rain in portland

you'd never think. welcoming rain in portland is like naming each owl of athens. 
it's fallish out, coolish, on the cloudy side and though the rains haven't really begun, i look forward to cloud burst afternoons and later to those nights when the thrumming on the roof, when the torrent rushes the gutters. time to sit by the fire, spooning soup, re-reading kawabata, drinking sake, debating the merits of reading 'sourland' by joyce carol oates out loud. yes, it's all in a days work.

but first the soup. 
ox-tails. long simmered in a strong consomme of beef, adding lemon grass, garlic, cilantro, ground coriander seed, fire roasted poblanos, zest of kaffir lime at the start. after two or so hours the beef will easily shred off the bone. strain the stuff, cool the broth, skim the fat. if you want you might clarify the mess with an egg white. you know how to do that? or, leave things alone. add soft-roasted, tiny, but whole cipollini, pre-cooked white beans and the shreds. grate young ginger, do the salt, the lime juice to taste.
i drink a dry sake along side, it goes well with the soup and my vocals own to less of a strain rendering stories aloud, even these, the dark, obsessively violent conceptions of joyce carol oates.

soup is always just that. a can opened will barely do, war time in poland aside. it makes a fair difference what you start out with, what you add and how you finish your concoction. stephanie flies in late tonight from tribulations in vegas. so there will be soup. tender young leek, tiny german butterballs and chanterelles, done up in butter. tarragon, sage, a rub of garlick (i like it that way, with the k at the end. do you?) and a few grinds of pepper. i used fish stock as base.

once the stuff has relaxed and when the pot smiles, i'll add some few halibut bites to the fusion. can't wait to feed her, i've made croutons. no reading of stories tonight, fairy tales are our own.