the kitchen

the darkest chocolate couldn't compete with the brown in her eyes as she wheeled that horn of plenty to the kitchen door.

the kitchen,
where tomatoes marry milk, butter and basil
to make a pot of soup
to share at the dinner table
across from the man with salt and pepper hair.

they talk about the city, the state, the world
theories are touted, and definitions are discovered

an encyclopedia is the entree
that complements the creamy tomato soup.

their conversation continues long after
the soup spoons are cold
and the bread is no more than crumbs
and water droplets have dripped down the sides of the water goblets.

and as she stacks the two bowls in one hand and walks over to rinse them in the sink,
he remembers how she wanted a house with a big kitchen
and why he was okay with that.

for my mom, my dad, and our kitchen.


eat it up

I love to cook.

At 16, when my mother was anxiously trying to pass on some of her food wisdom, I never would have expected the above statement to be true.

To be honest, I was intimidated by the measuring cups, the saucepans and the kitchen stove.

The idea that with a prayer and a great recipe (or no recipe at all!) one could whip up something delicious was completely foreign to me.

When I moved into my first apartment (after living in the dorms and eating cafeteria food all year..,remind me, how is the first year of college any different from high school?), I lived off of grilled cheese sandwiches, condensed tomato soup, and cheese quesadillas.

(I know, Mom, you taught me better than that.)

It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I had an epiphany I could almost taste:

I can do this; cooking really isn't that hard.

I learned that the worst that can happen is that you have a great story to tell about the time when you burned the toast three times in a row, or when you forgot to grease the cake pan.

And the best than can happen is that you make a batch of brownies that sort of become legend in some circles, or you sit down to a Sunday dinner that actually resembles your grandmother's cooking.

But more than just cooking, I really learned how to eat.

I learned to like* salad.
I learned that almost any vegetable tastes delicious if it's sauteed in olive oil and salt and pepper.
I learned that the best chocolate cake doesn't come from a box, but from my grandmother's recipe book.

This is all just to say that I'm feeling pretty confident with the knowledge that my future children will not starve, and even better, won't survive solely PB &J and macaroni and cheese.

*read: tolerate
**A couple of weeks ago, I discovered Orangette....oh to make delicious food and write about it all day.


I officially have too many blogs

And apparently not enough to write about.

I apologize if you expected this to be inspiring or beautifully written or poetic.
Today is just a typical day, full of the ordinary.

But I'm completely okay with that.

Life is still busy.
And complicated.
And sometimes stressful.
And exhausting.

But it's still really good.

Anyway, I started another blog.
To tell you all about my adventures this summer in El Salvador.
So check it out, if you're curious what I'll be doing.


El salvador

Hey, remember this little poll?

Turns out the answer is none of the above.

Looks like I'll be working on #1 and #15 from this list this spring for 6 weeks.

I'm excited to get my hands dirty, to push my mental and physical limits, to experience true culture shock, and to learn more from the people I'm working with than I could possibly ever teach them.

It's going to be a real adventure,

and I can't wait.


grin and bear it

I realized something about myself the other day.
Something different.
Not a huge change.
But, for me, a significant one.

I smile bigger than I used to.
Not more,

Wider smiles at people I know.
Smiling with my eyes and not just my lips.
Even a few of those big, cheesy grins at complete strangers (the kind I used to balk at and think of as so fake)

And I don't think it's because of anything in particular.
It's because I'm just...happy.
And I've been happy for a while, but
I think it's more that my outlook on life is generally a positive one.

Because there are still times when I'm annoyed or frustrated or upset (sometimes warranted, sometimes not).
But I've learned, I guess, to not let those moments define me.

Life is a gift.
And even when life is awful, there are still some not so awful parts of it (however hard to find they may be).

So if you think this sounds like an overly-optimistic rant that should have been put at the end of a low budget chick flick/church film, you're probably right.

But, oh well, maybe life is sometimes like the movies.

image via