Author: Lindsay Vermillion

And Maybe…. Mystery

I point my ears to the farthest tree and listen to the needles sway and sing, like a nursery song remembered from childhood. I’m thinking about mending, about restoring, about the remedy of words. Dusk settles and my thoughts inch toward alone-ness. When I sit on the suburban steps staring out at the particulates and angels hidden in the ashes of cigarettes, I think of the soul, of how, maybe it smells like the dampness of rain and if it can be mended. A soul who exists in autonomy, hermiting against the waking world. Content to watch the seeds separate and sow, to watch the birds bend back their beaks in this August heat. The truth is: we exist only inside ourselves, our souls are dormant and our real selves, unactualized. Often times, we are only ever half a real person. We whisper ourselves to sleep and drown in stagnant waters, warm, and maybe even comfortable. And, so, the words we use to sooth ourselves begin to ring true; we listen without question, without second …

Vibrancy & Vigor: An Ode to Vegetables

I currently reside in a shoebox apartment in the urban area of Austin, Texas. Though my space is a small one, I do try to keep a sensible garden. I’m not an expert gardener but slowly I have noticed my pale thumb turning increasingly green… leaving me thirstier for a bigger area to try my hand at seed and soil. “The word vegetable comes from the root that means the very opposite of immobile, passive, dull, or uneventful. Vegere means to animate, enliven, invigorate, arouse. Vegete means to grow, to be refreshing, to vivify, animate. From these roots come words such as vigil, vigilant, and vigor, with all their connotations of being wide-awake, alert, of keeping watch. ‘The understanding…was vagete, quick, and lively,” observed one critic in 1662. Ben Jonson described what he saw as desirable characteristics in woman, ‘faire, young, and vegetous.’ Such respect for the vegetable soul was not confined merely to a robust sensual life, but extended into the religious dimension. ‘Man is righteous in his Vegetated Spectre,’ proclaimed Blake when commenting …

10 Useful Herbs for Everyday Magic

“… Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder. Keep rosemary by your garden gate. Add pepper to your mashed potatoes. Plant roses and lavender, for luck. Fall in love whenever you can.” ― Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic     I am working on a sort of directory of different herbs, their medicinal and magical properties as well as the folklore associated with them. Though I am not an herbalist, I am a cook / anthropologist and have always been fascinated with how herbs play into flavor, culture, magic, old life ways and seem to have collective past all of their own. I figured I’d start with the 10 that always seem to have a place in my pantry: Thyme –  Thyme can be found in most modern kitchens due to its culinary uses, but it great for magical work as well. It attracts devotion, friendliness, and admiration from others, making it great for spells and rituals regarding relationships, particularly new ones, including interviews. Additionally, thyme can be used to attract good health, luck and money, …

A Simple Silence

How to Be a Poet (to remind myself) BY WENDELL BERRY Make a place to sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You must depend upon affection, reading, knowledge, skill—more of each than you have—inspiration, work, growing older, patience, for patience joins time to eternity… Breathe with unconditional breath the unconditioned air. Shun electric wire. Communicate slowly. Live a three-dimensioned life; stay away from screens. Stay away from anything that obscures the place it is in. There are no unsacred places; there are only sacred places and desecrated places. Accept what comes from silence. Make the best you can of it. Of the little words that come out of the silence, like prayers prayed back to the one who prays, make a poem that does not disturb the silence from which it came.

Pickle Soup (Zupa Orgorkowa)

A lovely, light, spring or summer soup. *Note: It is important to use brined cucumbers (sour cucumbers) as opposed to the sweet, vinegar based ones you find in the grocery store. You can easily make your own using this recipe. Ingredients 20 g (3/4 oz) Butter 300 g (10 1/2 oz) Polski Ogorkie (those brined dill cucumbers) thinly sliced, or grated (reserve the pickle juice to add to broth.) 2-3 Potatoes (russets or yukons work great,) peeled, diced 1-2 Carrots, peeled, diced 1 liter (35fl oz/4C) Soup stock (I use chicken stock or bone broth…. but you can easily make this recipe vegetarian or vegan by substituting for veg. & using sunflower oil instead of butter). 60 ml (2fl oz / 1/4 cup) cream (for pouring) Fresh, chopped dill Instructions  Melt butter in stock pot over medium heat, after foam separates add in sliced cucumbers. Reduce heat,  stir and wait until softened. Remove cucumbers and reserve. Add potatoes, carrots, and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook veg until soft. Add pickles and cook for another …

Ogórki Małosolne

These Polish-style, slightly salted cucumbers are a bit different to regular pickled cucumbers, the vinegar based ones you find in stores or make at home. They don’t use vinegar at all and contain less salt in the brine therefore they ferment faster and have to be eaten within weeks. These are also the ones that are used for cucumbers soups (zupa orgorkowa) These pickles do no require vinegar as the preservative method, but instead, use a salted water solution (brine) allowing for a natural fermentation process. I’ve talked to several Polish women, my mother-in-aw included, who claim these are much healthier than vinegar based pickled cucumbers (though I’m not a nutritionist, so I can make no such claims.) These salted cucumbers are a traditional Polish dish but other countries have similar marinated cucumbers recipes: Danish syltede agurker, Estonian soolakurgid or German salz-dill Gurken just to mention few. INGREDIENTS – Garden cucumbers / pickling cucumbers – About 4 liters of boiled water – One TB Kosher salt (per jar you want to fill) I usually do …