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Saturday, November 05, 2005

ecco caffe & apple crumble, take ii

while i was ill, long-time bccy pal andrew b. of ecco sent more of his lovely, impeccable coffee -- to my office, alas, where i didn't retrieve it until yesterday, along with jessica's delicious batdorf dancing goat. i do want to talk about andrew's fabulous gift, but it's a tad old now. . .still, i'll try tomorrow.

sorry andrew! life happens funny sometimes!

since i'm still savoring the basic ability to see, i wandered among the local apples at the greenmarket today, and took advantage of a fancier apple crumble recipe that i ran across in the ny times. while mr. right adored the basic apple crumble recipe i made a few weeks ago, i was still itching to improve upon it, and so i thought i'd fortune-ize this times one. . .

1 tablespoon sweet french butter
3 cooking apples, mixed varieties (i used a local macoun, a local rome beauty, and a local golden delicious -- thank goodness for upstate new york!)
1 ripe quince (let's face it, a really ripe quince in nyc is impossible to find, so buy what you can get your hands on, i'll tell you how to deal with it below, but it will still smell lovely)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons water, calvados, kirsch, brandy, etc.
3 tablespoons brown sugar or 2 tablespoons splenda baking mix
2 teaspoons vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)
2/3 cup brown sugar or 1/3 cup splenda baking mix
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
6 tablespoons french butter, melted
1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
fresh nutmeg, grated to taste
salt, a pinch

preheat oven to 350 degrees. butter an 8x8 pan with the 1 tablespoon butter. peel the apples and quince; cut into 1/8ths or 1/12ths, depending on size, and then cut again crosswise. sprinkle the apples and the quince -- if ripe -- with the lemon juice and water or calvados, the sugar or splenda, the vanilla powder and the cinnamon in the pan.

if the quince isn't quite ripe, you'll have to pre-cook it a bit. in this case, drop some more butter in a saute pan, add the quince pieces for 3-5 mins. and deglaze pan with a splash of calvados or kirsch, what have you. then all this add to the apples above and mix gently.

if you don't do this with your not-quite-ripe quince, it won't cook evenly with the apple pieces.

combine the rest of the ingredients -- the oats, sugar or splenda, whole wheat flour, spices, salt -- in a bowl and stir well with a fork. slowly drizzle the butter over while mixing well.

then press this topping over the apple-quince mixture thickly. bake for 35-45 mins., until the topping is browned and the apples feel soft when poked with a fork.

serve warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or plain heavy cream poured over it. yummy.

i liked this version much better than the plain-jane, depression-era version i made before my surgery, but alas mr. right didn't agree. he didn't like the oats.

so obviously my 3rd attempt will be to combine this apple-quince mix above with the more dutch-style streusel topping of the first version. . .slowly, slowly i will work this recipe out. . .

posted by fortune | 8:05 PM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 2 comments

Friday, November 04, 2005

i see you!

yuppers, i'm back at work, able to read, and do a little typing! i'm so grateful for all your kind messages.

my new glasses with my wacky prescription should arrive at the end of next week, and the world should then stop looking like the funhouse mirror ride.

i'll even be back standing on my head full-time by the middle of december. hooray!

speaking of yoga, before i went into surgery, they took all my vital signs and such. the nurses and doctors kept asking me if i ran the marathon.

"no way!" i said, "why do you keep asking?" the reason they kept asking was that my resting heart rate clocked in at a cool 48, a figure they associated with long-distance runners and lance armstrong.

and my blood pressure was 99/68. . . .i will confess that before surgery i did do 100 4-count ujjayi breaths to calm myself down before the general anesthesia. . .

oh yeah, yoga works. i don't run, i don't spin, i don't step, i avoid gyms like the plague.

i walk from one subway stop to another and the only "excerise" i do is plain vinyasa yoga 5 days a week. long-time readers know i don't even do ashtanga, but spend a lot of time with viniyoga.

thus i remain confused by all the "studies" in the press that tell us over and over again that yoga doesn't "burn fat" or "help with cardio." ok, so how come all the dedicated yogis and yoginis i know lose some weight and have these fabulous cardio numbers?

the reason is that yoga does work over time. you have to put in your 5 or 6 days a week for a couple of years, and then don't stop.

being a long-term lifestyle process, yoga isn't going to show tremendous results in the little 8- or 12-week trials they base these studies on. i bet if i were to measure my so-called vo2 max, it would also show good results for a supposedly "sedentary" person. . .

clearly we need the national institutes of health or some other serious body to do a 2- or 5-year yoga lifestyle survey!

in other yoga news, now that i can see, i can't wait to read the new issue of namarupa that came out recently. as always, it looks fabulous.

this is the one yoga magazine for the person with a serious practice. i can't recommend it enough.

i also received a hilarious copy of an article from one of my favorite yoga teachers of all time, the beautiful and smart-as-a-whip nancy la nasa, who teaches jivamukti yoga in nyc and florida. this article concerned my occasional commentary on why i'm mystified that so many christians are bizarrely hostile to yoga.

she alerted me to praise moves, which teaches postures that sure sound like common asanas to me, albeit giving them chic kabbalistic names based on the hebrew alphabet, while condemning yoga as "the missionary arm of hinduism and the new age movement." if my eye weren't wonky, it'd be rolling in laughter: someone needs to have a discussion with this otherwise sweet lady about the concept of metaphor and the role of bhakti in patanjali.

i'd hate to tell her this, but she's another devotee in the great realm of bhaktas; jesus is her ishta devata; and so she's teaching what seems like a classic yoga class to me. some start class with a chant to shiva or ganesha; some to jesus or the buddha.

there's really no difference in the yoga process no matter what she wants to argue. . .grace is present in the new testament and also in yoga, if that's what you're looking for.

but hey, whatever works for them. every one has to do their own yoga, no matter with what marketing moniker they choose to dress it. . .it's a shame however that she is reluctant to take advantage of this opportunity for interfaith, ecumenical dialogue with her fellow bhaktis.

posted by fortune | 7:33 AM | top | link to this | links to this post | email this:   | 4 comments

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