This year, I’ve been hemming and hawing about my spring garden, mostly lamenting that I didn’t start seeds weeks and weeks ago. “Is it worth starting now?,” I’ve been asking myself. “Maybe I’ll just give spring gardening a miss this year.”
My cousin messaged me on Facebook on the 16th, saying he’d put out tomato plants that day — putting my lack of any progress in very stark terms. It’s been a depressing topic, generally, which has dampened my enthusiasm and encouraged procrastination — and the more I procrastinate, the further behind I get.
My junior year in college, I somehow wangled my way into doing a semester abroad. It wasn’t easy. I had to convince the authorities at the University of Texas that — since they had a relationship with the study abroad program — it was 100% appropriate and customary that I could apply my scholarship funds toward this semester at an entirely different university in an entirely different country.
Once that hurdle was overcome, my parents’ objections weren’t nearly as strong as they would have been if they’d been paying out of their pockets. Plus, all of the classes I took abroad would apply toward my degree program, so I could still graduate on time or a semester early, it turned out. [Read more…] about My Favorite Mystery Tree – Harbinger Of Spring
The best recipes often come with a story behind them. This week, looking for a nice basic red sauce, I came across the much-lauded recipe by Marcella Hazan that’s incredibly simple — so simple it’s surprised countless food bloggers with its deliciousness and depth. Food bloggers being who they are, this prompted them to tell their own stories of their experiences with this recipe, along with that of Hazan, who is credited with bringing authentic Italian food to American kitchens.
The writers’ tales, along with their telling of Hazan’s story, made making the dish all the more meaningful to me. (And Michael loved it even without hearing the story!)
Food and drink are much improved by backstories and memories. I think about the wine-loving journalist couple of Dorothy Gaiter and John Brecher, who once wrote the Tastings column for the Wall Street Journal. One of their signature themes was “Open that Bottle Night” — a manufactured occasion (like all occasions, when you think about it) to open that special bottle of wine you’ve socked away for “a special occasion.” Enjoying the wine with friends, they contended, made an occasion.
[Read more…] about The Swedish Pancakes Of My Childhood [Recipe]