, coulda, woulda” thoughts. No plans nor agendas. Walking is something we do everyday. Pace yourself.

“Fear nothing” is the best advice of all. Upload into the Universe what you can’t manage anymore. Sew them up with tiny stitches and put them away, Push them through the opening and zip the cover tight. Breathe naturally. Since doing that, I’ve found that nervous tics go away. So does a lot more.

Today is Sunday and the day is filled with sunlight and a light breeze that makes the trees sway. G. is tuning a piano downstairs before it is delivered to a new home this afternoon. (How lucky we are that he does what he does with pianos and that we live in this beautiful home!) I’m drinking the last of the coffee and reading my Sunday New York Times newspaper which I relish as one of the luxuries of my week.

our weeping cherry tree flowers every year around May 1st. . .

our weeping cherry tree flowers every year around May 1st. . .

Tomorrow, our new tenants for the front apartment will be coming by for supper. I thought I’d make a vegetarian dish called “Buddha’s Delight” and we’ll make scallion pancakes together. They’ve said that they love dumplings so we’ll make them later on in the Fall after they’ve moved in and things settle down. Earlier in the afternoon, I’ll make some homemade dashi broth with kombu seaweed and bonito flakes; strain it and add some white miso, tofu and green onions for our soup. A good new start to living here in the “piano house.” I hope things work out and that we’ll have a good time.heuchera planters 1jpg

The spring ceramic planters I bought at Lowe’s are filled with dramatically colorful heuchera plants whose leaves contrast with each other against the green of the pots. Coral bells have always been some of my favorite kinds of plants because of the unusual colors the leaves are (chartreuse, light orange and deep maroon) their stems of tiny coral flowers swaying in the breeze.

heuchera planters 2

My idea is to let them grow for awhile in the planters, then place them in the ground. That will allow the pots to change their look and contents with other plantings that catch my eye as the growing season progresses: knee high cosmos plants during the summer, or statuesque foxgloves for example; bright, deep-colored chrysanthemums in the Fall. It will be fun to rotate what’s in the planters outside and mostly, it will be fun to anticipate, fearing nothing.

heuchera planters 3







scallion pancake recipe. . .


1.  Mix 2 1/2 cups flour with 1 cup warm water. Mix well and knead gently. If it is too sticky, add a little more flour. Knead gently until smooth; cover with a clean dishtowel and let rest 15-20 minutes.

2.  Wash and chop up a small bunch of young green scallions–slice them lengthwise, then chop and mix white with green parts; set aside.

3.  Take a fresh package of lard (manteca) and heat about 1/4 cup of it in the microwave until it is soft and spreadable but not liquified. Add in 2 tsp. of sesame oil and mix well; set aside. This should be the consistency of sour cream.

4.  Flour a board; divide the dough into 3 parts; roll out one part to about 6-7 inches–spread with lard/sesame oil mixture–not too thin, not too thick.

5.  Sprinkle the surface with coarse sea salt or kosher salt.

6.  Divide onions into three parts and sprinkle one onto the first pancake. Roll up securely and then, taking one end, curl it into a snail on itself. Pinch together, pat and roll this snail out into almost the same size as before.

7. Use a clean skillet and heat up some canola oil or Wesson oil–when the oil is warm, slip in the pancake and cook it gently (mildly sizzling but do not burn.) When it is golden brown, turn it over and cook the other side.

8.  Drain onto paper towels and cover with clean towel; wipe out the skillet each time, add fresh oil and cook the 2nd and 3rd pancakes.

9.  Drain each one separately on paper towels to soak up any excess oil.

10. When all 3 are cooked, put them on top of each other and cut in half with a cleaver, then crosswise, then in wedges.

11. If you want a dipping sauce, make one with lite soy, rice or Chinese black vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and a little water–grate some fresh ginger root into it if you want.

THESE were the best scallion pancakes that I have ever made.