Every writer needs a retreat. It’s impossible to keep filling up the mind with information, especially in the age of social media, without seeking empty space in order to continue being creative. When I need this space, I turn to art, nature, water and birds, or a trip in a kayak.
I am deeply affected by art: especially music, sculptures and film. A Chopin Nocturnecan move me to tears, a sculpture enrapture me, and a film send me into a trance. Am I strange?
I can see a single work of art and be moved, but never has an artist’s solo exhibition touched me as much as Mira Lehr’s Tracing the Red Thread at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. In fact, I’ve written a review for Widewalls magazine and you can read it here.
However, I needed to write something more personal and that’s the beauty of blogging. I don’t have to be too careful about grammar and I can write as if I’m speaking to someone face to face. I just hope someone is listening.
The Museum Visit
Tracing the Red Thread is a museum-wide installation divided into four rooms. In the main area, mangrove sculptures rise up from the floor and majestically stretch up to the ceiling. Each tree is connected to another with mangrove-like arms, holding the other up while protecting life nestled between its branches. If you physically follow the red thread, you too will be embraced by Mother Mangrove.
If you are fortunate to live somewhere in the tropics like me, it’s wrong to complain about the weather. However, we do and I’m going to right now. It’s October and the sun’s position says fall back, but it feels like July with no cool breeze to be felt.
I’m originally from the north, so at this time of the year my biological or more likely, my psychological clock says, store the cotton/linens and bring out the knits. My stomach says, stop grilling and eating salad and start slow cooking.
As a child I loved to go apple picking and have fond memories of tractor rides, ladders and picking apples off the ground. Yes, you don’t need a ladder to pick apples off the ground. My mother was a practical woman and she knew that windfalls were cheaper and could be stewed and the ones we could climb up the ladder to pick would be packed into lunches. Oh the smell, of stewed apples and cinnamon!
Here’s some more ways to not let windfalls go to waste.
Fall in the Pot
This evening’s recipe, Cider-Braised Pork Shoulder with Caramelized Onions is a tribute to my apple picking memories. There are many versions to be found and plenty of video tutorials too. Choose the one you like best. I tried to find the origin of this recipe and although there are Italian, German and French versions, I’d like to conclude that my dinner is American and the hard cider that I chose is, Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.
True to my practical roots, I am choosing the cheapest cut, pork shoulder. You could do chops or tenderloin, but if you are cooking slow, there’s no need to spend a lot.
From just five simple ingredients, a sumptuous autumn aroma will permeate your house!
Why Riesling and Why Not Red?
Once again, I gave into #TheWineTherapist’s recommendation. I’ve always preferred red over white, but according to Stefano, I’ve been cheating my taste buds by not choosing any good ones. The conclusion is, listen to your wine consultant!
On my door step with enough time to be chilled, was the 2009 Peter Jakob Kühn Quarzit Riesling Trocken. I took enough German in high school to pronounce it correctly (I hope), but not enough to understand the website, so finding information was a challenge. Here’s one review and some tasting notes on this 89 Point wine (Wine Advocate) can be found here.
Riesling is the 18th most planted varietal in the world and 20% of all grapes are planted in Germany. The one that I’m drinking today is from the Rheingau region. Do you know what distinguishes Riesling from the Rheingau and Mosel regions apart from other areas in the world? Hint: Slope, south, sun.
Catch Me If I Fall
This week I became a member of the Society of Wine Educators and am enrolled in the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) course. I have a year to get through a large textbook, participate in online tutorials, take notes and complete exercises in preparation for the certification exam that consists of 100 questions. Of course, theory must be supplemented with practice and I’ll be tasting my way through regions and vineyards from around the world!
I’m an art enthusiast and not a critic; love to cook, but not a chef; a wine enthusiast, but not a sommelier. When I write about art or wine, my goal is to be easily understood and, hopefully, enjoyed by many.
As I embark on this wine adventure, if my approach ever becomes unapproachable, “catch me if I fall” and send me your feedback.
We first taste to enjoy and the joy of tasting allows us to tap into our memories or create new ones.
Until next time, remember that seasons are a state of mind. While you may have to wait before wearing the sweater, nothing stops you from Fall-ing in the pot.