Middlemarch: loved it dearly. Also, Katherine’s post on shifting ambitions reminded me of the themes in MM and why a life spent loving the people in your community well is actually world-changing stuff.
Peace Like a River: good but some parts did make me think it would be prime material for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. Not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing. And some parts were truly arrestingly beautiful.
No-Drama Discipline: full of good information, but annoyingly repetitive at times.
Green Dolphin Street: for my bookclub. So far (and I haven’t read very far at all) this is really delicious to read. For all the unbelievable-ness of the plot, Goudge can paint such beautiful settings, round out characters so richly, and write such simple phrases that convey so much spiritual depth.
Pregnancy and NFP
–NFP in Real Life: Hard but Worth It: this should be required reading for all Catholics–engaged (because you need to know what you’re getting into), married (because you need to know you’re not alone), clergy and religious (because you need to know what the married faithful are struggling with and how to minister to them), and single lay people (because we’re a family and families help each other–by upholding each other through prayer…and offers of babysitting 😉 )
–What miscarriage and birth taught me about letting go: hat tip to the ladies of my bookclub for mentioning this one. Bookmarking to re-read periodically in the future when I feel like I’m drowning in babies.
-And more on pregnancy and body image
–Growing Up Poor. Here’s How It Changed My Life. “Judging the poor — or pretending that simple rules of logic apply to something often determined by blind luck — makes all of us less human.”
-I use onion powder (and garlic powder) but always feel a sense of shame! Vindication!
-Pretty sure my brain’s already been rewired to be distracted…
-Forever a word nerd: The 35 words you’re (probably) getting wrong.
And because I just posted that downer about social media, here are a few IG posts that spoke to me exactly when I needed them to:
–Number 2 (but real talk–how do you stop alllllll the biting??)
– When your vocation feels more like a death than a relief (because that’s an accurate description of what it feels like to parent a toddler at million months into pregnancy in a million degree heat with a million percent humidity.)
–“the tough can exist with the good” (because to say I’m nervous about throwing a newborn in our pre-existing chaos is a huge understatement.)
-And finally, this meme spoke to me most of all 😂
–Peach creme fraiche pie. Not too sweet–just the way I like my desserts.
–Fig, date, and walnut quick bread made quickly before a friend stopped by. It was very, very good (we slathered our slices with fig jam+goat cheese) although I realized two fourths of the way to three fourths that I was using self-rising flour instead of AP. Still turned out perfectly.
-This Tawainese minced pork was delicious (and perfect for doubling and freezing). And very forgiving of my ingredient swaps (marsala for Chinese cooking wine, reg. soy sauce for dark soy sauce)
-I got the DALS cookbook from the library and I’m trying to cook out of it as much as possible before it’s due back. It’s been a really fun way to test out a cookbook before deciding whether I want to actually buy it. Some of the recipes are pretty unmemorable, but on the whole it really is a good cookbook when you’re stumped for what to put on the meal plan. Best recipes from it so far:
Apricot-Mustard Baked chicken (served with the horseradish chard–which converted me to loving chard so I feel I should buy the cookbook for that reason alone)
BBQ Chicken (I used chicken breasts instead of the recommended drumsticks and thighs and it was SO good and juicy after brining it in salted water for a few hours)
Orecchiette with Sausage and Crispy Broccoli
Grilled Fish with Smoked Paprika Butter
Talk to me InstantPot. I’m kind of kicking myself for not getting one on Prime Day, because while I’d like to be a French housewife who would rather be guillotined than trade in her two hundred-year-old beaten copper dutch oven for this modern claptrap…it looks SO dreamy for my sweltering summertime kitchen. Not to mention perfect for all those freezer meals I may or may not make for the baby’s crash landing. Not to mention a more economical way for me to make bone broth than keeping my stovetop running for 24 hours.