lemon tart / some things i’ve learned

 

IMG_7018.JPG

(before anyone panics, the knife pictured above is exceedingly dull)

There has been a lot of information entering my brain lately. I suppose that’s an occupational hazard of graduate school, but not all that information has been coming strictly from the classroom.

I’m here (“here” being more of a marker in time, not so much a location) to study food, how it affects the body; how what you eat, how much you eat, and how you prepare it all changes your body for better, or worse. To continue using a turn of phrase, our bodies are essentially married to food in a way: not eating will eventually kill us, eating too much can do that too.

And while I’m learning a lot about metabolism, how the body uses vitamins and minerals, what foods and how much are appropriate for which stage of life, I’m also learning things that I didn’t expect.

Continue reading

Advertisements

my favorite book in 2016 / we are losing our empathy / not a food post.

2016 was quite the year for me/us. I’m surprised I had time to read much of anything other than blog posts on How To Not Freak Out Every Day Waiting To Hear Back From Graduate School Admissions Committees, or, How To Travel Safely In The Car With Your Cats (the internet is a murky, murky place my friends).

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

the books I (completely) read in 2016

But, as pictured above, that’s the stack of books I managed to start and actually finish last year. (Rest assured there is another stack of books I picked up and haven’t gotten around to finishing yet)

I wanted to take a break from the regular programming here and talk about my favorite book in the stack, or, rather, the book that had the biggest impact on me (so it’s kind of both). That is the book on the bottom: Reclaiming Conversation by Sherri Turkle. I’ve mentioned it to friends and family, so if you’re real life related to me, you might have heard me mention it or seen me luging it around, as its a hefty 362 pages.

Continue reading

real quick

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

There is much to say.

But there is not time. At least not today. I would love to wax eloquently about the things I’ve learned this past semester, but if I don’t go study, the exam that is bearing down on me this coming Monday will get the best of me. I’m reminded of an exam I took my sophomore year of college, when the professor warned us that The Bridegroom Cometh for You Next Week, Lest You Find Yourself Unprepared. I’ve always been a fan of a well-placed Biblical reference used to strike fear into the hearts of unsuspecting undergraduates, but at the time I was one of the foolish, unprepared virgins who found themselves without enough oil in their lamps, and afterwards there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

But now I’m older, possibly wiser, not living in a dorm and not chasing boys and I would like to hope I’m less distracted than I was then, or at least I am more disciplined and more scared of failing because, well, we did move here for this.

But I digress. Here is a relatively quick, incredibly easy recipe that has all of the seasonal warmth and comfort you can hope for, full of protein, flavor and color, and I ate it for dinner today. I also made it for a lovely group of senior citizens this past semester as part of a lunch demonstration; they were kind enough to at least pretend they liked it, and I think some of them actually did.

This recipe feeds at least 4 generously as a main course.

Squash, Pumpkin Seed and Quinoa salad:

1 cup of quinoa/grain mixture/couscous
1 small acorn squash, cut in half and seeded, sliced and cut into small cubes
OR
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup dried cranberrys
1/3 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus a little
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 cup vinegar (rice or apple cider)
salt and pepper to taste

*I made this twice, once with butternut and once with acorn squash. I think the acorn squash was my favorite, and the easiest, because you don’t need to peel it. The butternut is squash a little sweeter, the acorn a little more buttery. FYI in case you have a preference.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. On a baking sheet, toss the prepared squash with a small amount of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until tender and slightly charred around the edges. Let cool slightly.

Cook the quinoa/grain mixture according to the package directions. While its cooking, whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar in a small bowl. When the quinoa is finished, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Adjust flavors to taste. Serve in bowls.

 

the chocolate covered strawberry pie / updates

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

view from above

One of the unexpected ways that 2016 started was when I crashed my 12-year-old Toyota Corolla. Nobody was hurt, thankfully, but my car didn’t make it through. It was one of those things that shouldn’t make you feel sad, because after all, its just a car. But it was paid for, and it got me from point A to point B without much fuss and reasonable gas mileage. Plus, I was totally unprepared for the change. I was used to my car. It has quirks and dents, but we understood each other. It met my needs and I sort of met its needs. And we said goodbye so impersonally in the junkyard where I cleaned out 8ish years of notes, burned CDs, checkbooks from closed bank accounts, pens, and gum wrappers. I even discovered a photo of the previous owners in the glove compartment. It was John and Sherri, circa 1996, with lots of teased hair and unfortunate mustaches and awkward fitting denim. A treasure.

Anyway. So began the treacherous journey of car shopping. We knew that our cars were nearing the end of their lives, and we had discussed the possibility of one day buying something else, but it was definitely not on our radar. New cars are luxury items. For the fancy and well-established adult. And most days, I definitely don’t feel fancy, and I certainly don’t feel like a well-established adult. More like an pseudo adult barely keeping up with life.

To make a long story short, we decided to get a Subaru Forester. And oh man. I definitely feel fancy now. Did you know that cars now have seat warmers? And back up cameras? and CD players that work?? Not to mention fancy blue tooth and a million different other little things that make me feel like I’m driving a space ship, at least compared to my old ride. I know you’re only here for the food, but I cannot recommend the Forester enough. It feels so safe, I have great visibility when I’m driving, it’s big enough to haul stuff in without feeling like I’m driving a tank. And its supposed to be good in all types of weather and terrain, which is great because driving in JXN MS is like going off road, every day.

Continue reading