Twelve Days of Giftsmas: 8 Maids A-Milking


After the maids (well, the maids and the lads, to be egalitarian) did their milking, the fine people at Cowgirl Creamery took the milk and made it into cheese. If you live within spitting distance of a major city or a fancy grocery store, you have some artisan cheese available to you.  Put together a nice basket for someone you want to please.  If nothing else, they can feast on cheese and crackers in the week after the glut of heavy holiday eating.


Twelve Days of Giftsmas: 3 French Hens


A hen it isn’t, but the folks you’re cooking for won’t care when they taste your famous roast chicken.  You aren’t famous for roast chicken, you say?  Well, trust me, you will be.  It’s a simple, wonderful thing to make that, while it takes a bit of care, is really quite easy to do, if you have the time and the gumption.

All the Foods

Today, at a business lunch (which sounds much fancier than it was – we were five ladies at a pub!) I ordered a side of greens with my sandwich, instead of fries.  Everyone looked at me with a combination of guilt and bewilderment.  Now, look, I can’t tell what people are actually thinking, but given that people remarked on it right after as something strange, but also good, I think they were kind of thinking I’m a little odd.  Also, I will say, I am (*gasp!*) about five pounds over what I consider to be my “ideal” weight.  Part of this can be attributed to the fact that I have been gaining some muscle from a new strength training routine I’ve been doing for the past couple months, but I also know that I’ve been eating more than usual the last couple months as well.  I’m doing better!  I’ve largely stopped eating out at sit-down restaurants and, when I don’t take my lunch to work, I try to get salads so at least I’m not cramming burritos in my gaping maw.  I also have, largely, quit drinking beer.  I have had 2 beers since Labor Day, 2!  And 1 mixed drink.  I’m big on the grain, but the grape has been treating me quite well, so I’m sticking to it for now.  BUT, I will say that until today I had been doing somewhat badly on the “quantity” end of the spectrum.  Frankly, I got into an odd pattern where I was eating too much.  That is my curse, I love food, and so want to eat a lot of it, even if it’s good stuff like veg. and lowfat yogurt and beans.

This brings me back around to the side o’ greens today.  I had a salad for lunch yesterday, and some stir fry for dinner, so I’m beginning to be back on the right track.  I didn’t want to derail with fatty ol’ french fries (especially because I’d fallen victim to that weakness on Tuesday), and, frankly, I actually really like salad a whole lot.  This is why I’m kind of puzzled by why everyone got so weirded out by me ordering some.  Yes, french fries are good and, yes, I LOVE them way too much, but so is spinach, and so do I love spinach.  And broccoli, carrots, celery, beans, onion, water chestnuts, and all the other good yummy vegetables.  Just keep your cauliflower and squashes away from me… Maybe they just felt guilty over the choice they made in that moment, and turned it back around on me, but I still sincerely don’t understand why people still thinking choosing a vegetable over anything else is a strange choice to make.

I was a heavy kid because I hated vegetables and loved carbs, and no one tried to restrict me eating the latter or force me to eat the former.  When I got to college my palate exploded, and suddenly I was eating everything, including greens, beans, and other fun stuff that grows from the soil.  What I learned in the dining halls was this: I LOVED FOOD.  Not ALL of it (aforementioned squashes, cauliflower, mushrooms, and some greens – I can’t get into collards, man), but suddenly a TON of things were on the table that weren’t before.  Brussels sprouts. Canellini beans. Tomatoes. Red cabbage.  Arugula. Kale.  I suddenly felt like I could eat whatever I wanted and not feel that terrible about my body and my food choices, since I was choosing vegetables fairly regularly.  Also, I had a MUCH better metabolism back then, so there was a lot more Chinese food and pizza floating around than there is now.  Since then, it has almost never been that I’m eating too many bad things (except for when I was dating my ex, who often refused to touch a vegetable in my presence, but claimed to shove them in his face when he was at home), but that I’m eating too much to begin with.

Anyway, after my week plus a few days of falling off the good eating wagon a bit, I was feeling guilty about my choices.  When I do that, my strategy is to a) go over what I’ve been eating for the past few days, to see if my choices really have been all that bad, and b) do differently going forward.  I’m not going to tell you I’m going to not eat pizza this weekend, because that opportunity might arise, and I try not to look a gift pizza in the crust (too much?).  But, I am going to make some bean burgers with arugula tomorrow, eat some whole wheat toast for  breakfast, and go to the gym.  So, now, really, I don’t feel as bad, knowing that I can change the amount of stuff I’m putting in my body at any time (within reason, obviously), and that what I have been putting in there thus far won’t kill me.   I’ve been struggling with weight gain and food issues since I was a kid but being able to think in these ways, and not just get emotional when I think about the two cinnamon buns I ate Tuesday night (my dear friend made them for my D & D group! And it was amazing! And I felt a little terrible!), feels like some progress.  But, I’m still going to do an hour of cardio at the gym tomorrow.

The Glories of Fall: One

Fall is my favorite season, so I’m going to indulge in some posts about it for the next couple of months.

I forgot, in the summer months, just how good tea feels, not only in the throat and stomach, but in the brain.  Coffee – especially iced coffee, which I’m devoted to – is satisfying on a very quick and dirty level: you get a jolt to the skull and gut, it’s earthy and refreshing.  I’ve way cut down my consumption in the last couple of years, but I’ll never quit coffee all together.

But tea. Tea. I feel roughly the same way about tea as I feel about wine.  If coffee and beer go to your body, which is does for me, then tea and wine go to your head.  I’m more in touch with my mind than my body, though they arguably need the same amount of regular soothing, so I can’t say I mind when the weather starts to get cold (mid-40s in Somerville during rush hour this morning) and I switch from cold drinks to warm.

Here’s what I’m drinking right now:

1. Organic decaf green tea with lemon & ginger + a little honey (just a local grocery store chain’s brand)

2. Bigelow Green Tea Chai

3. Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Chai Sampler: Hazelnut, Chocolate, Caramel, and

Also, if you’re in the mood for a snack with your tea, I made these recently for a friend’s birthday.  They’re stellar!


PS. I’ve got one more Sherlock post in my, about The Hounds of Baskerville. The recent addition of the second series to Netflix instant will mean this probably happens sooner rather than later, but as I’ve been working on some horribly intractable poetry lately, it still might be another weak before I can sit down to have a rewatch and organize my thoughts.  I will say, spoilers, that it’s my favorite episode of both series thus far.

What’s Goin’ On

List Time – GO!

1. I went to New York City 2 weeks back, and I think I’m in love with Brooklyn now.  It really reminded me of Cambridge/Somerville with the mix of ethnic backgrounds, tax brackets, restaurants/bars, trees, parks, and just general vibe. If I was going to move to New York, I’d move there in a hot minute.

2. Related – I got to meet one of my favorite bloggers, Amber from The Amber Show! We had brunch at Dizzy’s, I got to meet her wiggly, adorable dogs, and she took my picture.  A picture that actually looks good, see?   This woman knows how to treat a random internet visitor right, y’all.

3. I’ve seen The Avengers twice since it came out. I think I have a problem.  I know what I’m getting for Christmas.

4. Books books books books. Check out my reading list, yo, it’s been updated a couple times.  Pick up the Hyperion series, by Dan Simmons, by the way.

5. All systems are just about go for new apartment launch.  I don’t want to say much more, since the details are just nitty gritty and boring, but it’s been a full-time job the last two weeks trying to get all those little loose ends tied up.  But, I can’t wait to get into the new place, get all my furniture placed, sleep on my new bed, and take some pictures.  I moved around so much when I was a kid, and, hell, since I’ve been an adult, that it always feels good to make even a move down the block.  I’m going to be bunking with some old old friends, and am so excited.  I’d move tomorrow, if I could.

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