Monday, June 28, 2010

"new york, you make it happen"

the food: eating and drinking in New York
the song: "An Open Letter to NYC" Beastie Boys

In case I haven't reiterated this enough in the three weeks since we've been back, I love New York. We loved the city itself, the public transportation, the use of outdoor space, the people, the dogs, the shops. But as I told you, I went to eat. And I can't imagine a better food destination. Our friends and over-the-top fantastic hosts set us up for New York saying "there is literally every type of food in the world here." They weren't kidding. We had so much good food, and I definitely did not get pictures of all of it. Have you heard that some people are funny about taking food pictures? I didn't want to offend anyone in nicer restaurants or keep my hungry companions from their meals.

Let's start with the food that New York is famous for:

Truth be told, in the six days we were in New York, we ate at four different pizza joints. The husband has a real weak spot for pizza. On the last day, he suggested pizza again and I put my foot down. I explained (a little agitated perhaps) that we'd eaten a lot of pizza and I wanted to try something different. If he wanted pizza again, I told him, he'd just have to grab a slice on his own. Walking around a few hours later, he got a slice. I picked off a black olive and popped it in my mouth. Moments later, I proceeded to eat half of the slice. Because the pizza in New York is just that good. Even if you aren't that hungry or think you're sick of pizza, it draws you in. Some say pizza is the perfect food, and New York pizza provides a particularly good argument for the case.

Next up, bagels.

Best. Bagel. Ever.

Oh lordy. Excuse me while I take a minute to remember just how good this was....  

Let me first say that normally, I don't even like lox. (By the way, I eat meat sometimes in case you're confused to see meat on a site about vegetarian cooking.) The lox I've had in the past has always been a little fishy, a little slimy. More than anything, I've just wanted the bagel. But I'd read that Russ and Daughters was an amazing place, and it was important that we give it a try. Good thing we did. We ate this meal on our last cloudy morning in New York, sitting in the park, watching some guys play basketball. It might have been the quintessential meal of the trip. The smoked salmon on this bagel was so fresh and sliced so thin and was so perfectly rich. Our friend compared it to butter.

Other food worth mentioning includes Frankies, where I had an amazing pasta dish with fresh fava beans. I plan on recreating this dish at home and fortuitously, less than one week after our return, the exact recipe showed up on Serious Eats. I had the best popsicle of my life at the Brooklyn Flea. We had really amazing biscuits with local honey and ricotta from Belcourt which is also going on my "to cook" list. Oh, how I love bringing vacation inspired food back home with me. Truly, it is the best souvenir.

Now, onto the beer.

 Sorachi Ace. We brought a bottle of this one home with us.

One of the best things we did on the vacation was tour Brooklyn Brewery. Of all the brewery tours we've been on this one took the cake. It wasn't the most informative--our mustachioed tour guide had definitely been drinking. But what I liked was that even though Brooklyn Brewery is a really huge operation, they managed to maintain a very quaint feeling in their Williamsburg brewery. The bottling goes on at another location, so all you see is one big room for drinking, and one big room for brewing. It makes you feel a lot of ownership of the beer, and made for a really good time.

The other great place I have to mention is McSorely's, which is the oldest Irish pub in New York. This place only serves two types of beers, light and dark. They come in 1/2 pint mugs, so every beer you order means two glasses.  They didn't allow women in the bar until 1970, when they were legally forced to do so. So naturally, I had to stick it to 'em by purchasing and drinking their delicious beer. Mmmm...historical.

Other beer of note that I didn't get pictures of. Barcade was a lot of fun. I want a place like this in Austin...hip, with a huge variety of really good beer. I loved Atwater Block's Dunkel, which was recommended by the nicest bartenders we encountered at Blind Tiger. Sixpoint makes the delicious golden Sweet Action which is the self proclaimed best beer to drink with pizza. Next time we go, I want to spend a day at the Draft Barn, getting in good with the German bartender so he'll recommend his favorite beers from the five page menu.

We did a lot of things other than eating, but I wanted to get this out there first. Next up, I'll show you a few glimpses of the not food part of New York. Stay tuned...


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"what am i supposed to do"

the song: "Smash Your Head" Girl Talk*

This post has very little to do with food. But as I've learned since I've started cooking and writing about it, everything is really about food. Today, I'm going to tell you a story about migraines. I woke up with a migraine this morning and have spent the day trying my best to get rid of it. It has made me pretty useless, and like always it is hard for me to come to terms with spending a whole day doing nothing. So why not write about it?

There is a whole slew of migraine art out there. If I were to make my own migraine art, it would not be quite as nice as the below piece. My migraine illustration would be me, sticking an ice pick behind my eyeball. 

Migraine collage by Migraine Chick.

A brief history of my migraines. I think I first labeled my headaches as migraines when I was 19. I might have had them before that, but it was that year that I had some type of "ah-ha" moment. At the most stressful point of my life I was eating poorly, working a job I didn't like, and planning a wedding. During that time, I would get migraines every Friday. It put a lot of strain on an already stressful time in my relationship. When I look back on 24, I remember being sick a lot.

My most dramatic migraine happened one morning in 2006 when I woke up and couldn't see out of my right eye. As I was getting ready for work (what was I thinking?!), I took a shower and threw my dirty clothes in the trash can. Then I went in our bedroom, sat on the edge of the bed, and tearfully told the newlywed husband that I couldn't find my car. He sat up and asked if I was ok, and I tried to explain in very broken speech that something was wrong. My arm was starting to go numb and I couldn't find my words. 

The husband (heroic from day one) loaded me up in the car and we set off to the emergency room. It seemed very odd that a 24 year old would be having a stroke and we knew that probably wasn't what was happening, but my mirgraines had never been that bad before. After several long hours in the brightly lit ER, a CAT scan, my mom driving down from Fort Worth, moving to a hospital room, and a shot of morphine, I was diagnosed with a complex migraine, which mimics signs of a stroke. I spent the night in the hospital and was released the next day. Since then, I thankfully have not had another hospital stay due to migraines (or anything else, for that matter.) 

Living with migraines isn't fun. These days they are limited to one a month, unless something weird is going on. Sometimes (like last month) they stretch over a few days. My hope is that it doesn't come back tomorrow. The best resource out there for people suffering from migraines is Dr. Carolyn Bernstein's The Migraine Brain. My ever thoughtful librarian mama got this book for me when it came out. After I finished it, I promptly ordered a copy for every migraine sufferer in my family that I could think of. This book changed my life. 

A few things I've learned:

1. Avoid your triggers. My migraines have always been directly related to my hormones. This means that (fortunately) I always know when to expect them. This also means that (unfortunately) I know to always expect them once a month. But there are things I can do during that time to limit my risk. This is where food comes in. I told you we'd get to it! My personal triggers are red onions (especially raw), hoppy beer, and red wine. I can get away with some of them during certain times, but I usually don't risk it. I'm also extremely sensitive to smells. Strong perfume can bring on a migraine any day.

2. Watch your posture. Last year, I messed up my back lifting the kiddies and went to a chiropractor for a few months. During one of my sessions, I felt a migraine coming on. I talked to my doc and she showed me the place in my neck where my migraines originate. To this day, I can push that place in my neck and feel it in my migraine spot. Rubbing my neck during a migraine has eased my ice pick desires many times. Anyway, during the visit my chiropractor said maintaining my posture...keeping my head upright and my shoulders back...could lower the chances of getting a migraine. Then (with my permission) she popped my neck and made my impending migraine disappear. Sorry, by the way, to all those reading that might think chiropractors are quacks. Mine was not.

3. Know what helps and don't be afraid to use it. If I can catch the headache early on and hit it with a lot of caffeine, I can sometimes ward off a full on migraine. As much as I dislike taking medicine, I am so grateful to have something that helps. Imitrex doesn't help everybody, but it works wonders for me. So much that I'm willing to deal with the tight chest and racing heart that goes along with it. Really it's not even that weird anymore...I anxiously await that feeling knowing it means my headache is about to go away.

4. Talk about it. People need to know what's up. I'm not saying you have to blow it out of proportion or ask for attention. But migraines are very real and those closest to you...your significant other, your family, and (if you feel comfortable with it) at least one trusted coworker...should know. After my complex migraine episode, I got a lot better about letting people know. If I started doing crazy things at work or talking out of my head, I wanted at least one person to know what the hell was going on. Plus, if scent is a trigger, it might be vital that you make your closest people aware so they know to avoid perfume/coffee/smoke/etc.

5. Notice when things are different. These days, the husband can tell when I have a migraine coming on, because I'll start popping my knuckles and pinching my hand. He notices when my speech is a little confused, but we don't freak out about it. Those are all parts of my migraine. What worries me is when something changes. If the headache is suddenly on the opposite side of my head. If it lasts for multiple days. If it comes when I'm not expecting it. Then we start to pay closer attention.

And finally...

6. Be gentle with yourself. This is an extremely hard one for me. This morning, for instance, I lay in bed for 4 hours, alternately pushing against my eyeball and my neck, trying to will myself out of having a migraine. And in the end, after meditating and thinking happy thoughts and practicing whatever limited reflexology I know, all I had was 4 more hours of misery. I should have sucked it up and taken my Imitrex when I knew what was going on. It's been 10 years, I should really know better than to mess with my migraines.

Having said all that, migraines just suck. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are and how much you read and plan, a migraine can come along and knock the wind out of you. And today, instead of cleaning house and hanging out with my friend like I was planning, I spent most of the day in pajamas on the couch. That's ok, too. It is really hard for me to slow down and let myself be sick, especially with something that is such a part of me. But migraines are loud and bossy and they sometimes just demand it.


*Girl Talk seemed extra appropriate here because of his jumbled, loud, sometimes overwhelming sound. Learn more about Mr. Gillis here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

"trace the trail back home"

the food: Potato & Swiss Chard Frittata
the song: "Ocean Walk" Astronautalis*

Vacations are good for several reasons. It is a great privilege and experience to see a new place. It is an excuse to eat only the best food and drink a beer with lunch. Vacations allow you the leisure of walking through the park on a Thursday and the self indulgence of three restaurant meals a day. Vacations are exciting and perk up your imagination. Being somewhere else challenges you to get out of your daily routines and notice how other people live. I love vacations.

Many more pictures to come, I promise. 

What I love almost equally, though, is coming home from a vacation. Those first few days of being back in your town, back at your house. When the husband and I landed from our New York trip, the humidity of a June Austin night was a welcomed feeling (at least for a little while.) I was excited to step foot in our house, greeted by two confused cats and a slightly wilted garden. After a vacation, there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed and using your own shower. And after settling back in, I was able to reap one of the benefits of living in Austin and having lots of space to ourselves. 

Let's take a closer look, shall we?

After traveling across the country, spending a lot of money on food, and eating out three meals a day, my body was craving something simple and wholesome. Truth be told I started fantasizing about the simple meals I was going to cook back in Austin on our last morning in New York. I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the food we ate on quite possibly was some of the best food I've ever eaten, and it is the main reason I look forward to traveling. But it's also good to be home.

Remember my potatoes? Well, as you can see from the picture, they didn't yield a lot (I got this and maybe another half bowl from an earlier harvest.) But after our welcome home meal I'd say they were an absolute success. This was truly a local, once-a-season meal. The potatoes, onion, and swiss chard were grown in our yard. The eggs came from our friend's chickens who live just a couple of miles from us. Eating this meal was a great way to come home, to refocus on our real lives after a week of excess.

I noticed a few things about homegrown potatoes as we ate this dinner. Between "mmmm"s and "oh man!"s, I noticed how naturally buttery and flavorful our homegrowns were. I had to add much less salt and oil than I was expecting. They didn't need much, to tell you the truth. I will be making this frittata again sooner rather than later with store bought potatoes. My guess is that it will be pretty delicious, too.

Potato & Swiss Chard Frittata
adapted from Grow and Joy the Baker

about 4 cups (1 1/2 lb) Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced very thin
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup swiss chard, thinly sliced 
1-2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
7 eggs
2 tablespoons minced herb of your choice (I used cilantro. Parsley would also be good.)
2 tablespoons milk or cream
salt & pepper
olive oil

Heat a generous splash of olive oil over medium heat in a medium saute pan. Add the onions and garlic and saute until onions soften, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the onions to an oven safe pan and toss with the raw sliced potatoes. Toss with your hands until all potatoes are well coated with olive oil (add more if needed). Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 

Set the potatoes aside to cool for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees F.  

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, herbs, swiss chard, cheese and milk/cream together. Season with salt and pepper.  

Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium high heat. Add another splash of olive oil to the skillet, making sure the side of the cast iron is oiled as well. Add the cooked potatoes to the pan. Top with the egg mixture.  Cover the skillet with foil and bake until the center is solid, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for 5-10 more minutes if needed. 

Slice and serve warm or at room temperature. 


*I don't often go out of my way to recommend music here. There are real music folks out there that can do that. But if you don't already know Astronautalis, seek him out. He's one of the most genuinely talented and nicest guys ever.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"talk about the state of this great nation of ours"

the song: "All U Can Eat" Ben Folds
the food: school lunches

I am fresh off the plane from New York. Stories will be coming shortly (spoiler alert: pizza!), but our beloved Austin is already bombarding us with awesomeness I need to share.

A few months ago, I ran across this article on Serious Eats about the movie Lunch Line. The SE article does a much more thorough job explaining the thesis of this documentary than I can manage. According to Lunch Line's Facebook page: "The film tracks key moments in school food and child nutrition from 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s to the present – revealing political twists, surprising alliances, and more common ground than people realize."  

It is extremely cool that Alamo Drafthouse Lakecreek is screening Lunch Line this Wednesday (June 16th). Tickets are $7 and the show starts at 7:30. And because a movie is never just a movie at the incomparable Alamo Drafthouse, Addie Broyles will be there to moderate a discussion after the screening. Supposedly there will also be "healthy lunchline special menu items" which both intrigues and frightens me.

This movie seems like a step in the right direction for reforming the American food system. Most importantly, the word is getting out there that there is something that needs to be fixed. People get really defensive about their food, their kids, and their government. And this debate involves all three. Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution has done a good job bringing the realities of school lunch into America's living rooms, and I applaud him and ABC for taking on a topic as big as this. People had their complaints about his methods, but overall he's on the right path. Perhaps because of Oliver's work, more people will support and show interest in movies like this one. It is a huge issue to even begin to think about and it is exciting that more people are getting involved in the discussion.

 Photo by back_garage, who has these cool trays for sale on Etsy.

My personal experience with school lunch is pretty limited, but I do have a short story to share*. A few months ago, while playing outside, one of my toddlers at school got stung by a bee. After using my Spec's key card to remove the stinger (teacher of the year award!) my  coteacher suggested using baking soda to ease swelling. Seemed like a good idea, but we had no baking soda on hand at the daycare. I headed to the cafeteria thinking "that's where cooking happens in this school. Surely they will have something as simple as baking soda!" You know where this is going. The lunch ladies were all eager to help. I think they were even a little surprised to see they didn't have it. No homemade food. No homemade pain relief.

The little guy was fine, by the way.

For more information about Wednesday's screening, please visit:
Alamo Drafthouse Lakecreek
Relish Austin

For more about Lunch Line:

And some random things devoted to school lunch:
School Lunch set by dirtdirt on Flickr

Hope to see you all tomorrow night at Lakecreek! 


*Let me say I have nothing but love for the lunch ladies of this world. They have hard jobs, they get paid very little, and they have to deal with hungry and picky kids all day long. My story is only meant to demonstrate the limited resources the typical lunch lady is given.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"let's hear it for New York"

the food: cleaning out the fridge
the song: "Empire State of Mind" Jay-Z & Alicia Keys

Today I'm cleaning and packing, trying to get everything ready for tomorrow when we leave for New York.  We are going to stay with our good friends Chris and Jacqueline and I'm beyond excited about it. It will be my first visit. I don't think I'm building it up when I say I'm expecting NY to blow my mind.

Part of getting ready for a trip is using up all those little things left in the fridge so you don't come home to moldy bread and sad vegetables. When I took a break today from cluelessly trying to piece together "outfits," my spinning head wasn't quite sure what to make for lunch. I opened the fridge and surveyed the few things still hanging out. 

I'm pro-leftover, almost to a fault. It hurts me to throw things away, which means I either a) eat every last bite of everything I cook (maybe not the healthiest choice) or b) I have umpteen containers in my fridge with scraps from last night's dinner. Luckily, the husband does it too, so I don't get ragged on for saving a few bites of pasta here, a 1/2 cup of soup here.

I made broccoli cheese soup last Friday night and it was the perfect lunch today over a little white rice. I added an extra pinch of salt and more cheese. It was kind of a poor man's broccoli rice casserole. I know this maybe doesn't look super appetizing, but believe me this was the perfect easy and filling food for today when I feel like I'm going a mile a minute trying to get ready for the trip. Plus, it served it's purpose...that's one less thing in my fridge I have to throw out in a week when it's no longer good.

My New York plans mostly include (surprise, surprise) eating and drinking. Our fabulous hosts--who know and share our food/beer obsession--have been scouting out places we'd like. I am really excited about trying New York pizza for the first time and having a really good bagel. Oooh, and Barcade. I have a feeling I'm going to give this place too much money. That reminds me, I need to pack stretchy pants. That's fashionable, right?

You might be asking "If you have so much to do, why are you not packing now?" I was working on it, but something got in the way.

She's trying to help. She really is.

I have to agree with Hova (in his own words, "the new Sinatra") and say that "Empire State of Mind" is one of the best NY songs ever. But I'm going to need some more when I recap the trip. Anyone have a favorite New York quotes they'd like to share?


P.S. On another note, I'm super flattered that GNP was mentioned last week on 2 awesome Austin websites whose writers inspire me daily. Big, huge thank you to Erin and Addie for the blog love. You know how to make a girl's day. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

"we're gonna build something this summer"

the food: Tomato & Corn Biscuit Pie
the song: "Constructive Summer" The Hold Steady

AHHHHH. I can't believe we're finished with yet another school year. Each year, my mom (also a teacher) always tells me there is no moment sweeter than leaving school on that last day. Before the summertime blues set in. Before you start thinking about next year and counting the weeks and worrying about having the most fun with the time you have left. Driving away from school on that last day you have only good things ahead of you and maximum summer to look forward to.

This is an extra huge day for me because at this moment, I'm also finished with my job. I am extremely grateful for the last four years spent at a wonderful school, but I'm also happy that it is over. As I start the Summer of George Emily, I want to share with you my current favorite summertime recipe. We kicked off summer a little early last night with some friends of ours. We shared good wine and conversation and this tomato and corn biscuit pie. 

I originally ran into this recipe over at the super cute Canadian food blog Everybody Likes Sandwiches a while back, who instructs in the post title to make this now. Stupidly, I did not take that advice and missed my chance to make this pie last summer. But I have now made it twice in the span of one week, and I would have no problem making it again next week. This recipe screams summertime. It tastes special and delicious without weighing you down. The ingredients are in season right now, so I'm going to advise the same thing and tell you to make this now. Like...over the weekend. It is that good. 

I've changed a few things here, mainly just to suit our tastes. The first time I made this I used cheddar cheese, which was wonderful. However, last night I made it using Cyrus Grove Chevre Lamb Chopper sheep milk cheese. The final result wasn't quite as budget friendly--I paid $6 for a chunk that turned out to be less than a cup--but it was totally worth it. So...special occasion, I'd say splurge for a high quality shreddable cheese (sheep or goat if you dig that kind of thing). Day to day, it's fine to use a decent sharp cheddar.

A few recipe notes for you... First of all, use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on. I don't have enough tomatoes yet to make this from my garden, but I think that would be ideal. I used garden basil and herbs. This recipe helped me come to the really obvious food discovery that fresh corn on the cob is about a bazillion times better than frozen. Up until this recipe, I've reserved corn on the cob for cookouts. But in the summer, it is completely worth the extra effort to husk your own corn. It makes this pie sweet and crisp. In fact, I will never make this recipe anytime except for summer. The fresh corn and tomatoes are the key.

My only word of caution is that rolling out the biscuit dough is a little bit of an ordeal. But you'll figure it out. Just make sure you have wax paper and plenty of extra flour available for your hands. I tried the first time to use a rolling pin, but it just makes a sticky mess. Just work it out with your hands like any good dough.

Why are you still sitting here? Don't you have a farmer's market to get to!?

Corn & Tomato Biscuit Pie
adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches 

For the dough*:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tsp vinegar)
1 tbsp fresh oregano (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper

For the pie:  
2 tbsp sour cream
juice from 1 lemon
4-5 med-large tomatoes, deseeded & sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped basil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1-2 cups corn (from about 2 ears)
1/2 tsp black pepper
a pinch or two of kosher salt
1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, sheep, gruyere...anything you like, really)
about 1/2 tablespoon melted butter   

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, and black pepper. Stir in the milk and oil and mix lightly until combined. Divide the dough in half. On floured wax paper, use your floured hands to work one ball of dough into a circular shape and line it into a pie plate.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and lemon juice. Set aside.

Layer in half of the tomatoes to line the bottom biscuit dough and sprinkle with half of the fresh basil. Grind some black pepper over it all and a pinch of salt. Add half the corn and half the onions and drizzle with half of the sour cream mixture. Repeat. Sprinkle the top of the pie with cheese.

Roll out the remaining ball of dough and top the pie with it. Seal the edges and cut a few vents to let the steam escape. Brush the top with a bit of melted butter. Bake in a 400 degree preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden. Remove from oven and let rest for a few moments before eating. 

*Or use your own favorite biscuit recipe. This one comes from Bread & Honey, another food blog I love. 


P.S. Because this is the first post of summer, I offer you yet another quote from the most fantastic summer song...nay, the most fantastic summer BAND ever....The Hold Steady.

"This summer, grant us all the power to drink on top of water towers. 
With love and trust and shows all summer. 
Let this be my annual reminder that we can all be something bigger."

Cheers to that. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"don't wake me I plan on sleeping in"

the food: garden variety
the song: "Sleeping In" The Postal Service

I've been silent lately about the status of my garden. Quite frankly, it's something I'm not all that proud of right now. I haven't been fawning over it, taking pictures and writing it love letters because I don't want to get too attached. Well...I've maybe taken a few pictures.

My garden has been going strong (more or less) for one year. But it's hot out there. Really hot. My garden right now looks ok, but not great like it did this time last year. So I've decided this year, I'm not going to push it. Anything that keeps going on it's own I'm happy to nurture, but when it gets too hot, I'm going to let it go. I'll save my water for the pool, thank you very much. Besides, soil needs time to rest, too. Summer is the absolute perfect reminder of that. My garden is trying to tell me that it is tired, and it is my job to listen.

Something I've discovered about myself in the past year is that for me gardening in the means to an end. I'm not a gardener, I'm a cook. Now don't get me wrong- I adore my garden. It makes me so happy to see tomatoes ripening and pick my first cucumber of the summer (as I did Sunday morning). I love seeing delicate squash blossoms first thing in the morning when I'm getting in my car to drive to work. I love the work of the garden-getting my hands dirty, always having something to do. But my yard is far from perfect. My motivation comes from knowing it is something I can eat. I'm not a "look how green and lush my yard is" braggart. I'm more of a " like that food, don't you? I grew that!" braggart.

FACT: You can't eat grass*. Yes, green yards are pretty and make the house look nice and sometimes I get the idea that I'll try to grow something not edible. I plant flowers and dote over them for a few days. Then I get bored and stop doting and they die. The best decision I've made regarding landscaping has been to get plants that are ultra tough and independent. I recently filled in a flower bed with sedums, and they are doing well despite my neglect. Our century plants are awesome and making their own little agave colony. My aloe is doing great (although I have managed to kill one of those, too).

I would love to be the type of person with an overall green thumb. It would be wonderful to have a pretty, serene yard filled with living things, some edible, some just for looks. I envy yards that pull that off. Maybe one day. For now I'm going to be happy with what I've got and spend this summer focusing on rest as an equally important part of life.


*Very oddly, "can humans eat grass" was the third thing that came up in the suggested google searches when I typed in "can humans eat." It comes in right below raw meat and dog food. Isn't that weird...and kinda awesome?