Happy Sunday! I’m keeping this weekend reading post short and sweet, so that I can spend some time with a dear college friend who’s visiting from the west coast today. Here’s what I’ve been reading and gazing at this week.
I love pretty much everything about Emily’s cocoa hazelnut overnight oats with sweet cherries, but I’m particularly intrigued by the homemade cocoa hazelnut milk itself. I’ve made hazelnut milk in the past and really enjoyed the results, and I feel sure I’d love it with chocolate!
I can always count on Heidi for the most nourishing, hearty, and healing soup/stew recipes. Her latest creation is this beautiful, golden bowl of coconut yellow split pea soup. I sort of fell in love with yellow split peas this past year–they’re so versatile, not to mention cheap and nutritious–and this may have to be the next recipe that I try them in.
Do you have a garden or a local farmer’s market that’s teeming with zucchini? Then I suggest trying Aysegul’s delicious vegan zucchini and walnut bread. Can’t wait to bake a loaf (and then enjoy it, slice by slice, with coffee.)
So, I love the idea of Amanda’s savory green pea and buckwheat risotto. It’s a simple recipe, which I imagine allows the sweetness and verdant flavor of the peas to shine through.
For dessert, I’m totally smitten with Lindsay’s no bake salted caramel cups. I can’t resist the chocolate + sea salt combination, and I’m totally going to try them with a thicker version of my date caramel sauce.
1. First up, I found this profile of Merlin Sheldrake, a researcher in England who specializes in the relationship between trees and fungi, to be fascinating. Historically it has been thought that fungi pose a risk to trees, but Sheldrake is actually elucidating complex, symbiotic relationships in which fungi and trees aid each other. Taken together, networks of trees, plants, and the fungi that support their survival are being called the “Wood Wide Web.”
As I was reading the article, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the human microbiome! We often study biological organisms in isolation, but in so doing we fail to grasp the extent to which nature always creates, and resides in, webs of relationships.
2. Bon Appetit magazine recently dipped its toes into the world of vegan ice cream making, and it reported on its findings. Much of what’s said won’t come as a surprise to seasoned vegan ice cream makers, but it’s always cool to see coverage of a vegan cooking technique in mainstream culinary press!
3. An interesting profile of Daniel Kish, a blind man who uses echolocation (also employed by marine mammals) to see. Kish is advocating for wider use of the technique in the blind community, in spite of the fact that his methods are being greeted with ambivalence and controversy.
4. A physicist gives a raw, moving account of the challenges she’s faced not only as a woman in the sciences, but also as a Chinese immigrant who has pursued higher education in the US. Her brushes with sexism enraged me, and they may enrage you too, but her narrative is courageous and inspiring.
5. A friend of mine sent me Jamie Varon’s smart, sensitive, and deeply wise meditation on the feeling of “falling behind,” and it resonated immediately.
Yes, the essay is about fear of falling behind, that insidious and nagging sensation that tells us to do more, produce more, move up, move faster. But it’s a deceptively complex piece of writing, I think, and there’s more here than the title suggests. What Varon is really getting at is the suggestion that life can only be lived in the present:
You are as you are until you’re not.
It is the truest of statements, and it’s one that I wrestle with every single day. I’ve hardly been liberated from my tendencies toward grasping and control, but in the past few months I’ve taken tiny, gradual steps toward what my friend called “giving myself permission to just be.” It has been a fascinating and difficult process, and there’s so much more to say about it, but I don’t have anything to say this evening that Varon’s article doesn’t say perfectly already.
On that note, friends, I wish you a great evening.
My current DI placement is at a nursing home that offers both long- and short-term care. I’m learning a lot about what and how people eat when they’re recovering from surgeries or in the process of rehabilitation. And I’m gaining a better understanding of food choices and habits toward the end of life. Not surprisingly, much of what people ask for are simple, familiar, and comforting foods. This echoes an insight that struck me when I read Being Mortal a year or so…
It is blazing hot here in New York City. Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to keep cool and stay indoors, and I’ve been bemoaning the humidity. Still, there’s a part of me that is enjoying the languor and the torpor of summer. I have been slowing down this summer, a lot. Walking slowly, working slowly, writing slowly–even cooking more slowly and methodically than usual. It’s a choice. For the last year, my pace of life has been too frenzied. I’ve constructed a convenient narrative in which…
Happy Mother’s Day, friends! If you’re celebrating a special caretaker in your life, then I wish you a lovely time. I came to NYC for the night so that I could take my Mama out to dinner, and I’ll be headed back to DC in the morning. It was a weekend of summery weather and fun in the District, thanks mostly to the annual Sweetlife festival, an all day music+food event in Maryland hosted by the same wonderful people who created SweetGreen salad….
I can’t believe it’s already June—it seems as though last August was only yesterday, and I was staring down the long road of the dietetic internship. Everyone assured me that the year would fly by, and in the aggregate it has, though some of the rotations have felt endless. My current rotation is one of those, which makes the DI finish line of late July feel farther away than it is. The only way out is through, so until this rotation is behind…