These wraps, which I’ve had for lunch for the last three days, illustrate one of the best parts of working from home. Because, are you ready? When you call your kitchen table your office, this is what happens: you pull open your Google Reader on a casual Tuesday afternoon, see a recipe you’d like to […]
Once upon a time, a girl decided to surprise her boyfriend for the weekend. It’s a classic story: she booked a plane ticket, got his friends involved and, hardest of all, fought to keep from spilling the beans beforehand. There were two months of wait time from idea to fruition, which meant lots of vague […]
Chicken salad is the #1 thing I don’t order at restaurants. And I think this makes perfect sense. I mean, first of all, who wants chicken salad when you can get a tomato mozzarella panini or a sandwich with basil pesto or heck, a juicy burger made from locally sourced meat? But second, and even […]
I don’t know where you sit today, but I hope your view is as nice as mine, where the air smells sweet and the sun is high. Charcoal grills send smoke through my windows, green grass surrounds blooming tulips and daffodils, restaurants open their walls so we can dine al fresco as the sun sets.
I’ve realized as much as I hate Chicago winter, I love it for this: what else could make me so aware of the beauty of Chicago spring? And as spring turns to summer and summer to fall, I will keep enjoying the beauty of seasons, the joy of watching change unfold around you, irrespective of you and what you want. It’s nice to be a part of that.
I guess what I’m saying is that these almost-summer afternoons are the good stuff, what we’ve been waiting for, so maybe you’ll understand why it’s hard to resist all they tempt me towards? Things like a sunny weekend game at Wrigley Field, hours antiquing in northern Illinois, long walks on tree-lined streets of ivy-colored brick buildings.
Last week, I met a three-year-old girl with an easy smile, while we walked down creaky steps in a vintage building near a Metra station, surrounded by trees with blossoms as big as my hands. Saturday, after lunching at one my favorite places with an old blogging friend, I strolled along Clark to Broadway, passing bakeries and restaurants and adorable little shops. And this week, after work each day, I’ll come home with no plans but to be outside, watching the tomato plants grow and ready for the sky to turn orange and crimson before I pillow my head.
Also last week, because I wasn’t done with Oikos Greek yogurt yet, I made this cake.
While Mom and I were walking out of the restaurant Sunday afternoon, arm in arm, our bellies full with sauer braten, bread dumplings and chicken schnitzel, she spotted a lilac bush in someone’s yard, and we talked about the corsages Grandma used to make with them on Mother’s Day each year.
Grandma used to say she had seasonal depression, meaning every winter she’d want to tuck away in the house, lethargic, doing little but cooking and baking, especially at Christmas—I think I get this from her—but come spring, she’d be the happy lady mowing her front lawn, planting geraniums along the front and big tomato bushes in back, hanging laundry to dry on the clothesline that ran from the back brick to the detached garage.
These mornings, when I wake up and hear pounding rain on the windows and see the grass deep, deep green, I think of how happy this would’ve made her, how happy it makes me. When I come home, the world bathed in sunlight, with fresh flowers popping up in yards and along open fields, there’s so much I want to do: take Bailey out, go for a quick run, stroll to the grocery store that’s a mile away instead of getting in the car to drive. Some nights, I don’t even care if I eat dinner, except for something quick I grab on my way somewhere. Like the other night, after I’d thrown in laundry, the windows open around me, and gone outside for a while, letting Bailey pull me wherever he wanted, I came back in, and instead of making dinner, I put together this quick parfait, made of Greek yogurt, chopped fruit, walnuts and honey.