Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Last night I dreamed that I was making some kind of brine-cured mixed-vegetable pickle, or maybe kimchee, in the middle of the night. The proportions of salt, sugar, and water (and for some reason liquid smoke) in the brine were causing me a lot of anxiety and every time I turned around I needed to run out for another ingredient. People kept dropping by with random bits of advice as to what I needed to put in for seasoning. Finally I got the brine boiling, the vegetables in jars, lined up on the counter in the totally fictitious kitchen where I was cooking (nominally my parents' kitchen), and as I poured the brine from the pan into the first jar, I was jolted awake by the clock radio, playing a choir singing a triumphal Baroque chorus. I'm not sure whether the universe was congratulating me for my successful pickle-making, or rescuing me from the tyranny of a dream in which it was somehow incredibly important that I get these pickles right.

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