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.
I don’t have many photos of myself. If you were to enter my apartment, you’d find a few framed pictures of my mom and one of me at age eight or nine, all pigtails and missing front teeth, smiling directly to the camera. I love the lack of inhibition in the photo, the sweet confidence. I hang onto the image as a reminder that as a child, I was unashamed of being seen. I came into life with this quality, and it’s always there, no matter…
My voice is hoarse from singing, and lots of it. I was at a kirtan last night at my yoga studio, basking in that awesome community and the friendships I’ve made within it. The kirtan featured mash ups of Vedic chants and contemporary songs: the Beatles, Magnetic Fields, Madonna. The kirtan purist in me was a little affronted when I heard that the program would work this way, but I’m glad that I kept an open mind. It was wonderful. Kirtan and yoga:…
I brought a lot of food writing with me to Prague, including Julia Child’s My Life in France, Molly Wizenburg’s A Homemade Life, and Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking, which I’ve read plenty of times, but could probably revisit indefinitely. I also read Jenni Ferrari-Adler’s essay collection Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, which is a compilation of reflections on cooking for oneself. I’d read excerpts from the book a long time ago, and I was excited to revisit it in the context…
In the week since I wrote about heartache here on the blog, a lot of kind people have taken the time to share their own stories with me or simply offer up goodwill. One longtime reader directed me to this address about learning the healer’s art. It’s written from a religious perspective, but I think it touches on truths about the healing process that are universal, and I wanted to share from it today. The speaker, Elaine S. Marshall, was dean of the BYU College of Nursing. I’m not surprised…