Mythos & Marginalia

life notes; flaws and all

j.g. lewis

original content and images ©j.g. lewis

a daily breath...

A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .

Mondays are just young Fridays

It wasn’t about age; it is still about the music.
   I, and an almost-full arena, took in a spectacular concert last night as The Who played Toronto.
   Augmented by a full orchestra, the timeless British band gave us two hours of absolute magic; full of the sonic glory you expect from guys who have, at several points in history, proved that rock and roll is what it is.
   The Who could have spent the evening simply trotting out a career’s worth of hits, but instead opened with a string of compositions from the rock opera Tommy. Later in the night we were treated to a solid set from Quadrophenia. Both albums go well back into the ‘70s.
   Of course they played, and played well, the songs that many people know more from the CSI television series, but several of the big hits where left out (they did not play I Can See For Miles my absolute favourite song ever), but that was okay. Last night was all about the music.
   I’ve long considered The Who to be mostly about Pete Townshend, the guitarist who wrote much of the band’s catalogue. Now, at 77 years of age, Townshend is still in fine form. But so is lead singer and front man Roger Daltry, 78, singing and screaming in a manner that defies age.
   I’ve seen the band a couple of times in my lifetime, and chances are I will not have the opportunity to see them again. This may be The Who’s last tour, but then Townshend said he would quit touring in 1982.
   So there is hope, and there is still the music.

10/03/2022                                                                     j.g.l.

 

Giving Into Time

Gardens across the city are looking tired.

The flowers and foliage have for months been growing, blooming, celebrating the glorious sunshine and making our days on this big, beautiful planet ever more enjoyable.

But, come October, even the most curated gardens and manicured lawns are showing signs of wear and tear from the dipping nocturnal temperatures, lack of rain, care, or even neglect.

The cycle from spring, through summer, and now autumn, becomes more obvious each day. Daisies, Black-eyed Susan, Echinacea, once-boastful geraniums and hydrangeas are giving into time.

I can’t even find a dahlia anywhere.

Our landscape is getting darker.

The colours of flowers we count on to fill our lives will soon only be available in photographs, florist shops, or bouquets of the day at the market. We take it wherever we can, whenever we can, but we will wait patiently for next year’s gardens to bring back the everyday joy as the cycle will begin once again.

10/02/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

Truth and Reconciliation

truth
comes at a cost

honour
those who have already paid

respect
the process

healing
takes time

forgiveness
takes even longer

 

In Canada, September 30 marks the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day honours the Survivors of residential schools, the children who never returned home, and their families and communities.
Orange Shirt Day is an indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day intended to raise awareness of the individual, family and community inter- generational impacts of residential schools and to promote the concept of “Every Child Matters”.

09/30/2022                                                                            j.g.l.

I'm like a pencil;
sometimes sharp,
most days
well-rounded,
other times
dull or
occasionally
broken.
Still I write.

j.g. lewis
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.

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The Tastes Of Summer

Posted on August 19, 2020 by j.g.lewis Leave a comment

A trip to the farmer’s market these days is as appetizing as it is inspiring.
August is a wonderful month to celebrate the fresh and flavourful tastes of the garden by incorporating what is available locally into a year-round favourite meal.
I went to the market yesterday to begin preparing for my dinner tonight.
I was looking at colours as much as taste to prepare my:
Summer Spaghetti Sauce 
ingredients:
10 – 15 fresh ripe Roma tomatoes 
I medium purple onion 
I medium Spanish onion or sweet onion 
1 larger shallot or two smaller 
I red pepper 
½ green pepper + ½ orange pepper (depending on what is available) 
*it is as much about colour as it is taste 
I medium carrot 
I large stalk of celery 
1 ¼ cup chopped or sliced fresh mushrooms 
5 or 6 (or 7) cloves of garlic 
At least 250 grams (1/2 lb) of lean ground beef, or pork, or Italian sausage. 
(if you want to go vegetarian: 300 grams of shredded or chopped eggplant or zucchini (or a mix of both)
Two tablespoons fresh basil  
Two tablespoons fresh oregano 
1 ½ tablespoons of lemon pepper
A pinch (or two) of sea salt
Two pinches of nutmeg
I handful of chopped, fresh broad-leaf parsley or cilantro. 
 
1 – 450gram package of dried spaghetti (or, my preference, spaghettini)  
or, if possible, fresh whole wheat pasta
 
This recipe is flexible, can easily be be doubled for a larger meal or to ensure leftovers, but the above will give you three or four servings. The quantities of herbs and spices
are approximate and the measure often depends on my mood. Don’t be timid!
All ingredients can be adjusted any time of the year to suit your tastes or depending  
on what is in the fridge.  
eg. If not using fresh Roman tomatoes, use 1 or 2 cans of diced tomatoes. 
 
In preparation, put your bag of tomatoes in the freezer overnight.
Also put half of the red pepper in the freezer with the tomatoes.

The next day, take the tomatoes and pepper out frozen and run lightly under warm water. The skin will easily peel off the vegetables. Put the peeled tomatoes and pepper in a medium saucepan, covered, over low heat.  As you check occasionally, and see the vegetables soften as they warm, take a knife and chop as you go.
When tomatoes are soft and chopped, turn up the heat slightly and let them boil down and reduce.
At this point, toss one whole peeled clove of garlic in the pot.
With your finest grater or kitchen rasp, shred the carrot in with the tomatoes (this will sweeten and thicken the sauce – no need for tomato paste)

As the tomatoes continue reducing, prepare the remainder of your vegetables.

Chop onions as you wish. I prefer longer (not quite julienne) stands so they mix well in the pasta, but chunky works too.
Slice peppers in a similar fashion.
You can mince garlic with a sharp knife or use a garlic press.
Dice or chop or slice celery and shallots thinly (a shallot will brighten any meal; pretty much).

In a large frying pan, begin browning your meat. If going vegetarian, add a tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger  and an additional teaspoon of pepper to zucchini and/or eggplant. 

If using Italian sausage, remove the meat from the casing. When half cooked, drain most of the fat from the pan then add the onions, shallots, garlic, and peppers. Depending on the meat, you may need to slightly drain the mixture again before seasoning with lemon pepper (or black pepper) and half of the basil and oregano. Add a pinch or two of sea salt.
While this is cooking, add the other half of the basil and oregano to the pot of tomatoes, which should be thickening now.

When the onions are clear, add the diced or sliced or chopped mushrooms to the mix along with the celery, turn up the heat and give it some time to slightly brown the mushrooms.
When everything has cooked, turn off the heat on the frying pan until your tomatoes have reduced to a thick sauce then add the meat and mushroom mixture. Now add the nutmeg.

Allow time for the flavours to mix into each other. Depending on dinnertime, you can let it sit for a while. When you begin heating up, a half-hour before serving, add the fresh parsley.

When serving, keep an eye out for that lone garlic clove you put in the tomatoes at the start of the reduction process. Some people react when they see a whole glove of garlic in something; personally, I make sure it ends up on my plate.

Serve over the boiled pasta, topped with Parmesan cheese (freshly grated if possible)
Serve with a baguette and butter and a green, spinach, or Caesar salad.

Often, I’ll expand the recipe to ensure there are leftovers, which can be portioned with pasta and sauce and tucked in the freezer for nights when you don’t feel like cooking.

Enjoy the tastes of summer.

I know what I’m having for supper tonight.

08/19/2020                                                                                                       j.g.l.

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