Friday, February 20, 2009

And Tonight's Dinner Is.....

(drumroll please!)

Brown Lentils with Bacon and Chard.

I cooked the lentils in one pot, with plenty of water and a bit of salt, for about 20 to 25 minutes. Do not use red lentils as they turn to mush (which is perfect for dal, but not for this dish).

In a cast iron pan, I slowly cooked my homegrown bacon, took it out and chopped it.

In the same pan, I cooked chopped onions (from the farm down the road) until soft then added roughly chopped Swiss Chard, stirring until wilted then added the bacon back in.

I added the veggie mix to the cooked lentils, and coated with a simple vinaigrette made of Dijon mustard, walnut oil and cider vinegar. A quick turn of the pepper grinder brought everything together.

This one bowl meal for one (or two!) washed down with a dark beer was perfect for this wintery night. I finished off my meal with a large spoonful of homemade, creamy rice pudding topped off with a drizzle of a friend's maple syrup.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

1. I tend to be nicer to other people's kids, even though I think mine are the coolest in the whole wide world.

2. I tend to be a little bratty, a bit of a know-it-all and can occasionally be bossy.

3. I like to sing. A lot. I chortle often, at the top of my voice, much to the chagrin of my children.

4. When I was little, I wanted to be a truck driver when I grew up. I like to drive and apparently lacked lofty ambitions...but am totally at peace with that.

5. I am at peace with my body, being in my 30's on my way to 40, graying hair and wrinkles around my eyes.

6. Potty jokes and the word "fart" make me giggle.

7. At one time in my life, I truly believed I was adopted. In light of this, I convinced my sister Elizabeth that she was in fact, adopted too.

8. When I had my children, I was forced to acknowledge that I am not adopted. They look more like my family than i do. Not sure if Elizabeth has yet to make the same acknowledgment for herself.

9. Many people cannot tell when I am joking. Please refer to #2 as an example. Occasionally, #5 is an outright lie. Not surprisingly, #7 is the absolute truth.

10. I prefer cooking over baking and frankly, I am a very good cook. Yet, bread hates me and the cakes i bake, scare my friends.

11. As a kid, my mom wanted me to look like Connie Chung, the only Asian news anchor on the big networks in Los Angeles. I wanted to look like Cheryl Ladd or Jaclyn Smith from Charlie's Angels.

12. As a teenager, I thought looking Asian was cool and wanted to get more in touch with that. My mom wanted me to get a nose and eye job.

13. I believe that children do not belong to their parents. They belong to the world and are ours only for a short while. Our job is to love them unconditionally, teach them without bias and give them the foundation to go out into the world as contributing, authentic adults so they can reach their full potential...or not. Parents take too much credit and too much blame. Thank you Dad and Peggy for those bits of wisdom over the years.

14. I believe that strong women are vital in creating a strong community. I believe that strong men who are not afraid of weakness are important to our future. I believe that being an environmentalist is about saving the human race from extinction.

15. I believe supporting local businesses and farms and food does not HAVE to be an aimless, yuppie sojourn into elitism. It just makes good sense, especially if it is accessible to everyone.

16. Obviously, I am partial to soap boxes.

17. I believe moderation is key to contentment.

18. I believe being too moderate in moderation will lead to a stagnant life of apathy and fear.

19. As a child, I believed I was actually a mermaid, lost to my real parents and would dream of swimming out to sea on adventures.

20. As a grown-up, I still like to think being a mermaid isn't a lost cause.

21. I have been madly in love once; quietly, but deeply in love twice. Marriage was wonderful, but I think I've found my peace in being happily single.

22. I can be moody, difficult, closed, affectionate, easy going and transparent all within the space of one conversation. No, I am not bi-polar, just complicated.

23. At the age of 36, I still use the words "totally", "like you know", "awesome" and "cool". Thank you Frank and Moon Unit Zappa for giving this Valley Girl her "like, gag me with a spoon!" speech that somehow fails to completely turn off my east coast counterparts. Someone please kick me if i ever use the word "wicked" in my speech.

24. When I die, I hope my loved ones will credit me with being a prolific writer, a generous lover, a good friend and neighbor, a loving mother, a world traveler if only in my mind, a believer in the innate goodness of the human race and someone who loved living life.

25. I get chatty when i drink a leeetttlllee too much. By the way, I'm currently sipping my second glass of yummy scotch. Thanks Meg and Pete!


I like Sundays. The sun rises, but for many of us, it can be ignored for a little bit longer when the day is Sunday.

Sundays are the tail end of a busy week. A day or two before, family and friends chatted on the phone, making plans for Sunday whether it be brunch or lunch or supper. The churches are clean and ready for their congregations, the houses are quiet with children still in their pajamas, the farmers are out milking because their crew has the day off.

Today, I have quite the chore list, but for now, I am typing my thoughts and drinking coffee. It's Sunday. I can do that on a Sunday.