Alright, back again with no good excuse except for being busy and not taking time to type things up. Ye old Instagram feed
has been busy, though, so anyone who wants to know what we’ve been up to can follow along there.
I mentioned a while back that my first 5K was coming up. Well, that morning dawned cold and rainy, but we got up anyway, bundled up (as much as one can before running), and headed out.
My main, pathetic, goal was to finish in less than double Johnny’s time, and hey, I did that handily. He assured me (truthfully or kindly) that the weather probably kept most of the “wimps” home, so the overall field of runners was better. This made me feel a little better about finishing noooot quiiiiiite last in my age category (which only had 14 people in it!). The run looped around the fairgrounds, which included lots of unexpected mud and running through animal exhibit barns. Very classy. It was sponsored by a local liquor store, so everyone got a beer at the end. Luckily, I knew myself well enough not to drink more than an inch or so. Exertion plus and empty stomach were not the ideal environment for downing a tall cold one.
Anyway, I’d do it again, but probably not until I’ve actually trained adequately (that is, can actually run the whole distance without stopping).
The running of the grand race was, of course, in honor of my birthday. Johnny insisted that I open his gift early, and when I did I was greeted by this message, so typically sentimental:
Such a romantic. But inside were two cookbooks from my wishlist, which was great. The first was The Chinese Takeout Cookbook, which is a must-have for anyone who enjoys chinese food. The other was this baby:
We love this book so much that we’re on a first name basis with it. The first week of ownership was full of “Marcella says…” and “What would Marcella say?” (The answer, by the way, is that Marcella would say never to use any herbs other than fresh, unless all European vegetation has been rendered inedible by a nuclear explosion.) It’s a delightful book – Marcella earned a doctorate in Biology before she started cooking, and the writing is intelligent and delightfully pretentious. Last week we celebrated “Fresh Pasta Friday,” which may have to become a tradition, if for no other reason than that it’s so photogenic.
While we’re on the subject of cooking, I’d like to point out an article that was making the rounds this week, about the science of the best chocolate chip cookie recipe
. It’s very long, and pretty interesting, but I’ll save you some potential effort and tell you…meh
. We tried them last night, and were not overly impressed. They were okay and all, but for our money, the winning recipe is still the Cook’s Illustrated browned butter version. Or, for something different…
Brown butter bourbon cookies.
I made these last weekend to give to a priest friend we visited (it was Kentucky Derby day, after all), and it was very hard to get Johnny to let go of the bag at the end of the day. Okay, I had some separation anxiety too. Luckily, I have a Costco-sized bag of pecans, and roughly a gallon of Jim Beam at home (long story). My only note is that they don’t spread at all, so either make them small or flatten them slightly.
Spring came! We’re still waiting on our first 80 degree day, but the trees have started blossoming. Allergies be damned, I went out and took some pictures, just to remind myself that hey, I’m pretty good at this whole photo thing.
At long last, it’s good to see some color.
Here’s my view as of right now. Cookbooks all over, iPad, laundry folded but not put away. My copy of Something Other Than God
is there because I finished it on Tuesday but can’t bring myself to shelve it yet. I’ll get to that later, though, because first I want to address something that kept me awake last night. On the TV in background is Nazi Mega Weapons
on PBS. It involved several reenacted scenes of strategy meetings, which got me thinking about the aspiring actor whose agent called him and said, “Hey, I’ve got a great part for you in a miniseries!…Yeah, PBS…Well….they’re wondering if you can grow a mustache.” Is there a group of five or six guys who just keep running into each other at the same auditions? Do their mothers know what they do for a living? Anyway, such are the things that keep me awake at night.
And finally, about that book on the coffee table. I pre-ordered Jennifer’s book
a few weeks ago, and started reading it on Monday. I should’ve just stayed up all night to finish it, because I spent all day Tuesday wishing I was at home reading it. It is, of course, very well-written, and compelling stuff. It combines memoir with a dash of legal drama and medical drama; I can’t remember the last time I read a book in so few sittings.