Out of Sight, Out of Mind

December 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

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That’s how we humans are. If it’s not right in front of us, we forget. We forget the bills to pay, appointments to keep, or the friends to call.

I’m having one of those days where it feels like I’m the forgotten friend.
I don’t live in the same city where a lot of my friends are, though I am nearby, and I am living with my parents for right now. (Gratefully, I might add to that last comment. Their offer for me to move in with them after I quit my job last summer was definitely a large piece of my decision to take that plunge.)

Not having my dearest friends just a few minutes down the road has increasing been a part of my life the past few years. Some have moved to go to school or to serve in the mission field or because they got married/got a job. I miss them all.
I know, Life happens and it’s not as easy to stay in touch. I’ve not made an A+ effort all the time myself. But I do want my friends to know I love them and that I try to make opportunities to stay connected to them.

I don’t always feel that desire reciprocated, to be honest. I say this knowing that I have a tendency to expect too much or want friendships to always have a high-school earnestness about them. I wouldn’t mind eating lunch with all my friends everyday!

I’m doing my best to deal with the vagaries and inevitabilities of growing up. I know I may get too attached to a particular friend for a season and then be more than bummed when that attachment is severed. I’ve learned and am still learning, I hope, what makes a good friend. Who knows? Maybe another kindred spirit friend is right around the corner.

Luckily, tomorrow, I get to see two close friends who don’t live in Alabama but are here visiting. I’ll try to let that keep me going for the next time when the phone isn’t ringing or all I seem to do is talk to people’s voicemails.

menu poetry: Rojo

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Now, I feel like I’m really in the Christmas Spirit. Not so much because of food, but because of a quick visit to the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham with a friend to see It’s a Wonderful Life. I must admit, in the past I always said I didn’t care for this movie, that it wasn’t my favorite. Gasping usually ensued.

But, now I’ve changed my tune a bit. Maybe I watched it too long ago to remember or maybe I never saw it all the way through, but seeing it last night as part of the Holiday Film Series, I was moved! Almost teared up, even. We would all do to remember this life and this world wouldn’t be the same without us alive in it, and to remind others of the same.

Before the movie, we filled our bellies at Rojo, one of my favorite local restaurants. They have a Latin menu and an American menu, but I’ve never ordered off the latter because the former is too tasty to resist! Simple, flavorful, well-seasoned, and always good.

Last night I had: tacos with grilled chicken, onion, cilantro, spicy tomatillo salsa and rice and beans on corn tortillas.

The dimly lit Rojo wouldn’t have allowed for a good pic, and I was too hungry for all that anyway.

Saturday Soup

December 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s finally chilly and wintry feeling where I live and that can only mean one thing: Soup time! I have so many old favorites to revisit and untold numbers of new ideas to try. Last week, my mom and I made classic potato soup with bacon and scallions and heavenly heavy cream.

Tonight, I wanted to try something different. I had made the rounds earlier this week to procure all my ingredients. Pearled barley, believe it or not, is not found on most grocery store shelves. (I am thankful for health food stores!)

This soup, once I saw it on Orangette’s blog, spoke to me, or, probably more accurately, convicted me in all its vegetable-ladenness of my lack of such in my diet. Plus, it sounded and looked fantastic. And, it’s from a British cookbook. I didn’t need much more convincing. It offered a balanced mix of the challenge and the familiarity that I like in a recipe. I mean, I cooked with leeks and parsnips for the first time!

It was just as satisfying and comforting as it looks. My parents (one carrot hater and one garlic phobe) both slurped it up and kept singing its praises. My only swap was kale for cabbage/Brussels sprouts at the end. Now, I can make kale chips with the rest of the bunch I bought. Or, something entirely new…

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