"In This Kitchen" by Cynthia Grady + Flatbread with Leeks and Ricotta

When I was eight years old my family took a long summer road trip through Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Late one evening, we were driving through Arizona during a rain storm. There was so much rain that off in the distance, several miles away, it looked like a long gray curtain stretching out over the desert. My mom and brother were asleep in the back seats, so only my dad and I saw the rain. In those minutes before we entered the dense rain cloud, I couldn't imagine us driving through it. We were barreling toward this gray mass on the highway, but I couldn't see us coming out the other side because it seemed more like a wall built from the ground up, not something you could pull back like tucking a piece of loose hair behind your ear and push through unscathed.

Of course, we did. We drove through it and arrived at our next destination as if the rain had never been an obstacle at all. The fear did not claim victory. This story was fresh in my mind when Ashley Rodriguez wrote about fear in a recent post and also offered a simple recipe of melted leeks with ricotta, which I've taken inspiration from for today's post. Turning back to fear, here's what she had to say about the topic.

"A Leek Haiku" from Gather + Leek Risotto + a Video

In the latest issue of Gather Journal, a small haiku was tucked away on the bottom corner of page 45. Turn the page too quickly, or fix your gaze on the potato and leek tart it was paired with, and it would have been easy to miss the haiku entirely. But when I noticed it there like a crumb on the page, I knew it needed to be here, too.

A Leek Haiku

By Fiorella Valdesolo

Onion it is not.
Slender. Mild. Ribbons and roots.
Beauty in a stalk.

From Gather Journal, Fall/Winter 2013

Objects Are Like a Mirror Held Up + Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes

I've had the same keychain for the past 12 years. I received it a few months after turning 18, when I accepted a job to be a lifeguard at my local pool the summer before I left for college. A lifeguard has a few things to carry around at all times, and the red rubber keychain fit around my wrist, keeping my hands free but the pool keys close by. After the summer ended, I put the rest of my keys on it. The key to my dorm room, the car (a white Datsun 280ZX) that I left at home, and the key to my parents house. Then just last week I really looked at it and realized how much time had gone by.

Objects do that. They just live with us, day in and day out, and never change. You might not give the ceramic bowl or shell on the shelf any thought, but then one afternoon you walk, tilt your head, and all the history hits you. How long has that dusty frame been there? What did your my look like when I picked up the shell from Moonstone Beach and tucked it into my purse. Why do I still have high school t-shirts wrinkled in the bottom of my dresser drawer? Suddenly, objects are like a mirror held up, reflecting a version of our former selves.