Brian and I had our first daughter almost exactly 10 months after our wedding. We both knew we wanted kids and people kept telling us that it took a lot of trying. So as soon as we were married, we figured we’d better start trying. But in our case, there wasn’t really much trying involved. We were blessed with a honeymoon baby. Except that we took our honeymoon two months after the wedding and four weeks into my pregnancy, so Brian drank wine for two, bought great breakfasts, and wandered around Paris alone while I finished sleeping for 12 hours each day.
At the one year mark, we managed to celebrate our wedding anniversary at home with a lovely meal of steak, vegetables, cake, and wine. Only, after a half hour of trying to eat together, we had to eat the now-cold food separately while the other tended to our fussy two month old. Around this same time, we went out to meet friends at a bar with our little one nestled in a baby carrier. The couple in question were loving and affectionate towards each other and I remember thinking, “Ahhh, newlyweds.” Only later did I realize that they had gotten married around the same time we did. We were newlyweds, too, but in the midst all the chaos and mild terror that comes with a first baby, we’d kind of forgotten. read more »
I’ve never been one to sneak vegetables into food. I want my girls to embrace foods of all kinds and eat them gladly. But wanting things and having those things are not the same. And understanding the ever-changing likes and dislikes of a seven and three year old isn’t a science –– a dish one will eat in its entirety one week can easily go untouched the next. So it was a relief to see that both girls loved this pesto shells and cheese recipe. read more »
Certain winter vegetables feel like they are only for the most devoted seasonal eaters, with turnips and rutabagas at the top of the list. Ugly, with radish-y undertones, it’s not surprising these homely roots don’t make their way onto a lot of home menus. But, by this time of year, seasonal vegetables come down to a choice between bracing brassicas and sweeter vegetables like beets and sweet potatoes, or winter squash. And after all the sweets and rich foods of the holidays, the slight bitterness of brassicas make for a welcome change of pace. The humble turnip, for example, doesn’t just have to be buried in a stew. It can be a delicious base for a fresh salad. read more »
I needed thyme on New Year’s Eve and walked out to the garden to see if my plant was hanging on. It had lost its vibrant color, but there was still lots of fresh, fragrant thyme to be had. It was a cold morning and the frost had settled into the tiny leaves to form glistening rosettes. read more »
Last Saturday, we picked up our Christmas tree. Brian wanted to drive to the nice in-town place where we got a tree last year, but heading out to the country to chop down our own was very high on my things-to-do-now-that-we-don’t-live-Brooklyn wish list, and because he could see I had my heart set on it, we drove south to a tree farm. As we crossed the county line south of town, I realized that the “just over the river” place I’d picked was actually 30 miles past the river –– over winding backcountry roads of varying degrees of pavedness through the rain-soaked Virginia hills and forests shrouded in fog. We arrived, were given instructions by a kind older man with a very specific central Virginia accent that is best described as Southern meets Canadian. We set out to find our tree and after some slogging through wet fields selected a Norway spruce. Instead of chopping, Brian sawed it down with a dull hacksaw. After we carted it back, paid, and tied it to the car, we happily made our way home, stopping at our favorite rural pizza place (our favorite pizza in Virginia!) on the way back.
But in the backdrop of all this merriment, are a few stressors. read more »
This week has been all about recovery. Something about the first gusts of bone chilling wind, the time change, and plain old exhaustion, have had me in bed every night by 10pm. Extra blankets have come out, even if it’s just so Brian and I can still sleep with the windows open.
I like the change. And the wind is even better. It’s cleansing –– blowing away whatever’s built up or unwanted. With each gust, a colorful rain of fall leaves pour down and a faint howl wraps around the house. Cozy times are in full effect, and I am so completely all in. read more »