A Time to Pause

A friend is moving out west today. From here in Chicago. I’m going to miss him.

Another is going to visit tomorrow night, as she travels from the density of the east coast to the prairies of Canada.

A family member is in incredibly poor health. Updates have been a roller coaster ride and no one knows what’s next.

In-home things have slid to the side as we travel, deal with bad news, with seeing friends, and more.

It’s time for a pause, to collect thoughts, writings, friends’ visits, our family’s updates, the in-home movements. This week, and part of next, I will be taking that pause. I won’t be updating MetaCookbook during that pause. I’ll update again August first.

I hope you find time for a pause (big or small) too, and that we all are refreshed in our pauses.… Continue reading →


I Need Your

Recipes for sage, nasturtiums, pomegranate molasses, and lentils as a summer dish.1

Suggestions for things I should put in my smoker, now that I’m home again for awhile.

Book recommendations. Any kind. Ignore the fact that I am in the middle of Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward2, have three more books from Octavia Butler in my stack from Powell’s, just bought two more books yesterday at the bookshop in my neighborhood, and generally have all of Bill’s books to read. Yes, ignore those facts and tell me other books you’ve read recently that are delightful.

Tequila suggestions. I’m out and I’m looking for a new sipping/mixing tequila. I have one that I’m about to go back to, but I’m curious if you have another suggestion.… Continue reading →


14 July 2014 Garden Photos

Bill and I left town for about two weeks. When we came back, our garden had gone kind of wild. Others were watering for us, and may have harvested a few things. I don’t know. I did, however, take a bunch of photos. There’s a sample below, including a tomato I’d like diagnosed, please! If you’d like to see more, just click through any photo to get to the image within the flickr set & poke around!

The view as we walked up.

If the flag in the previous photo had eyes, this would be its view.

I hear these are edible. And the leaves too. I haven’t tried ‘em, though.

Ripen, already!

When we left, there was no evidence of fruits. Only flowers.

Unfortunately, a number (not all) of the tomatoes look like this.

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They Say You Can’t Go Home Again.

My friend Ellen, I think1, once insisted on Twitter that your hometown is where you were born, period. No other place could be your hometown.

I viscerally didn’t agree with this, but didn’t say anything because I couldn’t figure out why. Much later, I think sometime in 2012, I realized what I was thinking. Namely, your hometown may or may not be the place you currently reside and it may or may not be the place you were born. Your hometown is the place you know. The rhythms, the roads, the speed traps, the truly unsafe places, the places people think are unsafe that are fine, the upscale places, the hidden gems. You know this place in your bones.

For me, while I deeply love Chicago and could happily live there the rest of my life, my hometown has always been Albuquerque, New Mexico.… Continue reading →


Coffee Beer. French Toast. Quiche. Wins.

Spent grain might be magic, guys.

I know. I know. I’m SUPPOSED to be talking about homebrew. Since, you know, that was the basis of the giveaway. And, frankly, the homebrew was delicious. Our coffee amber was well-received (and I’m told it’s been entered in its first contest!), though the two bombers we shared were fascinatingly different. Both quite tasty, but one was more deeply akin to coffee than the other. We speculated that the coffee wasn’t properly mixed in at bottling time, but we’ll never know for sure.

On top of that, we tried a couple of bottles of homebrew from my friends Jason and Matt. Jason’s “Nightmare Stout” was delicious and deep. Matt’s “Damn Fine Cup of Coffee” was exceptional. It hit all the right notes of coffee and stout, without being huge and heavy.… Continue reading →