Monthly Archives: August 2008

Wake-up Snarl


This morning I went for my usual run out by Snob Hill. The other day I noticed a feral pit bull behind a fence, and although it barked it’s freakin’ head off, it just ran along the fence hating me. Today, as I passed a house that I actually looked at when looking to buy, a black chow started freaking out at me. Quickly I saw that it was tied up and exhaled a pant of relief.

You see, I hate dogs. I really, really hate big dogs (which to me, big starts at medium). I fear their slobbery, gruesome mouths and unpredictable nature which I read about in newspapers. Pitbulls mauling swing seats and little children. Freaky. When I was engaged to Festino, he had an overgrown husky named Princess who was a bit jealous of me. She sunk her teeth into me one evening, and although the puncture I suffered ranked low on the dog mauling scale, my feelings towards these so-called domesticated beasts changed forever.

So anyway, I did the first stretch of my run, past the pitbull house with no incident, looped around and was on my way home. I have no idea what I was thinking about, but let me tell you, I swear to never think about it again. I heard this terrible barking and turned to see that the pitbull house’s gate was wide open. And the pitbull was totally charging me, teeth snarling. My eyes opened wide and my heart sank. I really felt like intense pain was about to come my way. Forget natural childbirth. This would be the real deal.

It’ August in Florida so I was running with a bare mid-riff and I really couldn’t handle watching this beast sink it’s jaws into my exposed flesh. Immediately I screamed, “Whaaaaa!” I was beyond scared and freaked out. I turned away as the dog got really, really, REALLY close and screamed out in the loudest, most primal yelp I could muster, “Krishna! Please help me Krishna!!!” And with the utterance of the Lord’s transcen-freakin’-dental name, this crazy dog went back inside the fenced yard, running back and forth barking at me.

My wavering faith in Krishna was fully re-affirmed.

I stood there a few seconds, unsure what to do. Was this dog going to charge me again? Thankfully, it didn’t. I waited for someone to come outside apologizing to me for having their dog scare the crap out of me, but that didn’t happen either. I slowly walked away and when I got a few houses down began my run again. I ran all the way home, not checking my watch, not thinking about how boring running is. Nothing. Just totally freaked out and thinking how Krishna is my best friend.

As soon as I got home I told my husband and kids. I knew my son would love this story and I was right. I know I will have to tell it over and over again during the next few months. My husband was pretty impressed by God’s grace. I asked him if he thought the dog was trained to just come out and freak out people and he said he didn’t think so. But he did say that often they just like to scare people. Nevertheless, this was a full on pitbull and whatever the reason for this dog not mauling me, I am more than happy to give Krishna His due credit.

And I am so happy I was able to call out to Krishna during this dog freak out. It is a real fear of mine–going voiceless in the face of terror. When I was 19, I went to see Like Water for Chocolate at Dupont Circle in DC with my friend Emily. As we were walking back to our car, which was parked towards Adams Morgan, two huge guys attacked us with bricks, impaling me in the back of the head and completely bashing one side of Emily’s face. She looked horrible and neither of us were sure if her eye was still in her head (it was). As it happened the world went quiet and slow motion on me. I remember the stunned face of a gayish looking man pedaling by on his bicycle. I remember the drugged out look in the attackers eyes, stealth and wild. And I remember loosing my voice–opening my mouth to scream and only the mousiest sound coming forth.

“Whaaaa! Krishna, please help me Krishna!!!!”

Not only did He turn that dog away but he gave me the ability to call out to Him. God is so good.

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Inside the Spelt Croissant

Spelt croissant may be an oxymoron. After a few seconds of online research, I’ve learned that adding some gluten flour to the dough will aid in the flake factor. Or so they say, whoever “they” may be.

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Love for Sale

I have been up all nite preparing foods to sell at the Hare Krishna Sunday program tomorrow. Actually, I guess now it is today.  While I don’t think anyone really calls it the “Sunday Love Feast” anymore, that was the the way this tradition was introduced in the US in the late sixties and early seventies.  But continuing in the tradition of the Hare Krishnas which came before me, I tried my darnedest to prepare these treats with a loving consciousness.

To set the mood in the kitchen, I have been listening to my friend Akincana Krishna Dasa’s kirtan as well as the melodious kirtan of fellow blogger Kurma Prabhu.  Although it has been a long and solitary night, I feel like I have had good company.
Soon I will get some sleep, go for a run and then get back in the kitchen to make some gluten kebobs.  But for now, let’s look at what I’ve been up to.

I made a few different types of granolas, including Maple Hazlenut.

The dough.

Divided.

Cut into unequal parts (must work harder on that next time).

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Voila!  Croissants.  I didn’t have white flour, only spelt.  So, these are spelt croissants.  Even though I “lylas” spelt flour, I have to admit that croissants deserve white.  Not bleached, but white nonetheless.  It is an indulgence.  I wasn’t able to get the flaky outer crust I so desired, despite putting them back in the fridge after the final rising (okay, I didn’t put them in for that long, but still).  Maybe I should use more butter, but honestly I cannot imagine how this dough could handle anymore. 

For the wee-ones, Sabjimata Mild Italian Sausage.

And let’s not forget dear, sweet Harriet!  Harriet’s thumbprint cookies, made with organic spelt flour (it works great for cookies), natural sugar and Sabjimata Blueberry Conserve and Anise Cherry Conserve.  Mmmm. Mmmm. Mmmm.

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Vaisya Me

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What I’m Making in My Kitchen:

A total mess!!!

I’ve really gone a few steps down in kitchen functionality with our move into the new house. Combine that with my twice weekly personal chef gig (last Friday’s menu: salad with nutritional yeast dressing, eggplant parm, cappellini and black and white cookies), sausage and granola making and family cooking (although my husband might argue that I am doing less and less of that these days), my kitchen is in a constant state of flux.  
Is it almost clean or just getting messed up again?  The answer really lies in the eye of the beholder.  Like today–I thought it was almost clean, but then I had to cook lunch. Which meant that many of the clean pots quickly became dirty pots.
I know, I know–a pro cleans as he goes.  To be honest with you, I am a messy cook.  Especially when I am only working with 2 square feet of counter space and the clock is ticking.
But good things do come from overworked kitchens. Last nite I ordered a brand spanking new gas stove from Sears to go in my upstairs jam kitchen.  It gets delivered Tuesday. I will probably go to a restaurant supply store on Tuesday to check out getting a stainless steel work table.  As I type, my husband is out getting me stainless steel shelving for upstairs (and a tent for setting up at the Hare Krishna Temple Sunday program–rain is always in the forecast).
It will be interesting figuring out how to divvy up my pots, measure spoons and other stuff, but I do already have a food processor, brand new and still boxed, waiting for me upstairs. I bought it while in Pennsylvania with our credit card reward points and am waiting to inaugurate it in the new kitchen.  Which won’t be a certified kitchen, but will certainly relieve some of the burden from our house kitchen.
Check back Tuesday for exciting pictures of the new stove (ooh) and please pray that my husband does not somehow blow us all up while doing the propane hook-up himself (ahhh).

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The Double Header

Sri Sri Radha Syamasundara on Janmastami

Srila Prabhupada on his swan carrier.

And if you thought They looked good on Janmastami, check out Radhe Syam on Vyasa Puja.

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This Just In


Here is a family photo from Gita Nagari Ratha Yatra which I just lifted off of Kiriti’s blog –a blog which no longer allows comments (boo hiss).   My husband’s smile is real, since he was doing seva steering the cart. Mine is totally contrived, since I just lugged two hot and tired kids up Govardhana Hill to sit in the dry, prickly grass as the sun beat down on our heads. Oh, did I mention we had no water (just ran out when we got to the water station). And no balloons. Apparently, for my kids, the balloon shortage was a life threatening emergency.

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