Things are changing fast in these parts, not the seasons, of course — winter always does seem to stick around — but certainly everything else.
Last week, Mark was in the midst of interviewing for a job that we didn’t want to get our hopes up over when the price on a home we’ve been watching intently suddenly dropped.
I’ll be the first to say that the home is a total mess…. but it has the bones of a true beauty. Mid-century perfection hiding under a year or sixty of carpeted bathrooms and crumbling brick… it could be our dream home. So we jumped. Neveryoumind the challenge of qualifying for a loan on just one full income…
Winter looks to be making a big stop in our neighborhood this weekend, so we’ll be stockpiling the ingredients for the coziest foods we can find and hunkering down under the covers. Certainly with a big bowl of soup, but also – maybe… okay totally – with a little bit of something sweet.
February is lurking around the corner… the coldest of cold months here in Maryland, but also the darkness before the dawn and of course, a time for one more holiday. But whether or not you’ve started thinking about all of that yet (thanks, Laicie, for the reminder…) you might dig this easy rose petal infused honey diy I shared over on Lovely Indeed.
Sure, it makes a nice little love-infused gift for your friends, family, and anyone else you’d like… but it’s also pretty great to have hanging around in the pantry when you want to make a special treat (or just drizzle over a little ice cream…).
Anyone else suddenly find themselves craving ice cream when the weather turns cold?
Delicata squash and apple cider vinegar are, without a doubt, two of my favorite food groups… I tell Mark I’m making up for lost time with salt and vinegar chips I never had or wouldn’t touch as a kid when he starts giving me the side eye for hogging the pop chips.
If properly covered and roasted in a tasty salt and vinegar rub, I think I’d eat a sock… and delicata squash is basically candy.
So the sweet, salty, vinegary combination in this galette is just the fix.
… especially since it’s wrapped in my other two favorite food groups: flour and butter.
I’m not a diet girl — I don’t dig deprivation. So most of the time I try to watch my portions, track my calories, and do my best to eat food that’s as wholesome as possible. Not so much because I should – if I could I’d eat sugar cereal and loaves of bread interchangeably and always — but because if I didn’t, I’d starve.
Nothing will teach you the value of good, real food like counting calories for a week… and there we find the root of my fascination with juicing. It doesn’t seem like it should, but somehow a whole day on juice can actually leave you feeling… not full exactly… but pretty okay.
As much as I’m a believer, though, I’ve never made it through a multi-day cleanse. A day, maybe… but only ever with my own scrappy little juicer and a dream. So when Fruitive reached out to talk about a collaboration – a chance to try a real (as in someone actually put some thought into the various juices and their individual health impacts) multi-day cleanse — I jumped at the chance. Fruitive’s juice is fresh, seasonal, organic (or better) and totally delicious… to a point that if I weren’t looking at the word “kale” on their label, I’m not sure I’d believe it was in there.
I chose their “clear the fog” cleanse, because I’m a wimp and the all-green-juice deal looked just a little bit too intense. And with my general love of but total lack of knowledge of longer juice cleanses, I set off to document the journey…
I’ve found it harder than usual to put pen to paper these past few months, and I’m not so sure it’s writers’ block as much as pure, unadulterated exhaustion. I’ve been scrambling for some time now. Scrambling to do it all, to make it all happen… to get to a place of rest.
When I finally found that place, I thought the inspiration would flow… finally, the spigot would be freed and we’d all be just a little bit more excited to read what came out of it. Instead, I found the opposite. A brain so tired, so ready to give in…
I must’ve watched a million hours of television over holiday break. Melting a little further into the couch cushions with each passing day.
But at some point along the way, amidst the atrophy and the empty cupboards, I found the quiet.
And I’ll admit, I hate the quiet. I hate to be in the house on a gloomy day with nothing but the sound of the rain and the wheels on the road outside… I hate to leave that house even more, preferring something of an agoraphobic-light winterized version of myself… under the covers, snacking on sad animal crackers meant to have been saved for Austin while binge-watching Mind of a Chef.
But if I can overcome that lonely sloth that lives inside me, eventually I can force myself to face the quiet… and the quiet is where the creativity lives.
We hear nearly every day how our generation is over-burdened by technology. Too much stimulation sucking up the few cells we had left after the pot and the whip-its took their toll… and most of the time I’ll fight for that damn iPhone, because we’re codependent, you see.
I really don’t remember how we found our way anywhere in the age of maps, and a recent experience in Dublin proves we (I, most of all…) can’t go back.
But in the quiet… in the time of the ticking clock and the clicking keys… when I can hear myself think and breathe and be…
I realize just how much I miss the time in between.
Happy Friday! And congratulations on making it through the first week back from the holidays without a full-on Falling Down rampage… I’m proud of you all. Okay mostly I’m proud of me, because if ever there was a week. January, snow, fires on the metro… what is happening to my world? One more crazy commute and I may have to start camping outside the office in my car…
The good news is that I’m a big fat weather wimp and really, it’s been a pretty good week. The new year really does feel like a welcome reset this year, with a nice slow bit of hibernation ahead for the winter… I have a pile of new cookbooks, a brand new planner, a cleanse in the fridge, and I’m ready for the reset in more ways than one, with a few big things already on the horizon…
I know it’s a tease since I can’t quite give you all of the details, but the work starts this month on a major reset for this space that I can’t wait to share, and this weekend we’ve set an appointment to look at a house that, who knows, might turn out to be a bit of a reset of its own… a sort of massive process of a reset, but keep your fingers crossed, because we’re excited for the possible challenge! Mark hasn’t quite reset his employment situation, but I think he’s on his way, and slowly, surely, life is coming back around to a hopeful place… even if the hope still sits a little in limbo.
I mentioned a cleanse that I’m excited to share with you all next week — you might assume that given my #1 value in life is butter (no really though) I wouldn’t be down for a cleanse… but I believe in butter so strongly because it’s whole. Fake food might save a few calories, sure… and over the course of my life, I’ve tried all of the tricks. But it always comes back to whole, balanced eating to keep me on track feeling truly good. You won’t see shortening advocated for on this blog, but you might see lard… I love to indulge, and I feel that the healthy (and better tasting) way to do so is to stick to foods with ingredients I recognize. So when I’ve gone a little overboard on the butter and sugar (always) and feel the need for a reset, I’m all about a whole foods cleanse.
… that’s not to say it’s easy, so stay tuned for a little detox diary I have planned for next week.
And since we’re on the subject of resets, one easy option I love to add a little more flavor to healthy foods is to make and use infused salts. So this week I’m sharing some of my favorite recipes — three recipes we made at our last Field + Foundry event — on West Elm’s blog!
Head over for a few ideas… they’re super easy to make if you’ve never tried, and there’s no reason you have to stick to my recipes, you can use any of your favorite flavors in a similar way to create your own combination of infused salts.
But by the middle of the following day, Lorelai and snow aren’t on such good terms.
I didn’t grow up with much of the fluffy white stuff on the coast, so I wait for it. Every year, I’m as impatient as a child on Christmas Eve. And when it finally comes, it’s glorious. Beautiful white blankets of snow make the whole world new for a day…
Did you ever think we’d make it to date 52? To be totally honest, there were a few times in the heat of the summer there where we weren’t so sure ourselves…
It’s not always easy to fit in a date, even if it is something simple like a movie at home… but in a year of uncertainties, I have to say, I’m so glad we made the effort. It might seem forced to schedule a date a week – even more when you have to take a picture of it – but even at its most rushed, this little challenge helped us to look outside the box we might usually live in. The one that might keep driving past that beautiful farm on the super cold day, or might decide to stay in (or just grab another ice cream cone) more often than not. It helped us to plan ahead, to anticipate the time we’d have together, to enjoy it even more, and as an added bonus, to document it along the way.
And why not have some pho and banh mi at the Maryland, er, Washington Monument… it’s date 51, the new year is days from our door, the weather is unseasonably pleasant, and I’m super busy basking in the glow of a few days free from the storm…
I’ll save the resolutions for later. For now, 2014 still has plenty more to give, and I’m trying hard to ignore just how quickly it insists on flying by.
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