Reading, Eating, Etc.

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Good reads, eats, and lots and lots of rambling:

Reading

One of my Lenten resolutions, the only one I’ve been keeping faithfully, has been to read only spiritual reading. I drag my feet to do it because fiction is so much easier to sink your teeth into, but it actually has been a beneficial exercise. So, I read The Screwtape Letters (for my bookclub) and it was an excellent examination of conscience and I’m still working my way through I Believe in Love (also a bookclub pick from way back in December). It’s slow going but I may actually end up adding it to my life-changers list because it really does come back to me on a daily basis and affects the way I think and act. I can’t wait for Easter though, because I have Middlemarch on the dock.

Articles

-I loved this post on Dominicana Journal about being Homesick for Heaven. It’s good to remember, when all the blogs and ig feeds you follow try to convince you otherwise, that no place, not the English countryside nor the streets of Paris, and no home, not a charming brownstone in a bustling city or a bright and airy one hundred year old farmhouse can cure us of the homesickness of heaven: “We shall be haunted by a nostalgia for divine things, by a homesickness for God which is not eased in this world even by the presence of God.” (And also, good to remember when you’re tired of the flat, hot, noisy city you live in or of shuffling from apartment to apartment that as St. Samthann says, “Heaven can be reached from any place on Earth.”)

-I don’t know what our children’s education is going to look like. I often think of how much richer my education would have been if I had gotten to follow a classical curriculum. But you know, private school=tuition, homeschooling=being solely responsible for your children’s education=ahhhh. Anyway, I know we will at least be having culture hour once a week.

A lovely article my sister sent me and also full of good reminders about raising and educating children.

“The pressure to achieve can corrupt the activity itself…not just playing the piano. If we fail to recognize the dangers, we can become enslaved to the world’s standards of value. What matters is not the richness of an individual’s experience, but the degrees earned, prizes won, schools attended, articles published, patents filed, movies made, books written. And this is true for religious people as well as secularists. We tend to become part of this culture of achievement even if we don’t mean to. And it’s increasingly true for children, who sense early on that they must make something of themselves and find an identity in some sort of accomplishment.”

-Are you an HSP? I’d heard the term floating around and thought, “Oh yes, I’m probably that.” But then I actually started reading more about it and dude….it explains so much about my whole life. The fact that I couldn’t deal with the seams on my socks when I was in Kindergarten, that anytime I’m in a tense situation, whether it’s just being in the presence of arguing people or sensing any sort of danger, I feel like I’m going to completely shut down or lose it, that my one customer service gig with a stressful boss and rude customers gave me so much freaking anxiety, that bad memories stay with me foreeeever, that I absolutely cannot handle any remotely scary movies or shows because those images stick in my mind, that I felt like I was having a mental breakdown every day when I was regularly watching my five month old nephew and my two month old son at the same time, that when Leo won’t stop whining, I have to shut myself in a room for a minute and scream into my hands. So I guess I have to figure out how to deal with it now…

-Joe and I are on a marriage panel tonight for our alma mater’s Theology of the Body club. I feel like we are so not qualified to talk about marriage because we’ve only been at it for three-ish years now, and frankly, I suck at the whole putting other people before myself part of marriage…which is like the main part of marriage. But I suppose that’s the point of an event like this. Not to show how easy and marvelous marriage is, but to admit how hard but good (and even still marvelous) it is. But anyway some other people talking about marriage who have better things to say:

The Benedictine Confessional

“Christian marriage—like any marriage—is hard work. It’s ascetical. It’s about the halting, faltering effort to unlearn selfishness and gradually grow in love—not just love for another human being but love for another sinning human being…’Your marriage is a covenant that must stand firm even if your spouse becomes a threat to your tranquility and personal fulfillment, even if the time should come when you feel that the other who shares your bed has become—for the moment, at least—your enemy. Jesus has taught us to love our enemies.'”

You’re still a bride after your wedding day, even when you don’t feel like one.

Know this: married dreams brought down to earth are good; your calling specifically heralded at this moment in time. It’s okay to feel like your wedding is a lot to come down from, and that you walked into a new, unfamiliar version of yourself as you walked out the church doors. Imagining married life in broad strokes is easy and it’s dreamy, but it’s the subtleties life layers on that pave most of our road to holiness.”

Can marriage work with all those kids?!?!

“Yes, kids are hard,  Yes, we work harder at our marriages with little people around, but don’t lose sight of the all important fact:  Love propels us into this crazy thing of marriage and family life, and Love will see us through all the many challenges because as St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians: Love never fails.  Or at least, if we don’t let it!  If we don’t resist or reject Love, it never fails us.  This is the hope we carry with us as we make our vows to each other.”

-Last one, I promise! This article from Eve Tushnet reflecting about a Catholic understanding of the body seems particularly appropriate for Holy Week.

Eating

Celebrations

-My roommate and her husband were in town for a couple hours on St. Patrick’s Day so I made this beer cheese soup (not a very Irish recipe but I used Kerrygold cheddar and nixed all the peppers). We enjoyed it with Irish brown bread and together they were crazy good.

-Another one of my dear friends had a birthday last week and I got to make the cake. Her only request was that it be chocolate so I went with another “best ever” recipe. It got rave reviews even though I forgot to frost the middle.

Comfort food

-Sometimes you just need a giant pile of noodles. One of my best friends/Leo’s godmama came over for dinner one night and we made shrimp lo mein and scallion pancakes (inspired by Katherine’s post.) Everything was gloriously comforting and oily.

Turkey bolognese and spaghetti squash with toasted panko and pine nut topping. (loosely based on this recipe.) Joe got home late that night so I ate beforehand and had a really hard time not eating all the bolognese out the pot before he got a chance to have dinner.

Brunches

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have a thing for brunching fancy at home. It started when Leo switched to one nap a day and I didn’t get to sit down to eat until 11. I munch on dry cereal first thing in the morning but if I try to sit down and eat breakfast, Leo (who’s already eaten his fill of scrambled eggs and oatmeal) finds it unacceptable and cries and claws at my legs. Sweet child.

Anyway, I celebrate my daily two hours of silence by trying to make fancy things out of fridge leftovers. And when I can turn out something worthy of going on a bistro brunch menu, I give myself a little pat on the back, snap a picture, and upload it on the gram. Morning rituals and all that. Favorites have been:

whole wheat couscous, basil, cherry tomatoes, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes, a soft-boiled egg, balsamic vinegar, and tuna (the good kind packed in a jar with capers and olive oil–makes all the difference.)

Roasted artichoke, shallot-mustard compound butter, and poached eggs on top of sourdough toast.

Biscuits and gravy. My mom gave me Red Lobster biscuit mix when I went over to her house and I’m never one to turn away free food. Oh man, this combo was good. For the sausage I just fried up ground beef and added maple syrup, brown sugar, and some spices. For the gravy I threw butter, flour, and water into the ground beef mixture and let it all come together.

Leftover Korean beef and rice with a fried egg on top. I would actually cut the sugar down in the beef recipe if I made it again. It was too sweet for me, but with the egg it did taste like asian takeout, so that’s always a win.

Breakfast tacos. Always, always. So easy to throw together and so satisfying.

I don’t eat like this every day. Some days it’s cold pizza or cereal. Today it was just a piece of toast. And really, this is a celebration of nap time, so whatever the meal, it’s still every bit as luxurious.

Etc.

Wishing everyone a blessed Holy Week, Passiontide, and Easter Sunday/Season!

Reading, Eating, Etc.

Reading, eating, etc.

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Reading

I’m fitting in a lot more reading so far this year which means I’m fitting in a lot less blogging and writing and small-businessing (and working out and keeping house and and and…) I don’t know whether I feel all that bad about these lopsided priorities, though. The major hits so far have been:

An Everlasting Meal: this was my secret santa’s gift to me and I’m overall completely with Tamar Adler’s food philosophy: don’t waste a thing, anything can be a meal, etc. As a result of reading it, I usually now roast and boil a load of vegetables at the beginning of the week to use in various dishes. And Adler’s ode to pickly things made me hop up mid-chapter, slather some ricotta on toast, and top it with chopped cornichons, capers, and olives. Delish! But as one Goodreads reviewer said: she writes like every sentence is competing to win a poetry contest. For Adler, it seems ingredient ought to be personified. Every act of chopping or boiling or sauteing should be the most poetic act of all time. So that’s my gripe. Otherwise, it’s a food book worth reading.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn: I’d heard this title floating around for forever but always associated it with assigned school reading, and therefore meh. But oh gosh I was wrong. It’s full of both beauty and simplicity and I found it particularly poignant as a mother. It’s the best book I’ve read in a long time.

In this House of Brede: Another truly excellent read. I wish I had read it in high school since I was romantically enamored with religious life. It gives a very honest picture of life in a Benedictine monastery–the hardships and the glories. Not that I would have chosen a different life. Just that at the time I probably wouldn’t have run away with my fancies of old stone cloisters and contemplative raptures. Though I don’t know. Sixteen-year-old Dominika was stubbornly romantic.

Last Testament: In His Own Words: I just want to adopt Pope Benedict as my grandfather. He’s so full of tenderness and wisdom. I especially loved his descriptions of eternity:

“St. Augustine says something which is a great thought and a great comfort here. He interprets the passage from the Psalms ‘seek his face always’ as saying: this applies ‘for ever’; to all eternity. God is so great that we never finish our searching. He is always new. With God there is perpetual, unending encounter, with new discoveries and new joy. Such things are theological matters. At the same time, in an entirely human perspective, I look forward to being reunited with my parents, my siblings, my friends, and I imagine it will be as lovely as it was at our family home.”

I’m currently on Wuthering Heights and Howard’s End.

Links:

The myth of balance: a reminder I needed.

How the internet became a tool for judgment and not dialogue: a really good reflection about how social media platforms are not just neutral modes of communication but are set up to consciously conduct the way we interact with one another.

-Sometimes I get stuck on struggles particular to my own vocation and feel like myyyy life is the hardest. But it’s good to remember that each vocation has its own particular struggles and that we need to find ways to support one another in these.

Eating

-Lots of lazy stuff because Trader Joe’s is in walking distance and I can’t always be Tamar Adler and throw together three olives, a handful of rice, some wilting lettuce, a squeeze of lemon, and call it a meal. So we had this on V-day and then we had a belated sushi date this weekend.

-Another day we had the pulled pork tacos that I discovered here. Someday I’ll make homemade pulled pork tacos because the concept is a good one and the prepackaged stuff is only so satisfying.

Etc.

-Road trip! My brother-in-law turned 30 and my sister planned a Grand Canyon hike for the two of them. Somehow that turned into a good deal of my family tagging along and making a week and half trip of it. We have a lot of family in Arizona so it wonderful for all of our babies to meet everyone. And it reminded me how I have a deep need to be in nature every now and then (or preferably all the time) to feel human.

And now photo spammy:

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Reading, eating, etc.

Reading, eating, etc.

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Happy Fourth Sunday of Advent! I’m lighting all the candles and linking up!

Reading

1. Books

The Thin Man: If you haven’t seen the William Powell and Myrna Loy film (and the subsequent sequels), you’re truly missing out. It’s the perfect thing to watch during the holidays with cookies and cocktails. The book was a little racier and a little more hardboiled than the film but still a hoot!

Whose Body: I’ve barely started this one but it’s proving as delightful as I imagined.

I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux: I’m about to start this for our next book club and it’s a good thing, because I don’t think I’m going to get to any of my suggested Advent spiritual reading. St. Therese is my confirmation saint and I read Story of a Soul back in junior high but I haven’t touched her writing since. I need to though because she a doctor of the Church and her writing is so accessible and enriching. Also, I keep saying I need to go on a retreat so I’m excited about getting to go on one in book form.

2. Links

-I really enjoy Maria Popova’s labor of love, Brain Pickings, though I frequently save the articles for later and then never get around to them–they demand one’s full attention and I have a mind trained to skim distractedly. But when I do put the mental effort in (and it really doesn’t require thaaat much effort), I’m always glad that I did. The books on her 16 Overall Favorite Books of 2016 all look very good and I’m marking some of them down for my 2017 reads. Also an oldie, but one of my favorite posts she did: 10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings.

Sorting Jane Austen into Hogwarts Houses: The Definitive Guide. This was such a fun post. Now I want to reread all Harry Potter and all Jane Austen. Also, just yes to Mr. Collins being a squib.

Favorite Quotes and Prayers: Christmas. I love quotes. I’ve got notebooks and word docs full of them. So Christina’s beautiful list made my heart sing.

“When we give each other our Christmas presents in his name, let us remember that he has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans and all that lives and moves upon them…And to save us from our own foolishness and from all our sins, he came down to earth and gave himself.” -Sigrid Undset

Eating

3. Feast Day Food:

Honey Cake with Fleur de Sel: made for the St. Ambrose’s feast day (patron of beekeepers) to share with a friend and it was ambrosial on more than one level. Joe ate some for breakfast the next day, left for work, came back up a few minutes later, cut himself a second slice, and declared, “This is my favorite cake.”

Cuccia: For St. Lucy’s Day, I had big plans to wake up early and make cinnamon buns and string up lights around the apartment in honor this saint of light, but that did not happen. It was all good though because this Sicilian wheatberry porridge was splendid. According to the tradition, during a famine in Syracuse in 1646, a ship arrived on St. Lucy’s Day bearing wheat. People were so eager to eat, they didn’t wait to ground the grains, but simply boiled them and dressed them with olive oil–the first cuccia. We ate ours hot with ricotta, chocolate, candied orange slices, and honey. Yum!

4. Advent eating:

Garlic and vinegar fried rice: when you need something easy and meatless (though I threw in some stir fried meat this time), this is one of my favorite go tos.

-Minestrone: I used this as loose guide. Simple and warm and wintry.

Olive oil braised chickpeas: making this tonight with soft-boiled eggs and crusty bread.

5. Christmas baking/cooking plan:

-What are your favorite cookies to make? My signature cookie over the past couple years has been a shortbread cookie sandwich with speculoos filling and dusted with powdered sugar. It’s the tops. I also like to make gingersnaps from this recipe my sister shared with me. And they really do go deliciously with an Old Fashioned (perfect for your Thin Man movie watching). Other than that, I tend to change it up. Do you have favorite Christmas cookie recipes you return to year after year?

-I have a crazy dream this year to do a seven course Christmas Eve dinner after the Provencal and Italian traditions. I’m planning to keep the courses mostly simple: a make ahead chestnut soup, a cheese and fruit course. I just don’t know though. I’m a dreamer and not a very practical planner so we’ll see if it comes off without a hitch…or happens at all.

Et cetera

6. I’m shutting down my etsy shop till sometime in early January as I figure out a new printing situation, work on new products, and make a plan to really get this business going. I’m one to get immobilized over small difficulties, so things have been going slow lately.

7. We’re having a cozy Sunday watching Harry Potter (as a result of reading the Carrots for Michaelmas article) and making paper snowflakes. But the unfairness of our coziness and safety while others are living in the most desperate, war torn circumstances is heartbreaking. We can all donate and we can all pray. When I feel like despairing I think of these words from Tennyson: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” Also, this site helps specify where donations go.

Drop down ye heavens from above

Reading, eating, etc.

Links and life

Reading

1. I have no claims of saying anything intelligent about theology, but from what I gather, there is a lack of developed theology about marriage, which makes it all the more mysterious to me. I found this community and their vision super interesting. As far as I know, it wasn’t created by theologians, rather just regular old married people with high ideals for marital and familial love.

2. And then there’s the biology of marriage. So fascinating!

3. I loved this post from Leah Libresco about the boring, quiet rituals that sustain us spiritually. It made me think more consciously about what are the boring, quiet rituals that fill my days and reminded me of this excerpt from Dorothy Day’s The Long Loneliness:

“Ritual, how could we do without it? . . . Just as a husband may embrace his wife casually as he leaves for work in the mornings, and kiss her absent-mindedly in his comings and goings, still that kiss on occasion turns to rapture, a burning fire of tenderness and love.”

Eating

4. Lots of Trader Joe’s frozen Chinese food. I have a rule that if we’re going to watch an Asian film, we have to eat Asian food. In anticipation of going to see The Magnificent Seven, we finally started (and finished!) Seven Samurai.

5. Posting mainly because my mom asked for the recipe: the easiest, most versatile, and delicious buns you’ll ever make.

6. Not eating, but scheming about what my trademark food should be. Katherine’s always writing about things that have been latently brewing in my mind.

Et cetera

7. I’ve had my first Pax Paper purchases from people who don’t have any connection to me and that is thrillingly inexplicable to me! Particularly since only being able to work sloooowly in the naptime and post-bedtime cracks of my day makes me feel pretty faily at this small business thing. Pictured above are a couple Confirmation cards that I promised to have out weeks ago. They are coming!!

Happy Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary! We’re going to try to stop by our local Dominican parish, Holy Rosary, today for confession and a rosary. We’ll see if my squirmy companion cooperates.

Links and life

Links and life

 

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It’s been a long time since I’ve linked up to the Quick Takes but I couldn’t keep amassing excellent articles and keep them to myself.

Gifts from the Internet:

1. A really good one on trying to become worthy of marriage: “The very idea of making oneself “worthy-of-marriage” undercuts the reality of sacramental marriage, which isn’t a reward for the holy but a gift for holiness.”  One of my sweetest memories from the very beginning of my husband’s and my relationship was revealing to one another our feelings of being unworthy of one another. This excerpt from Oscar Wilde’s letter, “De Profundis” comes to mind:

“Nobody is worthy to be loved. The fact that God loves man shows us that in the divine order of ideal things it is written that eternal love is to be given to what is eternally unworthy. Or if that phrase seems to be a bitter one to bear, let us say that every one is worthy of love, except him who thinks that he is. Love is a sacrament that should be taken kneeling, and ‘Domine, non sum dignus’ should be on the lips and in the hearts of those who receive it.”

2. I promise I only share articles on abortion when they’re not just saying pro-choicers are all evil as so many unhelpfully do. This one is worth the click.  Being a stay-at-home mother of one is hard. So I totally get why a culture that pretty much does nothing to support parents or families and has a frighteningly wishy washy definition of personhood accepts abortion.

“It takes both a family and a village to raise a child. We’re all in this struggle together, and we must use everything at our disposal to give our children what they deserve: a life, a family and a future.”

3. I’m all about community living. I hesitated to share this because I’m afraid I’ll come off as totally weird. However, I think many of us secretly harbor this desire. How to go about that without it becoming or being perceived as weird or cultish? I dunno. But I think it’s a good idea! Modern American family life is so splintered. Even when nuclear families are in tact, elderly relatives are shuttered off in nursing homes, single people, who might choose otherwise given the chance, live alone, and again…the isolation of stay-at-home motherhood is a very real thing. So I dream of a place where we actually know our neighbors as our brothers and sisters rather than strangers, where we share meals and pray and sing hymns and grow a garden together. I want to live among people I can trust to watch my children when I need to run an errand. People who can count on me to do a favor for them without fearing that they owe me but simply because we belong to one another. Plus it’s becoming hip.

Yums!

4. My husband made some really divine tacos this week (if we lived in community, you could enjoy them too!) involving dried chile sauce and broth which have turned out to be the gifts that have kept on giving. I’ve since made tortilla soup with the broth and plan on making mole chicken enchiladas with the remaining sauce. I’ll get recipes written in the probably far out future (my blogging pace is at a crawl these days…)

5. I’m not a psl gal but I am crazy for Mexcian ho-cho. Need and want a molinillo.

Life:

6. Last weekend we made a trip to Oakland to visit one of our best friends (and our son’s godfather!) and witness him taking his simple profession of vows as a Dominican friar. It was a bittersweetly fleeting visit. I talked with another friend once about how vocations support one another and that was impressed upon me in a deep way this weekend. I know we’ve received so many graces through this friendship but seeing these men take vows to serve the Church in a radical way further reminded me of how much they spiritually sustain all of us in our vocations.

7. Happy belated Birthday, Mary. I’ve been reading Rilke’s “Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary” (in this edition) and they are incredibly transfixing poems.

Links and life

Weekly Edit: 7.22

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Linking up and shaking things up a bit. No yums this week. Not because there weren’t any because there definitely were, but because I was encouraged to actually write recipes out and post them. So next week you’ll get an earful as I praise the merits of juicy roasted birds and sundry.

Gifts from the Internet

Also, no theme with the links this week or maybe we could call it wild card.

1. Erin had two posts this week that I hit the bookmark button on. I’m always looking to be challenged in becoming more environmentally conscious and she always delivers the most well thought out ways to do so. Her post on water reminded me of all the ways I waste it.

2. Then she posted on how to make maraschino cherries. We spend far too much on the store-bought luxardo kind for Friday night cocktails, so its is on my to-do list before our current jar runs out.

3. Joy always has the best Sunday links. (I can’t get this one on motherhood, marriage, and writing out of my head from a few weeks ago.) But last week’s round up of links caught my attention mainly from the gorgeous paper flowers she made. A friend of mine gifted us fresh flowers as part of a whole host of housewarming things and they really beautified our mantle piece. I don’t think I can justify fresh flowers every week, so seeing stunning paper ones is giving me lots of ideas.

4. Speaking of parenthood, marriage, and creative ambitions, Christy guest posted over on Carrots for Michaelmas on how marriage fuels the creative life. And I think her examples are good and true and beautiful. It makes perfect theological sense that Christian marriage, in particular, as its supposed to imitate the richly creative love of the Trinity should encourage a collaborative creative life between spouses. But the examples provided in the post center on marriages in which only one of the spouses is the creative and the other is a source of practical support and inspiration. What if both a husband and a wife have their own serious creative ambitions? When a housekeeper or a nanny isn’t an option and financial freedom isn’t within reach, the practical burdens must be shouldered and I think dividing them up equally is easier said than done. Creatives are frequently attracted to one another which is a good thing but I think when each has their own projects and goals, the relationship can easily become mired in selfishness and resentment. Thoughts? I want to hear them.

Et cetera

5. Today is my dad’s birthday. He instilled in me a love for reading, hiking, traveling, and black forest cherry cake. I frequently had dad and daughter dates for my birthday. They were always cultural: the symphony, the museum of fine arts, and that one time we almost made it to the ballet but got rained out by a hurricane…Now we do the same but with some pint-sized friends tagging along.

6. I keep saying I’m going to delete our Netflix account but then I keep hitting play on reruns of Parks and Rec…However, I started this film while I was nursing the babe a few days ago and then I couldn’t turn it off. It’s beautiful and I highly recommend it and I’m ugly-crying just watching the trailer again.

7. Last week, I voiced my fretful concerns over baby led weaning. So I talked to my mom about it and she gave me some helpful advice because that’s what mom’s are for. Now, we’re doing what I’m calling “minimal effort spoon feeding”. I basically make one very easy soft food per day and feed it to him all day. So far we’ve done yogurt and mashed avocado whipped together with a fork, sweet potato zapped in the microwave, and banana mashed up with a little bit of water. It’s just as messy since I only slightly spoon feed him and otherwise let him lick the spoon/bathe his face with food at his leisure. Most importantly, I’m not filled with anxiety over it.

It’s the feast of St. Mary Magdalene which is new and quite exciting!

Weekly Edit: 7.22

Weekly Edit: 7.16.2016

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Showing up late to the link-up party this weekend.

Gifts from the Internet

All about womanhood, bodies, and feminism this week.

1. I discovered this post somewhere between getting a spark of an idea for this one and actually publishing it, but I identified so, so much with it. (Katherine’s blog is the shizz in general and should be on all of our to read lists.)

2. This is just basic decency.

“Providing menstrual hygiene products privately, immediately and for free is also about sending a body-positive message by not perpetuating shame and humiliation, and acknowledging that women’s bodies, even those of women serving time in prison, deserve some dignity during their periods.”

3. Josh Radnor aka Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother gave a deeply thoughtful and intelligent interview with Fight the New Drug about the devastating effects of pornography. It’s worth a read.

“Porn peddles selfishness, domination, and oppression – all terrible qualities to bring to a relationship. It strips women of personality, agency, and dimensionality reducing them to objects who exist simply for men’s sexual pleasure. And can be discarded when they’re through – after all, there are always more women a click away.”

Yums!

4. We’ve been trying to be better about eating less meat. We’ve gotten especially bad about eating meat on Fridays and, yes, I know you can substitute a different penance in place of going meatless but who are we kidding? That never happens. But even outside of religious reasons, eating red meat is apparently going to kill us, the environment, and our grocery bill too. The only problem is that my husband and I both really like meat. Fish is alright but we’re meat people. Toxic red meat people to be exact. These are some things I’ve been whipping up in an effort to be ever so slightly more vegetarian and still excited about dinnertime. And if we’re not, I guess that’s okay too #offeritup

Chickpea-zucchini fritters. These were quite good served in warm pita pockets with tons of fresh vegetables, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce.

Spiced black bean and beet burgers. I loosely used this recipe and topped them with avocado, bbq sauce, quick-pickled red onions (red onion+red wine vinegar+the fridge for 10min), and wait for it…bacon. Cheater cheater pumpkin eater. I took it one step further when I warmed up a patty the next day for lunch and cooked it in bacon grease…whoops. We ate the burgers with store bought sweet potato fries.

Salmon marinated in leftover tzatziki sauce. I served it with oven roasted corn on the cob bathed in chimichurri, and a warm quinoa clear the fridge salad (cherry tomatoes, the last of a cucumber, 1/4 of an avocado, 1/3 of a red onion, feta cheese, lemon juice, balsamic, olive oil, s&p).

5. And for a very meaty dish this week, I made skirt steak marinated in oyster sauce (no soy sauce on hand), dark brown sugar, and sesame seed oil. Served with leftover angel hair and stir fried peppers and broccolini. It was quick to make and absolutely delish.

Et cetera

6. Still talking food–does anybody else do baby led weaning? I have a slightly love mostly hate relationship with it. Probably because I haven’t seen any of the benefits. Only the gagging which I know is normal but geeeez it makes me so nervous. And the mess. Blw people like to tout the whole “spoon feeding babies mush is a modern invention” thing a lot. But somehow I don’t think people throughout history were letting good food go to waste all over their kitchen floor. Case in point. I’m thinking spoon fed porridge might have been a thing. But I’m not a historian. Anyway, I’d love to hear anybody else’s experience with baby led weaning or different methods of introducing solids besides purchasing jars of baby food.

7. Last night, I got together with some college friends and by 11 and after having a glass and a half of rose, I couldn’t tell if I was tipsy or just exhausted. But it was fun to relive the days when my only obligations were studying and orchestrating fake engagements.

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Listening to this beautiful hymn today.

Weekly Edit: 7.16.2016