Ragdale Residency 2017: Day 11, July 4th!

Time: Tuesday, Happy Independence Day! Early morning fireworks and booms of light and sound aiming to tear open the pre-dawn silence into a new frenzy. From Lake Bluff in the north comes the hushed, delayed collective drumbeats of a marching band, of kick and snare, horns, over the growing rush of vehicles on Green Bay Road right in front of the grounds at Ragdale. Do I hear voices sneaking through on bullhorns? Even the Jewel/Osco in Lake Forest is open. I need avocados, strawberries, date rolls, organic apple cider vinegar, a soap bar.
Chef Linda's homegrown cilantro

Chef Linda's homegrown cilantro in the garden near Friends Studio. Summer is awesome here.

Jackfruit on your plate

Jackfruit on your plate

Space: Friends Studio is quite a hopping place this morning. I came down here around 6:30 am, and shortly thereafter, a seemingly young group of runners ran across the grounds on their way back from the prairie and then turned around and came around the studio building again, chattering up like firecrackers on the ground. Sheesh, didn't that tire them out? They weren't an energetic lot, kinds sloppy on their feet, so that must be it. Then a guy with his dogs off their leashes came scampering around the studio, and he poked his face through the screen a few times with as much curiosity as his dogs, as if to engage us in conversation b/c he probably had a question or two, but we said nothing to engage him. Guess he was looking for a hose to give his tired animals a drink. Perhaps for himself too.
Cut jackfruit

Cut jackfruit

Heart: Spent most of the day engaged in poetry, either reading or writing it, and knowing that I need to try harder to make my prose do more, not an easy task for me. While reading Hermann Broch on the porch, I fell asleep for a bit and woke up to the sound of Chef Linda's voice at the screen door. She had a generous sprig of cilantro in her hands, which she'd picked (cut) from Ragdale's garden. Her own homegrown cilantro, tall and green, with coriander seeds ready for drying. Dinner had a surprise on the menu: jackfruit baked in tomato sauce, with roasted seeds on the side that tasted like water chestnuts. I hadn't met anyone who had jackfruit in over thirty years, and it had to be here at Ragdale under Linda's direction. The pulp of the jackfruit isn't a favorite of most palettes, b/c it has a strange aroma and is definitely an acquired taste. Thanks for the 4th of July surprise, Linda. Delicious, and I'll make sure to get some for lunch tomorrow. BTW I took the rest of the jackfruit seeds back to my room. My personal stash, ha! Cynthia joined the other residents to take in the Lake Forest fireworks display. ~Ignatius

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