Recipe

Peach ginger blueberry crumble for June

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June is flying by faster than ever and I’m barely holding on – in a good way! I both amaze at when time flies and fear it. It’s been a great summer, but I also have such a good year ahead of me. So many adventures and currently, so little time to prepare for them! am heading to Minneapolis next week, and then am trying to cram as much work/shopping/packing as I can before another trip to New York and then … I get on a plane to meet my host grandparents in Denmark. Anticipation is coursing through my veins!

The moments I wish could last forever, though, are many. Like discovering my dad has been cultivating a bush of raspberries behind our basketball hoop. I’ve snuck out there several times after work, foraging for berries. At least, foraging is what I tell people. In reality it’s me standing waist-high in flowers getting my work pants wet with dew as I rather unceremoniously stuff raspberries in my mouth with one hand while swiping away prickly branches with the other. Love it, guys. Love this nature. I mean check these out, these glowing orbs of ripeness and the sticky, alien-like quality of the plant itself.

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20130629-001111.jpg My sister is now working at a farmer’s market, much to everyone’s delight – half because we get a discount and it’s really cool to hear her talk about the produce and farm, half because she’s a self-described introvert so her first foray into the wonderful world of a customer service job is here. (Although she’s lucky because barely anyone is unhappy at a produce stand, unlike my first customer service job: Gap during the holidays.) Today we bought peaches and blueberries and ginger and lemons and set about making a crumble – aka the fruit dessert for people who are scared to/are too lazy to tackle a pie. I love the somewhat strong tartness with spice. Use fresh, good fruit for this. It’s a highly seasonal pie. Low quality ingredients mean it will taste bland, under sweet, and generally blah. If you’re really patient, take this out of the oven and let it sit overnight, it will be 300% better after everything has a chance to marinate together.

blackberry ginger peach crumble

adapted from yankee magazine

Filling:

6 medium peaches, diced large

1 lb blueberries

1 1/4 tablespoon lemon juice

Zest of one small lemon

2 tbsp corn starch

3 tablespoons honey

Dash cinnamon

Crust:

1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup roasted buckwheat groats

1/4 cup flour ( if you don’t have buckwheat just use 1/2 cup flour )

1/2 cup oats

1/4 tbsp salt

3-4 tablespoons olive oil or butter

1 inch section grated fresh ginger

1/3 cup honey

3 tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 350. Combine filling ingredients and pour into a greased pie pan, approx. 8 or 9 inches. Combine crust ingredients, stirring until a coarse, wet crumble forms. Sprinkle on top of fruit, avoiding overly large chunks and covering most of the entire surface. Bake for approx. 40-45 minutes – crust should be brown and fruit bubbly. Best enjoyed with a scoop of ice cream or, better yet, for breakfast with yogurt!

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Food, Links, Musing

slutty brownies, craigslist poetry, germs

DAMN DC YOU REAL HOT N’ HUMID RIGHT NOW

Guys, my Danish host family is the cutest. My birthday was last week and they made me a virtual birthday cake! I didn’t even have to take in the calories because I just looked at it!

Okay, here is a list of things that I have been doing lately:

1) Hot yoga. Which is incredibly refreshing and energizing in the winter, but takes a whole other level of mental fortitude in the DC summertime. I get sweaty just walking to yoga, then I enter a room that heats up even more, then I work out for an hour, at which point cool air would be nice to evaporate some of my sweat, but then I head right back outside and now I am just sort of hot and humid and my clothes are all “moist” (I hate the word moist!) and there is NO relief. So, the whole “calm your mind” thing is really coming in handy when I have to wait and all I want is a shower…

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Here is a summer ratatouille made with FERMENTED CABBAGE & BEETS ON TOP, so clearly my bio-germs will be at 100% and I will live until I am 95. Haha, suckers!

2) Cooking with farmer’s market produce while simultaneously trying to maximize my GERMS. My mom and I both read Michael Pollan’s article on the importance of bacteria and now fermented/probiotic food is slowly creeping into our diets. We’re both obsessed with this KeVita drink that has popped up at Whole Foods and is sort of the stevia-sweetened water version of kefir. It tastes like a refreshing, more tasty kombucha that is super good cold and comes in very trendy flavors. But at 2 for $4, I’m not sure how long this addiction will last. Plus I’m a little skeptical about the whole crazy health benefits thing. Buuuut me and the fam have been eating a lot of fermented cabbage and herring. It’s as if we suddenly turned Danish! This will be good training for next year. 😀

3) Revamping my brand. Or, my personal website. I use Behance to host my portfolio but I’m growing a wee bit tired of the templates. I’m thinkin’ Squarespace might be where I move next, although it is a bit pricier. Hmmmm.

It's wrong how good these bad boys look.

It’s wrong how good these bad boys look.

4) ‘Slutty brownies’ happened*, thanks to a friend who sent them in the mail today. Thanks Rachel! Your brownies fulfilled their promise: they are extremely crazy, everybody wants a piece, and there are more than enough to go around.

5) I’ve been experimenting with found poetry after reading a New York Times piece on writing poetry “fridge magnet style”, using just the words in a particular article. It’s fun to use the more creative side of my brain, a side that often gets stifled or forgotten during one’s 40-hour work week. I started writing Craigslist poetry using only the phrases from actual DC Missed Connections posts. The best one I’ve been able to come up with so far is:

I coughed

Feel I might have missed
a good opportunity,

I coughed,
and your
dog stared at me.

0

Mushroom.

0-1

Blueberry.

6) I have been taking very detailed photos of my produce. And I really love this iPhone macro lens. It’s a steal deal.

*Slutty brownies (noun): an insane mixture of cookie dough/blondies, DoubleStuf oreos, brownie batter with chocolate chips, all layered together and stuck in the oven. Mouthgasm. For the quick and dirty version see here.

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Musing

same question, different answer

“Everyone eventually comes to yoga seeking an answer. You may come for the body, but you stay for the mind.”

One of my yoga instructors mentioned this in a sort of off-handed way last week as we discussed his yoga practice and why he became a teacher. It’s something that’s really stuck with me.

“For a while I was teaching yoga by day and bartending by night. Ha! I’d go from detoxing a class in the afternoon to helping people intoxicate themselves a few hours later at 12 AM.”

(Something another yoga instructor at my studio said to me about her past life in Portland. And that’s stuck with me too, but mainly because I find it funny and catchy!)

I came to yoga originally for the body. I saw it as a great way to get in shape and get more “bendy”. The rush of adrenaline I experienced when I worked on and achieved a new poses was exhilarating. Finding the perfect combination of strength and flexibility gave me energy, and with that the accompanying triumph, power, and self-esteem.

But what about the poses that aren’t so dynamic? What about the rest of one’s practice, the monotonous positions we flow through to get to the exciting ones? What about positions we hold for a long time, seemingly for no purpose? That’s when the mind becomes essential. I began to realize I’ve stayed with yoga because, while it does challenge me, in the end it often asks the same ol’ thing of me. The more you learn, the more you become familiar with. And what do you do with something you must do that you’ve done before? Do we see it as stagnancy? Do we see it as stillness? Serenity? That familiarity should be given just as much weight as novelty. The mind is what we rely on for the in-between, the day-to-day. We don’t realize that life is mostly made up of these small, perpetual motions that are easy to overlook. We can wish them away, or grow bored, or tired, or frustrated. Or we can engage them.

I also realize that if you allow your mind to stay in a knot, you only end up hurting yourself. I’ve had times where:

  • I couldn’t move past the fact that I felt frustrated I couldn’t accomplish a pose, or
  • I felt annoyed that I was sweaty, or
  • I felt tired and became stressed that I was tired, or
  • I was so freakin’ bored of moving through chataranga

But it’s essential that you learn to move on. You acknowledge the feeling, you “give it a chair” so to speak, and you move past it. It stays put. I’m slowly beginning to learn that I can control those emotions. I can recognize them, I can nod to them, but I don’t have to invite them into my very being. My emotions come from me but they are not necessarily me if I don’t want them to be. I experience them, but I can direct them, too. (Cue the part where I talk about sending energy and vibrations out into the universe…well…maybe not today…)

What do you stay for in your life? What is it you truly enjoy about the things you do?

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