Motherhood – Part II This is your body soft like a pillow like the place she would want to lay her head and dream how easy to make her smile with the fullness of your curves This is your body its scars make up a map she reads like Braille this is where […]
Being a mother is the most amazing, beautiful, fulfilling task I have ever taken over. It makes life prettier, more meaningful and joyful.
It is also fucking terrifying…
No-one warns you of the fear
simmering underneath your skin
like a fever
burning you up
No one tells you of the nightmares
when deep in sleep
So how could you know before…
…before you were a walking heart
pulsating in full display
all red and soft
all tender tissue
No one says
you no longer belong to yourself
When you learn how to love
with such abundance
for your ego
everything becomes a gift
And you heart
-that mushy muscle,
that engine of love-
is growing bigger
with her every breath
They never tell you
nothing will ever feel safe
you’ve seen too much of the world,
They never say
bedtime stories fight your monsters
walking in the shadows
creeping in the sun
You weild the axe
that ends the Wolf
You tear into its flesh
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It is out, it is loaded and it is shiny! The third volume in the SDS series is finally here, with sixteen stories that will satisfy all tastes. You can buy it on Amazon as an eBook or a paperback. …
Several months ago I wrote a poem inspired by my perception of beauty. Not beauty in the typical photoshopped-to-look-like-what-magazines-and-tv-deem-aesthetically-pleasing sense, but beauty as strength, individuality, courage. All those things that shine through a smile or the way someone speaks about something they love.
I have a daughter now, so I can’t afford to let her think of herself the way I thought of myself growing up. I will do everything in my power to make her understand that she is beautiful no matter what the world will have her believe. And I know the world will try.
So here it is. Kelly Coody was kind enough to accept and publish it and I am very happy to be able to share it with you all.
She was beauty
in the way she ran
through a poppy field
red bleeding around,
hair ablaze with the kiss
of the midday sun
framing her face
in liquid gold
She was beauty
in the way she laughed
from the belly
from the shoulders
from the heart,
with a furious hunger
She was beauty
in the way she dove
into the sea
into the moment
grasping in eager want
wanting in every way
She was beauty
in the way she spoke
from a feral tongue
to the beat
of her swelling heart
forever growing with wonder
a universe expanding within
She was beauty
She belonged to the stars
to their time-defying light
to the firmament above…
like all Beauty
she was no man’s
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I cannot stress enough how much I love Ani King’s writing. Check out her poems at http://sicklitmagazine.com/2016/03/22/3762/ and while you’re at it, read all of her other stories as well.
#feministasfuck: #15, #thisbody, #comfort
by Ani King
Do not go gentle into that fucking boardroom
In your good-girl skirt
And your yes-sir shoes
And your I’m-sorry shirt
as if you’ve done something wrong
in being right.
Ingenuity is not accident
There is no shame in your bright, sharp mind
Let others cut themselves on the edge of your ideas
While they clamor to steal them
hide them in their pockets
as if you’ve done something wrong
in being right.
Others might describe her as pale and freckled
I say she is the night sky in reverse
She is a holy map of secret constellations
I follow them from limb to limb
Others might say that she has red hair
I say she is a woman burning
She is a fire in the dark
I follow her light to tangled
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I was having a discussion with my husband the other day about envy. He claimed all people are envious of others. Always. It doesn’t have to be malicious or turn into an obsession that will slowly but surely eat away at the host of the envious parasite, but it’s there. It might be just the fact that your neigbour has a better apartment than you. Or that your colleague travels all over the world. Or that a friend has more free time to spend with his family. The question is, do you let these thoughts become obessions, or let them pass knowing that you are actually very happy with your life?
It was a good discussion. Much unlike the one we had yesterday when I told him how devastated I was about a recent rejection I received. His answer was “You know, a lot of people write.”
Not all conversations are hits obviously.
Today though, I get to forget about how difficult writing is sometimes, because I can finally share with you the cover for the Envy Volume of Seven Deadly Sins – A YA Anthology—a love project by Scribophile writers. It is done once again by Luke Spooner, a.k.a. Carrion House and looks just as gorgeous as the other two.
This volume contains sixteen great stories, written by new, as well as some writers you might recognize from previous volumes, and I’m not exaggarating when I say it has it all: cavemen, ghosts, humans, selkies…take your pick!
The release date will be announced soon, but until then, feast your eyes on this!
Those who are here for the Gemista recipe please skip to the bottom of the post.
It’s no secret to anyone with whom I’ve ever had a conversation that’s lasted more than a couple of minutes that I love food. And I don’t mean that as in an “OMG, I loooove your new sweater” kind of way. I mean actual love. The kind that sprouts at a young age, when eyes and heart alike are hungry and eager, and which then evolves into a deeper kind of affection resulting from the understanding that the object of your childhood affection is indeed meant to be your partner for life.
It was easy for me to fall in love with food. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family and at a time and place where cooking wasn’t considered a nuisance to deal with between a zillion other things. It was more a daily ritual that left the kitchen brimming with smells I still associate with the warmth of a home and family life.
According to my mom, my grandfather taught my grandmother how to cook after they got married in Beirut and moved to Africa sometime in the 1940’s. I don’t fail to believe her for a minute, for my grandmother grew up being served from a very young age (that was before my great-grandfather lost everything, and out the window went the servants along with everything else he had single-handedly built, but that’s another story). Despite her late start, she proved to be a very avid student and evolved into a great cook herself. My father likes to say how he fell for my mother because she would make and bring him the best sandwiches with home-made keftedes and mustard at work. He didn’t find out the seducing meatballs were the work of my grandmother until after he married my mom. Ha! Who’s laughing now, dad?
I remember attempting to cook as far back as 1996-97 as a teenager. I experimented with basics at first: Easy stuff like pasta with different sauces and omelets. After that, the first couple of summers my parents would trust us enough to leave us alone in Athens while they spent some time at my father’s childhood home in Corfu, my brother and I were left to take care of ourselves and would take turns cooking and trying to top each other with every recipe we tried out. Suffice to say I’m very glad my brother was my first guinea pig. His stomach has withstood controlled nuclear experiments of destructive culinary forces time and time again, and for that I will be forever grateful.
Now, I won’t deny my dark university years. Everyone has had those. Who has time to cook when you’re busy meeting different people every day, missing lectures to drink coffee and play tavli for 8 straight hours by the sea, go out on tequila-shot drinking marathons and generally do everything you weren’t allowed to do while in highschool? Ready-made meals, a fridge containing mostly milk and water (god forbid I didn’t have the necessary ingredients for my frappé – it was the Dark Ages before the invention of freddo cappuccino) and cooking sessions that lasted 20 minutes at most and resulted in me surviving on pasta, rice and potatoes for a very long time, is the picture that painted the years between 2000 and 2005.
After I moved to Germany, the cooking landscape improved only slightly. I still didn’t dedicate much time and effort into preparing decent food, since I had the main meal of the day at the Kantine of the company I did my internship at. Those meals involved a lot of pasta (of course!), weird Auflaufs and pork in all possible forms. After I got my first real job I really, really wanted to, but rarely had time to cook. Travelling 80 km a day to and from the office with 10-hour sessions of me panicking every time the phone rang and a Swabian client started speaking in a language I had supposedly learned years ago but still couldn’t decipher, left me with little energy to do much more than weep when I came home late in the evening.
Which brings us to the years after 2009: Recently fired, with time on my hands and a kitchen to call my own after moving in with my then-boyfriend, I decided to finally take care of myself a little better. I missed my mom’s cooking so much and there was no other way to get Greek food where I lived (let us not open up the topic of Greek tavern food abroad) so I started using the recipes I had gathered from her over the years, experimenting with whatever I had in the kitchen and online recipes and generally having fun in the kitchen.
It’s been six years since and although I’m not half of the cook my mom is, I can finally say I am happy with most of what I make. Sure there are failures; I can’t imagine a single creative person (and don’t kid yourself, cooking is creative) who sails through life without a decent quota of flops accompanying his/her every endeavor. But with every recipe I become more and more the cook I’d like to be, which is all I can ever hope for.
Sometimes I am so proud of my achievements I commit the ultimate cardinal sin and post pictures of my creations on Facebook *cue shocked gasp by outraged readers*. One of those pictures piqued the interest of some of my non-Greek friends, and I promised I’d give them the recipe… which brings me to today. Phew! You thought this intro would never end, right?
The recipe in question is for gemista, a classic in every self-respecting Greek household during the summer months when the peppers, eggplants, zucchinis and tomatoes are in season and you can finally enjoy them properly. The ingredients may vary depending on what you like most. For this recipe I didn’t use eggplants because I didn’t have any, but you can add that to the mix in wedges, same as the potatoes.
It’s one of the few foods that taste even better on the second day than on the first and are even great when cold. It takes a while to prepare, but it’s definitely worth the effort. And if you care for such details, it is also gluten-free AND suitable for people of the vegan persuasion. Because that is how Gemista do.
Here goes nothing.
Gemista (serves approx. 4)
6 medium to large tomatoes (preferably beef tomatoes, because they are juicier and big enough to fill properly), hollowed out
2 zucchinnis, hollowed out
5 peppers, seeded (whichever color you prefer, the green ones give the rice a heavenly aroma but tend to have a slightly bitter taste when cooked, so it’s really a matter of taste)
2 large potatoes
1 large onion
A bunch of parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of sugar
1 tablespoon of short grain white rice per vegetable (in Germany I use the rice used for rice pudding, it has the right texture), in this case 13 tablespoons of rice.
Preheat oven to 200 °C
Wash the rice thoroughly until the water is clean. Rinse, drain and put aside.
Cut the top part of the tomatoes, peppers and zucchinnis so as to use it as a “cover” later.
Seed the peppers.
Scoop out the pulp of the tomatoes with a mellon baller and empty it along with any remaining juice into a bowl.
Hollow out the zucchinnis and dice what you removed. Put in bowl with the tomato pulp and juice. Dice the parsley and add to the vegetable mix.
Dice the onion and put into a pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir over medium-high heat until glossy, then add the vegetable mix.
Add the rice and lower heat to medium, stirring frequently, adding salt and pepper to taste, along with the sugar.
The mix should be juicy, if you notice the rice absorbs the liquids too fast, grate a tomato and add to the mix, or add a little water. The rice should cook in the sauce, but it shouldn’t be done all the way. It will be cooked through in the oven.
After the rice has cooked for a while remove pan from heat. Fill the hollowed-out vegetables, which you’ve put in a baking dish. Don’t fill them up completely, just 2/3 of the way. The rice will almost double in volume when it cooks and will be thankful for the extra space (if it could feel gratitude, which I am assuming it does).
Peel and cut potatoes in wedges. Place in the baking dish with the other vegetables.
Place the tops of the vegetables and pour olive oil over everything. Again, don’t be stingy with the olive oil, it should go everywhere. Add salt and pepper on the potatoes and some on top of the vegetables. Add some water in the dish.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 200 °C for half an hour. Then lower heat to 180 °C and bake for another 30 minutes. After the first hour, open oven, remove foil and stir the potatoes. Scoop some of the liquid in the dish and pour it in every one of the vegetables. Place the dish in the oven again, this time without the aluminum foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes.
The vegetables and potatoes are ready when they look something like this.
There shouldn’t be a lot of liquid in the baking dish in the end. Just the oil and some vegetable juice. Wait at least 30 minutes before eating. Eat with fresh bread and feta OR Greek yoghurt. Yes, you heard it right! Yoghurt goes with everything. Trust me.
I’d love to know how the recipe turned out, in case you try it. Since it’s my first attempt at “localizing” a recipe, I’d appreciate any feedback on whether or not the instructions were helpful.
Have fun cooking and most of all, enjoy the fruit of your labor!