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Quote of the day, May 30

(Community volunteer who was graciously teaching a lesson on government): Who knows what taxes are?

Student: Taxes is a place where there are tornadoes.

Bonus: quote of the day, May 29

(Student reads a letter written by another student.)  That’s a pretty good letter.  Except, he didn’t say, “I’m writing to tell you.”  That’s, you know, real.”


Photographic food for thought

What does a week’s worth of groceries look like?  It depends on where you live.

My cup of tea

Sometimes, there are things you might not read/listen to/bake unless someone pointed you in that direction.  Like this article which is from a blog with an unusual name, and about a topic that might stir up some disdain.  I’m not sure what I think about the premise, but it has me thinking.  It’s a quick read, but if you don’t even have time for that, here’s the paragraph that sums it up:

A much bigger plague among young women than poisoned apples or evil stepmothers, as far as I’m concerned, is the hope of earning a man’s affection. You can convince, guilt or trick someone into being with you, but not into loving you. Not even by rescuing or fixing them. Prince Charming’s allure as an adult isn’t the tiara, it isn’t even about his ability to build us moats, it’s the idea that the only thing he needs from you is you. If I dare re-frame a damsel in distress as a lady willing to wait for a suitor with his act together, would you agree that she’s setting a good example?

You might hesitate to pick up a 600+ page novel about surgeons.  The cultural aspects are interesting, but it really is the medical writing that makes those pages fly.  I love capping a long day of school by crawling into bed and reading page after page of surgery (the vena cava repair was tops).

Speaking of medical goodness, doesn’t Call the Midwife sound like a reality tv show?  Luckily for me, it’s actually a BBC dramatization of memoirs, set in East London.  It’s raw, and it’s gorgeous.

Another thing you might not jump at is a recipe that asks you to put strawberries in the oven.  But this was excellent.

Oh, and my actual cup of tea right now?   I start most mornings with this– smoldering, strong, and sweet.

(I’m not endorsing any of the above- just telling you what I’m thinking about.  They do have bits I’ve skipped [except the tea, which I drain to the dregs], and plenty I’ve disagreed with.  As the opening to Call the Midwife will tell you: discretion is advised.)

Friday Night Mights

It might have been better if Eponine had survived, so she could have found Theodore Lawrence, who might be the only person more thoroughly friend-zoned.

I might be a little concerned that being Miss Frizzle for book character day at school was so easy.

I might be wondering how soon I can make cheese crackers again without being weird.  I’ve made these a few times, and I like ’em.  The things I’ve done wrong are: let them get too brown (not yummy- just bitter), and not made the whole in the middle as big as it ought to be.  Also, I cut mine in squares, to avoid wasted time re-rolling or wasted dough discarded.

I might go to bed before 7:30.  This work week lived up to its name!

Old MacDonald had some rhymes

But Thou art making me, I thank Thee, sire.

What Thou hast done and doest, Thou know’st well,

And I will help Thee- gently in Thy fire

I will lie burning; I will whirl patient

Though my brain should reel:

Thy grace shall be enough, the grief to quell

And growing strength perfect through weakness dire

-George MacDonald

Good recipe sources, four: make a few trusted friends (and yes, you can meet mine)

The internet is a big place.  Trying to explore the whole thing every time you want a recipe is just overwhelming.  I hope the first posts about how to spot a good recipe help you learn from my mistakes and weed out the more disappointing recipes.  I hope the last few posts about spotting good sources steer you away from sites that could only let you down.  But the best strategy I have is to find a few trusted sites and start any recipe search there.  Sites like or even Tasty Kitchen aren’t my style because they have so many contributors.  In general, a site from one cook is helpful, because you learn that person’s style and learn to trust (or fear) his or her taste.  A few of my favorites:

Joy the Baker

Smitten Kitchen

Annie’s Eats

(None of those people have the slightest idea who I am.  But they do generally know about each other.  You’ll notice they borrow inspiration from each other a lot.  Even in the great big food blogosphere, it’s a small world, after all.)

Something good about April 15th:

Corrie ten Boom was born on this day in 1892.  Corrie’s life was a gift to the world- courageous and grace-drenched, beautifully human in the face of inhumanity.  And in a symmetry that seems particularly fitting to this sensible Dutch heroine, that life ended (or we could say, it began in earnest) on her 91st birthday.  It’s a great day to continue her legacy with an act of compassion or forgiveness or simply fortitude.  The world needs more like her.