I’m guessing that you might want to be more off your computer than on these days, so I won’t keep you long.
It’s summer around here, which means that everything changes and the house gets very messy. I’m down one kid at camp (the Unitarian anarchist sort), and I’ll have her back in a few weeks and then I lose the other one. In the mean time, I have a book due in a month. It’s about vegetables, which you might have gathered if you’ve been over there with me on Instagram. So we’re eating well.
The only reason I actually believe I will have this very not ready book ready in a month is because I’ve done it before. Last time I ended up writing 80,000 words in 3 weeks, and that worked out fine. But any prayers and wishes of clarity and focus are very welcome.
We are spending a lot of time at the river with our funny little river-loving dog, and free berries are ripening all over the place, which means I’ve already made multiple pies. So that’s a success. (Although what a funny thing that summer is the best time to make pie? The secret is to embrace the freezer. Any time that pie making takes a pause, put that in-process pie in the freezer.) Also, coarse sugar on the crust.
Speaking of pie, here’s a good crimping tutorial from my girl Erin McDowell. (She’s the one who made that gorgeous plum tart on the cover The Homemade Kitchen, as well as every other thing in that book.)
Joey and I saw this movie last week, and it was hot and gorgeous and smart and fantastic. If you saw I am Love, it’s related, and if you haven’t seen I am Love then see that too.
I read this book on the beach when we went camping a few weeks back and I cried my eyes out. I do have a little dog so that makes my heart very open to stories about little dogs, but really- it’s a great, quick read.
After a few days of me moping around the kitchen feeling sorry for myself, Joey made me a summer mix. It’s helped, as they always do. It’s all good, but my favorite stuff on there is this, this, this, and this.
I wrote about homemade vanilla syrup on Tastebook this month. If you’ve been making cold brew concentrate (page 233 of The Homemade Kitchen, if you were looking for it), this definitely fancies it up a bit. Also delicious in plain old bubbly water.
I have a few classes coming up. The first is at Stonewall Kitchens in York, Maine on August 6, and you can register here. The last time I taught there was in a blizzard and it sold out anyway, so sign up! Hopefully it won’t be snowing, and what a good time to be in Maine, right? Then I’m teaching Labor day weekend at Home Chef in Hillsdale. Info and sign up will be up on their site soon.
Of course I have my head in politics and the world is feeling very off kilter. I am watching, listening, anxious to see how all of this (and I mean ALL, because there seems to be so much right now) will play out. I listen to this as a bit of a guilty pleasure because there’s such a joy in hearing smart people argue, and also some of my favorite political conversations have been on this show.
Tell me what’s new with you! What are you cooking? Listening to? Reading or watching? I’m all ears. xo
Emily G. says
Sounds like you’re having my perfect summer–a mix of outdoor time and retreat to the cool dark of the movie theater! What’s the film you saw? (Link currently leads to the pie crust tips–which are also “hot and gorgeous and smart and fantastic” in their own way. ;))
My latest satisfying movie outing was YARN, which I left all fired up and ready to Make Things. (And in fact I successfully finished a sock on the subway ride home.) Highly recommended!
Ha! Pie crust is pretty hot and gorgeous.:) Link is fixed now- go see it!
What’s the movie? Link is wrong. Tilda Swinton is fabulous!
Sorry for that- all fixed now! (It’s A Bigger Splash 🙂 )
I’ve been making a lot of grain salads (and jam, of course). Life has been really full of late, so there’s not been enough reading or listening as I would like! XO!
Yes, yes- how I love a good grain salad… hope life clears a bit for reading or listening soon!
I find summer cooking a bit of a challenge in my non-air conditioned house, because not only is the idea of being in an extra hot kitchen fairly unpleasant, but sometimes it’s so hot that even the motivation to make something happen that bypasses the hot kitchen part can be hard. But when I can get it together, I have a killer burger recipe, so I can make my husband go outside and barbecue (I’m a staunch feminist who refuses to barbecue) while all I have to do is open a few jars of ketchups and mustards that I canned last year. If I had the forethought to put together a nice cold potato salad, too, then we’re laughing.
I’m reading Uncle Silas, knitting socks and lace, and binge-watching Gilmore Girls and Game of Thrones.
Ha! From another staunch feminist who doesn’t barbecue over here- but this gender divide always puzzles me! I’m trying to shift it this summer, but honestly- I just don’t enjoy it. And maybe I’m just happy to have dinner put in front of me once in a while?
So excited to hear you are working on your next book! I’m sure it will be awhile before it comes out, but I’ll save a spot for it next to your other beautiful titles on my bookshelf. Your books are the only ‘cookbooks’ I keep in my bookcases~the others are in my kitchen, but yours are too gorgeous not to have out on display! I saw Lily and the Octopus on your Instagram account and added it to my ‘to be read list’. Just a couple of days later it was a Kindle deal of the day and I got it for a song! Will be reading it as soon as I’m finished with my current read. Thanks for the recommendations and I hope your summer is magical.
Thank you, thank you Rachel! This new one should be out in Spring of 2018, if all goes well here in the kitchen. I’ll keep working to make it worthy of a spot on your shelf 🙂
Terri Schanks says
Hello! I just got back from Santa Fe, where we spent much time writing and eating at Counter Culture, and the various other writer supporting restaurants in the area, and I thought of you while there. I know we’ve never met, but share many of the same interests and I love buying up your books and recommending them to others. Your book holds the hand written and printed out, stained and torn Other Recipes, along with the hand written, tomato juice stained reminders about canning crushed tomatoes on the inside cover. My peeps know if I’m ever abducted by aliens driving across the desert, that your book holds all the love.
Best wishes on your new venture, sending you smells of pinion and strong coffee, the way sage smells after a rain on the mountain, and the lingering taste of roasted chilies. Shine on, unmet sister!
🙂 Terri in St. Louis (and Santa Fe sometimes)
Thank you, thank you, Terri! You can’t imagine how much I’m needing Santa Fe with me right now (or maybe you can, from the way you describe it). Very very appreciated. xo
sending you all kinds of Santa Fe love. We’ll be there again in Sept and October offering retreats, come join us! 🙂
Some day 🙂
I am eagerly awaiting for your new book launch. I read your homemade vanilla syrup written on Tastebook and it was awesome. Thanks Alanac for writing this post and hope we get to read your book soon 🙂
Your comment about writing 80,000 words in 3 weeks gave me hope…I am supposed to be spending this summer writing a thesis for my (second) master’s degree and I haven’t made much progress yet. On the plus side, I am just catching up to everyone else with The Homemade Pantry…I have made granola and yogurt (using a heating pad on its lowest setting wrapped around the mason jars and it seems to be working for me) and love them! Ricotta is on the agenda this week, and I’m raring to try so many other things. It’s late in coming, but thank you so much for the book…it’s very inspiring!
Best of luck with getting the book finished…I’m sending you good vibes!
Thank you, thank you! Sending good non-procrastination vibes your way, too…
I just read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, followed by All the Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister. Neither “summer reads” per se, or related, but both addressing how society got to its current state (in good and bad ways). Seriously fascinating and wonderful reads.
And I just watched that A Bigger Splash trailer which led me to listen to the Nevada Wild…great new artist discovery!!
Between the World and Me is ON MY LIST. As soon as I turn in this book on 8/1, that’s the first thing I’m going to pick up.