Weekend Reading
August 6, 2023

I’ve been back from traveling for a week now, and I’m easing back into things. I had a lovely holiday.

I told myself I’d work a bit on this trip, but as soon as I left New York, I decided not to.

Nothing, I realized, was so terribly important that it couldn’t be dealt with in two weeks’ time.

In the words of a former boss of mine, “the lives of children do not hang in the balance.”

I shared some photos on Instagram stories while I was gone, but what I posted was only a fraction of what I did, saw, or ate. I wasn’t focused on documenting my experience.

When I was with other folks, I wanted to enjoy the time with them. When I was alone, I wanted to enjoy time with myself.

After I arrived home, a few people asked me if I was at all happy or relieved to return to my routines, my kitchen, or my bed.

The answer was no.

At another time in my life, when I was more attached to habit and consistency, I might have said yes.

This time I’d have stayed away as long as I could.

When I got back into the groove with work this week, it felt like the right and necessary thing to do, but it didn’t feel as if I’d been reunited with my identity.

Increasingly, I can feel my sense of self becoming uncoupled from what I do.

I have greater need for separation between work and life, personal and professional, private and public. I need periodic time off, and I don’t only mean that literally.

In the past, I’ve puzzled over how to put more psychic boundaries in place; lately, it seems to be happening naturally.

When I was in France, traveling alone, a number of people asked me what the purpose of my solo travel was.

I’d smile and say simply, “I’m on vacation.”

It probably didn’t sound like a profound response, but it was. For me, it was.

Happy Sunday, friends. Here are some recipes and reads.

Recipes

Now this is a baguette that I might actually be able to make at home.

Friends of mine made a variation of this tomato salad the other night, and it was great. Simple and great.

If you need a delicious way to use your summer zucchini and yellow squash, Eva’s gratin is it.

These crisp avocado and cucumber tostadas are a perfect August snack.

I love WoonHeng’s eggplant-based vegan unagi.

Reads

1. Goal for the last quarter of 2023: stop multitasking. Really.

2. A beautiful reflection on the power of poetry during life’s periods of loss.

3. Matthew Medendorp has written a pretty remarkable ode to the complexity of the humble onion.

4. Microwaving veggies is perfectly fine—and here are some tips on how best to do it.

5. The popsicle is a state of mind! Love it. What’s your perfect popsicle?

Re: multitasking and doing less of it, I’ve caught up one task at a time this past week.

My goal is to continue in this way—deliberate, unfrenzied—in the week ahead.

One task I’d love to make good on is to a share a new recipe.

To be continued, then—and happy August in the meantime.

xo

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  1. I’m so glad you had a great trip I look forward to these emails every Sunday night I’m a longtime reader have a few of your cookbooks and I love reading your Sunday messages and cooking your recipes thanks for sharing your life with us.

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