Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yum. Sage. And Lamb. And Sage...

There’s nothing like fresh sage and fresh rosemary with fleshly ground black pepper and garden fresh garlic on a simmering slab of homegrown lamb steak. I am so looking forward to summer. Sage helps digest greasy foods, thus is well-paired with out homegrown lamb, as lamb tends toward the fatty end of the red meat scale, as compared to beef or venison.

What else does sage do? is a very informative website about sage and it explains the herb’s origin in the Mediterranean herb and how it has been used for thousands of years both in the kitchen and in the herbalist’s bag. It stimulates the kidneys and helps remove toxins from the system. It’s also a sedative and can help with headaches, as well as cold since it helps the alimentary and bronchial systems. It can cause poisoning if taken excessively. The above website also explains how sage works, the chemical substances it contains, called alpha- and beta-thujone, camphor, cineole as well as other constituents, including rosmarinic acid, tannins, and flavonoids. If I had any idea what that meant, I’d tell ya.

A fun additional resource on sage:

As far as growing sage, it’s a sturdy plant that, like the rosemary, survived MJ’s dumping. It’s great in sausage, another fatty meat, and grows best in a nitrogen-rich clay loam soil. Bring on the chicken manure! It can be started from seed or grown from cuttings off established plants. The leaves are thick and dry well. I used the oven last year, set at the lowest setting, with the leaves spread out on a cookie sheet. It’s easier to burn leaves than the bread though, so don’t get all engrossed in the dishes or a book while dying herbs. Little tip. :-)

On poetry: Yesterday we talked about what to write, today we’ll deal with time. We go to work to buy time, the time to do the stuff we like to do. (I actually go to work so I don’t have to deal with drunks every night, but that’s a side issue.)

So if we want to write when do we fit it in?

Some of my best work came out of waiting in the car. Seriously. Especially during my anti-social college years, to get a break from people, I’d go sit in my car between classes and scribble. It’s the mindset of “ok, I have an hour. What’s in my head today?” And sometimes it’d be good and others it was barely readable. But the time crunch made it so I spent less and less time on the bad stuff and more and more time on the better stuff, simply because I wanted to get to the interesting stuff before time ran out.

Many writers, like William Faulkner, wrote in the morning before going to their day job. Others write at night, but my point is you don’t need huge amounts of time. Take a notebook to the grocery store, get in the longest line, and pound out a half page while you wait, or idea web, something.

We make time to eat, primp, pee, sometimes spend time with our families and workout, even to watch tv or surf the net. It’s just like anything else, you have to carve out those fifteen minutes or an hour, no one is going to come down and say, “here, you worked hard and are entitled to fifteen minutes of uninterrupted writing time.” We have to entitle ourselves. Write while watching your kids play sports. Write in your head in the shower and jump out and get it down. Write in your head while working a crappy job you can’t stand then dictate it to a tape recorder on the way home. They run about $40 for a digital one, but well worth it, especially if you spend a lot of time in the car and can talk and drive at the same time.

Hopefully this and yesterday show that the two top excuses we use to get out of writing, I don’t have anything to write about and I don’t have time, are bullshit and if all else fails, write about the bullshit.