“We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.” Orson Welles
Of late I have had a pervasive feeling of loneliness. At times I have felt abandoned or betrayed by new friends. I call this loneliness and not aloneness. Welles speaks of aloneness of which I am also very familiar.
I have travelled alone and know the feeling of wanting another human being for simple conversation. I know the carefulness I practice in foreign countries after dark. Now I know aloneness in a new context. I am alone in a small town, a small town where everyone knows everyone, and I know no one.
It’s true what they say about small towns. I will never belong. I will always be that woman who moved here from Calgary and lives on Bothwell Drive, in the Elkink house. I will forever be referred to as the woman who lives in the Elkink house.
Everything is referred to by a previous local owner’s name or business name. For example, you know the market in the museum building, meet me there. Or it’s in the location of the old Peavey Mart. Or that restaurant is in the old Casey’s location. Meanwhile, I have no term of reference for any of these names or places. It isn't as though I can look it up somewhere.
I am not quite sure how I would have navigated this without my dear friend, Miss Sugar. She consoles me with her kisses, reasons with me with her meows and sedates me with her purrs. In this moment of illusion I am not alone.
Lamb Loin Chops with Farro Salad Dinner for One
Farro is an ancient grain that is popular in the Mediterranean. Finding exact details is about as difficult as finding the grain itself. Most information tells me it is an ancient wheat. One source says that spelt, emmer and einkorn are called farro in Italy. The difference mainly is the size of the kernel. These three grains are considered farro. So don't be surprised if the farro you buy today is a little different from the farro you buy tomorrow.
I cook this like I cook all my grains and rice, in plenty of water. I cook until almost al dente, strain it and place a clean tea towel over so it can steam for awhile. I like a clean grain so if it is still a bit sticky, rinse under cold water, strain and let air dry.
The lamb loin chops are simply seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and seared in a pan with olive oil on both sides. Remove from pan and tent with foil for 10 minutes. Serve.
1 cup farro
1/2 tomato, cubed
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tarragon wine vinegar
Cook farro as described above. When it is dry add the remainder of the ingredients and toss to coat. Serve.