Some days, I just want to shower you with random facts. The tidbits that my mind latches onto, like the fact that forty-seven percent of the U.S. is unoccupied. Or that it takes thirty seconds to make a Louisville Slugger. Or that after twenty-two weeks in the womb, baby girls’ ovaries already contain six million eggs – a lifetime’s supply. Pretty strange, neat, amazing stuff, no? These are the details just under the surface that make the world work. Continue reading
I was so eager to tell you about last weekend’s amazing pot pie that I neglected to tell you about the new kitchen tool I bought myself. You’re probably thinking that this is no big deal, that an avid home cook like me must buy kitchen tools the way normal people buy lattes or chapstick (or whatever it is normal people buy on a regular basis). But I don’t. In fact, I basically never buy kitchen stuff unless it’s absolutely necessary (see the French press incident and the must-have melon baller). Desperate times call for new kitchen supplies, but most of the time I’m pretty happy with the tried and trues. Continue reading
This weekend I made bagels. Not whole wheat bagels or spelt or some other altruistic grain disguised in bagel skin, but honest-to-goodness 100% white flour, quarter-pound bagels with extra gluten. I posted the photos of my happily boiling bagels to Facebook and within minutes I received the obvious question: “Can you make a gluten-free version?” The short answer is: “Yes, I’m quite certain I could find a recipe for a rice flour bagel out there.” But there’s also a much longer answer, which I’m about to unleash on you. Continue reading
I spoke too soon and jinxed myself. 2015 just seemed so promising, but then this weekend kitchen tragedy struck. While grinding my coffee beans, bleary eyed and grouchy, I knocked over my French press and watched helplessly as the glass carafe shattered on our granite counter top. Gah! I nearly cried. Partially because I have a soft spot for this particular coffee maker, which my college roommate surprised me with senior year, and partly because I really, really needed a cup of coffee.
And this was not the first disaster of the weekend. Saturday I spent at least an hour needlessly mixing and kneading the wrong yeast into two separate (but equally failing) doughs. This ended with several pounds of flour being dumped in the trash. Again, I was left in near tears, but at least that morning I had had my coffee. I did not however have the heart or energy to complete the original marbled rye recipe. By the time I kneaded the correct yeast into my dough, I was on batch number three of the light rye and there was absolutely no way that I could bring myself to mix its dark rye companion. So, instead I settled on a plain old rustic boule of rye, heavy on the caraway seeds and light on the molasses, just like Matt likes it. I have to say despite the arduous process, or maybe because of it, this bread turned out pretty darn good. Thick, crunchy, flaky crust on the outside. Soft, fluffy, and nicely chewy on the inside. Continue reading
I was so excited to tell you about my successful bread baking last weekend that I completely neglected to tell you about my lovely Sunday. It was lovely because we did absolutely nothing (except eat bread and get back in bed at 11:00am). I left the house once to pick up our turkey, which Matt tells me the grocery store would have almost certainly sold out of by now. The rest of the day we were warm inside, listening to the steam gurgling in the radiators and the wind whipping leaves against our window panes. For dinner I made soup. Of course. Continue reading
Since Monday, I’ve been promising Matt that I would make him a big batch of oatmeal so that he has something in the house for breakfast besides toast. But here it is, Thursday, and Matt ate a bowl of spaghetti bolognese before heading to work because I still hadn’t manged to boil a pot of water with oats.
This is my week off between jobs, so one might wonder why I haven’t managed to accomplish something so simple. The short answer is that I’ve gone on a home and self improvement tear. I am laying the groundwork for a truly fresh start at my new job on Monday. I bought new clothes and makeup, donated bags of old clothes, reorganized closets, rearranged all of our art objects, rearranged shelves, dusted and scrubbed everything, and sorted through old memorabilia and added odds and ends from four years of work memories to the box.
The longer answer is that all my time and energy is focused on coping with my major life change. I usually welcome change and seek it out every once in a while just to give me new purpose and make sure that I’m still actively engaged in life and not just coasting through. Over the past eight years, I’ve held eight different positions in five different offices, so I am no stranger to picking up and starting again. But this feels different. Maybe it’s because I’m older, maybe it’s because I’m leaving behind my best friend, and an office full of coworkers who have become my closest companions in DC. Or maybe it’s because I’m not sure I’ve made the right decision, a fear that has been eating at me for weeks. Continue reading
For someone who takes so much pleasure in cooking, it’s curious that breakfast, a meal which often requires no cooking at all, has long been my favorite meal of the day. Perhaps it’s fasting through the night that makes breakfast so satisfying. Or maybe it’s because it’s acceptable to eat nothing but sugary, sweet foods and call it a meal. Regardless, breakfast is quite simply the best. Continue reading