Lunch break. Summertime table in my kitchen.
Today on Facebook….
Friend posts sweet selfie holding her newborn while her older son rests his head sweetly on her shoulder. You can only see a sliver of her face, part of one eye, but she looks serene, yet undone up/no make up on. The caption says “mornings.”
This is beautiful and lovely, but don’t forget to take care of yourself. Postpartum depression can gnaw at even the toughest and strongest of women.
Which is a true statement, and I think we all agree women should care of themselves, especially new moms. I have even kept an eye on good friends after their births to be sure they were feeling good.
It just felt out-of-context and overly pushy, especially since this new mom didn’t seem to be expressing sadness, feeling overwhelmed, or other signs of depression.
"There are a handful of shows I ask everyone I talk to about television if they have seen: The Wire, Mad Men, Friday Night Lights. But when I ask them if they’ve watched and loved Friday Night Lights, what I mean is are you my kind of person? Are you all heart? Are you bothered by this 21st-century lack of earnestness, our abundance of irony? Do you wonder how we forgive and coach ourselves to do better? How we can strive again for valor and loyalty and daring and redemption?
I fear we are defaulting to needless negativity as some kind of social currency. But Friday Night Lights is the most earnest show I’ve ever watched. Not sentimental, however: these characters aren’t perfect. In fact, this show is incredibly astute at allowing humans to have stratums of complexity: to have character and occasionally act without it, and then to live in the mire of their own dumb choices. Do I adore Coach? Yes. Do I think, as Tammy says, he is a molder of men and a husband of fierce devotion? Absolutely. Do I also think he can also be a self-involved, sexist prick who values his career over his wife’s? No question.
Regardless of the scale of the battle, the stakes in Friday Night Lights are rarely phony or contrived. It’s about winning games, sure, but its scope far exceeds that. This is a show that tests and reflects commitment not just on the football field, but back in the locker room. And in Street’s rehab room, and Saracen’s grandmother’s living room, and Julie’s bedroom, and eventually out to Luke’s farm and Tim’s prison and Tammy’s dream in Philadelphia. This commitment is not about obligation, but something more sacred. Duty. The hidden gale that blusters and grows within us and makes us yearn to give someone else exactly what they need.”
—Erica Cantoni on Friday Night Lights (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #14, July 2014)
Need to watch this show all over again.
Not a typical Friday
This morning I took a break from work to attend a coworker’s wife’s memorial service. I didn’t know his wife, but a group of us went from work to show our support, as you do.
It was a really wonderful service (if you can say such a thing). Her younger brother played (and sang!) “Across the Universe” by the Beatles on an accordion (!), followed by Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” on piano. All the feelings, sigh…There was even a bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace” at the end.
One of her daughters gave the eulogy, and it was delightfully funny and witty about a woman who earned multiple masters degrees and was one of the first female computer programmers at IBM after flunking a test for a secretarial job. This woman also knitted and sewed and was an amazing hostess/cook/baker/mom. I’m sad I didn’t get to know her.
I feel a little like I got hit by a truck or something, and it’s hard to be back at work,proceeding as normal. Be kind, tell someone you love them this weekend, and bake something sweet to share with others. That’s my plan, at least.
This recipe (link above) is awesome for hot summer nights and makes great leftovers for lunches. Bonus - it’s both gluten-free & vegan so also great for parties and potlucks. It’s fairly substantial on its own, but for extra hungry people (or dudes that need meat), it would be a good side for grilled meats or pita & hummus is always welcome.
I followed the recipe mostly as written except I subbed a red onion for white, and I chose to add tomatoes with each serving as I don’t really like refrigerated tomatoes. I used slightly less red pepper flakes - if you don’t like heat, this could easily be skipped. For lunches, I also added some cooked beets I had in the fridge plus the tomatoes & avocado - so pretty! Several coworkers comment on how good it looked. Some feta would also be nice crumbled on top.
This is also a perfect recipe to prep ahead on a weekend. I cooked up a big pot of quinoa on Sunday morning so I could make the sweet potato-quinoa patties one night, and then the next night, I just had to cook up the onions and chop up the green stuff to assemble. With our mini-heat wave, this minimal amount of stove use was ideal.
(Oh and Trader Joe’s sells pomegranate vinegar for fairly cheap, but you could probably find it at other specialty stores/Whole Foods/import such as Middle Eastern stores. You could probably sub balsamic, but there is a really nice subtle tang from the pomegranate.)
All hours of happiness should be at least 2 hours!
Recently, a friend posted a photo on Instagram of a Fresh Peach & Mint Old Fashioned. Obviously, I demanded the recipe. I made it last night for some friends and it’s just crazy good—especially with peaches in season. (And, as you can see, doesn’t look too shabby either.) Here’s the recipe as I made it:
Muddle half a fresh peach with a few fresh mint sprigs and a few dashes of Angostura bitters in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add 2.5 oz Bulleit Bourbon and 1 oz mint infused simple syrup. Add ice and shake vigorously until totally mixed. Strain into glass with ice and add a splash of Fever Tree Ginger Ale, stir. Garnish with a slice of fresh peach and mint.
uh yes please
Need this is my life. Got everything but the whiskey!
So you may be wondering how the crazy meth lady of my earlier post got into my friend’s 2nd floor condo? Here is a photo of her courtyard, and her description:
Here is my courtyard and the window meth lady broke into is waaaaay in the back. The “tree” is not the actual tree in the front, but that floppy plant thing with the big leaves that looks like it would not support a squirrel.
(This happened in the U District in Seattle, btw, so not a total surprise to have a drugged out crazy person, but still….)
Crazy meth shoe lady broke into my friends’ condo!
My friend Bridget is sharing this story on FB, and I just had to share it here as it’s so crazy!:
Hard to make a long story short, but basically someone broke into my house and tried on all my shoes. Fortunately my feet are too small for my shoes to be useful to anyone else.
The bedroom was completely trashed. She also tried on jackets (it’s too hot for jackets!!) and used a whole container of lotion (and then touched everything, ew). Nothing seemed to be taken, just moved around.
The police came and took statements and dusted for fingerprints etc etc. Kitties were fine, just lounging around.
Started cleaning up and found some weird stuff. A purse that wasn’t mine. Some big shoes?? Then heard a weird wheezing but both kitties were accounted for. I thought maybe a raccoon got in the empty window? Called the police back to come save me from the raccoon. But it was not a raccoon.
It was the shoe lady hiding under my bed!!! The entire time!!!! For hours while I was there and the police were there and the worst guard cats ever were there. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
She is arrested and nothing at all was stolen, but it’s officially the weirdest experience ever.
It gets weirder as she starts cleaning up:
So far found in the bed: Hypodermic needle, about 10 3” screws, ENORMOUS kitchen knife and kitchen shears.
Not where I usually keep them, in case that’s not clear.
It appears she was not just hiding under the bed, but tunneling into it. I think she used the knife to slice out all the fabric covering the springs and was working on the support beams. Bed might be toast.
Meth shoe lady appears to have given herself a haircut with the kitchen sheers while sitting on my bed. I should probably just burn it and start from scratch at this point…
talesfromthecrypt replied to your post:Things I’ve been eating lately…
Those sweet potato quinoa cakes are the best. I make them like every other week. They’re also delicious if you eat them on a bun like a veggie burger!
Hey, thanks as I think I got this recipe from your post. It would make a good burger, so I’ll try that next time.
Things I’ve been eating lately…
Another round-up of what I’ve been cooking/eating (or in the summer, not so much cooking as “assembling”) & posting a few links, so I don’t forget where I found these recipes.
I went on a bit of a fritter/veg patty binge (topped with fried eggs - yum!). These are great for summer as they require little stove use on hot evenings:
- Sweet potato-quinoa cakes - skipped the salsa part & served with TJ’s ginger chutney. A little fussy but super tasty. I love sweet potatoes in about anything. To make it easier, you could cook the quinoa ahead of time.
- Zucchini fritters - like savory pancakes for dinner & the leftovers reheated well. Possibly on the menu again for later this week after today’s trip to the farmer’s market.
On the zucchini season note, I also made Skinny Taste’s sausage-stuffed zucchini boats & they were very satisfying. Another fussy recipe, but I prepped them one night & then baked them the next night for dinner which worked nicely (especially since the BF had to eat earlier than me that night so he baked up his & I did mine later).