1. My friends Clint and Harley have started a podcast, The Rthm, where they discuss all things music. They both are passionate about music and have great taste. Give them a listen! You won’t regret it. Listen to them each week on SoundCloud, here.
2. So…the Oscars…how crazy was that? I’m curious, who has watched some of the films that were either nominated or won? I’m waaaay out of the current film loop. Let me know if there is anything I missed that deserves a watch.
3. Oliver got out of bed the other night. Theo and Beatrice were sleeping and Mike was working so I took the opportunity to snuggle with him on the sofa. This kid. He is so cuddly. And ornery. And so, so sweet. I just started talking to him as he settled into the crook of my arms, and at one point I said, “You are such a good boy.” Without missing a beat he said, “You are such a good goil, mommy.” (Goil = girl, pronounced like the goyle in gargoyle, lol). I die.
4. Homeschooling continues to be an ever evolving experiment full of both fun and failure (which is to be expected). I was talking to a wise momma who successfully home schooled her now three adult children and was sharing my struggles of maintaining a schedule with sick kids. She smiled and kindly reminded me that part of the freedom of homeschooling is that I get to be flexible. “Take a break,” she said. “Pick it back up when everyone is feeling better.”
Her words were such an important reminder to me. Duh! Yes! I have the freedom to do what I need to do here. That is why we are homeschooling!
It’s kind of like the saying: If you find yourself in the wrong story, leave.
It’s so easy to get in a routine and just put our nose to the grind and go, never stopping to question if perhaps we aren’t contributing to some of the hard things in our life. Some things are out of our control, absolutely. But SO many other things are completely within our ability to change or chuck out all together. Change may not be easy, but if what you are doing isn’t working for you, the work it would require to change IS SO WORTH IT.
We have more freedom to make those tweaks to our life than we tend to admit. Probably because using that freedom and maintaing that freedom takes work and/or sacrifice. All this to say, sometimes the pressure you are feeling is coming from no one but yourself. At least, I find that to be the case 90% of the time. So cut yourself some slack and just go do what you need to do to make your situation better.
5. I finished the book, Eight Flavors, The Untold Story of American Cuisine, last night. It was such a fun read (but terrible to read late at night – it made me so hungry!). I loved learning the historical and cultural stories that surrounded these eight flavors. I think it’s important to take the time every now and then to pause and think beyond the act of consumption. Things come from somewhere. They are produced by someone. And they are a part of our society for some reason. I love learning the story behind the things.
It seemed incredibly profound to me that America’s eight flavors – the ones we consume in mass and inform our culinary story – are incredibly ethnic. As I’ve been reading this book and sharing a few notable tidbits with people, they always inevitable ask what the eight flavors are. Their next response is usually along the lines of, “But those aren’t American, they are Asian/Spanish/Italian, etc.”
But really, aren’t we all those things? What is America, if not a land of many people, from vastly different lands, with a family heritage as diverse as our eating habits? Sarah Lohman says it best in her chapter on Siriracha, one of my favorite stories (and flavors) of the eight:
The story of Siriracha is a quintessentially American story. Our food is a mash-up of people and influences from all over the plant.
I don’t want to ruin the story in case you pick up this book, but the Siriracha story is incredibly inspiring, touching, and timely. We live in a land where people have come when their own land was no longer safe or prosperous, and they come to contribute. This is most evident in our beautifully blended, multi cultural, “American” cuisine. It’s vast. It’s vibrant. And it’s delicious.
Just some food for thought for your Friday.
Bon appétit, dumplings!