Paris takes on a special quality at night. Especially on a warm Friday evening. But it was lovely in the rain, and on chilly evenings as well.
I sift through the photos of our recent trip realizing what I often do. I wish it wasn’t over. That I’d like to be there now in so many of the places we ventured, the clock slowed enough to allow for the details I capture with my camera, then forget about until I upload them and begin to edit.
I am obsessively reflective. I could suggest this is an excellent trait that has only good effect on all outcomes, and it can much of the time, but it often leaves me with many new ideas instead of one completed task. It’s annoying.
I begin to think about those new ideas, jot notes on stickies which seem to multiply in the night, gather materials, then begin work. It would be logical to choose one idea, plan a bit, then work on it until it’s complete, but I am incapable of that, so start all of them. I can walk into most areas of my home and see evidence of something in progress on most days. It’s beyond annoying.
Let me begin with my kitchen as an example right now: There are four enormous artichokes sitting on the counter waiting to be roasted (which, since beginning this post, have been successfully roasted). I still have quite a few grapefruits and oranges my brother shared from his trees over a week ago, and yesterday, my sister-in-law gave me more oranges and some avocados. The preserved lemons I cured seven weeks ago are ready and waiting to be used — hopefully this weekend with the lamb shoulder chops I have in the freezer. We still have banana bread and banana caramel nut froyo to finish, but I’ll count that as two tasks completed since I was able to use all of the ripe bananas I had on the counter, in the fridge, and the freezer.
I have drapes begun for my office, but no curtain rod hung in readiness. My dining room drapes have needed hemming since I hung them long ago — in fact, so long ago that I’m considering different window treatments now. My son’s room is in decent shape since he’s away at school, but there are a couple of shelves in need of fixing. One is hanging precariously, and the other is leaning beneath it, still waiting to be hung. His bathroom is in a functional but bare bones state, ready for gutting so that it can be remodeled — and yes, I’m considering doing much of the work myself. Some day.
Our own bathroom is in need of remodeling, but hasn’t been started, our closet was prepared for a reorganization, and isn’t close to being finished, but happily, the patio behind our house is optimistically in progress.
You’re wondering what all of this is about considering this is a food blog. You stopped by for a recipe you might be interested in trying instead of reading about my unfinished projects. Yes, Sass & Veracity is a place where I’ve shared recipes with you for four years — but think about it. Fat-free opinions on a food centric life could encompass quite a bit more. And it should because as much as I can relate most things to food, there is certainly much more to life worth sharing, isn’t there? Absolutely.
I live in a beautiful place with temperate weather most of the year and love to cook and garden, so wouldn’t it make sense to have a pleasant place to eat outside? Not just when a special occasion is planned — any time. The French doors in my family room are open to the patio on most days, so it makes sense to have a place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, a good book, or eat a meal with my sweetie. I have to drag him out there, mind you, so part of the plan is to make the patio more attractive and welcoming. Perhaps he’ll wander out there by himself someday.
Therein lies Project #1 — Patio Renovation — which provides a beginning for an expansion of Sass & Veracity. Keep an eye on the tabs at the top of the page. I’ll feature seasonal recipes from the archives, projects I’m working on, and soon, field trips out and about in San Diego — something long overdue.
I’m not quite ready to share the progress on the patio, so instead I’ll let you know what I did with part of the old fence we tore down when the project began. If you’ve got a food blog and have wondered about props to shoot your food on — something weathered and old, then you might be interested.
I’ve begun to think about all that has happened in the past ten years since 2010 is looming in a matter of hours, but it’s more than I can grasp in the time it takes for me to write here. Instead, I’ve chosen to review 2009 by sifting through the latter portion of my iPhoto library’s 11,462 shot collection — the majority of which depict food. Most people take photos of their family, their vacations, and pets, and although I do that as well, I also take photos of our food. In fact I take so many photos, I often don’t post them. The reasons for not writing about these particular recipes vary from something as simple as bad lighting or photography, to the most annoying: not being able to remember the recipe.
I haven’t counted, but just a glance at this photo collection provides a good idea of the sheer number of recipes I sampled in 2009, and these are only my outtakes. When I scan them, I remember the time of year, the occasion — if one at all — and the often simple daily events that are our lives. In doing that over the time that it’s taken me to put this together, I’ve been reminded of all the ups and downs we’ve experienced. Some are quite tiny, and others far more challenging.
Time passes, and we move on, hopefully learning from all we’ve experienced — or not.
Happy New Year to you, from me.
I’m never out of garlic, and yet yesterday when I wondered about what would go in the potato leek soup we made for dinner, I found I had only the shriveled remnants of my normally plump reserve. There were no shallots, and I couldn’t find an onion, either. Cooking just isn’t the same for me without these flavors. I roast garlic and smear it on crostini, flavor oil with it to drizzle over roasted vegetables, saute it with almost everything, smash it and sprinkle on some sea salt to make a paste, mince it, cook whole heads in their papery skin, and wince when I find I’m out.
Have you had your garlic today?