Saturday, September 24, 2011

Five Things for Saturday. . .

~Right now I’m sipping away at a really, really fine cup of coffee. And this coffee is truly (and literally) a gift! (Thank you to you-who-knows-who-I-mean!) The sun shines and the air is lovely warm, so today’s coffee is happy-coffee rather than cozy-coffee (cozy is what coffee is in early dark morning or when it rains; there’s also meditative-coffee for morning quiet time; and there’s convivial-coffee for drinking with scones and conversation when family gathers). I’ve been out and about town this morning and have conquered a chunk of items on my list. Are you like me? Does it feel really good to cross items off the list or put a check mark in the box beside it? I happen to like making little boxes next to each item on my list and making that satisfying little checkmark.

~I’m really liking my routine of getting up early (usually at or before 6 a.m.), taking some deep breaths and drinking a glass of water (often with lemon juice), opening blinds and windows, sitting on a floor pillow on my living room rug for quiet time, standing up to stretch and move, turning on the music and exercising, making myself a green smoothie, taking a shower, and getting started with my day. (Whew, that was a mouthful.) Until Monday, there’s no real pattern to my day—just bopping through my to-do list, which can be a really pleasant thing if I want it to. It always feels really good to accomplish a lot during a day if I do it with a smile on my face, remember to enjoy all of the people I encounter, and determine not to rush or press through the list just to “get it over with.” We might as well make the effort to relax and enjoy each thing we do, right?

~I have to say, where is my mind? Really. I have that long to-do list for today that I mentioned, but nothing on it is time-consuming or difficult, so it shouldn’t be too tough to accomplish enough of it if I set my mind to it and move along methodically. Problem #1: I am not particularly methodical. Problem #2: It’s me we’re talking about. Problem #3: When I drove away to tackle part of my list, I left my mind at home, in addition to a few other things. After hitting every stop light just as it turned red (there are few things more satisfying than hitting green lights all the way to a destination!) on the way to the university and finally parking my car near the bookstore, I realized I hadn’t brought my student ID with me, and not sure whether or not I would need it, I headed back home. I ran into the house, grabbed my wallet, drove back to the bookstore area, and started looking for a parking spot, when I remembered, “Oh, dang! I took my parking meter quarters out of my bag yesterday!” (Why? I do not know!) So, I parked in the closest non-pay parking spot I could find, which was, of course, a long way from where I was going. I walked into the used bookstore that is a block away from the university bookstore to see if I could buy my course-books there, when I suddenly remembered, “Dang! I left my glasses in the car!” Not wanting to walk all the way to the car and back, I asked an able-bodied bookstore worker to help me because “I can’t read a word without my glasses.” She was cheerfully willing and truly helpful, but I couldn’t get what I needed there, so I went to the university store where an equally cheerfully helper took my list and handed me the books I will be using this term. I walked out into the sunshine with a bag of reaalllly expensive books, thinking how nice people are, and headed back to the car. Parking far away turned out to be actually sort of nice because it was just so perfect and lovely outside that the walk was enjoyable.

Unfortunately, not a great photo.

~You want to know the cookbooks I’ve been looking at most in recent days, don’t you? Well, here they are, from top down. Elizabeth David’s book contains three of her classics in one volume. She was a master cookery writer from England, and this book is literary and enjoyable! It offers a true understanding of food and cooking from cultures around the Mediterranean.

Culinary Artistry is super-nice to have on hand for someone who loves to cook and improvise and make up their own dishes. The book alphabetically arranges most foods that are commonly used in cooking and offers a list of the ingredients that match well with that item. It’s a great resource! I use it all the time.

Vegan Soul Kitchen is an excellent book. The food is delicious, nutritious, and straightforward. Nothing elaborate or complicated here—it’s just good, down-to-earth, healthy cooking.

Super Natural Every Day is a book I don’t use all that often, but everything I’ve made from it has been right up my alley, taste-wise, so I will probably find more and more recipes from this book that become staples in my kitchen.

I think The Food of Spain by Claudia Roden is a masterpiece. I love Claudia’s books for the excellent writing and delicious recipes. She makes me want to cook everything in them and immerse myself in the culture she writes about.

And at the bottom of the pile, see that attractive, thin brown journal? That’s my recipe book. It’s a collection of things I’ve made often from the books of others, but, mostly, it’s stuff I’ve created myself and liked. So, there you have it (and I had the gall to include myself with these other masters of cooking)!

~Three colorful things I like in my kitchen. Vintage potholders, handmade cloth napkins, and vintage dish towels (which are not pictured). I use all of these daily. The potholders are cute, have character and history, and work great. The napkins were made for me by my daughter Michelle as a Christmas gift one year—they are my everyday napkins. Love them! I also love the towels and thought I had a picture of them, but I can’t find it. The towels are kitschy, colorful, fun, souvenir or calendar towels, all made of linen, and they work much better than the cotton towels I used before. 

Well, now both the French press and my mug are empty, so it’s time to move along to the next thing. Have a happy Saturday


  1. I love the vintage potholders and the napkins are so, so beautiful. I *heart* rick-rack.

  2. Susan, I so enjoy these little chats with you! Love the vintage potholders and the colorful heart-made napkins too. I also enjoy crossing out items on a list (or checking them off, depending on where the list is)--enough so to add items I've already done, but not written down, just for the satisfaction of checking them off or crossing them out. Last, I have this sneaking suspicion that the nondescript tan notebook at the bottom of your pile of recipe books, that I wouldn't have even noticed if you hadn't mentioned it, might just be the most valuable one in the pile!!!!;D

    Have a restful LORD's day tomorrow and a good week back at it on Monday! Thank you for a wonderful Summer Notebook; I'll be copying many pages.


  3. Susan,

    I love hearing about your day- you have such a gift for sharing so conversationally and warmly. :)

    And now I know *exactly* what I want to sew next: cloth napkins! With ric-rac, of course. Thank you.

    Have a wonderful night and Sabbath rest tomorrow!


  4. (or maybe it's "rick rack"?)

    I can't decide.

  5. This post is the essence of coziness. I mean... drinking my coffee this morning while reading your words made it taste so much better! And your potholders and napkins? So pretty!

  6. Michele, I'm glad you like them because I really do, too. Especially the napkins as they were such a sweet, handmade gift.

    Thanks, Judi. I enjoy them, too! :-) Again, I've really enjoyed your presence here. Thank you.

    Thank you, too, Stacy! I think it's rick rack. You probably don't need one, but Michelle followed a Martha tutorial when she did these. You can probably look it up on Google and find it if you want. :-) I hope you do make these--they're fun and useful! And I hope your Sunday is lovely.

    Cathleen, that made me smile! Thank you. I'm glad to know you read here. :-)

  7. Oh those potholders are exquisite. I have never actually run across any in person. You DO have the most wonderful thrifting there!

  8. Do you have patterns for those lovely potholders?