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The Self-Catered Wedding

May 4, 2013

As you may have noticed, posts have been a bit thin on the ground around here. I’ve started a new project, and while I plan to continue to write in both of these spaces, my attention will obviously be split. Find more of my work at: theselfcateredwedding.wordpress.com.

Sriracha and popcorn

May 4, 2013

Lee is back in England, after a nice (although short) break back here. It’s actually been three weeks since she went back, which feels totally wrong, because it seems like both 1) three days and 2) 3 million years, at the same time. Soon enough, though, I’ll get to go to Europe to visit her, and then she’ll be back just in time for us to get married, and I might even have something to wear for it, beyond the overalls (and/or whale costume. Long story.) I’ve been threatening if I can’t find a decent dress.

And look at that, I’ve just taken us from May through to the end of summer. Let’s back it up a bit. For the next several weeks, it is still May, and Lee is still across an ocean, and I am still here, trying not to mope, and trying to remember to cook decent meals for myself. “Decent meals” very often end up meaning popcorn. Although I figure if I put some cheese on for protein and pair them with a smoothie (or let’s be honest: wine), that’s basically a balanced meal, right? Right.

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From England

January 21, 2013

Greetings from England(!!)


yarnton in september

I’m here visiting Lee, who’s over here getting her Master’s this year. I didn’t move with her (very, very sadly), for a variety of reasons, but I’m getting to visit her for a month, and it’s making me pretty happy, as one might expect.

I brushed up on my Anglophilia before coming, but apparently obsessing on the internet still leaves out a thing or two. I’ve been calling my fries “chips” and my chips “crisps” as a good Brit should, but I’ve been stymied by the shopping carts, which are locked together my a weird little device. After poking, prodding, and trying to surreptitiously watch other people use it (no one came in), I ended up carrying a week’s worth of groceries around in a handbasket. As I was loading them into the bus, someone finally explained to me that you put in a pound. Grocery cart rental. Magic. Read more…

With fretting comes wisdom

January 15, 2013

Hello, all. It’s been a while. It’s been months, in fact. There are many reasons (aren’t there always?), but. I think the biggest has been a crisis of faith about this blog.

Going back to the beginning: I started it out with all these intentions and plans. Write about important issues! Bring attention to politics! Save the world through blogging!

It sounds a little naïve now, to my ear and probably yours, but damn, did I care. And with the five billion cooking blogs out there, who needs five billion and one? Guiltily, though, over the months that came, what I found myself writing about was my experiences with food. The flavors, the remembrances, the process of coming home and chopping methodically until all my other thoughts drop away.

I felt so conflicted about it, and nothing sucks the motivation out of someone like a loss of joy. So I just stopped writing. I had to write for my job eventually, though, and over the summer I developed a love for fiction, but I still felt this crushing guilt about this space. “Am I a bad activist?” I wondered, “a traitor to the cause?” Read more…

pasta salads of days gone by

August 19, 2012

Two pieces that have been stuck in my mind lately: “getting off the aspirational treadmill,” and the new homeownership: buying a house not as a dazzling, incredibly high-return investment, but for the pleasures it can give you.

In my mind, they tie together into this thing, this idea of slowing down, and making the most of the life you have, as it is. Truly inhabiting where you live, getting to know your neighbors, and other “medium chill” pursuits. Drinking coffee while staring out your window and getting to know your yard throughout changing seasons. Canning produce from your garden and tucking it away in your pantry, giving it away to loved ones who come for potlucks in the backyard. Enjoying small household tasks, because they’re small household tasks.

I’m disgustingly taken with this overly-romanticized idea, as you might have noticed.

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Resolutions

July 19, 2012

There’s something magical about resolutions.

I’m not overly fond of the exacting type that require a person to force themselves into unwanted tasks. But the kind that you set to give yourself the space and framework to do something you want is a bit time-machine-esque.

You can set the resolution, and then peer ahead with the awareness that maybe Future You can speak Thai, or bake a perfect soufflé, or apply false eyelashes with the best of them.

I have a list of goals on my wall. They’re not necessarily self-improvement, although some of them are. I wrote it last fall, when I was in a pretty low place, with the intention of knowing what I wanted and working towards it all, even if most of the points seemed utterly impossible.

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A blueprint for strawberries

June 28, 2012

Summer is this awesome time full of fresh food, sunlight, and (for me at least) the temptation to pick pounds and pounds of amazing fruit. In past years, the produce has overwhelmed me, and left me slaving over a canning pot at four in the morning in a desperate race against time and rotting berries.

This year, I went in with a plan, and triumphed over the u-pick strawberries. In case you’re still engaged in that battle I know so well, here’s my blueprint for 26 pounds of strawberries.

At least four pounds went into our hands and mouths.

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