COOP Online posted some photos of our home. Check them out here!
And a few more…
Thank you Hooton Images for taking (and sharing!) such lovely photos!Comments
I found an old poem today—one I wrote a few weeks after viewing Van Gogh’s “Branches With Almond Blossoms.” It was fall…about this same time of year, 2005. I was crazy in love, having just left my then-boyfriend after spending a month together in Romania.
On the way back home to Omaha, I stayed in Amsterdam for a few days with my friends, Joel and Monica. And one afternoon, Joel and I went to the Van Gogh museum. “Branches With Almond Blossoms” took me back to my childhood—growing up on our family’s 50-acre almond orchard.
My boyfriend and I had broken up for a week during that time in Romania…then gotten back together just a few days before I left. The passion! The drama! We would break up (yes again!) only about a month after I wrote this poem. Then get back together after a year apart. Then get married another year after that. My Caleb, my true forever. Our love wasn’t always as easy as it is now.
This poem was originally titled “Van Gogh Museum” but DAMN how boring is that! At the time, I was so unaware of what it was really all about. Time and space gives me the luxury of renaming it:
To Fall: In Love
tears leaked quietly as i stood alone
before the almond blossoms
Vincent’s maniacal torment stirred memories
and barely voiced its whisper:
this wounded world holds beauty, promise, love.
in that moment i felt at home
while art lovers chattered in ten languages,
and the school kids jostled around me there in Amsterdam.
I was a child again, lying on my back
on Dad’s damp orchard ground.
I looked up at the blue, cloudless March wind
through the airborne blossoms as they flew around,
and circled my prone body, the Atmosphere, and trees,
before landing in the greenest-still-green-come-spring
The sweet air would tempt the rented bees out to pollinate,
if it weren’t such a windy day,
would make me drunk, running wild with my shoes off,
if Mom wouldn’t call me in.
once, despite good sense,
I climbed to the top of that tree and jumped,
never looked down–just up–
fell heavily, into
the suddenly very still, fragrant blue Air.
A while back I signed up to receive the emails from Miranda July’s We Think Alone project. The website describes the project as: ”20 e-mails over 20 weeks from the Sent mail folders of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lena Dunham, Kirsten Dunst Sheila Heti, Etgar Keret, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Catherine Opie, Lee Smolin, and Danh Vo.”
The emails are often pretty mundane—which is somewhat the point of the project, I think. But today’s from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was so good.
The theme this week is “an email about the body.” I loved seeing this example of how the writing process enriches Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s life, getting a peek behind the curtain of Abdul-Jabbar’s junior high growth spurt, and his eloquence in describing how it affected him.
From We Think Alone:
————— Forwarded message —————
From: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
To: Raymond Obstfeld
Subject: Sasquatch in the Paint-Theo’s character
Date: October 17, 2012 7:17 PM
After our discussion about the plot last week, I’ve been thinking more about the theme. One of the things I want to emphasize in the book is the personal toll my growth spurt took on me. A lot of kids think it’s cool when you’re 6’4” at 13. They think no one will mess with you. In reality, that’s when other kids actually started messing with me. For some reason, my height seemed to enrage bullies and they were quick to let me know. I spent a lot of eight grade scared of one bully in particular and I want that fear to be reflected in Theo’s character.
Just because they slap a basketball in his hand doesn’t make the fear or the bullying go away. Like me, I want Theo to be a bad player at first because he’s still getting used to his awkward body. It’s important that kids get just how much work it was for me to become a good player and how insecure I was. (Also, let’s make him devastatingly handsome, like I was. Just kidding.) Working on Sasquatch in the Paint has been really cathartic for me and reminded me of so many memories from my childhood – I’m so glad we decided to do this project!
Photo credit: Hooton Images
I recently had the chance to be interviewed by Ginger McCandles of the online lifestyle publication, COOP, for her What. Women. Where. series. It was such a great opportunity for me to reflect about my life, my business and my process. You can read the article here.
A big thank you to Ginger, Jessica McKay and Heather Hooton for making it such a fun experience. And to Hooton Images for making me look good. :)Comments
This recipe was given to me by my friend and fellow Indian food lover, John Michael Lloyd. He generously made I-don’t-know-how-many-gallons of this recipe for our wedding reception. It is the only dal I make anymore!
I personally think that spice batch #4 (especially the fresh curry leaves and asafoetida) is what makes this such a stand out winner. That said, I’ve made it before without all the right spices and it’s still delicious!
1 cup of split mung dal (you can use any type of lentils)
1/4-1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp tumeric
3/4 tsp salt
4-6 chile de arbol (dried chiles)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 tbps fresh curry leaves, minced
1/2 tsp ground fenugreek
1/8 tsp asafoetida (or a little more)
1/4 tsp ground paprika
1) Rinse dal (lentils) in cold water until water runs clear. Place in pot with 3 cups of water and spice batch #1. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium. Heat until the foam rises, then reduce heat to low. You want a steady simmer. Stir occasionally. If water gets too low, add more….1/2 cup at a time. The consistency should be smooth and slightly soupy. Once finished, fold in cilantro and heat 2 mins more.
Remove from heat and cover.
2) Heat 2 tbps oil (or ghee) in small nonstick pan. Once oil is ready, add spice batch #2. Shake the pan until peppers turn dark red.
Add spice batch #3. The seeds will pop and splutter (30 secs). Watch out! (If they don’t, you need to raise the heat.)
Add spice batch #4. Keep stirring until spices change color. (1 min) Don’t let it burn.
3) Remove pan from heat. Add spice batch #5. Stir then add to dal. Lightly stir into dal. (just one quick turn))
Spoon dal over a plate of rice for a hearty meal. Top with raita and serve as a soup. Or serve as a side to any Indian dish.
We’re had some cooler, rainy days this week. Perfect chili weather! I posted a photo on my Instagram feed and some friends wanted the recipe. Here it is!
Spicy Chicken Chili
Recipe adapted from the “official” version here on Food & Wine. Please note that my version was only tested once, by me! :) Personally, I think this recipe could be adapted in about a million ways. My cooking philosophy is to follow my own instincts and taste preferences. I love coriander and add it to so many things. I love using whole spices and crushing them in my mortar and pestle. I love challenging myself to make something delicious with the ingredients I already have on hand.
In my mind, chili always goes with cornbread. This is my mom’s recipe. It’s very rare that I bake so when I make cornbread, I go all out and use all the butter, all the sugar. And still slather it with honey and/or butter at the table!
In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt. Blend well. Add milk and butter slowly. Pour in eggs. Stir only until blended. Pour into a greased 9 in x 9 in pan (or similar). Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes o r unti it springs back in the middle when touched.
Makes 9 pieces. 483 calories per piece. Yes, you read that correctly. 483 CALORIES PER PIECE.Comments
Every morning you climb several flights of stairs, enter your study, open the French doors, and slide your desk and chair out into the middle of the air. The desk and chair float thirty feet from the ground, between the crowns of maple trees. The furniture is in place; you go back for your thermos of coffee. Then, wincing, you step out again through the French doors and sit down on the chair and look over the desktop. You can see clear to the river from here in winter. You pour yourself a cup of coffee.
Birds fly under your chair. In spring, when the leaves open in the maples’ crowns, your view stops in the treetops just beyond the desk; yellow warblers hiss and whisper on the high twigs, and catch flies. Get to work. Your work is to keep cranking the flywheel that turns the gears that spin the belt in the engine of belief that keeps you and your desk in midair.
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A few tips for the ladies, since I’ve finally figured it out.
Be attractive, charming, smart, thin, well-dressed.
Be hard-working, professional, confident.
Be understanding, modest, forgiving.
Be cheerful and well-liked.
Just don’t let your awesomeness shine too much, my lovelies.
Don’t be too gorgeous or draw attention to yourself.
Don’t be too competitive, too assertive, or too magnetic.
Take a little more initiative but be a good team player, for heaven’s sake!
Avoid being irresistible, especially to your boss.
It’s great to turn heads, but never stand out in a crowd.
Be hot, just not in front of a married man.
Master the art of sexy, but don’t ever let it be seen it at work.
Don’t encourage inappropriate behavior.
But if and when it happens, don’t cause a stir.
Don’t make waves.
Don’t rock the boat.
Learn to take a compliment.
Better yet, learn to take a joke.
Remember who’s the boss.
Don’t make people feel uncomfortable
or guilty about the things they say or do.
Don’t question authority,
don’t tell people when they’re wrong.
Feel offended, hurt or angry? Please don’t let it show.
And it’s probably worth repeating: Learn to take a joke!
But would you give your life to this practice, dear?
Aren’t you more interesting than that?Comments