Friday, October 31, 2014

Montana Artist

Early yesterday evening (Thursday) I attended a talk and reception at the Turman Larison contemporary gallery in Helena. Chris Autio (photographer) and Josh DeWeese (ceramics) were there to kick off their month-long exhibits. Both are carrying on the artistic traditions of their Montana artist families.
Along with many questions from the attendees about their art production, one woman asked how being part of such richly talented families affected them when they were growing up. They both looked rather flummoxed by the question: either they'd never thought about it, or they were constructing an appropriate answer. I'm quiet certain it was the former. They both responded that being in the artistic environment had just seemed "right." This was the same response when asked why they pursued their career in Montana and didn't move somewhere else.  

Montana roots run deep. I wish mine had been here for a century or more. Whatever, my creativity has come alive since arriving in Montana.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Brain Health, Good Food

Several articles and education shows suggest that brain health can be helped by regular “exercise” and specialized thought. It’s believed that simple things, such as brushing your teeth while wielding the toothbrush in your opposite hand from normal, are helpful. And so is trying new foods. I didn’t have any of this in mind when I created a new culinary experience for myself last night. The dinner was prompted by Linda Leaming’s A Field Guide to Happiness: What I Learned in Bhutan about Living, Loving, and Waking Up. In several chapters Linda mentions the foods she eats in Bhutan, and red rice is a staple in her household. I’d never considered that rice could be anything but brown or white.

Then, Lo, I’m shopping, and there in the bulk grain selection of my favorite health food store is “Bhutan red rice.” I decided to try it.
After contacting Linda (she’s a long-time friend) and asking for cooking tips, I prepared this dish for dinner. I prepared the rice according to Linda’s directions, and topped it with spinach, garlic, sliced mushrooms (organic, of course) and chopped onions—all briefly steamed and drizzled with olive oil. I capped that with a fresh tomato from a neighbor’s garden (she gave it to me, I didn’t pilfer it).
Yum. It probably wasn’t Bhutan style, but it was quite good. The rice was a bit nutty, sort of sweet; I liked the texture. The flavors of my quickly-fixed topping blended nicely with the red rice.

I cooked more rice than I needed for dinner, but I think it will be good chilled and mixed with yogurt and fruit.

It’s nice to have a healthier brain.