Category Archives: Miscellany

You win some, you lose some

To be perfectly honest, friends, I flubbed this whole blog thing a bit the past couple of weeks. Work has been extremely busy and all of my creative pursuits (including this one) have gone by the wayside.

I was going to try to pull the wool over your eyes by sharing a lovely rhubarb compote that I whipped up before the rest of the stuff hit the fan, but it turns out I’ve lost my notes on the recipe. So, I can’t even do that. Ah well, I guess you win some, you lose some.

The compote was based on this recipe, which is an old stand-by for me during rhubarb season, but it was slightly less sweet and made with local Meadowfoam Honey. Just look at how delightful it is:

finished compote

I am still very glad I made it because it has been my constant breakfast companion during this hectic time. You can spread it on toast or dollop it onto oatmeal and Voilà! A plain breakfast suddenly feels special and ever-so-spring-like. Maybe I’ll give it another go, now that things have calmed down, and share it with you then.

In the meantime, I highly recommend whipping up your own version if you get your hands on some rhubarb. The original recipe is quite simple and easily adaptable. It mixes well with berries (fresh or frozen), it takes kindly to the addition of chia seeds, and you can use almost any sweetener you have on hand. I even grated a Granny Smith apple into it one time because I was low on sugar and honey. Now that’s my kind of recipe.

So…what else do you want to talk about?

How about the cherries that I was absolutely delighted to find sprouting this week on the tree in our backyard? The thing with this cherry tree is that we knew when we moved in that it was a cherry tree, but we didn’t think it was going to bear fruit this year (or for a long time) because of the way it was pruned by the owner. Blah, blah, blah, long story, but lookit!

cherries

Those are cherries in the making, my friend, and there are lots of them. I’m so excited! Now, I’ve been warned about the havoc that birds can wreak on a producing fruit tree, and I have already begun planning evasive maneuvers (that will not hurt any birds!) So, assuming that goes well and we have cherries in the next month or so, I’ve also begun gathering cherry recipes.

Cherries are generally a fruit I enjoy raw because they are a) delicious raw, b) SO expensive I never want to buy enough for a recipe, and c) a pain in the butt to pit. If I have enough free cherries to eat raw and cook into to tasty treats though, you better believe I will do just that. Here are some of the recipes I have my eye on:

Do you have any other ideas for me? I’m all ears! And I promise to keep you posted on the results. Maybe I’ll even get it together enough to share an actual recipe on this very blog. Go figure!

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Filed under Food, Miscellany, Odds & Ends

Have friendship, will travel

I traveled east last week, clear across the country to Raleigh, North Carolina. If you know me, or have read this post, you know I hate to fly. This time though, I packed up my things, gulped my Xanax, and boarded my planes happily because I was going to see a dear friend. We met during that chaotic, miserable, ignorantly blissful time known as our early twenties, and I couldn’t be more grateful that ten years later she still puts up with me.

Six months ago, she and her lovely husband welcomed an extremely adorable baby boy to the world, and I had of course been dying to meet him. You could imagine then, how excited I was when the dates for my trip were finally set.

It didn’t take long to dawn on me, however, that if I was going to see them in person I really should finish that baby blanket I started knitting not long after my friend told me she was pregnant… (In case anyone’s counting, yes, that would have been about a year ago!) So, that’s what I did during most of the free time I had leading up to the trip.

baby blanket

The blanket was a success. It came out at once nubby and soft, and looked charmingly homemade, but not embarrassingly so. My blog post writing during this time was not as much a success, in that it was non-existent. This is why I am talking to you about friendship and nubby baby blankets right now instead of food or books.

I know I can count on you to forgive me though. That’s what friends do after all.

I did read a lot on my trip, so I promise to be back soon with a review or two of food-related books I think you’ll enjoy. In the meantime, get in touch with a good friend – in the words of my ever-wise friend Jessica, it’s good for the spirit.

flying above the clouds

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Life happened

Um…hi! That was a longer break than I planned. As I weighed how to return to posting here after so (so!) long, I hemmed and hawed and considered not picking it up again at all. I found that idea made me really sad though.

So here I am.

Since we last talked life happened in a serious way. I graduated from grad school in June.

grad diploma

W00t!

I was super fortunate and got a job right away. Before the summer was over we (me, boyfriend, and pets) moved to Oregon for said job.

pretty oregon

And I am now a real, live librarian!

librarian

It is still a little surreal that I pulled this career-and-major-life-change off, but I am happy I did. We are settling into our new life in Oregon, grateful to still be in the lovely Pacific Northwest, exploring the area, trying to make friends and become a part of the community.

As part of that settling and expanding into this new life, I’ve been working on becoming a human again with interests and pastimes and things I do outside of work that don’t involve studying (imagine it!). And that’s when I got to missing this space. I missed the creative outlet it provided me, the sense of community I felt with you who read the stories I had to tell, not to mention the excuse to cook up delicious things, read delicious books, and then talk about them.

So, I will be doing that again and I will be honored if you are still interested in reading.

See you here in just a few days when I will tell you about a wonderful book I’m almost done reading…

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Coming up for air…and taking a break

Well hello there. As you may have guessed, I got sucked back into the undertow of grad school and thus had to desert this space for a while.

Since we last talked, I made it through yet another insanely busy quarter (just two more left!) and then promptly went on vacation to Hawaii. It was glorious (the vacation, that is).

post 30 pic 1

After Hawaii we celebrated the holidays quietly, here at home in Seattle. It was just the two of us and our pet family.

post 30 pic 2

And of course I cooked. And baked. And then cooked some more – making up for the kitchen-time deprivation of the months while school was in session. We had a delicious vegetarian Christmas dinner. I made my first soufflé (and it worked!) For dessert, a rich and intense old-fashioned Gingerbread Cake that we ate off of for the better part of a week.

post 30 pic 3

I made Christmas cookies, Sweet Potato Cornmeal Bread, and also various soups and stews to nourish and balance us in between and after the big meals. Our celebrations continued into last week too, with David’s birthday on Friday. I even had the time to make him a cake – yellow buttermilk cake with fudge frosting.

post 30 pic 4

It has been lovely. And delicious.

It has also been a time for reflection. When I first came up for air in early December, after classes were over but before we left on our trip, I realized a couple things.

The 1-year anniversary of BookLoverCook came and went while I was absent. This realization was bittersweet. On the one hand it is an exciting milestone to reach, but on the other hand it came with the recognition that I have not been able to devote the necessary time to make this blog what I hoped it would be when I started out over a year ago. Of course, that itself is not entirely a bad thing since the time has been wholly devoted to something else very important to me – my future career as a librarian.

Thus, the second realization: until I am done with grad school, I need to set this blog aside. I was able to (mostly) keep up with it last year, but this second year of my program is simply too demanding to allow me time for blogging. This has meant that over the past few months BookLoverCook has turned into just one more thing for me to stress out about, and to feel guilty about since I wasn’t posting. More stress is something I do not need – grad school is stressful enough! So, I have to give myself permission to take a break.

I promise that I will be back. I love this blog, and am very grateful that you have taken the time to read – and eat – along with me.

Take care! ♥

post 30 pic 5

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