A Mixture Of Incongruous Elements

Mélange.  In a word, that describes my life… how I cook… and this post.

I love dining alfresco, don’t you?  The best picnics I’ve ever been on have consisted of nothing more than ripe peaches at a fruit stand in Georgia (with juice dribbling down my chin), barbecued ribs “hot-off-the-smoker” in a parking lot in rural Mississippi, freshly squeezed pineapple juice from a food truck in Miami’s industrial district, crab cakes “to go” on a beach in Maryland, white Cheddar cheese curds at a truck stop in Wisconsin, hand-breaded jalapeno “poppers” eaten two steps away from Mexico (and 100° in the shade!), buttermilk biscuits wrapped in a paper napkin for “later,” chocolate-covered cherries (filled with Cabernet) on a stroll through Washington state’s wine country, Chicago-style hotdogs procured from a now-defunct deli next to a steel plant on the South side, coffee and donuts anywhere, and — my favorite — champagne and fresh strawberries in front of a sunset.  (Bologna sandwiches and a candy bar at a roadside rest run a close second.)  Picnics don’t have to be fancy to be fun.

One recent afternoon I pondered the metamorphosis of two grilled pork chops begging to be reinvented (aka leftovers) and my thoughts turned to flavors and textures…  Creamy avocado and succulent pork.  Crisp tortillas with a whisper of cheese.  Coarse sea salt and zesty lime.  Freshly ground pepper offset by an icy Margarita.  Thus, Avocado Tacos became dinner and all of the above became a picnic!

The goblet in the photo has been with me for a long time.  (If it looks like it’s leaning, it is — she’s a little off kilter, like me. :))  I’ve never been one to own a complete set of stemware (or china for that matter), just “one of a kinds” added along the way.  Thankfully, the hubby settled for my meager dowry:  a fishing rod, a tackle box, a piano, and a barrister bookcase.  (And “the goblet.”)  It was high time she had a suitable companion.  Meet the newest member of our stemware misfits…

Though I’m not in the habit of naming inanimate objects, my friend Tammy (proprietor of Steel Daffodils — greatest little gift shop/coffee bar in the whole wide world) giggled when she saw me with that glass in hand (I had an iced mocha in the other…) and promptly recounted a sitcom episode about a woman who referred to her oversized Margarita glass as Big Daddy.  I knew he’d found a home.  And a name.  Laughter has a way of overcoming habits.

Last, but not least, I’d like to share Fish Curry with you, which I spied on Sing For Your Supper Coconut milk.  Curry powder.  Catfish…  A mélange.  But, I was out of Garam Masala, so I had to make a batch.  (You don’t need to go to that extreme — look for it on the spice aisle at your market.)  The aroma of toasted spices is worth the effort if you’re feeling adventurous!

Here’s a peek at the results…

And here’s a peek at the Fish Curry…

Definitely a flavor picnic!

Enjoying life one incongruity at a time,

~ Kim

26 thoughts on “A Mixture Of Incongruous Elements

  1. Pingback: Putting Away Pieces of My Life – a little lunch

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  4. You are one woman who knows how to dive into the richness of life… feet first! I am still savoring your amazing word pictures, and your ACTUAL pictures… mmmmm toasted spices… backyard sunsets and salted margarita glasses…

    Cheers to the delicious life. You are blazing the trail and tantalizing the rest of us with the scent of what’s cooking around the bend.

  5. Wowwwwzzzzzzieeeee, Kim! I feel like I just made a trip across country to the BEST little delicious folk-food secret enclaves! YOU would know. You sought them out. Have an eye for the cracks where scrumptious soulfood thrives and nourishes others! YUM!

    I do have to say… I weep at my lack of imagination with food and your BOUNTY. and… I won’t weep long. I am going to do some wildly out-of-the lunchbox meal today and surprise the whole crew! I just can’t believe how much gorgeousness you have fashioned on this post… photos, word images, travels, food, story. You are an exquisite artist of these realms! LOVE!

    • Kathleen, I’m humbled by your assessment and honored by your compliments at the same time — thank you.

      Food is just so “3 D” to me! Surprisingly, this blog opened a creative door to share “what I experience” (without tripping over on-lookers in the kitchen, lol) — and I have a blast doing it! Can’t wait to hear about your lunchbox extravaganza… :)

  6. I just finished a teleclass with my Inner Circle and I was feeling so warmed by their leap into lusciousness. Then, I visited your blog and once again I am mesmerized by both your food photos and your merry mélange. I have so many memories of picnics and parties and pickins’ but reading your posts always leave me feeling as though I ‘m sitting on your deck watching the sunset with a margarita in hand, saying nothing—just sitting and savoring and smiling.

    • Sue Ann, your conclusion pretty much summed up our life here — sitting (on the deck), savoring and smiling! How thankful I feel. Wish you were here to see those Northern Lights last night — it was the most incredible sunset I’ve ever seen! Ironically, I didn’t take photos. It was one of those “etch it into my memory” moments to savor later, again and again.

  7. Nasrine, I’m so glad we can “be together” on our blogs and through our words. Isn’t it amazing? Three weeks ago we didn’t know each other and now (thanks to Sue Ann) we’re sharing our LIVES. I love that! Looking forward to more “togetherness” in the coming weeks. :)

  8. Kim! Your writing and your photos are both magical, I am not sure what I shall comment on first? I am simply salivating at every detail, I feel like I am with you. I love how you move from ribs and peaches to “big daddy” to marsala and these photos are so wonderful. You have inspired me to keep my odds and ends, and have fun with them. Thanks so much for sharing so much with us, simply magical!

  9. Kim,
    How about boiled peanuts out of a paper bag in North Georgia? Gives me shivers thinking about some fantastic food memories. Your imagery is exquisite and makes me hungry. I have never named a goblet but Big Daddy seems apropo for such a vessel. The photos are enticing and I would love to try the fish recipe sometime. Clicking the link now!

    • Oooh, Matthew, boiled peanuts in a paper bag? Yup. A must. Your comment also points out that the simplest means of serving food can enhance our enjoyment of it. :)

      Let me know how you like that fish curry!

    • Hi, Tracey — the door’s open! :) (That’s an aspect of food that I’ll touch on in a later post — it always tastes better when it’s shared!) Glad you’re enjoying the melange-life in the kitchen, too. It’s a delicious way to live, eh?

  10. Hi Kim,
    This post is filled with so many words that I love: Mélange, metamorphosis, succulent, Garam Masala, and of course, avocado! What a lovely picture you paint through these descriptors–I feel like I am right there with you.

    I have been on my own avocado (vegan) taco kick these days–ah, the gorgeous textures and palette suit my palate! Bring on more mélange–I love it!

  11. Hi Kim!

    My mouth was watering reading your description and seeing the pictures. I love how you totally integrate mindfulness into your food rituals. This is so needed!


    • Marion, I wasn’t always so mindful (in fact, I didn’t recognize the need for it until “later in life”) — but I’m making up for lost time and feeling very blessed to have time to do that. Thanks for visiting here!

    • Wish you could see it. (Wish I could see some of your photo destinations “for real,” too!) But I’m thankful we can trade scenery (and food) this way. :)
      ~ Kim

  12. I love the impromptu picnics and such. One favorite of our family is after fishing early morning (and some swimming for the kids) we stop by this little barbecue truck and eat in the bed of Matt’s truck. The girls love it. It’s always the best sandwich! Also I am with you with “mis-matched” glasses, dishes, friends ;)

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