I’ve written about my friend Georgia Pellegrini before and I’ve really enjoyed both books she’s written previously; but her new book, Modern Pioneering might just be my favorite one yet. Filled with more than 150 recipes, projects and skills, Modern Pioneering is a book about self-sufficiency – in the kitchen, garden and the great outdoors.
It’s mid-winter and while we’ve had one really good snow this season, as I look out my windows today, I see brown grass and bare trees – it all melted when the rains came whipping through a few weekends back. We’ve had a few additional days of snow but nothing really major and the local weather-guessers are saying that temperatures will reach near 40 sometime this week.
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Musical pairing – I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
For as long as I can remember, I dreamed of being a singer – on Broadway or as a solo artist, ala Barbra Streisand, my hero at the time. I was singing at 18 months old and had entered my first talent contest at 5 and by High School I ranked 2nd in my State’s Solo and Ensemble competition.
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Musical pairing – Multiply by Jamie Lidell
There are two kinds of ‘beet’ camp – lover or hater . . . there just doesn’t appear to be an ‘in between’ . . . and we fall squarely in the lover camp. I must admit that eating ‘pickled’ or ‘sweet’ from a can was my beet of choice as a child; in fact, I’m not sure I even knew what a ‘whole-beet-from-the-garden’ looked like until I was an adult.
I have been a ‘pie girl’ for as long as I can remember; my choice of birthday treat was almost always a cherry pie – except those times when I requested Angel Food cake – primarily because I thought maybe eating Angel Food cake would make me more . . . shall we say, ‘angelic?’ No such luck. The words, ‘sweet’ or ‘angelic’ are never used to describe me and I’m okay with that. I’ve learned to embrace my other qualities . . . I won’t bore you with the details now, but suffice it to say that ‘loving pie’ is at the top of that list.
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Musical pairing – Easy by Rascal Flatts
I’m pretty sure even those who love to cook or bake want to push the Easy Button every once in a while; it happens here in my kitchen too. Even though I have an office at home, I still have clients to service, phone calls to make, emails to respond to, bills to pay, invoicing to send out, mail to drop, yadda-yadda-yadda. And like the rest of you, I juggle all of that and then some amongst the laundry, running the sweeper, grocery shopping and cleaning the toilets – ah yes, Cinderella, I do live a glamorous life (said very much tongue-in-cheek).
Musical pairing – Primavera by Carlos Santana
I don’t know about you, but I am welcoming spring with open arms . . . just wish she’d hurry up and get here . . . and then hang around for a while; we’ve had wide swings in temperatures and record precipitation these past couple of months. When I hit the grocery store this time of year, I am unapologetically giddy at the sight of seasonal strawberries, fresh peas, rows of potted herbs and vibrant green and purple asparagus!
Musical pairing – Blindsided by Bon Iver
In the crush of finals week, I practically forgot a very important aspect of the end of the school year: moving back home. The last day of my semester arrived (unseasonably cold and sodden) and still all of my books were on their shelves, my desk drawers were still stuffed with papers and pens, my closet still stuffed with clothes. In a one-night whirlwind, I swept everything into some semblance of organization, though admittedly in a less stream-lined way than was probably possible. With the help of two of my friends, my roommate, and my dad, everything was carted down to the car the next day, I turned in my room key, and home we drove.
Musical pairing – Just A Kiss by Lady Antebellum
When Debra and I first met, we spent a lot of time together; we immediately found common interests in music, travel, movies and food. And having lived here all my life, I played tour guide and showed Debra parts of Indiana that she would have never seen . . . because she is directionally-challenged . . . a fact she completely owns up to and will tell you that any way she is facing is North . . . case and point? For nearly 6 months she traveled one single straight stretch of highway to and from work and the same road to and from the grocery store . . . that was about it – no exploring, no sight-seeing, no wandering Indiana . . . for fear she would get lost never to be found again . . .
Musical pairing – Celebration by Kool & The Gang
Easter came late this year and Cinco de Mayo, the Kentucky Derby and Mother’s Day all happen this week . . . oh and add college graduations in there and I’d say we have a very full dance card . . .
Musical pairing – Where Does the Good Go? by Tegan and Sara
I’m willing to bet that I’m not the only one who’s ever spent a lot of time looking forward to a break only to find it whizz by all too fast, jam-packed with get-togethers and appointments, outings and trips. So was my spring break this year. No sooner had I arrived home in Cincinnati than I was swept off my feet with a veritable tidal wave of things to do and people to see. And though almost all of the things I had to do were enjoyable– seeing old friends, taking my sister to breakfast before her schoolday started, and trying a new Cincinnati restaurant that serves up solely the most delectable grilled cheeses and tomato soups– there was nonetheless a part of me that yearned to just be home in my own house, observing spring blossom outside of the window.