Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday morning...



Saturday, August 30, 2014

kimchi...I'm thinking it's one of those things you either love..or hate.


This recipe looks good, too.
(This is not my photo)

My coworker made kimchi and brought some in to share with me. She made it with cucumbers as opposed to cabbage and it is g-o-o-o-d. She also makes it with cabbage and it is g-o-o-o-d, too.

Then later that day I was catching up on a favorite blog...and the blogger shared a link to a blog she'd recently come across...so I clicked over to the other blog...and he'd made kimchi. And it had been a long while since I visited this blog...and would you believe it, it's on the day that she makes kimchi? (Did you follow that?)

I've been wanting to make kimchi for a long time. It was on my summer to-do list...one of a list of things that did not get done, by the way. I took a fermentation class a few summer's ago and we made kombucha and kimchi. I was so excited to be taking the class and to be learning things I'd wanted to learn for so long. When the class was over I headed home with my baby skoby (for the kombucha) and a small jar of kimchi. We were instructed to let it sit on the counter for however many days and then it would be ready.

Unfortunately, over the course of a few days my kimchi turned a weird color...a sort of yellowy tan color, it looked somewhat jaundiced. I didn't feel good about it so I threw it away.

And that was the extent of my fermentation experience. I guess I got a little nervous about it...and probably discouraged. (And then I ended up getting a job so any fantasy of a simple, DIY life went down the drain.)

But anyway....I love kimchi. I have since I was a little girl. When I would stay with Noni and Papa for a week or two during the summer Noni would buy a jar of it and we'd sit and eat it together, the spicier the better. Mom would buy it now and again, too...I loved it.

I went to the Asian market a few weeks ago to buy a jar of gochujang. I had looked up a recipe for kimchi and this particular recipe called for it. But once I got to the store, and saw all of the different choices of kimchi paste and kimchi mix and gochujang, I got overwhelmed and instead, headed to the refrigerator section and bought a jar of prepared kimchi (the same brand Noni used to buy) and headed home. Done. No muss, no fuss.

Yes, while buying a jar of kimchi is much easier, I still can't help but want to make my own. There's just something about making it myself...I just gotta do it one of these days. Not to mention, not only does it taste good, but it is also good for you. Because it is fermented it has all sorts of health benefits.

How about you? Do you love kimchi? Or do you hate it?


Friday, August 29, 2014

slowly getting my mojo back...




I cooked dinner twice this week. Barbecued chicken and fried rice on Monday and BLT's with broccoli salad Wednesday. Tuesday we had leftovers. Last night? Tostadas. It's not gourmet. But it's better than nothing.

I think I am finally adjusting to my work schedule. Just like my friend said it would, it took about three weeks to adjust. I am less tired when I get home and more motivated to put some food on the table. Not to mention, the weather isn't sweltering hot lately...which makes cooking more fathomable.

We've got a three day weekend coming up...that'll be nice. Maybe I can really get motivated and make a menu plan, and prep some meals for the coming week.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

she gave a girl some figs.




My friend and coworker brought this girl some figs last week. I brought them home and let them sit almost too long before eating them. But when I cut them open and ate them...they were delicious. Perfectly ripe and sweet. And so, so good.

Would you believe I'd never even tried a fig until I was about 25? I lived in this little ramshackle apartment out in the country. It was funky, but I loved it. Noni came out to my place one day and looked at this ugly tree in my front yard and said, "You have a fig tree? I love figs!"

I didn't even know what a fig was, let alone what a fig tree looked like. But there it was, a gnarled fig tree right next to my parking spot. Noni made me promise to let her know when the figs began turning purple.

A few months later the figs began to turn purple so I picked a bunch, took a drive to Noni's and she enlightened me to the goodness of the fig. From that moment on...I loved them, too.

If you've never eaten a fig and you think you want to give it a try just make sure that the figs are very ripe, almost too ripe. And you can eat the skin, or not. I do not. Not that I wouldn't. I guess I don't because Noni didn't.

We went to a bible study one night years ago and the hostess made figs stuffed with goat cheese, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with chopped pistachios. Oh my...are you kidding me? They were amazing.

My coworker brought more figs in to work yesterday and I shamelessly grabbed (more than) my share. They are ripening on my kitchen island as we speak. Not everyone at work was excited about the figs...most of them went for the tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers that she brought instead of the figs. Apparently, figs are one of those things you either love or you don't.

I happen to love them...yes, because they taste delicious, but also because they make me think of Noni.

Oh, and I found some recipes on Pinterest that look awfully good...

Fig jam.
Fig jam on a sandwich with bacon and brie? Yes please.
And who doesn't like a fig newton?
How about this wedding cake just because it is beautiful (scroll down).


Monday, August 25, 2014

Wednesday in the Word



Saturday, August 23, 2014

we grew grapes!



A few years ago we made a few improvements to our backyard, one of which was planting grapes along the newly built garden fence. We kind of planted them on a whim...we wanted edibles, we wanted something to grow on the fence, grapes seemed like a good choice.

Never mind the fact that neither of us knew one single thing about growing grapes. But we knew how to dig holes and water plants...so we figured nature would handle the rest.

The first year we got maybe three wimpy clusters of teensy tiny grapes that didn't really mature. I don't even remember if we ate them? But this year...oh my...we got clusters and clusters of ripe, juicy, sweet, yummy grapes. They were so good. They weren't big like at the grocery store. But the flavor was much better.

And really, isn't the flavor better with everything homegrown? Yeah...I think so, too.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

friendship.


coffee with my friend.

I am blessed with some really great friendships. Old friends. New friends. Friends that are also family.

I have friends that I speak to almost daily. And friends that I can see once every two years and it seems as if we've spoken daily as we don't miss a beat.

I have friends that have known me since I first discovered shimmery light blue eyeliner. And friends that can't imagine I ever would have chosen to wear it! (Hey. I was 14. What do you expect? Besides, it was a good compliment to my Bonne Bell lip smacker.)

I have friends that "knew me when". And friends whose jaws drop hearing stories about "when". (And a few of them even overlap.)

I have friends that I met at school, church, work, through a friend and through the internet.

I have friends that I can be myself with...completely. And there is no judgment. Maybe a few winces or weird looks now and then. But no judgment. And I am grateful for that.

I count my blessings daily when I think about the people that I am surrounded by. I count my blessings that at any given time I can call on any of them and I know that they will be there for me. And I, them. In a heartbeat.

Friendship takes work...and time...and the willingness to be vulnerable, and real.

I am grateful for all the wonderful people in my life that I call friend...without them I'd be lost.