Food and Flowers


Over the past few months I have been really craving a lighter diet.  I don’t mean calorie wise.  I’m not talking fat-free.  I can’t really explain it, but I guess I’m really talking mostly about vegetables.  I think this is a natural feeling as we head into spring and will soon begin to have more available from the garden and farmer’s market.

I’ve been trying to find ways to cut back on our grocery budget and also looking for recipes to make and take along to baseball tournaments.  My friend Elizabeth recommended a vegan cookbook to me called The Oh She Glows Cookbook from the author of the Oh She Glows Blog.  (I am new to it, but it sure seems to be full of great recipes.) She told me that the cookbook is full of whole foods based recipes that aren’t too complicated, and that most importantly are highly edible.  She wasn’t lying.  I typically only find a couple of recipes in any given cookbook that I will actually come back to, but I have been preparing foods from this cookbook regularly now for weeks.  Some of our favorites are  a crazy dip made from cashews that my kids absolutely love and is appropriately named “life affirming warm nacho dip,” potato salad that relies on avocado rather than mayo for the dressing, a chickpea salad similar to chicken salad, orange-maple miso soba noodle bowl, and my latest obsession, “metabolism boosting green citrus tea.”  I haven’t been able to get into the raw buckwheat breakfast porridge, but the apple pie oatmeal is great.  It makes sense that a vegan cookbook would be full of great ways to eat vegetables.  Most of the recipes are gluten free as well which is a bonus.  This is the best cookbook I’ve come across in years.

A second cookbook that I have been enjoying is the The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.  It’s so full of recipes that I have barely had time to look at them all.  I made a really amazing frittata recipe the other day for breakfast and it was loved by everyone in the house.  I checked this one out at the library, but I may end up buying it too.  I think it’s time to purge my cookbook shelf to make room for new ideas!  Do you have any current favorite cookbooks?  I know so many people use Pinterest to find new recipes to try, but I don’t have a handheld electronic device (can’t find the right word?) to view the internet on, so it’s kind of a pain for me.  I just prefer real cookbooks.

When it’s important

Keats and I had our tickets for months.  I bought them the day they went on sale and managed to get pretty great seats.  I was paranoid that I would lose them somehow and kept checking to make sure they were still in my desk. I have a habit of putting important things in safe places, only to realize later that I can’t remember where those places are.  Keats double checked that the tickets were in my purse on the way to the concert.  I parked a good distance from the auditorium and we raced across the campus in the rain.  I asked strangers along the way if we were headed in the right direction.  I had to stop myself after the second one though because I didn’t want to embarrass Keats with my craziness.  We made it in plenty of time only to be struck by a wave of terror standing in line as we worried that Keats hadn’t replaced the tickets in my purse.  Thank goodness, he had.  As we settled into our seats I told him, “See, I can get us places on time when it’s really important.”  He replied, “Yeah, but only if it’s really important.”  Hey, better than never.

As Mr. Perlman walked out onto stage everyone rose to their feet applauding him.  My heart swelled and I had to fight happy tears.  I wonder how many others felt the same?   He played a Beethoven violin concerto with the orchestra and his performance was nothing short of breathtaking.  As Keats and I walked across the campus in the rain afterwards it felt like we were leaving another world.  Keats said, “I can’t believe I’ve been waiting for this concert for nearly two years and now it’s over.”  I can’t believe I got to take him to begin with.  I didn’t grow up going to concerts.

Back to reality.  Jonny is still working on the bunkbeds.  He had to take a break so the going has been slow.   But progress is progress.  I’m working to clean out little parts of the house that became disorganized while I was pregnant with Job and in the months after his birth.  It’s slow going.  I keep telling myself that everything will come together in a couple of months.

The weather was crazy here this weekend.  Baseball was cancelled due to rain.  The rain ended up mixing with snow on Sunday.  But this week is supposed to be beautiful.  Every spring I feel like a new person, and I think that spring is really here now.