Less is more, they say. But listen, sometimes more is more. For example, one cookie would be less and two cookies would be more and you see where I'm going with this. Or, to put it another way, sparkling wine alone would be less but a measure of St-Germain and lemon juice and simple syrup and a sprig of mint and a splash of seltzer water topped with sparkling wine would be more.
I have a soft spot for soft foods. I like pudding, especially homemade chocolate pudding (and I'm sorry to say that I especially like the thin skin that forms on top as it cools. I realize that you might not feel the same way.) I like warm applesauce that you cook on the stove, particularly when you leave it a little chunky. I like how it tastes when you pour thick cold cream over it. I like silky hummus and the custard-y filling of eclairs and all manner of stews and soups.
I've been baking a lot of muffins lately. Simple and satisfying. A mere handful of ingredients, a few quick strokes with a spatula, and a quick scoop into a muffin pan. (Note: Using an ice cream scoop or this muffin scoop is a serious game changer for baking. It might seem silly to get a utensil only for the purpose of portioning batter, but it makes your muffins uniform in size so they bake evenly. And it's so much faster and neater than using a spoon!)
Well, LOOK AT THAT (I almost wrote shiver me timbers but thought better of it, as I'd like you all to continue reading, not consider me too weird. Oh wait. Shouldn't have mentioned that.), it's July 6 and I haven't written anything in a full month! Strike that. I've written things: Grocery lists. Descriptions of the protein content of flour (I work for a baking company, so that's normal.) Impromptu, funny letters to my sister with limericks inside. A wedding toast for another sister, who is getting married in a mere few days, and I'm preparing to weep constantly at the ceremony (I'm a bridesmaid so, waterproof mascara?).
Some days are like this: I take a bike ride. I feel happy and strong, legs pumping, pushing me forwards. The sun is out in full force, warming my face and five minutes in, I start to build up a sweat. The world slides by in one-block increments of colorful storefronts. There's potential everywhere: Restaurants to try (cafe tables spill out onto the sidewalks, people hug and sit down and order cocktails and steak and go about their evenings), movies to watch, gardens to explore, streets to walk down.
It's 9:44 PM on Thursday. I'm sitting on the couch with a blanket tossed over my lap. The dryer is clinking in the background, and the apartment is still warm from heat of the day. I threw open the windows this morning and let the sun stream in. Upstairs, the bedroom is cool and dark and quiet, and my bed awaits: I'll pull back the crisp white cotton sheets and slide in.
Let's talk about good things, okay? There are so many of them. Every day, if you look in the right places. For example, if you pause outside the grocery store and stop being so absorbed in your list of laundry detergent, bananas, paper towels, cocoa powder for a moment, you'll notice the heavy scent of lilacs hanging thickly in the air. There are buckets of them, and for $10 you can buy a bunch. The woody stems always stymie me at home; I go at them with scissors and a knife and still end up twisting them apart with my hands. But it's worth it when the entire living room is perfumed with flowers.
So far tonight I've listened three times to "Here at the Right Time" by Josh Ritter, and I swear my knees get a little weak when he sings: my love for you was always sure / the bucket was broken / but the water was pure.
If you like his music, I also get stuck some days on "Homecoming" and "Girl in the War". And if you need to, say, run stair repeats or get dressed to go out at night (I KNOW THOSE ARE VERY DIFFERENT THINGS but oddly they benefit from the same sort of tunes), try "Getting Ready to Get Down".
Today it rained all day: a steady, persistent drizzle. It's the sort of rain that doesn't require an umbrella, but makes your jacket damp and your shoes just wet enough that you have to leave them outside the apartment door.
My skin is still stinging from yesterday's sunburn (I'm pale enough from this long winter that spending a mere 20 minutes in the backyard, sipping coffee, on a sunny afternoon garners me a red glow).
For a brief moment around 4 PM, I had that heavy, dull feeling that often arrives without warning in the low valley of the afternoon. You've already passed the acceptable time for coffee; lunch feels like a distant memory; and it's too early to contemplate dinner.
THINGS THAT CAN BE VERY GOOD OR VERY BAD: