paul wooten CC
We plant the seeds and wait for Chinese parsley to erupt from the earth. I keep checking the brown patch of soil daily. Nothing. And then, just two tiny bits of green. By the end of the week, delicate leaves and stems sway in the breeze. The name may change--Mexican parsley, Chinese parsley, Coriandrum sativum, cilantro— but the herb is the same. Once the plants are thick and strong, I crush them in my hand to smell their scent.
This is my little bit of earth. A place of possibilities where ingredients are created.
One quarter of all humans think cilantro tastes like soap, but I am not among them. On my tongue the flavor is exotic. Tart. I add the chopped leaves to stir amongst fried vegetables seasoned with soy and ginger, grateful to experience the highs and lows of this summer herb. So much of life is out of my control, but in the kitchen I’m mistress and master.
I heap a bouquet on top of grilled fish and imagine sitting in a brightly tiled courtyard, sun on my back as I dip corn chips into salsa and guacamole seasoned with vibrant cilantro. In this place, this moment, I taste the universe.
Nadja Maril is a former magazine editor and journalist living in Annapolis, Maryland USA. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at University of Southern Maine and her work has appeared in magazines that include: Lumiere Review, Lunch Ticket, and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts. She is currently working on a novel and additional credits include weekly blogposts at Nadjamaril.com. Follow her on twitter at SN Maril.
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