10 September 2004


Not feeling well--fever and dizziness ambushed me late this afternoon. Rob's just taken Spiderman, our little friend from across the street, on a father and son campout organized by our church congregation. The two of them took off with Bryce and his little guy, and they all seemed excited about the trip. I told Bryce he should feel very safe traveling with a superhero.

So, it's just me and the dog tonight. I think it'll be an early-to-bed evening, because tomorrow I surely have to cope with an early-to-rise morning. Spidey's mom is going to the temple for the first time, and she's asked me to be her escort. We've got to be there by 6:3oam, such a rude hour for a Saturday, but that's okay. It will be worth the price of a little sleep, and then some.

I read a great quote today:

"We can respond to irritation with a smile instead of scowl, or by giving warm praise instead of icy indifference. By our being understanding instead of abrupt, others, in turn, may decide to hold on a little longer rather than to give way. Love, patience, and meekness can be just as contagious as rudeness and crudeness." (Neal A. Maxwell, "The Tugs and Pulls of the World," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 36)

That's what I'd very much like to be guilty of spreading: good will. Right now, about all I have to spread are germs, but this shall pass. When the cooties have flown and I'm fit for society again, I'll work on the beautiful contagion thing.

How about some easy, practical opportunities to spread some good will?

Here's an exciting humanitarian project I learned about today. Readers and other book lovers take note.

And here are some ideas especially for knitters and others who do strange things with yarns and fibers, from the latest issue of Knitty (a generally terrific online knit mag): one is about sharing your stash, and the other is about knitting for charity. Excellent ideas.

It seems so easy to get hung up on the false idea that service to others has to be hard and at times even scary. I'm convinced that each of us can do something valuable without instantly being ejected from our familiar worlds. You just have to think creatively to find ways to apply your own particular interests and talents to the concept of giving to others. If you love something, if you know how to do something, you can bet your boots there's somebody else in the world, even in your world, maybe right next to you, who would appreciate your help in gaining access to it as well.

Hey, where's my soapbox?

Ready for another recipe? Believe me, this one is good. This one makes me want to cry for people who either can't or won't eat garlic. This one's worth buying a new box of Altoids to mask your breath for the next two days. Hoo boy, it's tasty! Again, it's an adaptation of a dish from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant. In case you're wondering why I'm always tweaking recipes, it isn't because I'm Julia Child. It's mostly because I never have all the ingredients I need and so I improvise on a pretty regular basis. Sometimes this makes for better recipes, and other times, . . . well, let's just say I promise not to post the results of those times.

Geo's Ful-ish Black Beans

Sort, rinse, and soak overnight:
1 pound black beans in
2 quarts water

Next morning, bring beans and water to a boil, then simmer, covered, till beans are tender. Drain beans right away, before they cool.

Mix with beans:
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup juice of lemons and limes
6 hefty garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1/3 cup dried parsley
kosher salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Top with:
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 lime, peeled and cut into tiny slivers

This is good at any temperature. I would recommend serving a really nice basic bread with it, so you can freely dip into the juices. Trust me.

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