finding space

“Then there is nothing to think of. It comes
of itself.
And east rushes west and west rushes
No matter. The grass is full

And full of yourself. The trees around are
for you,
the whole of the wideness of night is for
a self that touches all edges, 
You become a self that fills the four
corners of night.”

-Wallace Stevens

As the temperature has lowered and we sink into Seattle’s rainy season, I’ve been spending more and more time in my bed. Buried under blankets, I find myself doing all of my usual weekend activities from the comfort of a warm cocoon.  It’s rather amazing how quickly urgency seems to wane in the colder months.

I attempted to harvest some of that newfound energy after Paris by creating a work station in my bedroom for food photos. Everything up until this point has sort of been a hodge-podge effort that left me feeling on edge and incapable, that sort of frustration that makes you feel nine years-old again. Between the sun setting at 4pm and the perennial overcast skies (that I generally love!), taking decent photos can be a challenge that I don’t always feel up to tackling. So I set out to create a comfortable worktable with some DIY Lowell lights in the hopes that I will be more motivated to experiment with the process. 

Green Curry Prep 2.JPG

In part, I think this is a reason for why my bed seems so appealing these days. My room actually feels like my own. The items in it reflect my values and my goals rather than just acting as an unkempt storage unit. Apparently it takes nearly three years, but I am starting to put down roots and becoming a self that touches a modest four corners. 

I have wanted to share this recipe for quite some time, as it has a great deal of emotional significance to me, but I feel hesitant to type it out now. The meaning has found home in my chest and it is content to stay there for now. Needless to say, this Thai green curry is a delicious and grounding dish that will leave you feeling warm like you’re still in bed too. Your goal here is balance—sweet, sour, spicy, savory, with a hint of bitter at the end. Don’t be nervous to play with your final flavor. If it needs more salt, add a bit more fish sauce. If it seems dull, a squeeze of lime. A splash of coconut milk will bring the heat down and bit more brown sugar will round out a too sour sauce.  It’s very forgiving and you can tweak until the flavor is yours. The green curry paste also freezes well, so doubling and making a big batch is a good idea.

Thai Green Curry 2.JPG

Thai Green Curry
Adapted from here

Curry Paste:
2 small jalapeños
1 medium shallot
4 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems
½ t. coriander
½ t. cumin
2 T. tiny shrimp (you can find these near the tuna in the grocery store)
½ t. ground white pepper
3 T. fish sauce
1 t. brown sugar
2 T. lime juice

2 T. vegetable oil
1lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cans coconut milk
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
1 cup chopped green beans
Zest of two limes
Handful of basil, torn into pieces


Place all of the curry paste ingredients into the bowl of a food processor. Run for about a minute, until the mixture forms a smooth paste. 
Heat the vegetable oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the green curry paste and cook until fragrant, about thirty seconds. Stir in one and half cans of coconut milk, reserving half a can for adjustment later. Add the chicken and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the bell pepper, zucchini, green beans, and lime zest. Simmer for another five minutes until the vegetables are tender, but still bright in color. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Taste for seasoning and adjust according to taste (I often add a bit more fish sauce and a bit more brown sugar). Serve over basmati rice.