20 July 2013

Simple Pairings

Every Wednesday, Katchkie Farms (a community-supported agriculture farm run from a 60-acre organic farm in Kinderhook, N.Y.) delivers our office CSA group a range of fresh produce. Tomatoes, basil, kale, scallions, cucumbers, and some crazy kohlrabi.

Channing and I have been using this as a way to simplify our diets. A less intensive effort and more raw natural ingredients basically gives us more time for dinner on the terrace. The best is when pieces of our meals are simple and only require two ingredients. We’ve been stealing that idea from a series of articles we saw in Fantastic Man (good magazine layout, decent articles, ridiculous title) about simple pairings. A few of my favorites:

Watermelon and Sea Salt. I’m always surprised when people have never heard of this. Sea salt adds a perfect balance to the sweetness of a ripe watermelon.

Cut up cucumber slices or soldiers for dipping into honey. The water from the cucumber does wonders at creating a simple syrup from the honey.

Tomato and mint are a summer version on our basil routine. Cut tomatoes, mint, plus olive oil and lemon zest and you’ve got a good salad going.

Strawberries and black pepper. Hesitant to try this at first, if only because why mess with a strawberry? But crushed black pepper adds a subtle warmth to the berries.

Watermellon and Salt

Fantastic Man - Cucumber and Honey

Fantastic Man - Tomato and Mint

Fantastic Man - Strawberries and Pepper

Side note: Why do a workplace CSA? It has been a much easier way for us to keep eating healthy despite our workload. Every Wednesday, we gather in the office kitchen for 10-15 minutes and pick up “groceries.” It’s nice being able to eat fresh, in season, organic produce from a local farm delivered directly to me. And…low carbon footprint to our food supply, healthy food, supporting local business and encouraging their growth. The limitations of in-season, delivered produce have also forced our creativity in the kitchen. How many ways can I cook kale? And, I didn’t end up taking it home with me, but I had never heard of kohlrabi before.

28 June 2013

Thirty Three Things

I am 33 years old, hitting the “middle third” of my life. Others have pondered the questions of how to live – the “Good Book” and shelves full of self-improvement books are proof.

Below are my personal observations and collected quotes or maxims (Mary Schmich, JP Barlow, Ehrmann, etc) that reflect my current viewpoint on how to live.

  1. Do what you love, and do it often.
  2. Everyday, ask yourself, “What did you learn today?”
  3. Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.
  4. If you can do it now, do it now.
  5. Happiness is a choice, not the result of how life treats you.
  6. Be patient. No matter what.
  7. Assign responsibility, not blame.
  8. Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults.
  9. Say nothing of another that you wouldn’t say to his face.
  10. Almost anything is possible.
  11. It’s not as bad as it seems, but it’s not as good as it seems.
  12. Don’t ask more of others than you can deliver yourself.
  13. Tolerate ambiguity.
  14. Laugh at yourself frequently.
  15. Concern yourself with what is right rather than who is right.
  16. Never lie to anyone for any reason.
  17. Learn the needs of those around you and respect them.
  18. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.
  19. Reduce your use of “I”
  20. Don’t keep score. The key to success is having both partners try to give more than they get out of the relationship.
  21. Remember that your life belongs to others as well. Don’t risk it frivolously.
  22. Admit your errors freely and quickly.
  23. Remember that love forgives everything.
  24. Understand humility.
  25. “You shouldn’t wear cashmere until you can pay for it yourself.”
  26. ‘Live well’ within your means / Live ‘well within’ your means
  27. Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.
  28. Don’t trouble yourself with matters you truly cannot change.
  29. Don’t waste your time worrying about getting old.
  30. Do what you can with your twenties. And, at thirty, try a little harder.
  31. Il faut choisir: vivre ou raconter – Between living one’s life or narrating it, you can only choose one.
  32. Be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations. In the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
  33. Isiah 40:31

20 June 2013

Please Turn Off Your Cell Phone

One would think that with the density and close proximity that we deal with in the city everyday, we would savor those moments in elevators and cabs as moments of silence and try to create an element of mannered privacy. But it seems to be the opposite. Due to the anonymity that the city creates for us, we end up carrying on with our most private conversations and details in the most dense and public places.

All in an effort to annoy me.

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