Weekend Reading, 9.15.19
September 15, 2019

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

I’ve been on an academic calendar for so long that September always feels like the start of a new year, whether it is or isn’t. I guess a traditional view of the seasons would be that spring is a time of rebirth, winter and fall a time of death, or endings, but I can’t help but associate these autumnal months (my favorites of the calendar year) with fresh starts.

I don’t have much to say today except that I’m welcoming the change in seasons, literally and in spirit. This year, more than any year in recent memory, I’m ready for change. Some of the change is already in motion, since I’m in the last stages of wrapping up my RD journey and my grad school saga. But what I’m feeling goes beyond anticipation of professional/academic shifts to come. It’s the hope that this year will be a year of change in every way and across all dimensions of my life. The more, the merrier. Bring it on.

I know that experiencing change isn’t a passive thing; most of the time, when we want something to change, we have to change it ourselves. And I’m totally committed to that. In the past week, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to patterns of my own doing that I need to look at honestly—more honestly than I have been. Turns out I have a lot of work to do.

I also know that there’s only so much change we can will into being, through action or thought. Life has a rhythm of its own. The hope I’m nurturing right now recognizes that I need to be open and do the work, but it also acknowledges that I can only do so much. In that way it feels less like a hope than a prayer; a quiet but ardent entreaty for the months ahead to truly be a new beginning.

Fingers crossed. Here are some recipes and reads.

Recipes

I blend cashews up into everything, so it’s nice to have a nut-free vegan ranch dressing option.

An easy cooking method for some delicious looking roasted new potatoes.

I never say no to a grown up PB&J, and this one looks particularly good.

Tempeh bacon is the vegan bacon I make most often at home, but my favorite store-bought brand (SweetEarth’s) is made with seitan. This recipe is inspiring me to try my own.

Finally, a gorgeous banana fig loaf to make while figs are fleetingly in season.

Reads

1. Kind of cool, kind of freaky: food made from thin air (or CO2, vitamins, water, and renewable electricity, to be exact).

2. Speaking of back-to-school season, the story of where ants-on-a-log came from is surprisingly interesting.

3. I took genetics about seven years ago, and back then my professor seemed very interested in the puzzle of why so called “junk” DNA—stretches that don’t end up coding for proteins that then become part of our physical makeup or vital for our functioning—exist. Sounds like science is giving us more and more clues.

4. Tomatoes have been on my mind this week thanks to this soup, so I enjoyed reading about the new-to-me kitchen hack of grated tomatoes and grated tomato sauce.

5. A heartrending essay on the experience of losing a child in birth and what follows. As someone who has so far been spared too many experiences of grief, I was struck by this passage:

People worry about accidentally reminding someone about a loved one who’s died, but those of us who know can tell you it doesn’t work like that. They’re always with us. People intend their silence to be reverence and respect, when all we want is to hear their name on someone else’s lips. The memory of her physical body is painful, but it also brings me joy. There isn’t one without the other.

I’ll remember this the next time I find myself hesitating to talk about my loved one’s lost loved ones.

Wishing you all a restful Sunday evening.

xo

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  1. Dear Gena, this was such a lovely meditation on change in the context of the changing season, and really there’s no other transition that begins the movement inward that winter brings like Fall. I so appreciate how you attempt to balance intention and will with a kind of acceptance of the ever changing rhythms of life. Sending you lots of love at this time of transition! (OMG that banana fig loaf!)

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