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Taste Week 2011

This is Taste Week here in France.  I took a preparation to the library in a nearby town as I did last year.  This year I made a raw carrot confection, a version of a carrot cake.  I was quite amused when someone else added their contribution to the table and it was a traditional carrot cake.  Well, in the British tradition, I guess, since the frosting was made with double cream and Americans usually use cream cheese.  The raw recipe was appreciated.  You can find it here: I added some grated ginger root to the base.

There were some Arcimboldo-inspired compositions with vegetables.

I also shared some watercolours  which they were kind enough to display.

The exhibit examined another aspect of taste, that of art and having good taste or bad taste, kitsch, pop art, bling-bling.  I should have taken notes as there were some ideas I found sad and for which there are answers in The Revelation of Arès.  No longer knowing what is in good taste or not, not knowing what beauty is, the ideas of one class being imposed on all, crass materialism reigning, a sense of paradise lost, the relative recency of nature being considered beautiful with the conclusion that “it’s not natural to find Nature beautiful.” 

There should be room for all kinds of taste; diversity is an attribute of the creation.  There is no need for judgment or prejudice.  There is a paradise lost which we can recreate although it probably will not resemble the images we currently have of it. 


Your head is weak and your courage wavering, therefore My Breath will continually revive your thought and heart so that you can tell what is good from what is evil in My Eyes, what is enough from what is not much and what is too much, what is beautiful from what is not, for beauty is the servant of Good.”  The Revelation of Arès 12/3


The more good we create, the more beauty we will find and the more things will be alive and full of taste.  Good taste.


Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.  Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.”  Matthew 5:13-14 (The Message)

A Fold in Beauty

This is a reply by Michel Potay to a comment on his blog.  I found it so beautiful and inspiring that I have translated it so as to share it here.  He was replying to “a commentator who vehemently denied the power of Good and spiritual Beauty to conquer men’s acute spitefulness and untruthfulness.”


“…Yes, man can change, not only do I claim, but I speak from experience.

If you really believe in The Revelation of Arès, you can only believe in salvation through change, believe in the possibility of personal change and the changing of the world due to the sum of personal changes.

Penitence is self re-education and one that is possible!

With all that is included in self re-education, effort, tumbling and getting back up, tumbling and getting back up, tumbling and getting back up, until the moment when the distance covered after getting back up surpasses the distance tumbled and you then gain little by little in virtue, in penitence.  You can go quite far in this way.  However, from the very first efforts, in spite of tumbling and getting back up, your soul takes form, develops, the Father’s image and likeness reappears in you, because they are the fruits of continued effort, not of a level attained.  It is despondency which is impiety (The Revelation of Arès 13/8).

Of course, in the beginning, you must accept an axiom, that is to say a truth for you as yet improvable, a principle that you admit without discussion: From my penitence will come not only my salvation but also a part of the world’s salvation.

In other words, you must have faith, not only faith in The Revelation of Arès, which is only faith in words and ideas, but also faith in their achievement, therefore faith in your penitence.

But very quickly you will discover something very important, a facet of life with which you are not familiar.

Very quickly you will find that penitence concentrates all the beautiful fruits of life, already the present life here below, and you will also get an idea of the Life to come.  Here let us consider the fruits of the present life that you will discover.

First of all, freedom, because when you do not reply to a nasty remark with a nasty remark, to a lie with a lie, to a traitor with treachery, to a lost temper by losing your temper, to a partisan with a partisan reply, etc., you free yourself from the nasty person, the liar, the traitor, the angry person, the partisan, who you were following like a puppy by reacting tit for tat.  You will become conscious of your superiority over this world in servitude to its bad habits, its prejudice, which veil its intelligence.

Penitence is life minus nerves on edge due to the hardness of society, life minus nastiness, minus treachery, minus mockery, etc., which are reflexes imprinted on our nerves by surrounding culture.

The peace which will gradually take place within is a fold in Beauty (The Revelation of Arès 12/3) that you do not suspect is in your core being, your answer to the ugliness of reality at the same time as your return to the Creator’s image, Beauty and Goodness.

As your soul develops, you will see old fears receding from you, the fear of displeasing first, shyness which is the most frequent agent of your accord with evil.  You will see people differently, as beings to whom you no longer seek to resemble or please, a crowd in which you no longer seek to blend, you will discover that peace and happiness are not in the fusion with evil, but rather in your fearlessness full of goodness in face of evil of which you will finally become conscious… and conscious without fear.”

28aou11 120C65 Réponse

used by permission

Brussels Sprouts and Hazel

I remember the first time I ever ate a Brussels sprout.  I was in college and my roommate was quite enthusiastic about them; she fixed some frozen ones lightly steamed.  Confidently I speared one with a fork and bit into it.  Shock!  Consternation!  Something logarithmic was happening here—all the flavour of a 10 inch cabbage was in this little 1 inch sphere.

Several years later due to my husband’s appreciation of them, I learned another way to fix them—parboiled and then simmered with butter and shallots.  This was milder but still they were what we call in French “étouffe-Chrétien” (smotherer of Christians).

Lately I have been leaning towards more raw food so I decided to try them uncooked.  I went out in the garden and picked some, mid-afternoon, and prepared them for the evening.  I found them to be so pretty.

I split them in half and then added apple cider vinegar, tamari soy sauce, olive oil, sesame seeds and a little bit of harissa (powdered).

I wasn’t sure how this would turn out.  What a delicious surprise!  They were crisp yet not too hard with a very light taste.  My husband found them similar to artichoke hearts and wondered why we ever cooked them.

Outside, if one looks, there is a lot of beauty even in the winter months.  I have been noticing the hazel which is flowering.  Some are yellow and some are reddish brown.  I don’t know why.

Two Things I Saw Today

Although I have been trimming this hedge for over 20 years, this is the first time I remember seeing something purple hanging from it.  I guess this is its fruit, perhaps not quite ripe yet.  The hedge is lonicera nitida, a member of the honeysuckle family, but not a vine.

Another thing I don’t remember seeing before is the light refracted on a spider’s web.  I had a hard time getting the camera to capture what I saw, so here are two photos, one of which is focused and the other shows more of the colour I saw.

Picture Perfect: Rhyme Time

Flower Bower

This bower is
A leafy shelter.
Its flowers bloom
Branches of solanum
Provide a resting place
Where sparrows come,
Enlivening our space.

I adjusted this photo slightly as the camera did not want to see what I was seeing. 

For more entries on the theme of Rhyme Time, go to Picture Perfect.

Not a Bouquet

This is not a bouquet.  The bits were not cut with a bouquet in mind, but rather were stuck in water because they had been cut, but I couldn’t just toss them on the compost pile.  The barberry has itsy-bitsy yellow flowers and the the intense blue ones are lithospermum.  The ash tree in bloom inspired the following watercolour.  Many in my painting group did not realize that ash trees flower.

What most amazed me is the quantity of pollen on the table after approximately 36 hours.  No wonder some people are allergic.

Clicking on the images will bring up larger editions.

Amaryllis and beach – January 01, 2008

Yesterday the main flower stem broke right off the plant, so now we have:


Now I won’t have to worry about when and where to cut it off.

Here is one of the splendid sights we saw on a walk at the beach today.


Even though it is only 1/2 hour’s drive, we don’t go very often, but it is so invigorating when we do.

I am happy with my first day of this year. This is silly to celebrate turning a calendar page . We have fiddled with the calendar over time to try to get it right, but who’s to say we’ve done it? Not everyone uses the same calendar, even today. But I digress – it was a beautiful day, my husband cooked a delicious dinner, complete with fixing a dessert, and we enjoyed the beauty of Our Creator’s creation. As time passes and folks around the world wake up, we will exchange greetings with loved ones. The sun has set here.