My teaching is like a finger pointing to the moon. It's not my intention to show you my finger. It's my intention to show you the moon in the sky. Buddha
I knew nothing of vocal loop covers until I heard Ingrid's Michaelson's rendition of Nightswimming. Inside the Ryman Auditorium, her sounds were almost unbearably beautiful and soon after the concert, I spoke to the god of never ending brilliance.
I said: “ With the 1991 recording of Nightswimming, R.E.M. birthed one of the most haunting rock songs ever. And then you said, in the name of Michaelson, there is more beauty coming?”
“No problem,” said the god.
To be fair, I was not hip to the musical years occupied by R.E.M.. I was shopping, organizing, cooking, selling, wiping noses and driving. Just the same, my girls would share favs from their Walkman collections and my freer self would swoon.
Nightswimming became an instant classic for me, not only by virtue of its euphoric dreaminess, but because of its unfettered association with the hours, days and weekends in service of swim practice.
It turned out that in our experience, siblings can maintain individuality, but still share a devotion to one ideal. For almost a decade, we revered a single family sport in conversation, practice and team work.
Nightswimming still plays in the background of the movies in my head. That and the last minute dinners that were contrived in our kitchen probably... oh, 1,000 times. The dish is really nothing special except that it makes you want to slap yo' mama (not my words).
Years ago, a suggestion well taken modified the hamburger for me: season the beef (available at that time, only at the grocery store) and press into an 8 by 8 pan. After baking at 350, until the desired doneness, cut into squares to suit the bread size. The best part is still an ongoing search for the miniature partner, dinner roll.
We called it - baby hamburger. They fit the bill, in fact, baby hamburgers were on the menu in those days at least once a week. Today I can acknowledge that the possibilities were endless and the dish would later assert higher acclaim.
There was an inspired child waiting in the wings. Sam Kennedy would grow up to develop a talent for producing ground beef and lamb that would up the ante on our favored burger dish. His reinterpretation of our old family hit makes me want to cry tears of jubilation (my words).
So these days, when I sit down to share baby burgers with my husband, I hum Nightswimming in gratitude to that same god of never ending brilliance.
And, I always say: “Thank you for never leaving well enough alone.”
Compliments of Glendale Farm and Provisions and Politics, a cookbook honoring a former First Lady Sarah Polk. This revision of Beef Burgers Florentine, in miniature, is one that you will place on regular rotation, particularly when little ones are around.
1 pound ground lamb or beef
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or crushed garlic
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chives
tiny rolls or buns
Combine the ground meat, spinach, soy sauce, garlic and pepper in a bowl and mix well.
Mash flat into an 8 by 8 brownie pan.
Mix the butter, cheese and chives in a bowl. Spread the butter mixture on both sides of the toasted tiny rolls or buns.
Cut squares of beef or lamb to fit the rolls.
Bountiful Blessing Farm: Pam and John Dysinger : Spinach or arugula 654 Dry Prong Road Williamsport, TN 38487 931-583-2701 Winter CSA