Saturday, June 19, 2010

My dad

So, tomorrow is Father's Day. 
I love my dad. He's pretty much fantastic.

There's something like a line of gold thread running through a man's words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself.  

~ John Gregory Brown, Decorations in a Ruined Cemetery, 1994

Friday, June 18, 2010

Farmers' Market, Part Two (and other things)

We went to the Farmers' Market last night, but it was notably smaller than I'd expected; perhaps a half-dozen vendors had set up along a parking lot, several of which appeared to be members of the same family. There were blackberries, onions, summer squash, cucumbers, fingerling potatoes, beets, and bundles of sweet basil. I decided upon a quart of blue and yellow fingerling potatoes and a bundle of sweet basil. When we got home, we mixed the potatoes with some butternut squash that I cut into cubes and three or four cloves of garlic. I chopped up the basil and roasted it all in the oven for about 35 minutes. We ate it with slices of whole wheat baguette smeared with butter. Delicious!

I've never had fingerling potatoes before, but they were fantastic. Imagine a tater tot without the greasy outer-coating, or a plate of home fries without the crunch. My next endeavor may involve a larger version of the purple potatoes, mashed and mixed with pureed cauliflower...

Yesterday was also my first venture with my new sewing machine (well, I say "new," but it was actually a Christmas present from my mother).  This version came with an instructional video that I have now watched more than I'd like to admit, but at least I appear to have the basics down. My mother, being the kind-hearted person that she is, even came up to walk me through the initial steps. After bobbin-threading and basic needle safety, we proceeded to the actual "sewing" portion of the dvd, wherein I learned that a sewing machine is like a marriage: if you don't invest time and energy in the initial preparation, you'll likely end up with a huge mess that you can't fix. However, if you are patient and focused, you'll create something that lasts forever.

Pretty cool, huh?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Farmers' Market

I went to the Farmers' Market on Tuesday morning. I wasn't sure what to expect, since it's still a little early for produce of any kind. Here's what I saw:

I'm trying to think of some recipes for the carrots and the squash, and maybe even some of the beets. I'm going back to the market tonight and will hopefully have a chance to grab up some of the vegetables. Here's one recipe I may try, from

Carrot Zucchini Soup
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: Joanne Novellino
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour
Servings: 2
"Here's an easy way to get kids to eat their vegetables. Carrots were never my family's favorite, but with this delicious soup, they hardly know they're eating them. -Joanne Novellino, Bayville, New Jersey"
2 small onions
2 cups water
1/2 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/8 teaspoon celery salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cups diced zucchini
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup diced, seeded peeled tomato
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1. Chop one onion; set aside. Quarter the other onion and place in a 3-qt. saucepan. Add water, carrots, celery salt and pepper; bring to a boil. reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender. Transfer to a blender or food processor; cover and process until pureed. Return to the pan.
2. In a skillet, saute the zucchini and chopped onion in oil and butter until tender; add to carrot mixture. Stir in tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until tomatoes are tender. Stir in milk and parsley; heat through.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Pink Bicycles

Life is like riding a bicycle. You don't fall off unless you plan to stop peddling.-- Claude Pepper

Why a pink bicycle? 

When I moved to my new place, the first thing my fiancĂ© and I purchased was a pink Schwinn bicycle (he already had a mountain bike he'd purchased several years earlier). Since we live in such a gorgeous region of Arkansas, we agreed that we'd love to ride our bikes around the area.

Our first ride was definitely a lesson in patience. I had failed to mention that I hadn't ridden a bike in over ten years; he'd failed to mention that his multi-gear mountain bike could manage the hills of our neighborhood much more efficiently than my cute little cruiser.

After several stops, we finally reached the park closest to our apartment complex. It was Memorial Day, so we watched the families gather together and set out their picnics of homemade sandwiches, lemonade, and ice cream sandwiches. Though we were tired (physically and emotionally), we managed to find a secluded spot near the lake to talk. I confessed that my patience was, more often than not, far too temporary. Why? Ultimately, because I felt that if he hurt my feelings or said something disrespectful it was my duty to acknowledge his brusqueness, regardless of how my response changed the atmosphere of the day. In other words, I was so concerned with making things "right" that I wasn't allowing myself to simply enjoy the ride.

When I was a little girl, I would ride my bike up and down the country road in front of my house. I loved feeling the wind against my face and legs, speeding along the edge of the road for hours on end. For some reason, after my family moved, I never rode my bike again. In fact, I don't know what happened to that bike. But something about the day with my fiancĂ© brought back memories of my childhood, making me realize that the simplicity of childhood is founded upon these activities. Riding a bike, exploring the backyard, playing at a park...all of these are so simple and yet so exciting.

I hope and pray that my life will continue to be a string of simplistically happy moments.