Balkan. Blogger. Tuber.

New Christmas Album.

Flashback Video: Ten years ago Walden was a clearcut and I wore goofy hats.

( disappeared today, which figures — I’ve been writing more regularly.)

This morning I had this great story ready to write about Llubjana, capital of Slovenia. It’s a tiny, unappreciated capital city of an underestimated country just across the Adriatic Sea from indulgent and overexposed Italy. Venice is a short train and boat ride away. It’s like the New Brunswick coast to PEI.

What prompted this was eating a Balkan yogurt that Suzy bought specially for me thinking my mind and bowels would benefit. I don’t eat enough for breakfast and, after a large with two milks from Tim’s on an empty stomach, I am usually ready to rip a strip off the nearest client by 11AM. And then the bird noises come.

So, anyway, I like the Balkan-style yogurt, but I wonder what the marketing team was thinking. Every time I sink a spoon into the lumpy goodness with bright red jam surprise on the bottom I think of the the seige of Sarajevo — another city I must visit before I die. I enjoy the company of a people who survive painful adversity. That could be why I love Palestine so much, and secretly loathe Ottawa (oops).

The tuber thing? Can anyone suggest a good use for a bag of aging sweet potatoes? Soup? Mash? Suzy found a bag of them lost and desperate in the back of the pantry. A few were saved. The rest raptured and shrivelled.

You’ve gotta love a good tuber. There’s something about root vegetables in winter — like pulverized turnip with lots of brown sugar and a splash of real cream. But good luck find grandma’s recipe on Why do recipes these days have to be so formal and pretentious? Why does everything have to be “au gratin?” What ever happened to “with cheese?”

I hate to get all Stewart MacLean-like here, but back in PEI (here goes nuthin,’ Marty), we used to wipe the fuzz off the carrots when we retrieved them from “the cold room” in our basement. We grew them ourselves the previous summer, in tidy red rows in the back yard, and collected them in late August in green garbage bags. One year I put out an entire harvest with the trash and we ate canned all winter. Shame after mealtime shame. Little Lowell still shows signs of the scurvy.

(OK, enough Stewart-ing).

Now if we want organic produce we have to pay some corporation big bucks. I comfort myself sometimes by the thought that if society goes in the shitter I can always grow my own carrots again, at the cabin. But this hope is undercut by the deep fear that the ribbons tied in my trees a few years ago meant the government is planning to expropriate my piece of peace for a straighter road. Watch this web site for the Stuart with a U chained to a bulldozer. Care to join me?

In any case, I don’t expect CNN or Paul Martin to top the news hour with something like: “OK, folks, despite our best intentions, society is collapsing.” In 2005, vigilance and a good chain are just the price of organic carrots.

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