A Different Method To Report On The Midwest Ar Roundup - Life ... It's Why We Cook. Blog at Allrecipes.com - 279489

Life ... It's Why We Cook.

A Different Method to Report on the Midwest AR Roundup 
Jul. 14, 2012 1:53 am 
Updated: Jul. 17, 2012 6:40 am
We’ve left behind the calamity of the past five weeks and find ourselves looking at spring from a mid-summer point of view. Tomatoes are bearing plenty of fruit and the potatoes are drying back. It seems, we planted them just a few days ago. The zucchini looks like it is going to bring us too much bounty and the peppers seem to be bearing far heavier than normal.  These blessings we look forward to in spite of the (now) severe drought we are facing.

Perhaps the most gratifying thing about this drought is the pleasant and pleasing brown color of the lawn. For me that is the perfect color for a lawn. I find it difficult to understand why people devote so much time and expense for something you can’t eat. Above all, why spend so much of a life attending to it? Plow that stuff under and grow some food on it! We humans sure to have a strange sense of self sufficiency. 
What a perfect example of wasting time and resources on somebody else’s idealism.

Life got in the way of me following up my first posting about the Midwest Roundup. I left it at the night before. Now I need to stir up the memories to see if I can get some of it right.

Our Cat Hill is a student of Haiku so, I wrote some in the American style and sent it off to her. (Cat, BHawk and MiBeingMi, hosted the Midwest Roundup at Cat’s home in Missouri.) Each of the verses I wrote, picture a particular memory carried from that roundup.

Haiku is intended to present a thought to the reader and the reader is to picture that thought as he/she pleases. Each verse is to have two thoughts. I left behind that rule and, instead, had each verse represent one, two or three thoughts. (Laziness is one of my more manifested traits.) The thoughts I attempted to project were from my memories of the roundup. Haiku is a simple study and, to many westerners, somewhat intimidating because we expect more complexity in our verses. Haiku does have structure, though. The American style has verses of three lines, the first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables and the third line has five syllables. The Japanese have several styles that vary from far more complicated structure to no structure, at all. All styles have the same intent, to provide a thought for the reader to imagine and, perhaps, to meditate upon. Sound too eastern? It is fun to write and can actually be a puzzle for which only you can find the solution. Try it.

Originally, I was going to include photos with the Haiku, but opted out. I thought I would present you with the Haiku as it is intended, and find out how you like it. If you are a speed reader, you’ll hate it. If yoga or meditating are your pleasure, you’ll love it. Everybody else will have opinions that vary in places between love and hate. The key is to mentally picture each line as you read it and then picture the complete verse. It's not unusual to spend several minutes within one verse. When you complete this exercise, perhaps you might believe you were with us in the gentle Missouri country side.

Expressions for Cat

From Mike Harvey on the occasion of
Cat’s Third Annual Midwest Roundup
June 9, 2012

Old friends meet new friends
All welcomed with hugs of joy
Thrill. Laughter. Good will

At the pond they chat
Hyacinth ingests the sun
Frog wary of all

Bright garden pathway
Breeze embraces flesh warmly
Silence masters moods

Walking white stone paths
Ladies marvel at beauty
Calm silence shattered

Single poppy sways
Caressed by covetous grass
A hare rests alert

A table of treasures
Guests astonished. Speechless bliss
Abundance of love

The tractor restored
Pride of past reclaimed once more
History honored

Tall cattails waving
Hungry fish leaping for food
Twilight breeze greets night
Jul. 14, 2012 4:31 am
Mike - I think it is wonderful! And this comes from a woman, who when in the 6th grade, announced to her mother that "I'd probably be getting a C or D in English that marking period - we just started on POETRY, YUCK-O!" I'm so glad I've matured since then - or maybe I really did learn something. (I think what I learned was I'd better not get a C or D!) You have a wonderful way of putting words down that presents a great picture in my mind. Thank you!!!
Jul. 14, 2012 5:31 am
Thank you Mike. These are really lovely.
Jul. 14, 2012 6:25 am
Gosh, I forgot to comment on your garden. I agree with you about lawns. Here in So. Cal. irrigation is mandatory to maintain a lawn. Mind you, this really should be considered a desert with water being a very precious resource - yet the lawns abound. If your lawn isn't green, you will receive a letter from code enforcement. If you use too much water you will be charged a penalty. (The use of gray water to irrigate said lawn is prohibited) One creative neighbor turned his front lawn into an edible garden, I think it was the green beans and corn that put the neighbors over the edge. Oh, the ruckus!
Jul. 14, 2012 8:19 am
Thank you, as well, Mother Ann! My interest in speaking and writing skills never developed in school. In fact my folks would have been happy to see a C or a D simply because it would have reflected a little bit of interest. When it became evident that I must improve was when I had to defend some criminal charges that I had written right after I became a cop. Because of me, a crime went unpunished. After that, I went to school at night and practiced daily those things I learned. Most of it is forgotten now but I definitely have fun with various disciplines of writing. I don't stick to any particular discipline to be proficient with it but, as I said, I'm having fun pretending!
Jul. 14, 2012 8:42 am
Thank you, Baking Nana! I don't understand why people are compelled to change the course of nature. At best, their influence is temporary. I will admit, lawns are beautiful- but not in a desert. Those idiotic ordinances should be condemned and replaced by ordinances that use only indigenous materials in landscaping as well as ordinances condemning the wasteful application of water in a desert.
Jul. 14, 2012 9:09 am
Since grade school I've wanted to write doesn't matter I can butcher the English language better than most. I thought your verses did my garden and the roundup proud!!! I was just sitting here thinking of you and your Relay walk. I'm supporting you in spirit! As for lawns POO! they are a waste of water unless you have a postage stamp sized one. Just my opinion that and I don't have to mow when it is dry. I see an edible lanscape as the smartest thing a homeowner could do but then that is just me!
Jul. 14, 2012 12:03 pm
In Italy the yards are all madeof compressed straw. Little difficult to walk on but I see the logic.
Jul. 14, 2012 1:49 pm
As a former English major and one who loves words and the way they can paint pictures in my mind, I have to tell you your Haiku is a rousing success! ~~~ My DH grew up in Brooklyn and was completely thrown by the concept of maintaining a lawn, especially when it was the better part of an acre. We arrived at a happy compromise, the front was maintained as pristine as possible. The back was sown with Bermuda grass beyond our sizeable vegetable garden. We didn't worry about weeds or crabgrass. If it was greenish it was fine. I think he actually enjoyed getting away from me, the 5 kids, may father, and his mother as he spent hours riding around on his mower listening to the baseball game. LOL!
Jul. 14, 2012 7:02 pm
Beautiful Mike. And I have the pics to prove it! I've got the hyacinth (water lily), the single poppy and the cattails. If I was better with the camera, I would have loved to have taken more photos of Cat's gardens.
Jul. 15, 2012 3:38 am
Not just you, Cat! Anybody can if they just want to. Last week, I talked to a guy that didn't want to try because he was afraid he mught fail! Seemed to me he had failed by not trying.
Jul. 15, 2012 3:40 am
Compressed straw, covergirl? I'll check that out. Thank you!
Jul. 15, 2012 3:48 am
Thank you, BSM! There is something to be said about the lawn mower providing some "constructive solitude".
Jul. 15, 2012 3:52 am
Now, MAgnolia Blossom (BS), you must know, that you can't get better by not practicing. Take those snaps and study them to find things you could do better and tou'll be teaching yourself to take some great pics!
Jul. 16, 2012 3:05 pm
Hehe, if I had an artistic eye that might work, but sometimes I think I take the pics with my eyes closed.
Jul. 16, 2012 3:31 pm
I've seen what you can do and, believe me, you do have an artistic eye! (And I ain't bs'n the bs'r!)
Jul. 16, 2012 9:20 pm
Great Job Mike! Your Haiku is outstanding. I got a mental picture from each stanza and relived our time together at Cat's.
Jul. 16, 2012 9:23 pm
BTW, we are currently in the process of eliminating the lawn in our backyard. It will be over time though, because my lot is so big. DH and I have decided that our "landscaping" should mostly be edible or for the pleasure of being outside enjoying family, friends and the beauty of plants and flowers. We just finished increasing the patio by half 2 days before Independence Day and putting in a fire pit. In the fall, I will be planting 3 quaking aspens. I refuse to water grass!
Jul. 17, 2012 6:40 am
Thank you, Candice! Lawn space is pretty to look at but certainly not a requirement for life. I have a vision for my lot will make some spaces productive. This year is terrible for any attempt to progress with the vision because of the extreme heat/drought that we are enduring. Today, we are expecting temps around 100 and have exceeded that a few times. We've had heat indeces at 112.
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Mike Harvey, daPITA

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Battle Creek, Michigan, USA
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Climax, Michigan, USA

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About Me
At age 16, I began cooking when my mother was injured in an accident that kept her off her feet for five weeks. At first, my repertoire was fried hot dogs with pork and beans, boiled hot dogs with macaroni and cheese or pizza from a box. After a couple weeks of this, my younger brother was the first to protest and demand variety and my dad was quick to support him. That was my first cooking challenge, learning to plan a meal. About that time, mom returned from the hospital and from her bed, began teaching me things like roast beef, fried chicken, stews and all the sides and trimmings. In 1967, I married and my wife designated herself as the cook and this continued until 1999. It was then that I (voluntarily) began cooking again. At some point, I realized that I was having fun and began searching for recipes that were more challenging and interesting. I found AR and used it's recipes for a long time before registering and later becoming an active member.
My favorite things to cook
Soups. How can I go wrong? They are a great way to use up leftovers and those veggies that are approaching the end of their usefulness. They are always an original recipe. Roasts and steaks are favored, also. Getting the right "doneness" and choosing appropriate sides for a tastey and attractive meal is a continuing and always evolving menu.
My favorite family cooking traditions
If creating impulsive menus and recipes is a tradition then, (I guess) we have a tradition. A new tradition is developing. I have a fruitcake recipe that, I believe, is near perfection. I make it just before Thanksgiving so it is aged enough for the Christmas/ New Year holidays.
My cooking triumphs
Without a doubt, my own recipe for a Reuben Sandwich. It has been a demanded item for many years and I shared it in my AR blog. http://allrecipes.com/Cook/13101603/BlogEntry.aspx?postid=204609
My cooking tragedies
Too many. I have been able to throw them out and have something new before my wife gets home. Most of the time, anyway.
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