(read in a sing-song voice) “I’m baaaack!”
I have finally had something fun to write about (wink, but seriously it’s true. I’ve kept my thoughts to my journal and the wind) and today I have something to write about!!
Tonight the Lower Columbia Q Center’s Pride Committee hosted our kick off to Pride by having a social gathering at Kala to welcome sponsors and volunteers to help make this Pride even more magical and glorious than our Inaugural Pride last June. It was called “Porter and Pasta” and Fulio’s was kind enough to donate the pasta, I made the salad, which I will share with you shortly, and we had performances by Dinah Urell, Dida DiAngeles and Walter Trumbull all accompanied by one of my personal favorites, Paul Brady; and my drag daughter, Ginger Vitus Cums gave us a great show too!!!!
What got me was the warm glow of love that filtered through the room and how it oozed into my heart and became one with my breath. Visiting with old friends, new friends, family and family and hearing how they want to contribute to this celebration. People not wanting to just donate money, but wanting to find ways to involve their businesses and their person. I have always said that Astoria is the most magical and powerful place I have ever known, and the energy tonight brought that feeling to the forefront of my consciousness.
These feelings have been bubbling up fiercely this last week. I had a revelation in the woods; I realized that I had felt this way before, that I am being given an opportunity to recognize the pattern and step beyond it and be free of the anguish and fear in my heart. I remember the day I first had this revelation, back in 1995, on the streets of Manhattan, convincing myself that I could get over my fear of walking alone by myself. Ever since I had been chased down and beaten up by a fellow high school student, I had not been able to walk or do anything by myself and I lived in a time where I had to be strong and I couldn’t let my family or friends know I had even been attacked (well, Sari and Dean knew), I did the next best thing and became very social; made sure to always have someone with me. Worst feeling ( not being social but being afraid to be alone).
It wasn’t until I moved to Manhattan that I learned to be able to be alone. I decided that since none of the people in this massive city knew me or my story, I didn’t have to live by the plot; I created my own me. That was when I started going by Marco. I started to learn who I was and what I wanted out of life and the one thing I wanted more than anything was freedom.
I promise I am about to get to making the salad, I just have one more thing to say.
Last week, while I was in the woods I was given a hint to that freedom, I have finally seen what all these years have been trying to teach and show me; freedom comes from letting go. I realized that I had been being pulled down into the darkness of my issues with the thing we are calling gout, for now, and how I have, literally, given up everything I love in this life to try to make the life I am living less painful and more fulfilling. I was also being pulled down by all the events happening in the world around me and witnessing so much fear and frustration and a billion other sensations. And while being pulled down, I passed a window in my mind of the time when I recognized this very issue and I remembered I need to let go. I have to let go of my fear and keep walking strong and loving big.
I had to learn how to not show my fear and weakness, I had to learn to hide the most favorite aspects and pieces of my being because I am gay, because I am larger than life, because I love to cross the line. By letting go, I have found a joy that can’t be smothered out or dimmed and I intend to share it and spread it and give with open abandon.
Speaking of sharing, the Pride Salad, that is what I am going to call it, was amazing!!!!
What you’ll need:
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow pepper
bulb of fennel
container of arugula
1 bunch of radishes
2 purple radishes
1/3 cup quinoa
some olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Put the 1/3 cup of quinoa and 2/3 cup of water in a pan on the stove, start on high, bring to boil, turn to low and cook until done, about 7 min.
- Chop up the bell pepper and fennel and sauté up in a frying pan of your choice. I added a bit of coconut amino acids and let them cook down nicely, soft, but not mushy.
- Slice the bunch of radishes and toss in for the last minute of cooking along with rosemary.
- I placed both pans out in the afternoon light to cool with the breeze and sounds of the birds in the trees
- Place pumpkin seeds in a sauté pan and toss around until they start to turn golden and maybe jump around a bit; remove from heat and allow to cool
- Once cooled (doesn’t have to be cold, because this would be a great warm salad too), combine the vegetables with the quinoa and toasted pumpkin seeds
- Peel the purple radishes and grate into mixture and stir
8. Chop the napa cabbage and add to the rest of the salad
9. Wash your hands and add the arugula, drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar across the top and mix with your hands making sure all the bits get to know each other.
It feels great to be sharing a recipe with you again!!! I will continue to find food inspiration and share it with you!!! Until that time, know you are alive in my thoughts and if you see me on the street say, ‘hi’ and let’s share a smile!
Always and forever,
Marco Davis is an Astoria, Oregon native. He has grown up around food, service to the community and the stage. His passion for creating and sharing food had him cooking at the Columbian Cafe for a few decades, as well as teaching cooking classes with the Astoria Co-op Grocery and the Astoria hospital. He has organized cooking parties for the FoodWeb, 46 North Farms as well as his cooking episodes as his drag alter-ego, Daylight Cums. Sharing food and teaching others how to cook easily and healthily at home is his favorite thing to do.