labor day weekend / vegetable soup that’s actually good

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This past Labor Day weekend was long and really comfortable. I spent a couple of days with my college girlfriends at the beach. We ate and drank and laid on the sand. There was a baby in our midst and two more on the way. I could almost feel the change in the air: new life, (literally) new people, jobs and careers and locations were all ending and starting between the 10 of us. Even our conversations felt different, we talked about politics and being pregnant and giving birth and buying houses, all kinds of heavy, adult themes that weren’t even considered almost a decade ago when we first met, when our conversations were filled with boys, food, clothes, occasionally school, and whatever else undergrads talk about. I forget, it was so long ago.

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After college when we all got married and transitioned into careers and churches and awkward, quarter life crises that some of us (or maybe just me) are still going through, we met new people and had new relationships that felt awkward and strained at best. Being back with the people who really know me, friends who need no explanation, who were at and in my wedding, and saw me really grow up, felt like a breath of fresh air. Which it literally was, since we were at the beach. Despite all of our personal changes, it was incredibly refreshing to be with people whose friendship with me hasn’t changed.

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mango chicken curry

A lot has changed since I originally published this over 2 years ago. While I appreciate the perspective that this gave me, I do not feel comfortable promoting Whole30 or diet culture. I’m leaving this post because its part of my journey and shows how far I’ve come, which is why I’m not taking the post down. If you would like to discuss more of these thoughts with me, feel free to reach out! Also, this is a really yummy curry recipe, regardless of its origins.

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Recipe at the bottom!

Food: we all need it. It’s one of the needs that all humans have in common. It can bring people together in fellowship, be the centerpiece of a holiday gathering, and sustain the soul and body. Depending on what you eat, it can nourish and heal your body, or slowly poison it. I love food! (hello captain obvious) I love the smells, textures, and tastes. I love the preparation and the fascinating way that what you eat can change you, for the better or worse. Our appetites can be complicated and full of emotion, so it’s an area to tread carefully in. I believe in a balanced diet, but I know that means different things for different people. For me, it means we eat lots of fresh produce, meats, dairy and protein, as well as grains and legumes. I also think that balance does not mean restriction or deprivation, but moderation. I understand that some people feel differently about this, and that’s great! This is me. Because I believe in balance and moderation, I’m super hesitant to jump on paleo/whole30/newest diet bandwagons. Everybody’s body and life and schedules are different, and people need different things. But ultimately, I think everyone needs an eating lifestyle that includes as many fruits and vegetables and happy meats, dairy and proteins as possible, and (this is super important to me) it needs to be enjoyed and savored. Since when does this kind of eating need to labeled and branded? Food for thought. (puns. ugh sorry)

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you remind me of home / make your own mayonnaise / be a kitchen nerd

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When I think about mayonnaise, I think about my childhood. My dad would (still?) smear a generous spoonful on a slice of white bread and top it with a fat piece of ripened tomato. As a child too old for such things, I would stick my index finger in a tub of mayo and lick it clean as if it were brownie batter. I consumed over the years what (I’m sure) has added up to be gallons of mayonnaise laden tuna salad, still a staple at my parents house. My Gran-Gran would make burgers in her tiny kitchen on top of the smallest, greasiest fire-hazard of a gas stove and somehow, mayonnaise seemed to be the main ingredient. I have no idea if she made the condiment herself or bought it at the store, but the pieces of beef were just the things in between the web of mayonnaise. She would serve them on one of those white, store bought buns with a thick piece of tomato (tomato for her, none for me) and it was bizarrely delicious. The beef was charred and a bit caramelized, the mayonnaise adding a burst of tanginess that kept the burger juicy and flavorful. I still do not understand the feat of culinary chemistry that was the mayonnaise burger, but it lives in infamy with all the colorful memories of my grandmother.

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