What I Shed Today

lightening up a little at a time

bottle of basil-flavored vinegar

on May 29, 2014

Homemade gifts are very acceptable in our families of origin, so some years ago we happily received three bottles of seasoned vinegar from Nimue’s parents. Her father grew the sage, garlic, basil, and chilies that flavored them in his garden.

I’m not sure why the sage-and-garlic vinegar got used up first … perhaps it just landed in front of the others on the pantry shelf. That left us with hot-pepper “sauce,” the traditional southern US condiment for boiled greens, and a bottle flavored with basil.

The hot-pepper vinegar will probably hang on awhile longer (we devour a lot of greens, but not prepared by boiling them). Tonight, however, I finished off the basil-flavored bottle in a salad dressing. Last summer we said our goodbyes to Nimue’s father, so I felt a bittersweet sadness as I shook out the last drops. And yet a great deal of the good of a gift is in its use. He’s one of the teachers from whom I learned that, as I learned persistent patience in the long struggle for eco-justice. As I put the rinsed-out bottle in the recycling bin, I thought, “This, too, is what Rolland did. And does, as his life lives on in me.”

Fox warns, "Prolonged use of hot-pepper 'sauce' to season kitty kibble may result in the loss of front paws."

Fox warns, “Prolonged use of hot-pepper ‘sauce’ to season kitty kibble may result in the loss of front paws.”

shedding style: use up, recycle
destination: community recycling stream

Comments welcome … how is your life soil for the seed-gifts of other lives?


6 responses to “bottle of basil-flavored vinegar

  1. Mark says:

    Wow. Your “comments welcome” question really hit me tonight–as did the story of your father-in-law. Thanks for this point of reflection.

    • revdarkwater says:

      Thanks … that line surprised me when it came out from under my fingers. I hesitated a moment … not sure why … realized it’s my truth, and clicked the “publish” button.

  2. mom says:

    How do you prepare those greens? Steam, stir-fry, roast?

    • revdarkwater says:

      Most mornings during the fresh greens season (which for us is most of the year if the chard doesn’t bolt) we have a frittata with greens for breakfast. Stir-frys are frequent dinners. Nimue makes a roasted turnips & radishes dish with their sauteed greens over couscous that we love. Minestrone gets made fairly often in the winter.

      Yes, mum, I’m eating my leafy green veggies (wink)!

  3. mom says:

    I like that the cats help you with WIST so often. They know all kinds of things.

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