Birds flying high

Why, hello, you.

You birds, sun & breeze; you fish, rivers, and trees — oh, hello world — you are so good.

It was never that I was really gone, although there were times when I could not bear being here; it was never that I ever said goodbye, although there were times when nothing was illuminated enough to even address — in short, I was in another country where time stood deep and still, dark and folded upon itself as to never let me go.  But now the sun is shining — a peculiar thing, really, remembering its existence — and I find it shining just enough to remember the contours of my body, the matter of my mind, and the luminous quiddity of things.  And it is so good to be here.

(Sleep in peace when day is done, that is what I mean.)

I think there is so much to learn; so much distance between day and done, so much to peace that we sometimes forget how much inhabits the word.  Among other things, I am learning that time is a funny thing:

Maybe nothing ever happens once and is finished.  Maybe happen is never once but like ripples maybe on water after the pebble sinks, the ripples moving on, spreading, the pool attached by a narrow umbilical water-cord to the next pool which the first pool feeds, has fed, did feed, let this second pool contain a different temperature of water, a different molecularity of having seen, felt, remembered, reflect in a different tone the infinite unchanging sky, it doesn’t matter: that pebble’s watery echo whose fall it did not even see moves across its surface too at the original ripple-space, to the old ineradicable rhythm … (Faulkner, Absalom, Absalom! 210)

Difference and repetition, indeed : although Faulkner reminds us that happening is always a type of haunting (never once) set to an old ineradicable rhythm, so too does his novel depend, even stake its life upon the possibility of a different molecularity. (As in, let this second pool contain a different tone and temperature, as much as we acknowledge its debt — no, kinship — to the other pool.) Time is a funny thing, its very warp and woof flexible and (for)giving enough to be very full, very full indeed.  Which is to say that, at least for me,  the possibility of a new day means constantly reestablishing oneself, a process that fully acknowledges the weight of your matter across time and space (an auto-inheritance, a receiving of yourself), but also allows you to shift your weight ever so slightly as to inhabit a completely different existence.  And so, my friends, I find myself feeling good.

Speaking of different temperatures, molecularities, and tone, I’d like to introduce you to a delicious recipe for lemon curd, one that reminds us of the magic, even alchemical properties of things.  And it couldn’t be easier: whisking eggs, sugar, and lemon juice over a low flame until, by culinary grace, it transforms into a light, gorgeous, soft mass of lemony sweetness.  Add a bit of butter and lemon zest, and you’re — well, if not golden, then the most promising shade of metamorphic yellow you’ll ever have the pleasure of witnessing.

(You’ll know how I feel.)

Lemon Curd

cobbled together from “Joy of Baking,” Epicurious, and Ina Garten. 

Ingredients:

3 Eggs
¾ cup Sugar
⅓ cup Lemon Juice (~3 lemons)
1 tsp Cornstarch
small pinch Salt
4 Tbsp Butter, room temp
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest

Take a medium saucepan.  Add eggs; whisk.  Add sugar; whisk.  Add lemon juice; whisk. Add cornstarch and a pinch of salt; whisk.

Cook and whisk frequently over low heat for 5-10 minutes or until it registers 160℉ and is thickly light yellow, like Hollandaise sauce.

Take off the heat to cool, and then store in the refridgerator.  Put plastic wrap on top to prevent a skin from forming.

It is good on muffins and toast, marvelous if spooned into a sweet tart shell (already baked: no need to bake a lemon curd tart!), and to my mind, quite adequate on its own.

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3 thoughts on “Birds flying high

  1. Hear, hear to the original ripple-space and to the old ineradicable rhythm (and, of course, to Nina Simone)! I’ve found that lemon curd is also quite good mixed with ricotta and topped on French toast or any other breakfast delectable.

  2. Kelly, you’re such a gorgeous writer! I just want to wrap myself up in your prose and snuggle in for hours. And that lemon curd is crazy-tempting–I think I’m going to be casting about for a while for an excuse to surprise someone with a lemon tart.

    -Zoe

  3. Ah, someone else who understands the magic of lemon curd!

    It’s interesting to see the subtle differences between recipes – mine, nicked from Thomas Keller, uses eggs and whole yolks, and no cornstarch. Used in a tart, it needs a few minutes in the oven, or else it won’t cut cleanly when served.

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