Yesterday was the longest day of the year, the shortest night, an invisible turning point recognised and celebrated in just about every human culture.
Lots of knowledge is like that – very real but invisible to the naked eye. We humans just don’t have senses finely tuned enough to perceive more than just our own tiny, tiny patch of time and space. Like the shortening of the days. Today will be a second or two, depending on where on this spinning planet you live, shorter than yesterday. We can’t perceive it without using science, but the plants we depend on for our survival can. It’s why we need science, and why we need to trust science and hold a little humility about our ability to see the big picture well enough to make good decisions in contempt of it.
Eons ago, clever humans figured out how to mark the point, and because it was so important, mark it in a way that everyone noticed and remembered. Make it numinous, special, sacred.
So whatever your heritage and traditions for celebrating this season when we pause for a little while at the crest of the year, remembering that we are very small in the scheme of things and that all those busy busy preoccupations pale to insignificance beside the power that turns a planet, I hope it is numinous, special, sacred for you.
Spin and sing, spin and sing
Half year out, half year in,
Earth at full must spiral in
I’ve been making this a bit lately and it makes a great dip and sandwich spread too, but last night I found it’s true vocation – on a pizza. It’s a variation on the Green Olive and Macadamia Tapenade of a few months ago, using our home pickled green olives.
It’s very simple – just a blend of green olives, roasted macadamias, parmesan cheese, basil, and enough olive oil to make a good texture.
Roasting the macadamias makes all the difference. You can toast them in a heavy pan over a medium low heat till they are lightly brown, or (better, if you have the oven on for something else) roast them in the oven for about 5 minutes till they just start to colour.
The quantities are variable to your own taste. Mine is one cup of olive flesh, one cup (packed) of basil leaves, to half a cup of roasted macadamias and quarter of a cup of parmesan, with about a third of a cup of olive oil.
Spread the blend lightly over a pizza base, and top with thin sliced tomatoes, thin sliced red onion, and a little (not too much) grated cheese.
Then, to make it really sublime, bake in a wood fired pizza oven and share with friends.