There’s a new man in my life. These past several months while The Professor lay sleeping beside me, I’ve been snuggled up with Thomas Keller – well not literally, but I have been snuggled up with his latest book, Bouchon.
I won’t swear to this but I don’t believe I experienced the buttery goodness of an avocado until my family made the move to Arizona when I was 13. Because back in the day, (a) ‘seasonal’ really did mean seasonal – as in, if it’s not in season in my hometown, it’s not on the store shelves and (b) Walla Walla isn’t an avocado growing climate, (c) I’m certain that if avocados were available ‘in season’, my family couldn’t afford them and most importantly, (d) Avocados are green. With knarly, bumpy skins. And they are soft and squishy. My grade school self said ‘Gross!’
The Professor and I are in the midst of a minor bathroom renovation at the moment; thank goodness it’s a teeny half-bath in the Master bedroom because the plumbing and wiring in a house that is nearly 100 years old is enough to give both of us heart palpitations and make our eyes cross – no junction box for a light fixture, no baseboard trim, no framing for plumbing that comes straight up through the floor from the basement – all in an area that measures approximately 5 feet by 6 feet – barely enough room to change your mind. I’m just thanking the gods above that we’re not dealing with a bathtub – silver linings, you know?
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Musical pairing – Draw the Line by David Gray
It seemed like a good idea at the time. My first foray into gardening was embraced with both enthusiasm and determination – everyone knows that one must first scope out the space, then plot and mark the area, shovel, rake, hoe and amend the soil with compost and know, without a doubt, that you’ll be pulling weeds for the season.
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Musical pairing – A Face To Call Home by John Mayer
Even though summer isn’t officially over until September 21st and warmer temperatures still prevail, fall is in the air. Can you feel it? I do. Darkness comes earlier in the evening, crickets ‘cricket’ and the air is filled with that familiar scent of the leaves beginning to change color and will soon fall to the ground.
When I first moved to the Midwest I kept hearing the term ‘pitch-in’ and wasn’t quite sure what that meant; it didn’t take me long before I realized it was just another word for ‘potluck’.
I met Grace via Twitter long before we actually met in person; eager to share, to assist, to help in any way, Grace is one of those people you want for your neighbor. And not just because of her genuine kindness but also because Grace is a master when it comes to making jaw-dropping Italian desserts.
Sometimes you just gotta put your head down and move forward. I have danced around this post for the last two months wishing that I, that my family, wouldn’t have to face this day. But today is here and rather than spend it in bed with ivory-colored, 100 percent, 600-thread count cotton sheets pulled up over my head, I am going to celebrate Alice’s birthday with the same tenacity in which she lived her life.
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Musical pairing – Sway by Michael Bublé
Remember this post at the beginning of 2012? The one in which I said I would challenge myself to try and master a few new recipes and/or techniques? I really should have added gnocchi to that list but didn’t – because gnocchi is one of those dishes that appears to be so simple – and it is. But gnocchi is also one of those dishes that terrifies me in its simplicity. Yes, I do understand that I’m talking in circles but it appears that making gnocchi is more about technique than it is about the recipe itself.
AVERY’S BLOOMINGTON BITES:
COMPLIMENTARY PAIRINGS – DAIKON & CARROT PICKLE
Sometime about a year ago, my dad and I stumbled into what almost instantly became a tradition: we woke up early one Saturday morning, pulled our bikes out of the garage, and biked to Cincinnati’s downtown Findlay Market. I remember that first bike ride as incredibly grueling– there is no way to get either to or from Findlay Market without going up several large hills– but for all its inherent difficulty, there was also something about the bike ride that found my dad and I up again the next Saturday, ready to do it all over again.
Musical pairing – Fire and Rain by Dido
We cooked for plenty of family and friends over the Memorial Day weekend; we celebrated not only Memorial Day, but also a graduation of our nephew Taylor and birthday of niece Avery. We threw in a bit of Father’s day as well . . . and we housed overnight guests . . . yep, life is never dull around our house and we wouldn’t have it any other way! Now planning, shopping and cooking for a large group might be intimidating but I had a couple of tricks up my sleeve . . .