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archive for May 2005

soil under your fingernails

Sunday, May 29th, 2005

The morning marine layer drizzled on our windshield as we made our way quietly along the 118 to Underwood Family Farms to meet Melinda and the kids at 9:30. I had gotten up at 6 am to get more packing done only to look outside and think, “what perfect weather for a big hike”. As we left the house, I decided to wear my old trail runners to the farm. When I picked them up, Kaweah’s ears perked and she trotted up to me with that, “hike?! me too?!?!” look on her face. When I said, “No, you stay here, pup,” and shut the door behind me, she had that, “I don’t understand” tilt of the head going. arggggg.

But the delight on the faces and in the voices of Kevin and Thomas were worth it because they immediately yelled, “Jennifer! Germany! Come and play in the powdery sand!” when we arrived. I understand why Melinda couldn’t take the kids by herself – awesome as she is, it’s hard for one adult to watch over 2 autistic children in such a stimulating environment. Kevin fixated on sitting in the wooden train while Thomas ran from one animal to the next. Then Thomas would fixate on the tunnels, then Kevin on the tunnels and Thomas on the bouncy cow, then…

thomas and the tunnel

**Jump for more butter**

tim tams

Tuesday, May 24th, 2005

I got a package in the mail at work today! I had just gotten back from the gym, feeling rather peckish, when I see a package in my mailbox that illustrious had sent to me!

These are chili-chocolate Tim Tams – of the Aussie/Kiwi persuasion. She sent me 4!! One had broken in the mail, so I felt obligated to eat it. It is chocolate with the slightest hint of chili that grows stronger as the chocolate dominance fades. Subtle, but beautiful, delightful, and dare I say – EXCITING! THANK YOU AWESOME WOMAN. You totally kick ass!

This also leads me to a discovery I made a few days back… that one of my supervisors has a bottle of hot sauce in an office cupboard, next to data. A bottle of hot sauce is a good sign.

eating seasonal

Saturday, May 21st, 2005

It is fascinating that you can get raspberries from the southern hemisphere in the dead of winter here, or that you can find apples and oranges throughout the summer months. That’s the beauty of a global market. I noticed in graduate school that for being in the middle of nowhere (Ithaca, NY) our grocer was able to provide gorgeous produce year-round. What a treat. But anyone with a single functioning taste bud can tell you there is a striking difference between a winter strawberry and one that is in season. Flavor, texture, color, juice – it is all superior in the summer. Same goes for tomatoes and other produce. Buying foods that are in season not only gives you a superior food specimen, but is more ecologically friendly when considering the energy required to deliver said import to your hot little hands. What do I think of when summer approaches? Berries, melons, squash, tomatoes – tons and tons of fresh produce to be eaten raw or grilled. How about winter? Brassicas like brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, broccoli are so delicious roasted. Root vegetables are terrific in soups and slow-cooked stews. Pumpkin in fall ushers in my favorite of all holidays – Halloween! Apples and other citrus are usually associated with summer, but they are fall and winter’s bounty. Hot apple cider mulled with cloves, cinnamon, and slices of orange keep guests coming back for more through the New Year. Yum!

**Jump for more butter**