COSMOS, CIVILIZATION AND CASSEROLES

parse the cosmos and create maps of reality

It’s a quotation by David Naugle; I came across it in the course of editing a book and I have no idea what it means, and it’s not within my scope of work to find out, but I like the phrase, it has a poetic quality.

Here in South Africa, cosmos is a wild flower (pictured above) that carpets our world at this time of the year and heralds the changing season; the cosmos tells us that Winter is drawing her coats from her cedar chests and hanging them out to air.

I always become introspective during this season; a little quieter; a little slower. Naturally, this manifests in my kitchen and my cooking, too, returns to a slower philosophy. Soups and casseroles take the place of salads and stacks and bowl food provides comfort and warmth in the crisp evenings as old Mister Sun chooses to retire at an increasingly early hour.

A parcel of leftover frozen oxtail stew from my freezer has yielded a perfect soup for my lunch later today, as I discover that it’s this day, in 1857, that Fannie Farmer was born. Apropos of nothing, really, I remember her quote: Progress in civilization has been accompanied by progress in cookery.

And that’s quite enough drivel for one day, I must get back to work.

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56 Comments Add yours

  1. Liane says:

    I’ve never really paid attention to when they grow. Now I know 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      They’re especially beautiful on the road to Bloemfontein 🙂

  2. Nzwaa says:

    Copied and pasted from wikipedia – a cosmos is an orderly or harmonious system and is the antithetical concept of chaos.

  3. The one thing that I am not looking forward to being back home is winter. 😦
    Is that a coconut bowl? Enjoy your yummy lunch.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s a drinking bowl made from teak 🙂 xxx

  4. our lovely easter pink carpet!

    they came here (apparently) in horse fodder imported from south america (I think in the anglo-boer war) Now like so many immigrants they are a vital part of life here

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, I didn’t know that 🙂

  5. souldipper says:

    I often wondered why the humble cosmos would carry such a gigantic name.

    Parse the cosmos surely refers to outer space…restructuring it. Sounds like something my guides would say! “We’re out here parsing the cosmos for a little reality mapping.”

    1. theonlycin says:

      I’ll have to Google the phrase and the author when I have a little more time, but – yes – it does fit well with your guides 🙂

  6. Tilly Bud says:

    My favourite flower! The Hub commissioned a painting of Cosmos by a South African artist for me, one long ago Christmas. I still have it. I love it.

    We used to drive from Sasolburg to Joburg every week to visit family, and the highway verges would be covered in it.

    Tory Boy was born in April and it was the beginning of winter. We bought a paraffin heater specially for him.

    You’ve made me all weepy and nostalgic (in a good way) :).

    1. theonlycin says:

      Well, I am glad it is in a good way 🙂

  7. Tilly Bud says:

    PS Cosmos is also my favourite flower because it is the start of mine and the Hub’s surnames combined.

    1. theonlycin says:

      His surname is Moses? 😉

      1. Tilly Bud says:

        No; but mine is almost 🙂 At school they used to call me ‘Holy Moses’.

      2. theonlycin says:

        mmm … Mostart?

  8. leigh says:

    Cosmos/people 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Cosmospolitan 🙂

  9. Tandy says:

    did you take the photo on your infinity table?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Yes, one of my two infinity tables ;p

  10. SuziCate says:

    Winter is drawing her coats from her cedar chests and hanging them out to air. love this line, pure poetry, my friend. I always forget that your seasons are opposite of mine…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hi praise from a poet of your standing, thanks SuziCate 🙂

  11. libraryscene says:

    You are quite poetic in this one, I think I may have to borrow that quote sometime…would be a wonderful intro for a poem 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Help yourself 🙂

  12. granny1947 says:

    That soup looks so good!
    Mwah

    1. theonlycin says:

      It was, has made my tummy full and my head sleepy 😉

  13. Winter is approaching your side of the world? The oxtail soup looks truly delicious! I’ve never made soup from oxtail, but yours has inspired me. I must.

    Where I am winter has been a bear and all are crying out for spring’s sweet breath of fresh air. May your winter be kind and gentle, and provide whatever benefit winter brings. I wouldn’t want to bless you out of the benefits of a healthy winter. Stay warm, Cindy.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Carol, our weather is pretty mild, but we’re big babies when the cold hits 🙂

  14. adeeyoyo says:

    You know how much I adore Cosmos from a previous post. They will always be my favourite and I love your picture, Cin!

    How about:
    Pesto Princess – flavourful goodness
    Pesto Princess – the taste experience
    Pesto Princess – experience tastefulness

    I’m no good at this 😦

    1. theonlycin says:

      We’ll have to see what the judge says 🙂

  15. adeeyoyo says:

    or Pesto Princess – the tastebud experience

  16. slpmartin says:

    Quite an interesting quotation by David Naugle.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I just Googled Naugle, quite interesting indeed.

  17. deepercolors says:

    A cook for all seasons. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      As one tends to be 😉

  18. halfp1nt says:

    One of my favourite wild flowers. We once stopped on the way back from visiting my brother and nicked a whole pocketful of seeds. Did I have fun eventually trying to get them out of the garden once they were finished? They grew taller than what I am, and they’ve got the most persistant soil-hugging roots I’ve come across. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Gosh, thanks for the warning, I was thinking of scattering them willy-nilly in my flower beds!

  19. gospelwriter says:

    Such a pretty and delicate-looking flower… I love the “poetic quality” of your words: the cosmos tells us that Winter is drawing her coats from her cedar chests and hanging them out to air.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Ruth, they are pretty, but only last a day or so in a vase.

  20. defining civilization has never been clearer

  21. Beautiful simple and pleasant flower.

  22. nrhatch says:

    I love cosmos . . . and the cosmos.

    Perfect post to parse the cosmos. 😉

    1. theonlycin says:

      Parse the dutchie from the left hand side 😉

  23. Yvette says:

    I love the two type font ‘hope’ sign. Found on your travels? Cosmos: the ‘love flower’, peacefulness,wholeness and modesty. Have a great day!Yvette x

    1. theonlycin says:

      I bought the ‘hope’ block at a local food store, it’s just a block of plain pine and was quite expensive. My husband says I am a sucker 😉

  24. We pay extortionate amounts of money for cosmos in pots here! Love it though: so blousy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      Blousy is exactly what they are 🙂

  25. bluebee says:

    Casseroles are one of the best things about winter – my dad was mad for oxtail stew, preferably made by my maternal grandmother 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      I love oxtail, but it has become very expensive.

  26. bandsmoke says:

    Googled Naugle and he seems to be a religious type of professor fellow, great saying whatever! Substitute beef for the oxtail and we’re in business – too fatty for me otherwise 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Naugle also writes quite a bit, mainly on philosophy and things like media ethics. A clever man. Love oxtail!

  27. Jamie Dedes says:

    Cosmos = flower here too. That photo is perfect. Nice work.

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