Friends, I know. I am a terrible pen pal. Honestly, this is probably why I don’t have any friends from grammar school. I’m just not great at staying in touch.
But I’m trying to turn over a new leaf. I’m going to attempt to lift this blog from the hot and humid ashes of New Jersey in July on a little more regular basis. I’m hoping this doesn’t go the way of my knitting career or the time I thought I’d learn to speak Italian. Let’s just say, I remain monolingual.
So while I’m figuring out how to tell you about my second child moving out of the house recently or the surgery I had on my old lady foot, I thought I’d share a few things I am ob-sessed with lately. Here they are in absolutely no particular order:
- Melissa Clark’s new cookbook, Dinner: Changing the Game. Historically, I’ve stopped actually cooking dinner — like, chopping or roasting — by this time in July. Usually by this point of summers past, we’re eating a lot of hamburgers or takeout. And I can’t tell you the last time I bought a cookbook and back in the day, I used to buy a lot of them. But with the interweb, I find there’s no need to pay for something when you can get it for free online. But this book is worth it and full of tons of great dinner ideas. So far we’ve made both the Harissa Chicken (you can get harissa at Trader Joe’s) and Sausage and Cauliflower (with cumin and Turkish pepper — which you can get at World Market) twice, but my 20yo has gone through and marked about a dozen other recipes with post it notes.
- Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid. I’m on a reading roll and in under three days gobbled this slim novel that weaves a little magical realism with the story of a city under siege and the plight of refugees.
- Broken Open, by Elizabeth Lesser. This is literally (okay, not literally) the Bible for figuring out how to make lemonade out of the lemons that life throws your way. I read it 8 or 9 years ago when my marriage was falling apart yet for some reason, it resonates even more now. The quote from Anais Nin in the book’s prelude says it all: “And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
- This Ted Talk video.
- This New Yorker cartoon.
- Selina Meyer. I’ve been watching Season 5 of Veep and during each episode, think, “I need to write down some of these lines.” The things they say are off-the-charts hilarious and vulgar. But neither pen nor paper was required to remember this beauty, which I’ve used already on numerous occasions (if you don’t like cursing, please do not click).
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Can I borrow “Broken Open”? Next week is 5 years. Look for my Wonder Woman post.
Hey Barb! Am in the middle of book but all yours when done! And 5 years … wow. xo
Ok, so I’m not working all that hard this Friday morning as I sit here reading your post but, I was not expecting the bag of glass quote to be audible. I’m glad no one was walking past my open office door when I clicked. Def NSFW. But may be adopting it into my own bag of sharp quips.
Oh no! Will add NSFW to the post!! Yikes and sorry!!
Noted your recipe calling for cumin, you may want to check NJ.com for article posted 7/17 on recall of ground cumin distributed in New York and New Jersey, due to possible lead contamination. Enjoy your writing. I still plan to resume taking Italian at some point!
Yikes! Will check that out! Weirdly, I think that cauliflower recipe uses cumin seed. That’s the one thing about that cookbook is that you do need to hunt down some funky ingredients, like harissa and Aleppo pepper. Thanks for reading and the heads up!! xo