How to Have an Excellent Saturday

Begin with a delicious breakfast sandwich crafted by your spouse:

Yes, that is egg and bacon and avocado…

Continue with an afternoon wandering through Indie Arts & Vintage Marketplace:

   

Get a manicure at Nifty Nails in Nora for 30% off:

Eat dinner at India Garden:

This is not an actual picture of my food. I was too busy stuffing my face to take an actual photo.

Finish evening with delicious drinks at Dormon St. Saloon:

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Winter Fruits

It is true that to many winter means cookies, pies breads and stews. I love all of these things but I also love fruit and to me, winter means that there are fruits showing up in the grocery store that I don’t normally see during the rest of the year.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia. 

Grapefruit is delicious and with winter comes fresh produce from Florida. I love grapefruit in the morning. Delicious.

Photo courtesy of http://www.abetterbagofgroceries.com

Clementines are dangerous. They are sweet. They are small and at 34 calories per fruit you can go through a bag in about two days (I’m not saying I’ve ever done this…)

Photo courtesy of http://www.amoils.com

I discovered pomegranates* last winter. Honestly, I don’t know how it took me so long to try pomegranates. They are delicious and also a little bit messy, so if you slice into one, make sure to have plenty of paper towels handy.

Photo courtesy of Wikpedia.

What would Christmas be without oranges? Oranges remind me of the holidays because my grandparents always sent big boxes of citrus from Florida.

*It is worth noting that with pomegranates, you only eat the seeds.

Consider the Lobster

I like good food and I had some fantastic food last Tuesday for dinner. RJ and I decided that for Valentine’s Day we would cook dinner, so when a deal came up from Goose The Market, we were sold. Goose The Market is a local gourmet grocery store here in Indy and it is awesome.

Inside of Goose the Market. Photo courtesy of The Butler Collegian

If you have not visited Goose it is located at 2503 N. Delaware Street. You should go and eat lunch there (get the Batali sandwich) and then you should eat some of their made from scratch gelato. You can also check out the Enoteca and drink some wine while enjoying some delicious snacks.

Enoteca. Photo courtesy of Goose The Market.

Anyway. Back to our dinner. The deal that Goose was running was $75 for

  • Fischer Farms dry-aged 16oz boneless ribeye
  • 1 whole live lobster  (1.5 – 2 lbs each) ready for the pot
  • 2 servings housemade orange zest & cardamom bread pudding ready to heat & serve
  • 1 bottle Cercius Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010 (85% Grenache, 15% Syrah; 93 pts, Robert Parker)

RJ went and picked the food up from Goose and in the process apparently formed some sort of bond with the lobster who was shuffling around, alive, in a plastic bag in the back of his car. He named him Pete.

Pete

 Now I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the essay by David Foster Wallace entitled Consider the Lobster, but both RJ and I have read it and it raised some brief concerns about dumping poor old Pete into a vat of boiling water. However, our reservations were short lived and we were hungry, so Pete went into the pot.

Pete. Cooked. 

During the cooking process, I uncorked the wine. It was really good wine, evidenced by the fact that we drank the entire bottle.

Delicious.

Finally our dinner was ready and it was worth the wait. I would personally like to thank Goose The Market for supplying one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten.

A List to Sum Up the Past Two Weeks…

Took a break from blogging to manage a busy week or two. During those weeks the following events occurred (not in chronological order):

1. Our dog, Kweli, suffered some terrible dog plague and proceeded to throw up everywhere. Everywhere includes a pile of old sweaters in R’s closet that thankfully “were going to be donated anyway.”

2. Binoculars were purchased so I could watch the birds at my bird feeder.

3. I bought my wedding dress.

4. I became newly aware that eye glass frames are incredibly expensive.

5. I discovered that my Kindle cover caused my Kindle to reset all the time. The answer? A new Kindle cover with a reading light.

6. Elizabeth Bishop had a birthday.

7. I am going to Seattle in April for a conference.

8. My sister visited. She’s awesome.

9. I learned I am teaching all online classes this summer.

10. I went mini golfing with my colleagues in Liberal Arts & Sciences.

11. I went to a talk given by a survivor of one of the death camps in the Congo.

12. I ate the most amazing brunch ever at Zest & then drew all over the tables (see pics below).

13. I had a fun book club meeting where we discussed Murder on the Orient Express.

14. I attended a performance by my community college’s chapter of the Odeon Society.

15. I chatted with my best friend who I don’t talk to nearly enough.

16. I bought Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker.

17. I got my taxes done and almost had a heart attack when the accountant thought I owed $5000. Thankfully, she was wrong.

18. We began the registering process at Crate & Barrel.

19. I ran almost three miles at 5.3 on the treadmill.

20. I sent out more poetry submissions.

21. RJ and I celebrated Valentines Day with a trip to Santorini and Best Chocolate in Town.


Baking, bouquets, and the beginning of term…

This week marked the beginning of the summer semester at school. I am teaching four courses this semester but only two of them meet face to face, the other two are online. This allows me to only have class twice a week, which is a welcome change from last summer when I was teaching six hours a day four days a week.

So far my students seem friendly and energetic. My classes have already shrunk from their original twenty two. There are always students who don’t show the first week, but for the most part everyone seems to be on target, so let’s hope it stays that way.

I am teaching a section of creative writing online this semester, so I’m sure I’ll be posting on that as the semester goes on. I’ve never taught the course online before, so it should be interesting.
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RJ and I pledged money to out local PBS/NPR affiliate this year. We watch PBS regularly and all I listen to in the car is NPR, so it’s a cause I don’t mind supporting. Our gift for our pledge was the cookbook All Cakes Considered, and I think it’s going to successfully make me a baking addict. I already love to cook and now that it’s summer and we’re getting our regular CSA box, I’m back to cooking with fresh produce, which is awesome. I’ve made two cakes so far out of this cookbook. Last night RJ casually dropped the hint “when are you going to make another cake?” The result was the chocolate pound cake shown below:

I’m going to slowly make my way through the cookbook, so I’m sure more pictures will soon follow.

I also made almond crusted talapia last week and made a fresh salad with our CSA bounty.

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The rejection letters from my last round of submissions are coming in, so it’s time to get going on the next round. I’ve put that on the agenda for next week. I always dedicate the first week back at school to school because there is usually little time for anything else. However, next week it’s back to the submissions and the regular writing.

I’ve also finished two books in the past couple of weeks, The Historian and Love in The Time of Cholera. I’ll post more about these books later, but I enjoyed both of them immensely and I hope to keep up my momentum with my reading throughout the summer.

Summer

It has been in the high 80’s for the past week or so. We finally relented and turned on our air conditioning. Our CSA is beginning this Tuesday and I go back to teach a week from Monday. Summer is here. I have a few projects planned for the summer, some writing related. I’ve written a few poems over the break, and I hope to keep going with that same momentum. I’ve started receiving rejection letters from the latest round of submissions, so it’s time for more to go out.

I’ve been cooking and eagerly awaiting for our CSA to start. Below are some pictures of what I made for dinner last night. It’s a variation on Spanakopita.


In gardening news, I out my tomato and pepper plants outside to toughen them up. I’ve also discovered that I have Day Lilies and Asian Lilies in my backyard. They’re beautiful, even though my dog, Kweli, has stomped over them a few times in his enthusiasm to chase squirrels. They’re also apparently very resilient.

Rainy Days

While I believe that rainy days are good for my garden, I would like to see some sun in the next day or two. I went out for a walk with Kweli yesterday morning as a sort of protest. I wanted to start a walking regimen and I’d be damned if the weather was going to screw it up. We had a nice walk but by the time we returned my sneakers were soaked through and Kwe was shaking his head to get the water out of his ears.

Yesterday I went to the store and then came home and cooked. Below are the fruits of my labor:


These are power spheres. They’re made up of dried apricots, dried apples, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, peanut butter, and apple juice. They’re delicious, easy to make, and a great snack.


This is honey wheat banana bread. Courtesy of my beloved bread machine. This particular bread is great with lemon curd or nutella.

This is sun dried tomato hummus. It occurred to me the other day as I bought hummus at the grocery store, that I had a perfectly good Cuisinart at home and that garbanzo beans cost about 88 cents…

After I returned from my conference on Sunday morning, RJ and I went to the Broad Ripple Art Fair. We purchased a piece of student artwork pictured below:


It is by a local artist by the name of Lisa VanMeter and this is the blurb she attached to the painting:

This is a multi-color woodblock print from a single block. The colors were printed in the reduction method on Mulberry paper.

We’re going to hang it in our kitchen where we have some empty wall space. I would like to continue adding the art of local artists to our walls as we continue to put our home together.

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Another benefit to rainy days is that I don’t feel guilty about getting completely caught up in a book. I received Mary Karr’s memoir Lit for Christmas this year and it has been sitting on my coffee table since January. Today I read all three hundred plus pages of it in one sitting. I read Karr’s Cherry and the Liar’s Club and it was her writing that sparked my interest in non-fiction. She came to Butler a few years ago to read from her poetry collection “Sinner’s Welcome” and I got a chance to listen to her read her work.

Her memoir Lit is essentially about her journey into and out of madness. It’s a provocative and haunting read and I’ll have more to say about in a few days when I’ve digested it all…

Spring

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, RJ and I made corned beef and cabbage. It was delicious.

It appears that spring has come to Indiana. It has been in the upper 50’s and sunny all week. When I went out into the yard this afternoon to throw Kweli some ball, this is what I found: