about bliss

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

post-prandial ponderings

I’m quite fond of the post-prandial stroll, both as a phrase--doesn’t it have an exquisite sound?--and as an activity. I recently read that walking after dinner can aid digestion, which is an added bonus. I find it a nice respite from cleaning up the kitchen immediately, and as a lovely way to enjoy the day as it slips softly into night. Last night the sidewalk was filled with a skateboarder; a teenaged girl alternately reading a book and chatting on her cellphone, all while walking in a straight, if slow path; and a woman pushing a bay in a doublewide pram, the baby’s white-blond hair floating up in the breeze, his face displaying a smile of pure joy.

I’m re-reading Edith Wharton’s novel *The Glimpses of the Moon* in preparation for writing an article about this often overlooked and undervalued book. Some critics (mostly those writing several decades ago) only mention the novel as a poor imitation of *The House of Mirth,* as evidence to Wharton’s slipping literary gift. However, the novel strikes me as an attempt by Wharton to write a love story--one in which the lovers are actually together at the end of the book, something she denies most couples in other novels. So I’m mulling ideas in my head, and enjoying the second reading of the novel, which is filled with curious, and what I like to call flirtatious punctuation (lots of suggestive ellipses, for example). Today’s primary task is to finish the re-read and make some more notes, to decide if I’m going to pair the novel with something else...Fitzgerald, perhaps? So many questions and possibilities at this moment!

Tried to post this repeatedly throughout the day, but alas, the blogger system was super slow.

Tonight I took a post-vino stroll. I met my friend K. at a local foodie joint for a glass of wine and an appetizer, and I ordered two taste sizes of wine...except that the kind bartender emptied the bottle and basically gave me a full glass on my second taste. And, as those of you who know me well know, I can't hold more than one glass of wine without becoming silly or sentimental or some other adjective that begins with the letter "s." When K. left I decided to walk to the grocery store to purchase eggs to make banana muffins (my bananas can't wait another day) and delicate cupcakes for mother's day. It's a lovely evening, warm-ish and a bit overcast, and I loved the idea of being able to walk to the store...

I've been thinking a lot about sustainable food choices since I read Michael Pollan's blog in the NYT yesterday, and feeling strongly about "voting with our forks," as it were. That is, making our food decisions count politically. And somehow, in my current red-wine laced state of mind (very much different than a red-state state of mind:), walking to the grocery store fits into this as well...moreso as I just read an article in Sierra magazing about how much fossil fuel is hidden in our meals--not in the food itself, but in the growth and transportation involved to move the food from farm to table. So walking to the store seems a small step in changing my consumption patterns, at least.

I'm afraid I may get a bit self-righteous about this issue if I'm not careful...

On a lighter note, while K. was using the restroom at the restaurant, I was thumbing through a magazine on the bar, which showcases various local food stars, including the pioneer of a local preserve company, who has created quite a little empire out of some delicious and simple treats. I met this man's son last year and literally fell into some kind of foodie infatuation that still lurks in the back of my mind today. We had a lovely chat about chocolate. Ahhh.....maybe we'll meet again at another fancy food event...

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