Alchemy & Ratatouille

story seamstress

story seamstress

 Whenever I want to re~set, re~create myself,

I often take to the kitchen.

I am also a gardener, along with my beloved Green Man.

We call our place “The Shire”.

the shire

An Hobbit homage to big bare feet, pipe weed, and enjoying the simple life.



(the pipe weed is a reference to tobacco)

(my Green Man enjoys a cigar now and then)

We have a wild and wooly acre +.

With pear, apple, peach, almond, and walnut trees.

Ornamental trees too:  box elder, incense cedars, pines, junipers, horse chestnut, oaks, sycamore, and vintage lilacs.

And the vegetable garden, now scaled back for two.

Flaming red and green grapes.

Peas.  Basil.

Ambrosia and Watermelons.

A smattering of leafy greens.

Sunflowers for beauty.

( but mostly to feed the birds)

You get the picture?

Tomatoes, always tomatoes:  Brandywines.


Perennial herbs of dill, sage, oregano, tarragon, thyme, chives.

Peppers, squashes (winter and summer), and eggplant.



 Have you ever seen an eggplant blossom?

The plant and blossom alone are reason enough to grow it.

Now, back to the kitchen.

The first of summer’s garden bounty inspired a ratatouille.

I simply could not resist the glossy solid beauty of the Aubergine.


(I just like using the word Aubergine!)

First thing this morning I was in the kitchen.

With my vegetables.

(very Zen)

Asked the Green Man to fetch the squash and the herb bouquet.

Chop.  Chop.


The swirl of good olive oil and the onion sauté filled the house with such a perfume.

Add the peppers, garlic (lots), zucchini, eggplant, oregano, basil, bay leaf, and tomatoes.

Our home was transformed into a Mediterranean kitchen.

The vegetables were singing!

This, for me, is the creative process.

I begin with one element.

This one element leads to another, and before you know it, I am creating something!

(kind of like this blog)

Now, who will help me do the dishes?

Vox Anima, SDM


All other art credit is in the public domain

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5 Responses to Alchemy & Ratatouille

  1. myLORD Susan!!! My mouth is watering, my eyes are aglow with the colors, the scents stir my memory . . . MFK Fisher should eat her heart out!

  2. susan says:

    Dorothy, you are reminding me of how inspired I was by MFK Fisher when I first read her over 30 years ago. Maybe it’s time to read her again. She, Isak Dinesen, and Julia Child are my Trinity of heroic women I would love to sit down to dinner with…I would send you an invitation. SDM

  3. virginia says:

    This lovely, Susan. Almost makes me want to brave the kitchen and get creative – “almost” being the operative word, as it’s bloody hot again today! Still, I have the ingredients for Thai food now…

  4. susan says:

    Thank you Virginia…I am glad you stopped by and commented! I hope you become a frequent visitor. (you may subscribe to Vox Anima by clicking the subscription button)
    Looks like we are in for quite a spell of heat in our forecast. (you’ll notice I started in the kitchen early in the morning). I want to hear about your Thai creation. Eggplant?

  5. susan says:

    About MFK Fisher everyone, if you haven’t read about her adventures in Provence, you must (if you love food and travel). Starting “The Boss Dog” today, while I take a break from the kitchen and the heat of the day.

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