Thursday, May 29, 2014

In My Kitchen: Spring (plus the cat)

(Joining Heather for the kitchen blog hop again.)

My kitchen continues to be a place full of plant foods as I work my way through 30 Day Vegan (which I am loving even more than I expected).  This week: lots of big, varied salads. And I tried out quinoa pasta, which I liked more than I thought I would.  Then again, it's hard to dislike pasta with shiitake mushrooms, asparagus, and basil...!

I am loving my spring/summer view from the sink, now that the herbs are potted on the back deck.

And the cat, Toonces (no she does not drive) occasionally sits in the "junk pile" basket waiting for someone to pet her.  Usually this works.  

How is spring in your kitchen these days?

Sunday, May 25, 2014


In the past five or six years, I've tried a lot of new things:

  • knitting
  • taking photos and making cards
  • making calendars
  • lots of new recipes and cooking
  • canning (mostly jam)
  • yoga
  • making body balms and shower gels
...and although I've become an expert in none of these things, I've had fun and some success with all of them.

So this year, now that we are settled in one place, it was time to try my hand at a garden again.  Not just potted herbs.  Today, with the help of a new friend (Leslie), I got a few raised beds planted.  Anya helped every step along the way, too! (She particularly liked playing with the hose, but she also planted.)

My new garden consists of:
  • tomatoes (grape, plum, and large)
  • carrots
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • red cabbage
  • collard
  • chard
  • baby pak choi
  • butternut squash
  • spaghetti squash
  • romaine lettuce
  • buttercrunch lettuce
  • ...and a little bit of cucumber
  • (The potted herbs will happen tomorrow, on the deck.  I've done those before.)
There isn't a lot of anything, and it probably won't all thrive.  But hopefully some of it will, and I will add "amateur gardener" to my list of identities.  

It was a lovely Sunday today.  A morning walk followed by yoga class.  Then a relaxed time with coffee followed a little later by a big salad lunch. Topped off by a whole afternoon of picking out vegetables and planting them.  I am a good tired today.

Sundays are great.  Forties are great, too.  Look at all the fun stuff I've done in my forties...and that doesn't even include all the work stuff (like doing faculty development, publishing books, getting a Fulbright, getting tenure, and eventually promotion to full professor).  All of this came, both professional and personal, when I stopped letting pressure and expectation rule me.  

What's next on your list of things you want to learn to do?

What's a lovely Sunday look like to you?

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In My Kitchen: Regenerating

(Joining Heather for a kitchen blog hop).

It was a much busier week in my kitchen this week than last, and that's because...the semester is over!   I'm also doing Heather's 30 Day Vegan workshop.  So my kitchen has been all about veggies and recuperation and renewal and healing.  And flowers and music and sipping on my favorite (Tazo, passion) iced tea. Oh, and a kombucha drink instead of wine (who was it who introduced me to kombucha on the blog hop?  Thank you, whoever you are!  Loving it.)

Ahhhh...slower days with more time for the kitchen.  I like it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Not even a week into summer break, and I've scratched one thing off my "Summer 2014 Bucket List"!!!  Heidi and I took advantage of our new-found freedom today and went to the MFA quilt exhibit. I hadn't been to the MFA in a while--it was a nice few hours.  

Now, I just have to:
  • Get to my mother's in Rockport once a week
  • Learn to sew (something, anything)
  • Figure out how to garden
  • Make the screened porch livable
  • Paint two rooms
  • Do some meditative art
Oh, and revise two articles, work on new course syllabi, and read some of the 32 gigabytes of documents I picked up in Ecuador last year.

Oddly, this all still sounds more relaxing than the semester...

What's on your "to do" list this summer?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Must Be "Summer"

I did go for a walk yesterday, and I went to yoga class.  I baked and cooked.  But mostly?  I spent my time reading a novel that I'd started the day before.  Finished it before going to bed.

If I can do that, it can mean only one thing: the semester is officially over, and summer lies ahead of me.  In August I'll wonder how the time went by so fast, and why I didn't get as much done as I'd planned.  But for this moment--this wildly precious moment--it's full of possibilities.  

Welcome, summer.  I've been waiting for you for a long time now!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Loveliness on a Busy Day

One final down, student meetings, grading (not nearly done). Two more to go.  First 80+ degree day of the year.  Not my kind of day.  

First, my thesis student came by to drop off books I lent her. And when she did, she gave me the loveliest small pottery plate inlaid with glass ("so I won't forget her"--like I could forget such an amazing student.  I will miss her so much, but am happy knowing that she's moving on to a good M.A. program).

Then, when I got home, my first copies of Mothers Making Latin America were waiting for me!  Out just around Mothers' Day.  That seems appropriate to me.  For all we argued over it, the cover came out great!

What unexpected pleasures came your way today?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

This Week in My Kitchen: Joy

(Joining Heather again this week for a kitchen blog hop.)

Despite the massive amounts of grading that I have left, I spent last Friday afternoon cooking.  It was such a luxury and delight! Pasta and spinach salad, potato salad, rice and bean salad, brownies.  All in preparation for the next afternoon's book-swap and BBQ (there were way more books than shown above--I forgot to take pictures once the swap was underway).  Good food, good people, and books (I would say "good books," but some of them were drek--which is also fun).  That's pretty much a recipe for happiness in my little corner of the world.  

What brought you joy in your kitchen this week?