May 2014

George Santayana —
The earth has music for those who listen.
Fawn 790 xxx
photo by george billard (others by gluttonforlife)

5.30.14 May Hot Links (& a Creature Feature)

We drove over the Delaware River to Pennsylvania last weekend for a wild foods dinner at a friend's house (read all about it here) and on a pre-dinner stroll through the lush forest came upon this newborn fawn in all its vulnerable perfection. This incomparable moment of woodland beauty brought tears to my eyes. The mother, scared off by our approach, had run away, leaving this tiny creature curled up under some ferns to await her return. We kept our distance, but G tiptoed just close enough to get this sweet portrait.

Despite mainly cool temperatures, spring has finally arrived upstate and we are surrounded by the tender green of new life at long last. My tree peony has bloomed and the irises are about to pop. The hummingbirds have returned to the feeder and the yard is full of catbirds, whose glorious song never ceases to amaze. (Listen to an example, below.) A bear touched its nose to the screen on the window behind our bed where a birdfeeder hangs, instantly rousing us from sleep. We found our first morel, our first ramp and our first fiddleheads ever! Nature is suddenly full of food. 

Scroll down to see some photos from my Instagram feed (follow along @LauraSilverman) that capture the recent state of my world, and keep going to discover the latest links I've been saving for you.
Thich Nhat Hanh —
Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.
Opening 790 xxx
photo courtesy of The Warwick Advertiser (remaining photos by gluttonforlife)

5.27.14 Fork in the Road

Last year I drove to Warwick, NY, (about an hour from me) to have lunch with Kim Gabelmann at her newly opened café and juice bar, Conscious Fork. Kim had graduated from selling juice at the local farmers market to a cozy place off the beaten track where she was serving lunch to health-conscious locals. I was impressed with what she was calling "vegan comfort food" and apparently her customers were, too, as this spring Conscious Fork has moved to a much bigger place in a more prominent location in downtown Warwick. Kim, seen above (black t-shirt, strawberry-blonde hair) with members of the Warwick Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, a self-confessed "enthusiastic member of the rat race," walked away from corporate life to follow her dream of what she calls "slow living." Now, a certified health counselor and graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, she is not only pursuing her own wellness and balance but helping others do the same by offering them the kind of nutritious and delicious food that supports radiant living and a healthy planet. Kim calls this "nourishing the mind, body and soil."
Oscar Wilde —
Ignorance is like a delicate fruit; touch it, and the bloom is gone.
Salsa1 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

5.21.14 Char Woman

This is going to be short and sweet because I'm about to head out to hunt for morels with my mushroom club. I sound like I should have grey hair and wear those polyester khakis from Patagonia. Oh wait! I do have grey hair and I am wearing those Patagonia pants. Whatever, if I come home with freshly picked morels, who's going to notice anything else? In the meantime, let me distract you with this easy and indispensable recipe for grilled pineapple salsa. It's perfect to slather on everything this summer—a season which officially starts prematurely on Memorial Day weekend! The pineapple is actually charred in a hot skillet, but you could make it on the grill, of course. It's delicious on fish tacos and pork kebabs, scooped up with chips, and stirred into a simple bowl of brown rice, especially if it's drizzled with a little crema.
William Shakespeare —
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.
Ls 790 xxx
photos by george billard

5.13.14 Work in Progress

Just shy of a year ago, I wrote a post entitled Imperfectly Fine about my struggle to find balance in life. I had just had my first session with a health coach and, as I do every summer, I was dreaming of spending more time in the hammock. After nearly 50 sessions with my coach, I'm here to report back. I have a meditation practice now. Taking this course in the city kicked it off and, though I may not sit in meditation every single morning, mostly I do. And it's there for me when I really need it, which is most of the time. I am back to exercising regularly. I ferreted out a gym in my town—it's a fairly ghetto set-up at the local high school, but it's open to residents three mornings a week and it's enabled me to reconnect to weight training. All incipient back issues have totally cleared up. I now see a Chinese acupuncturist every couple of weeks and take herbs twice daily and my herpes outbreaks have nearly vanished.

I'm learning to say no to the things that take me away from what I really want to do. After a couple of publishers expressed interest in a Glutton for Life book, I am finishing up a proposal. (I am elated and terrified in equal measure.) My coach helped me with all of this. She gave me the support, encouragement and love I needed to explore my fears and desires and goals and failures and successes. But the process is not "over." It will never be "over." Just this past week I fell into a giant pit of despair, feeling overwhelmed by my life and everything I still have not managed to accomplish. I am not thinner, richer, more famous or more successful than I was a year ago, and I panicked that I was no happier either. But I am taking deep breaths, sitting in meditation, remembering all the things I have to be grateful for, making plans to do the things I care about most, strategizing for the future and trying to fully inhabit the moment. It's incredibly hard work. But it's also exciting and fun. 

I read something by Annie Lamott yesterday that wrenched me to the core and reverberated through my whole being. I am humbled by her ability to write so completely in her own voice. She expresses her wisdom in a way that is so accessible and friendly, yet so profound. I just love how these words give us permission to be equally at home in our own skins. They came to me at a time when I needed them most and reminded me of what is truly important. I hope they fill you with hope and purpose.
Euell Gibbons —
My love affair with nature is so deep that I am not satisfied with being a mere onlooker.
Soup 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

5.7.14 Wild Green Yonder

If food is fuel, don't you want to be powered by something that looks this amazingly alive and vibrant? Are you willing to go further afield to nourish yourselves in all the extraordinary ways you deserve? Foraging is one practice that brings you so much more than food. It's a wonderful way to get outside, connect to nature and discover the abundance that is available to all of us. One of the very first wild plants to emerge in spring, and one of the most commonly found in meadows, parks and fields, is the nettle. It's a little dangerous, as anyone who has ever tried to pick it without gloves on knows. But, like most prickly characters, with a little understanding and the proper care, it reveals its better qualities. Before you know it, nettles become putty in your capable hands.