Friday, January 29, 2010

Adventures in Eating

Since we started our CSA subscription, affectionately known as our "farm box," I've experienced new culinary revelations. Here are some.
  • After receiving butternut squash at every delivery for the past three months, I am now officially DONE with this particular gourd. I love me some butternut - don't get me wrong - but after multiple rounds of soup, roasted with garlic, baked with stuffing, mashed, etc. - I'm tired of it! I have one more recipe to try - muffins. Then enough till next fall.
  • I have eaten more mandarin oranges in the past several weeks than I have in my entire life up to this point. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
  • Farm box carrots are waaaaaayyyy better than grocery store carrots.
  • The apples are the perfect size. So are the potatoes.
  • Turnips. The jury is still out.
  • Greens. I have now tried collards, kale, bok choy, tatsoi, and chard. I'm developing a taste for them.
  • Lettuce actually has a flavor.
  • Garlic doesn't have to be bitter.
  • Eggs from happy chickens. 'Nuff said.
  • Fresh herbs are really easy to dry and taste much better than bottled ones.
  • TH loves the fresh beets.
  • I love leeks. Who knew?

For more information about CSAs, see here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's the Little Things

I'm realizing that my happiness at work is not just determined by the BIG THINGS - environment, coworkers, boss, duties - but also by the little things. The new semester started Monday and I am positive this will be a better semester than last. I am making an intentional effort to pursue the following little things:
  • socialize more. I sometimes get so tied to my office that I forget how important it is to chat with my coworkers. A simple "good morning" and "how was your weekend" will not get in the way of our duties and will go a long way towards smoothing away the grumpies.
  • close my office door. I spent so long in cubicles and reception desks that I often forget I have a door I can close. This small step can make a big difference in how I concentrate and maintain my sanity.
  • listen to music at work. See previous post.
  • take my breaks. While I will always stop to eat, I don't always get up and out of my office and away from my desk. Even a five-, ten-, or fifteen- minute walk helps reset my mental functioning and takes some of the tension out of my shoulders.

What little things would make a big difference in your day?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Deep knowledge

Do you know something about yourself so deeply that you keep forgetting it? I do. For me it's my love of music. My mom and dad tell me that as a baby, I responded to music early on. They tell me that one of the only things to soothe me was to have someone hold me and sing or hum to me. I made up songs, listened to music, made music, all through childhood. I play violin, sing, and I'm learning piano. Nothing makes me happier than singing along to the radio or my iPod or the song stuck in my head. TH and I met doing musical theater. I could go on.

What's interesting to me is how I know all this, yet each time I feel stressed, I don't automatically turn to music. But if I just listen to music, or spend time practicing an instrument, it's like a whole world opens up to me all over again. I feel the burdens fall from my shoulders. I feel renewed. And a good boogie to my favorite tune is enough to lift my mood for an evening.

What deep knowledge do you have to remind yourself of?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Southwestern Cornbread

Now that I've been to the Southwest, I want green chile everything. Like this fabulous Green Chile Cornbread from Kokopelli's Cookbook by James and Carol Kunkle. How can cornbread not be delicious, with green chiles, red pepper, onion, bacon, and bacon drippings??

Musical storm

The wind is playing my house like a musical instrument today. Which is probably the best thing I can say about the storm that's whipping down our region - cold, wet, windy, rainy, dark, and wintry.

However, it was perfect yesterday for sitting on the couch with coffee, a good book, and Sting's latest on the stereo. And a cat on my lap, of course.

Have a warm cozy week!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I think Leonard Pitts is awesome, Part 354

Mr. Pitts has again written brilliantly about a current issue.

I am deeply saddened by the losses felt by my brothers and sisters in Haiti.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Don't keep waiting to live

Out for a walk on a gloriously mild winter day, I came alive. Everyday magic buzzed through and around me; you know the kind I mean. The wind in my hair. The sun on my face and in my eyes and bouncing off the river water. My wonderfully swingy earrings. My scarf with the fringe that floated behind me. Coyote, who peeped his head over the wild green grasses of the levee. Songs on my iPod that remind me of my sass and power and beauty and strength and connection with women everywhere.

The thing is, these moments happen every day. How many have I missed because I'm waiting for something - for my workday to be over, for the weekend, for after I've run my errands and cleaned my house and folded the laundry, for summer, for Christmas, for vacation, for...? This year I don't want to wait. I want to live in as many magical everyday moments as possible.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Here I am again, after what feels like forever - three weeks away from my normal routine. I've had time off from work, spa treatments, lots of sleep, visits with friends and family, and time alone on vacation with my sweetie. I've read books, watched movies, and eaten inordinate amounts of wonderful food. I feel like I've recovered my self again.

Some highlights:
  • Rosemary Spa Package on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to me. A hot stone massage and pedicure with rosemary essential oils. Wonderfully soothing.
  • Christmas with TH, a shepherd's pie, and a delicious nutmeg cake.
  • Family gathering with cousins, aunts and uncles, and phone calls to those out-of-town.
  • Road Trip in the Southwest with my husband, seeing amazing sites and eating amazing food. It's all about the New Mexico green chiles. And sopapillas.
  • A meeting of the minds and personalities with a blog buddy. Non-stop talking, sharing dreams, and a fair amount of laughing. It's always nice to meet a kindred spirit.

May you be refreshed by what you love, at the beginning of this new year.