Over dinner, she asks, “If you could be anyone, who would it be?” Before she and her sister were born, I might have entertained the idea, but now, I wouldn’t change a thing. Understanding the improbability of it all, she says that I can have them and Brian and still be someone else. I say, “Someone rich, I guess.” But then I can’t think of anyone rich or brilliant I’d really want to be. I can’t think of another life I’d trade for my stressful, messy, chaotic one. (Surely, some more intensive thought might turn up the ideal life – if only based on location; in the moment, though, this is how is was.) [Read more…]
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The home-cooked meal is tricky business. Brian and I strive for the domestic ideal of a meal made with care and skill shared with those we love. But in our lived experiences, there are nights when any number of ordinary calamities can trip us up, and we end up calling out for pizza. [Read more…]
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After years of growing summer foods in containers, I’ve been a little taken aback at the amount of time it takes to properly care for a real garden in Virginia in mid-July. This weekend, my diligence slipped a bit and we got the first woody green beans and one way-too-giant zucchini. The difference between a tender vegetable and an overgrown one feels like 5 minutes. And what began as a nice handful of this or that a few weeks ago, is now filling a pint (or even a quart) basket daily. It’s overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. [Read more…]
After returning from my morning rounds today, I cranked the oven to full blast, threw a big pot of water on the stove, and set about making this roasted carrot and beet salad. While I washed and peeled and chopped, I watched the birds (now out in force and doing their bird thing with no mind for the human world) and went over my to-do list, the top of which is getting signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Last year, we moved here right at the tail end of sign-ups, and just let it slip. But as the growing season progressed, Brian and I realized we’d made a huge mistake. Not only do CSAs do much to support local farmers as they begin their seasons by providing financial security no matter what the summer brings, CSAs benefit members too. [Read more…]
Not so long ago, I worked in an office. The kind with little cubes and a computer monitor too small to display the spreadsheets I needed to use and a chair hierarchy that provided peons like me a work week of spinal pain and florescent lights hovering way too close. On my last day, I had only a small tote of things to collect. After nearly two years, I hadn’t moved in. I wish I’d thought to take a picture. It would be a great reminder as I try to balance mothering and writing and creative food and family food, that even on the worst days, I’m better off than I was in that awful gray cube. [Read more…]
Over on Instagram, I like to share a lot of our family meals that don’t make it to the blog. As we’ve said before, not every meal we eat is picture perfect, but it’s real and tasty, and mostly, our girls eat it too. A few weeks ago, I posted this salad with carrots, endive, and lettuce, and people seemed to like it so much, I regretted that I didn’t have a recipe to share. So yesterday, I set out to make another version with the same horseradish and mustard dressing (I’ve been loving horseradish lately) and lovely shaved carrots. The result of my experiment is this rainbow carrot salad with mâche and salty toasted pepitas. [Read more…]