Thursday, August 29, 2013

Amanda Earl: While I Am Alive I Want . . .

To see the end of war, violence, starvation, poverty, homelessness and disease. C'mon Genie, if you're giving out wishes…

To love and be loved by my husband until "a' the seas gang drye, my dear and the rocks melt wi' the sun," as Robbie Burns would say.

To prepare, with my husband (who is the actual cook; I chop & get out the ingredients) , a recipe I've been meaning to try for ages, a sausage casserole dish from the Joy of Cooking, and if it's any good,  to serve it to dear friends while listening to a music play list that I have designed and drinking Campo Viejo Rioja, my favourite wine.

To explore and create art in whatever form happens to hold my interest.

To finally read Moby Dick, Anaïs Nin's diaries and to finish Proust's Remembrance of Things Past.

To taste every kind of edible (non hallucinogenic) mushroom.

To graffiti public spaces with subversive made up aphorisms.

To attend rallies on Parliament Hill to advocate for causes that are important to me.

To sample rare and exotic black teas I haven't yet tried, such as Assam Mangalam Tea.

To not accumulate more material things unless absolutely necessary and to get rid of old junk.

To spend as much time as possible with my husband, dear friends and lovers. 

To make new friends who I can learn from and who can learn from me.

To take long walks alone or with others in snow, rain, new green and autumn leaf.

To ride in cars only when I absolutely have to.

To avoid airplane travel, which I loathe as much as pain and hives.

To be resilient and strong if I am faced with more health crises or if my loved ones are.

To give time, money and attention to those who need it.

To be a loyal, giving and attentive friend.

To be honest, sincere, authentic and direct.

To keep my word, to have integrity.

To savour each moment because it may just very well be the last.

16 comments:

  1. Perfect, Amanda!

    Now I've got to go look up that recipe.

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    1. thanks, Lisabet. if you make it before me, let me know how it goes ;)

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  2. Is there more than one sausage casserole recipe in Joy of Cooking? I'll have to check.

    A lovely listing of the things that really count, Amanda.

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    1. thanks, Sacchi. the recipe is called "Bean, Tomato & Sausage Gratin." it's on page 97 of the 75th anniversary edition of the Joy of Cooking, most recent printing 2006. if you make it, let me know :) one of the things that intrigues me about it is that it's elaborate. there are many steps. JOC has a tendency to nest recipes within recipes, which makes it frustrating, but it's the main recipe book we have used over the years.

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  3. Beware! The recipes in Joy are labor-intensive, often too complex and sometimes don't come out so good. Joy is unparalleled in explaining cooking techniques and use of ingredients, but recipes? IMO--meh.

    But may all your wishes come true. With a delivery so poetic, I can't see how they wouldn't.

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    1. thanks. we use JOC a lot actually, but yeah that's why we haven't done this one. i am oddly attracted to complexity.

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    2. my husband makes the New York style cheesecake for my birthday every year. it's exquisite.

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  4. I also meant to mention that I'm currently reading Anais Nin's Diaries, on vol 2 at this time. Yes, all the women already read her, and I read Delta a long time back. I also read Proust some time ago when I was on the friggin' chemo for a year. (Well worth it, both Proust and the chemo, I might add) What strikes me are the similarities between the two works as well as the vast differences in approach. We are tempted to think Nin was born with the madeline in her mouth, but her accounts were written contemporarily with her experiences.

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    1. fascinating, Daddy X. i look forward to comparing the two. we studied Swan's Way in first year university, a long time ago. i was 19. i can imagine chemo & any reading material would be naseating.

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  5. That was so heart felt Amanda. I echo so many things you mentioned ((never wanted to read Moby Dick, the concept freaks me out). And Mr Burns said it best that his love was a like a red red rose.I like how you breathe. Kim

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  6. To not accumulate more material things unless absolutely necessary and to get rid of old junk.

    Phil and I just did that in our move to San Diego - I said I'd never collect that amount of junk again - 6 months later - oh dear - why did I buy those five potted plants, those new candlesticks to replace the ones I threw out. Shit. I have to move again!

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    1. congratulations on getting rid of the junk. it is hard to keep it down, isn't it. i have way too many ceramic pots.

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  7. This is a great list, Amanda. I've read Moby Dick (I had to in a course on Melville, not that I regret it) and some of Nin, but I definitely share your ambition to read all of Proust's epic. To get the full flavour, I think one has to be able to read it in the original. (The fact that his title is variously translated as "Remembrnce of Things Past" AND "In Search of Lost Time" points to different English versions.) Not collecting more junk is a worthy goal.

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    1. thanks, Jean. i did the first volume as part of French lit class at U of T, but i'll probably continue in English. i used to be a translator & my French was quite strong, but that was eons ago. i admire literary translators, but it's true that it's best to read in the original if you can.

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  8. I'm a semi-retired antique dealer so I have lots of stuff around, but I justify it 'cause I still sell it, and I don't really have to buy any more inventory. Momma would be happier though, if I sent it all of to auction, to free up some space in the garage.

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