Memoir of a Rural Sisyphus-Redux

Bill Engleson



Memoir of a Rural Sisyphus-Redux

Bill Engleson

For a few years, I kept a diary of my inauguration into the Denman Community. This column, recently renamed Memoir of a Rural Sisyphus-Redux, will extract a few of my observations from a dozen or so years ago and share them. Hopefully, they will have some modern times currency.

Food Thoughts

November 18, 2004

As I resume this modest memoir after taking a few days off from conversing with myself, I should clarify that (for the benefit of any future biographer should there be a need for one, a long shot at best) this opus won’t always have an entry every day. I suspect that months might pass without comment. On those occasions I’ll be observing my life by living it rather then alluding to it in small summations, little packages weaned from the fresh memory of the day.

Some days though will be like this day. I hope you have had at least one and ideally hundreds of days like the one that has just about seen the sun set. For me, a day like today had to have an evening recipe. I love to cook, especially when I have companioned one or two new recipes and I venture into a sweet new territory. Today, I am preparing a middle eastern eggplant and onion dish bathed in yogurt, mint, and garlic and sprinkled (and you know the recipe world loves to sprinkle things) liberally (not a recipe George Walker Bush would embrace) with paprika. As a travelling cohort, I’ve made a lentil stew simmering with, amongst other things, frozen tomatoes from our fall crop. Have you ever sliced a frozen tomato? It’s like drawing a blade across chilled, blood-red, brittle frozen snow.

In addition to meal preparation, I’ve emailed a number of friends with overdue communiqués, sent a pithy letter to the Globe and Mail concerning Carolyn Parrish, rogue parliamentarian, and her views on mad cow disease.

I also have had a fine half hour this winter afternoon in the hot tub. Later, my cat refrained from clawing me once during our scheduled mandatory male bonding session. Things are improving on that front.

All in all, a superlative day.