Monday, May 31, 2010


For the second Memorial Day in a row, I made shish kabobs. I greatly enjoy all the vegetables together on a stick.

raw kabob

kabob on the grill

finished kabob

Friday, May 28, 2010

Note to self

Note to self for when I'm old and have moved away from Portland because it never felt like home:

There is this, at the end of May, at the beginning of my twenty-seventh year: at Whole Foods, a band of very Portland-looking guys playing very good music. It was pouring down rain, but a big crowd stood outside, watching them play. The store gave out samples of nine different beers, ten different teas and one kind of sausage (that is, the fake kind). They gave out watermelon, which tasted like summer even though it is 50 degrees and raining.

This is a city you could stay young forever in, and I have been feeling older. This may sound cheesy, but on the drive home, I knew I wasn't done here yet.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


In the 1930s, when Delhi, Louisiana, was a kind of boom town, a man named Art Artichoke wrote a weekly letter to the paper. He complained about all sorts of things, and once, during a big snowstorm, he had his son walk his letter all the way to the paper's headquarters.

I cannot hear the Righteous Brothers' song "Unchained Melody" without hearing my mother crying. We must have listened to that song a million times the year my father was in Saudi Arabia, fighting in the Desert Shield war. The first day, in the last moments before dawn, in our blue Toyota Camry watching as a convoy of duffle-bag-filled humvees wound their way toward the airport, she played the song, sobbing the entire time, then rewound it immediately. Every day after, it was the same. And ti-ii-ime goes by so slowly. For me, that song made my dad's absence go by even slower. Would he ever come back? Would she ever stop crying? Would I ever hear any other song again?

My favorite thing to eat in college (besides all that sugary cereal they keep in bulk) was a concoction of spinach and three cheeses, melted all together in the microwave.

When I was young, I desperately did not want to learn to cook. Sometimes, when my mother forced me to watch her in the kitchen, I would make up stories in my head instead of listening. Later, when I moved out, I realized I actually needed this information and have now spent 10 years calling and asking her questions. It's not so bad, though: I actually am a pretty good cook.

We lived by "woods" several times when I was growing up. One of these miniature forests was in Georgia next to a trailer park we lived in. One day I ventured out alone and came upon a flock of wild turkeys. They were about the scariest thing I had ever seen, and I was surprised later when my mother told me turkeys are actually quite dumb.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tempeh recipe

I used to cook tempeh all the time when I was living in Mississippi. It's been a while, so I bought some recently and this is what I made:

I marinated the tempeh in
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon agave
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
few shakes of sesame oil
3 tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic
2 shakes of cayenne pepper
1 shake of cumin
2 shakes Tony Chachere's
1 drop hot sauce

I let it sit for half an hour. Then I poured off the marinade and fried the tempeh in vegetable oil. It basically tastes like barbecue.


Inspired by Randi, I was going to put some raw red cabbage in with the tempeh, but at the last second I decided to cook the cabbage, too, a little. I let them sit in the remaining marinade for a minute first.


Then I did something most people may find disgusting, but I found delicious, I added it to a bed of cottage cheese and raw spinach:



Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On another May 18

Nine years ago, this is what I was doing (It was my last day of high school):

last day of high school

Monday, May 17, 2010

Light tea in the hot sun

Saturday was nearly 80 degrees. I began and ended the day with Randi. We made breakfast and drank matcha green tea smoothies on the fire escape:

randi on fire escape

randi on a fire escape

Sunday, May 16, 2010

From scratch

Gosia and I made hand pies last weekend: Half were Indian samosa. Half were apple/pear. They took forever to make, and they were deeeelicious. This was only like my second baked good ever that I've made from scratch. Picture proof:







Saturday, May 15, 2010

Last days of winter

Winter lasted into spring with heavy coats and lit-up fireplaces. Finally, though, we seem to be out of it.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Family portraits

More photos of my beautiful nephew:





Saturday, May 1, 2010

I loved him immediately.

My nephew:




For comparison, here's Dustin as a baby (And yes, that is me, with Ruthie, as a little girl)