Monday, January 4, 2010

Something yummy and the Sun

I made this dip for New Years - it doesn't have a name. I think of it as an artichoke tapanade but it's both a bit more than that and a bit less.

1 can artichoke hearts, drained
1 can black olives
juice of half a lime
salt to taste
lots of fresh ground pepper
olive oil, add until it mixes easily
1/2 cup or so mixed Parm and Asiago cheese

Put it all in the food pro and blend until it pleases you. Adjust seasoning.

This is great on pita chips, veggies, eggs, pork chops, etc. It gets better with age as well.

It was well received at the party we went to on New Year's Eve. It was a perfect party we went to. Small, mostly the close friends and family of friend's of ours. The plan was to play games and hangout. One of the grand kids worked up a D&D dungeon and it was fun to watch him run it. I didn't play as I am usually too distracted around people to concentrate enough to play. He had a nice group of 4 to play with (3 elves and a dwarf!) and it was good to see the game being enjoyed.

The host had cobbled together bits and pieces of multiple games to make a ships-at-sea game complete with many many kinds of ships handmade of wood and tiny sails of parchment. The cloth on the table was woven with a pattern that reminded me of water. There were protractors, rulers, and a sign for the wind direction. Again, folks seemed to be having a wonderful time. But not for me.

I shared a couple of bottles of mead and finally settled down to playing Scrabble on a board. I have been playing on the computer and it was really hard to play with actual wooden tiles. And a board that didn't let you know that the word you posted was not spelled right. My husband played with us and complained mightily about being an artist not an English Major. But he beat my score anyway.

At midnight, we wrote up slips of paper with things we wanted to release this year and burned them in the fire. Some people wrote things they wanted more of and burned those intentions. Whatever is good, the important thing is to think about it. Turn away or turn towards - don't just keep banging your head into the wall.

The Blessing I am most grateful is that the days are getting longer. I am not a big fan of the Winter Holidays, I am a huge fan of the end of the growing darkness. I think the folks that natter on about the Midsummer Druid Celebration at Stonehenge have it all wrong. Who cares that its the middle of summer? It's still wonderful for months yet, weather wise. The thing that is really important is the Winter Solstice - the time when the darkness ceases to devour the light and the day begins to reassert itself against the night. I know there are dreary months of cold and snow left to endure. But at least the sun is out for more hours of the day! That's something I can dance around the fire to celebrate!


Paula said...

The artichoke dip sounds delicious!

I totally agree with you about the importance of the winter solstice. I find as I get older that the darkness is more difficult to ignore. I remember a time when I must not have even noticed it. Now, I notice the colder nights in the end of August and know the darkness is coming...Once solstice passes, my spirits lift and I find myself looking forward again.

Spike said...

I've even been sort of poking at the box of seeds from last year. And looking at the garden plan to decide what to do differently. Hope springs eternal, thankfully!