Notes on skinning soaked almonds at 4:16 in the morning:
Standing at the sink and removing one skin at a time, I can’t think about everything I‘ve told myself that must be done by the day’s end. No. It’s this one thing, over and over, skinning almonds. Skin in one bowl, almond in another. Skin. Almond. Skin. Almond.
I resist the tedium. Why did I soak so many almonds? “You knew the time involved in skinning them, and why must you be picky when you have things to do, and life marches on. When will you learn to let go of every detail?”
The chiding chatterer persists. She’s stubborn.
I’ve got my agenda. My agenda’s important. Almonds, not so much. After a bit, I quit arguing with myself about the importance of standing at the sink peeling almonds, and finally give myself to the morning’s quiet and dark and task, one skin at a time. My mind sinks into a comforting rhythm, as my fingers do their thing.
It becomes musical, this almond skinning, in the dark and quiet. Three notes alone in this song: the sound of my fingers breaking almond skins, the nuts plopping in their bowl, and my breath in the morning’s sweetness.
In the quiet, another kitchen sink epiphany visits. I pause, invite it in, then continue. Almond. Skin. Almond. Skin.
Three bowls. One with broken skins, one with almonds, one now empty.
I think, “Done already? I was enjoying that.”
Almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and fermenting bacteria, rested in a dark, warm corner, until the smell of old shoes permeates the room. That’s the sign that the bacteria have created a mound of cultured nut-seed meat whose smell is nearly intolerable in its mass, except when it‘s covered, sealed, and in the fridge.
This morning’s edible music: small scoop from odiferous mass, to which I added pink salt, fresh garlic, nutritional yest, and herbs from the garden saved in ice cubes, thawed, fresher than dried.
Served on the crunchy end of a fresh baked, seedy boule, with sun dried heirloom Purple Cherokees from last season, and fresh cut sage from the tent.
My why found its answer.