I have a friend.  She is funny, and kind, and likes British historians and bad tv as much as I do.  I have known her a long time.  Our moms are friends, and if we’re lucky, we’re going to grow up and be them, drinking too much wine and gardening.  Probably without the gardening part.

I met her in high school.  It was right around the time the cool kids were getting learner’s permits and cars. I was not a cool kid.  She was.  She got a permit.  And a car.  A used car- a green Volvo.  The Green Beast.  She was 15, and her parents (her dad especially) thought it would be safe.  She needed a good, safe car to learn how to drive.

She got her permit, I got my permit.  She got her license, I got my license.  I did not get a car.  But we did a lot together, so she gave me rides.  We became better friends.  The Volvo took us to lacrosse practice on the other side of town, because our (horrible) football team thought girls’ cleats messed up the field more than the boys’ lacrosse cleats did.  The Volvo took us to the mountains, on an ill-fated trip to Cheeseburgers in Paradise.  The Volvo survived a run in with some wild turkeys on the way.  The picture from that day is on my bookcase right now.

We had an accident on the way to see our favorite local band, after her dad told us it was raining too hard to drive to Winston-Salem (he was right).  We sang terrible songs in the Volvo.  We drove to youth group.  We made up terrible dances to terrible songs in the Volvo.  She drove me to my first surprise birthday party (her idea).  We grew up and went to college.

The Volvo took her to Pennsylvania.  It made several trips from there to home, to North Carolina.  We drove to the mountains (again) and had another unfortunate run-in with animals.  Hogs this time- falling out of a truck all over I-40.  I will never forget the look on her face.  We took road trips.  I got a car.  We spent a summer racing around twisty mountain roads working at a summer camp.  My sister took my car.  We graduated.

She moved to Baltimore.  I got my first real job.  We drove Tampa one December, because we could.  Somewhere, I still have the sweatshirt from that Outback Bowl.  The Volvo came to DC.  We road-tripped back north from holidays at home, stopping at her aunt and uncle’s for ham biscuits.  I drove us home from the wedding where our first close high school friend got married.

Somewhere along the line, the Volvo began to show its age.  There were some close calls, weird smells, odd leaks.  A boyfriend suggested a new car.  He didn’t understand why she hesitated.  I did.  She called one day, stuck on the side of the highway in the rain.  The wipers wouldn’t work.  There were more problems.  She got a new car.  The last time I was in Baltimore, I refused to get in it.  We drove the Volvo instead.  Her parents came to get it a few days later.

They sold the Volvo to a mechanic.  He cleaned it up, replaced what needed to be replaced, fixed it up to resell.  She called me today.  Her mom had called.  The Volvo had been sold.

“A nice family bought it,” her mom said.  “Their 15-year-old girl needed something to learn how to drive in.”

“She and her best friend are going to have so much fun!” said my friend.

I hope they have as much fun as we did.





Well, the new year is here.

2011 was an okay year.  It started out with some things I’d rather forget, included a lot of things I will always remember, and (insert other platitudes here).

I’m going to record some resolutions here , if only to keep myself accountable.  So, Here goes.

1. Be a better friend.

2. Learn to make 12 different things (more details on that later, but chiles en nogada, I’m coming for you)

3. Take better care of myself (cliche, I know, and I have some more specific targets in mind, but I’ll keep those to myself thankyouverymuch)

4. Throw one party that is exactly the way I imagined it in my head

5. Take a trip somewhere, alone.

6. Read a book a month.

7. Write once a week.

8. Learn to properly frost a cake.

9. Go an entire month with a perfectly manicured nails.

10. Find the perfect pair of black pumps.

There are others, but they’re not for public consumption.


Happy 2012 y’all.  The world might be ending, so let’s make it a good one.

sunday funday

Despite my best efforts in college, I am still something of an overachiever.  I have a problem saying no to people I love, and a dreadful tendency to burn the candle at both ends, and maybe in the middle a little as well.  A spate of weddings, a visit from my mom, and a heavy workload at my 9-5 (or 7-7 as the case may be) left me exhausted, definitely unwilling, and possibly unable to do anything this weekend.

Wait, I don’t mean that.  I mean…I didn’t want to have any obligatons.  No parties to attend, no dates for drinks (but not with you.  I always want to hang out with you), no family members needing help tiling, no nothing.  I am too much of a busybody to ACTUALLY do nothing.

So I got a pedicure.  I watched crappy TV.  I bought muffin rings and work clothes.  I spent Saturday evening with a horrible headache (bad) on the couch, watching Law and Order: SVU (not bad, also, you’ll notice I did not lump SVU in with “crappy tv” because it is  I woke up blessedly hangover-free and shockingly cheery at 6:45 Sunday morning.  I read Martha Stewart Living and called my mom lazed in bed until almost 8, and then commenced a bout of errand running that puts every last one of you to shame.  I visited Whole Foods (twice), the hardware store, my favorite coffee shop, the farmers market, Target, Giant, Yes! and Home Rule and spent a lot of time trying to find pickling salt.  And I still arrived home in just enough time to see Cam Newton throw his first interception…in the first 15 seconds of the Panthers game.

All of this is to say that I had grand plans for Sunday afternoon.  Soups to make and pears to pickle and tomatoes to can.  And I did none of it.  Not a single thing.  I sat on the couch with some of my favorite women in the world and yelled at the football and drank a lot of mimosas and ate too many nachos.  And you know what?  I don’t regret it at all.

Of course, this meant I had to rectify the situation on Monday.  Stay tuned.

Market update- June 11, 2011

Garlic scapes!  AND CHERRIES!  And the end of the noble asparagus.  This is on my list for things to do with cherries immediately.

scenes from Memorial Day 2011

Remember those raspberries from the market?  Well, I had a special destination in mind for them. I was lucky enough to be tasked to task myself with making a birthday cake for the birthday boy this weekend.  So I did.  Then we did this

And followed up last night with dinner with Lemmonex at Brasserie Beck.

Extremely undercooked beans in the birthday boy’s cassoulet aside, it’s been a pretty good week, I’d have to say.

on James McWilliams and eating meat (part one)

New post up at PostBourgie on James McWilliams and eating meat.

The comment thread got a little heated, but there’s one I’d like to pull out.  From Marie:

“…Two things seem to not be addressed in this debate. First, if we think eating meat is okay and grass-fed and free-range is the answer how do we supply demand without resorting to factory farm like conditions? Additionally, what about the people doing the slaughtering? It’s easy to vilify nasty horrible factory farms that largely employ undocumented workers, but Polyface Farms is one small example of mostly white privileged folks. What about the rest of us?”

Nicolette Niman, of Niman Ranch, wrote an excellent editorial for the Los Angeles Times that I think better addresses the some of the issues surrounding larger scale sustainable farms than I did in the comments.  And it’s worth noting that until very recently, smaller farms were the rule, rather than the exception.  Food and Water Watch has a fairly comprehensive report mapping the history of meat production in the US and another on the growth of large factory farms.

Given that I am intenselte interested in a lot of the morality and sustainability issues around food, some of you (you know, all three people reading) might find it odd or even hypocritical that I eat meat.  I’ve been a vegetarian at various points in my life, although never long term, and I think (with the exception of those who know me well), some of those commenters would be surprised to learn that i don’t eat a lot of meat.

I’m working on a longer post about eating meat- why I do it, and how I’ve made peace with it.  With any luck, I’ll finish it at some point this weekend (thank goodness for long weekends).

Happy New Year

I’m back.

For the eleventy billionth time.  But it’s okay.  You were reading my tweets, right?  And you saw when I tried to educate myself over here, right?  And my chronicling of all the glorious (and not-so-glorious) things I eat (and maybe some other stuff too)?


Well then.  Perhaps your resolution should be to get on that.

I’ll try and hold up my end of the bargain. Shall we move along then?


I set a series of goals for August, and the rest of the year.  Eventually, I’ll add a page with my goals, and cross them out as I get to them.  The idea was inspired by a host of things, among them this post from Nicole at Making It Lovely, one of my favorite home/design blogs.

At any rate, one of my goals is to blog more again.  And to be more thoughtful about it.  So I’ll try and post once a day, maybe more, maybe less, and we’ll go from there.

Nice to meet y’all.

food for thought: 10.09.09

It’s been quite the week:

This actually made me feel good, as I read it while eating a delicous burger from Garden Path Farms, the Amish meat guys at the H Street Freshfarm Market. [NY Times]

Ben Ali passed. [14th and You, DCist, Serious Easts, slashfood, Washington Post Obits]  On a side note, yes, the Washington Post has an obit twitter feed, which seems a little bizarre/morbid.

Gourmet is dead.  But you can help save it here.  Also, follow Ruth Reichl on Twitter.  [NY Times]

Christpher Kimball’s editorial provoked a lot of responses from the interwebs, among them Ed Levine of Serious Eats.  You can find Kimball’s rebuttal to the blowback on his blog.  [NY Times, Serious Eats, Christopher Kimball blog]


Also, happy birthday to Guillermo del Toro, director of one of my favorite movies, Pan’s Labyrinth.