I went for a run with Zeke today. He ran off the road, chased squirrels and generally acted like he didn’t know the woman ahead of him, flicking off sweat and panting, come! Other than a few tree detours, we mostly stuck together. I am back to running without headphones. For a few weeks I ran with music. Although there were definitely some powerful moments (thank you “You and Whose Army?”), I felt like music made running’s inherent mediative qualities constructed and false. I was too conscious of the music.
Running requires a kind of patience and mental stillness. I must wait to finish what I have started. I cannot finish now. Running is a present transition from point A to B that I must be patient enough to complete. There is also something beautiful about freely running with an animal beside me – he tires and slows but always continues on. Running dutifully shines light upon the body’s capacity, pain and inherent resilience. Thankfully, I have good health and have not yet experienced the kind of patience and humility that the body requires to move forward. I am grateful.
You change a life
as eating an artichoke changes the taste
of whatever is eaten after.
Yet you are not an artichoke, not a piano or cat –
not objectively present at all –
and what of you a cat possesses is essential but narrow:
to know if the distance between two things can be leapt.
“To Judgement: An Assay,” poem by Jane Hirshfield.
Speaking of the body’s needs, I made salmon tonight. For the past few weeks, I’ve been buying cod since it’s cheaper. That’s not to say I don’t love cod. I make cod with a shallot, lemon zest, sherry vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette. That kind of dressing cures any guest’s moans about boring white fish blues. It is also delicious served over crab cakes that are made with fresh bread crumbs. Since salmon took a price dip per pound, I bought a little over one. Below is a dish I made tonight. I almost always serve fish dishes with either jasmine or basmati rice. Fish is elegant, especially with the right vegetable colors on the plate.
Salmon with Basil & Ginger Paste
served over rice, yellow squash and zucchini
For Paste: combine and puree all ingredients below.
- 2 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 4-5 fresh basil leaves
- 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- a dash of soy sauce
- Salt and pepper fillet. Generously spread the paste over top layer of salmon fillet (1 Lb). Set aside.
- 1 yellow squash and zucchini, sliced
- A few slices of pickled ginger
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- Salt, Pepper
- Heat pan to a medium-heat with butter. Saute vegetables with pickled ginger, salt & pepper. Once the vegetables are 3/4 way done, push them to one side of the pan and place fish with ginger/basil paste to the other side of the pan.
- Pour white wine underneath the fish. Slightly raise heat. 1 minute. Lower heat to medium-low and cover pan to poach.
- Depending upon how you like your fish (I like mine medium-rare) spoon vegetables on plate and place fish over jasmine rice.
- Serve with arugula & tomato salad, or whatever salad is in the house. I dressed the salad with a simple shallot, red wine vinegar and olive oil vinaigrette. And of course, drink with some white wine! (although not the cooking wine, despite my father’s best efforts).