Monday, February 14, 2011

August in February

It's that time of the season when I just long for a verdant garden to putter in. The garden plays such a large role in my writing life. Digging in the dirt is how I unearth story. In the planting months I dig, rake, hoe and mow, racing intermittently to the page to jot down a plot point or to my dry erase board to scribble quick beats. The heavy lifting of getting it all into script form comes later in the garret.

But the winter months are not a complete loss. There's always the potential of making a stew from goodies that have been developing in the story cold cellar. Things have been percolating lately bringing some interesting past and present experiences together for a future story. It's a blend of dried up events, things canned up inside, ones growing under false light and fresh ideas from organic sources. A bit of a ratatouille so to speak. Story is like that, a gathering of experiences and observations that come together for a rich meal.

The makings of Ratatouille.

From under the grow lights... fresh homegrown parsley.

From the cold cellar... August's garden garlic, canned tomatoes, onions, lots of dried basil and thyme.

A sprig of fresh rosemary from a small bush I received as a gift. What a great Christmas gift, huh? (Note the field supervisor inspecting quality of said bush.)

From the winter CSA... organic zucchini, eggplant, peppers.

Guilty pleasures, Fleur de Sel (French salt), Italian Serego Alighier Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Saute vegetables individually in olive oil. Onions, Peppers, Zucchini, Eggplant. Remove to a bowl after each vegetable is sauteed. Combine together in a hot pan again at end, add tomatoes, herbs and garlic, cook covered on medium heat for 20 minutes. Uncover, reduce fluid. Add a splash of white wine for a deeper flavor (or keep it virgin if you want a fresh taste). Flourish with salt and fresh parsley before serving.