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Eating Alone by Li-Young Lee

I’ve pulled the last of the year’s young onions.
The garden is bare now.  The ground is cold,
brown and old.  What is left of the day flames
in the maples at the corner of my
eye.  I turn, a cardinal vanishes.
By the cellar door, I wash the onions,
then drink from the icy metal spigot.

Once, years back, I walked beside my father
among the windfall pears.  I can’t recall
our words.  We may have strolled in silence.  But
I still see him bend that way-left hand braced
on knee, creaky-to lift and hold to my
eye a rotten pear.  In it, a hornet
spun crazily, glazed in slow, glistening juice.

It was my father I saw this morning
waving to me from the trees.  I almost
called to him, until I came close enough
to see the shovel, leaning where I had
left it, in the flickering, deep green shade.

White rice steaming, almost done.  Sweet green peas
fried in onions.  Shrimp braised in sesame
oil and garlic.  And my own loneliness.
What more could I, a young man, want.



Persimmons have always been a staple autumn and winter fruit for me. There are two kinds, a more opaque colored one with a shape of mochi and a flat bottom and  a more translucent, deeper colored one with long oval shape and pointed bottom.  New York Times and other blogs are calling them by their Japanese names, the first Fuyu and the second Hachiya.  I know them as the one my mother loved, more readily available and therefore cheaper, referred to as regular persimmons; the other one my mother never purchased for me, the one we called yeon shi, meaning the soft persimmon.  She purchased it only one at a time, reserved for the baby cousin visiting us for Korean Thanksgiving.

NY Times picture of Fuyu persimmon

NY Times picture of Fuyu persimmon

Tea and Cookies blog picture of Hachiya

Tea and Cookies blog picture of Hachiya

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The Clean Plater by Ogden Nash

Some singers sing of ladies’ eyes,
And some of ladies lips,
Refined ones praise their ladylike ways,
And course ones hymn their hips.
The Oxford Book of English Verse
Is lush with lyrics tender;
A poet, I guess, is more or less
Preoccupied with gender.
Yet I, though custom call me crude,
Prefer to sing in praise of food.
Yes, food,
Just any old kind of food.

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I like pasta!

I’ve always preferred rice over any type of noodles or pasta, but I’ve grown quite fond of pasta lately.  For a recent pasta tasting, I had to do some reading on pasta and ended up really hooked on it.  My favorite way to eat pasta is to saute some garlic in olive oil, add al dente pasta in it, grate some parmigiano reggiano, add a few drops of good balsamic vinegar, toss the whole thing with Halen Mon salt and pepper.  Simple and lovely…sigh.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about pasta, I highly recommend Pasta: the Story of a Universal Food by Silvano Serventi and Françoise Sabban:


The book is divided into a longer part on western pasta followed by a shorter part on Chinese noodles.  It focuses mostly on the history of it all but doesn’t fail to include fun factoids like, Casanova had such a tasty pasta dish and was so satiated that he could not perform the act of love.  Yeah, that is all it comes down to for me to judge a book, fun factoids.  Keeps things lively. Continue reading