1. Even more than usual, William Shakespeare was on my mind today. After all, tradition, if not factual history, tells us he was born 451 years ago today in 1564 and it's known that he died on this day in 1616. Mostly I reminisced: teaching Shakespeare at Whitworth, again at the Univ. of Oregon, and for many years at Lane Community College. I remembered all those years at Shakespeare Camp, seeing almost every Shakespeare production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for about fifteen years. I had wonderful memories of performing in a handful of plays at Lane Community College and thought about the many Shakespeare Showcases I got to work on (and occasionally perform in) with Sparky. Thanks to the plays of Shakespeare and my work with them, I've made many, many friends over the years, short and long term, all whom I cherish. Those plays live in me, inform my ways of seeing the world more than any other influence, and give my soul a source of nourishment I draw upon daily. I did, however, forget to order a cake.
2. I decided to get started early this afternoon fixing dinner. I wanted to let the curry simmer longer than usual and give the eggplant a chance to cook a lot. I was inspired by how fully cooked the eggplant dish I brought home from Silver Spring a week ago was. I made a red curry today with onions, potatoes, broccoli, eggplant, and red pepper. While the vegetables cooked in the electric frying pan, I stir fried red curry paste in a pot in coconut oil and after about three minutes or so added the thick coconut milk, a tablespoon (or maybe two) of oyster sauce, a few shakes of soy sauce, and about a tablespoon of sugar. I let this boil and dumped it over the vegetables and then added two cups of not thick coconut milk. All of this cooked on a low heat for nearly two hours. By mistake, when I bought the carton of not thick coconut milk, I got "regular" instead of "unsweetened". I think this turned out to be a fortunate mistake because what made this red curry the best the Deke and I have ever had at home was the simultaneous sweetness and heat. Since all of this came out of my head and not from a recipe, I hope I can duplicate it. I really should take notes while I'm cooking and depend less on my memory -- after all, as I write this passage about this particular red curry, I'm not sure I remembered right.
3. The main story in tonight's episode of A Touch of Frost was absorbing enough, but the subplot involving a new copper and a snooker tournament and young men nicking cars deepened the episode -- and I couldn't help but think, with my happy belly full of red curry and it being Shakespeare's birthday, that I always sense a touch of Shakespeare in Jack Frost's stories.