I’m not submitting to Fall just yet, even though the driveway is covered with golden leaves and there’s a creeping darkness in the early morning. Crossing my tanned arms, I stand guard in front of Summer because I’m not done with her yet; she’s sunny and sexy and looks cute in shorts so yeah, she gets to stay a wee bit longer.
This Labor Day weekend, I decided we needed to keep camping because being crammed together in a tent, ass to elbow, at Glacier National Park through nights of freezing temperatures and roaming Grizzlies (thank God for gin!) was just not enough to quench my Wild Woman thirst. When I suggested a quick trip to the McKenzie River, the Ranger clutched his lower back and groaned (cranky, old man!) So we settled for camping in the front yard (hey, it’s Waldport, that’s how we roll and we got the guns to prove it) See…the backyard is a bluff so everything that happens at our house happens in full view of the neighbors, including me trying to cut The Ranger’s hair with shears and him yelling at me that I was “intentionally” making stripes on his skull, a claim that is wholly untrue. I, in fact, was simply laying claim…with my initial. H.
In the fire pit, we nestled foil packets of garden vegetables: beets and carrots from two feet away, sweet corn from Sitka Springs and small, creamy potatoes. Turns out potatoes are my new meditation app. When I come home from work, tired and overflowing in the brain, I kneel down in the dirt, yoga pants and all, and sift the dirt mounds with my bare hands. My heart leaps a happy dance with every single potato. It’s like a treasure hunt. I feel the past and how my dad worked the potato fields to pay for college and I feel the present, how incredible they will taste roasted and crispy. And of course, I rub my round belly and feel the future. I will soon be a plump, potato pirogi yogi, a Dandasana Dumpling, a tater tot of a teacher. While my colleagues cling to their mala beads, chai lattes and Manduka mats, I cling to the humble Purple Viking.
But enough wandering. I want to share our new favorite roasted corn deliciousness. After you pull an ear off the fire and peel it, slather it with butter, squeeze lime, sprinkle sea salt and then go crazy with the New Mexico red chili. And I don’t mean that McCormick’s crap that has cumin and God-Knows-What. I mean pure, freshly ground red chili pods from north of Albuquerque, a taste that is sweet and earthy with a fire that warms and never bites. Southern Rockies meets a wash of Rio Grande. It tastes exactly like home. All the good stuff. None of the bad.
And here, a word about butter. When did butter shaming become a thing? Helping a friend whose arms were full of bouncing baby, I grabbed a dinner biscuit and began to butter it before setting it on his plate. “What! Are you trying to kill me? Don’t you want me to see my kid graduate from college? Scrape off the butter, please.” And then there are folks who whisper the word “butter” like we’re talking about crack cocaine or Black Lives Matter. Or worse, when they sashay into the studio and declare in proud capital letters, “I GAVE UP BUTTER.”
Let me be clear. Giving up butter is nothing to be proud of. Recognizing global warming, volunteering at your local animal shelter, and finally cleaning your toothbrush holder. Those are things to be proud of. Butter is your friend. Stick to it. Not at every meal. A little goes a long way. But it makes everything better. Plus, your body does, in fact, need some (not a ton) of saturated fat for energy, muscle movement, and to help absorb vitamins and minerals. Avoid trans-fats…AKA, Twinkies. Embrace good fat: Guacamole! There… I’ve now offered nutritional advise and this whole post is a tax right-off.
So tell me, dear reader, how are you celebrating Fall/Not Fall?