I went through a phase recently of being obsessed with growing sprouts in a jar. So easy! How did I not know about this before? Cheaper, and fresher, and fabulouser than buying them. And so easy! Did I already say that? Ok: you need a jar with a mesh lid. You can make one or buy one (I bought one for $3). There are fancy sprout people that sell fancy sprout accoutrements which if you get very excited you might want, but are really unnecessary to get you going.

1. Put a spoonful of sprout seeds or lentils or whatever seed-y things in the jar and soak overnight.
2. Pour out water through handy mesh lid. Rinse with fresh water. Drain. Leave at an angle so it can continue to drain.
3. Repeat that evening, and each morning and evening for the next few days.
4. Watch as they grow! It's like magic. Depending on the sprout, it will take 3-6 days to be delicious.
5. Eat! Marvel at the crispness. Nature's goodness, direct to you. By you.

I'm sure I must have planted potato or avocado or something in second grade, I mean that's the kind of science kids do, but somehow the magic of it did not quite grab me back then. Now? It is absurdly exciting to check on the sprouts every day. Or hour. I'm almost tempted to sit and watch them, they grow that fast. I want to take pictures and make a flip book.

So actually, I have to admit, I haven't made them recently - we weren't eating them quite fast enough, and then had lots and lots at once so they wouldn't go bad, and they lost a bit of their charm. Tarnished, like. But not forever! I envision sprouting again soon! I remain enamored of growing sprouts on a live-aboard boat, or tying a bag to my backpack as I hike through the woods, fresh vegetables ready to join my dehydrated meals... heck, apparently just sprouting the beans a tiny bit makes them much healthier. But this is not about healthy. This is about magic. Something from nothing. Apparent exemption from the conservation of mass. I know, I know, not really - there's all sorts of science to explain it. Shush up with that. It's magic.


April is the Cruellest Month

Just as things were warming up, it snows. I'm really over it. And I really don't have much to say tonight, but I was feeling guilty for letting this languish unattended to for so long. And hey, it's poetry month! So, a poem, one of my new favorites:

Bridal Shower

Perhaps, in a distant café,
four or five people are talking
with the four or five people
who are chatting on their cell phones this morning
in my favorite café.

And perhaps someone there,
someone like me, is watching them as they frown,
or smile, or shrug
at their invisible friends or lovers,
jabbing the air for emphasis.

And, like me, he misses the old days,
when talking to yourself
meant you were crazy,
back when being crazy was a big deal,
not just an acronym
or something you could take a pill for.

I liked it
when people who were talking to themselves
might actually have been talking to God
or an angel.
You respected people like that.

You didn't want to kill them,
as I want to kill the woman at the next table
with the little blue light on her ear
who has been telling the emptiness in front of her
about her daughter's bridal shower
in astonishing detail
for the past thirty minutes.

O person like me,
phoneless in your distant café,
I wish we could meet to discuss this,
and perhaps you would help me
murder this woman on her cell phone,

after which we could have a cup of coffee,
maybe a bagel, and talk to each other,
face to face.

--George Bilgere