Saturday, February 13, 2010

About Love, Old and New

Good morning, dear readers! It’s already been a good morning for me, between a good night’s sleep, a big bowl of banana oatmeal, and that Saturday feeling. It’s a working weekend for me because I’ve got a presentation to prepare for lab meeting on Monday and flies to water in the lab later today, but I don’t mind. It’s still Saturday!

I’m rediscovering all sorts of old things that I once loved and then forgot. I think it’s nice, a little like meeting up with an old friend after a long absence. Last night, after a reluctant 20-minute run in the cold and the dark, I put on a Norah Jones CD and made myself an almond crust pizza and a spinach salad. Everything hit the spot, especially the music. This CD was her feels like home album. Two of my favorite songs are “Creepin’ In” and “Toes.” I’m also partial to “Sunrise” because I consider sleeping late to be a weekend requirement.

I’ve discovered a new dessert tea that I want to share with you: Stash Decaf Chocolate Hazelnut Tea. Really: chocolate hazelnut! If you doctor it up with a splash of milk and a teaspoon of sugar, it’s like hot chocolate but lighter on the palate and with an almost fruity finish. I’m a huge fan of drinking herbal teas with dessert, but I think this Stash tea is going to work its way into my rotation.

This weekend I think I’m going to trot out some old favorite recipes for the big Saturday dinner. I haven’t made Matt’s Chickpea and Artichoke Heart Stew in a long time, and since it is Valentine’s Day weekend, it somehow seems appropriate to make recipes that remind me of Matt. I miss him in a sweet, happy way—with fondness and love. I’m glad our friendship blossomed into so much more.

With Matt’s stew I’m going to have his Spinach and Orange Salad and maybe a hunk of chewy bakery bread. The broth in the stew is so good and perfect for bread-dunking. Dessert will probably be a lazy affair of pantry-pawing to find something sweet to eat alongside a mug of my new Stash tea.

I know I tend toward the sappy and sentimental in my posts, but I can’t help but remember how scared and sad I felt a year ago at Valentine’s Day. I was crushed by the darkness of winter and the looming unknown questions about finishing my PhD and what would happen after that. I had no idea that I would be living in Texas by the end of the year or enjoying a research position in a new lab, one that would allow me to put all my hard-earned knowledge to work on new projects. Research is still hard—it’s never easy—but I’m so much happier with it than I imagined possible. I don’t feel crushed under the weight of my worry any more, and for that I will never stop feeling grateful. That’s why my PhD matters so much to me: it set me free.


Nicole said...

I LOVE Norah Jones and anything chocolate hazelnut! They are yet two more ways we are kindred spirits. Do you remember all the jars of Nutella we went through at the Mae (or was that just me???). Happy Saturday, dear friend!

Rosiecat said...

Me too, Nicole!

Nutella! Was it Greta who introduced us to Nutella? I remember her banana bread from that year, which was so good. I should dust off that recipe and make it again.

The other thing I remember that always cracks me up is AMPD marching out to the freezer and eating chocolate ice cream straight out of the carton. You have to give the woman credit: she knows what she likes!

Happy Saturday to you too, beautiful Nicole.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I think at some point I went straight to the chocolate syrup bottle and poured syrup right on my spoon.

Nutella + raspberry jam OR Nutella + peanut butter = delightful.


Laurie said...

Happy Valentine's Day! Sounds like two wonderful meals. I'll have to try your recipes when I'm cooking again...somehow there are a lot of dirty dishes in my kitchen for someone who claims she's not cooking.

ammie said...

I'm so glad to hear you sounding so upbeat! We need a phone date soon. And perhaps I need to make that soup too... I just made the garlic chickpea kale soup again last night and it still ranks among my all-time favorites!

Rosiecat said...

Hi everyone! Happy Valentine's Day.

AMPD, what about Nutella + peanut butter + raspberry jam? Too much? Three's a crowd? For real? (Har har--that's a pun!)

What I want to try is Greta's banana bread with chocolate syrup drizzled over it. Oh yes. That's got comfort food written all over it.

Laurie, you are too cute. Somehow your "easy" cooking week is morphing into something a bit more elaborate...and delicious?

Ammie, I've been thinking the same thing! This week is pretty open for me after Monday. Let's have a date! As for the soup, I think it's fantastic, but you must like sage! The sage makes it special.

The (in)famous garlic, chickpea, and kale soup! By any chance were you cooking it for a special someone or two? ;-) I completely condone the use of that soup to win friends and lovers. It's stunningly good.

Fear not, friends, that there is no post tonight! I've been wading through data all evening in preparation for lab meeting tomorrow. But I'll be back on Monday night with some thoughts on butter and a new recipe! Until then, take care and eat well.

Heather @ Side of Sneakers said...

What a lovely post!! Those dishes both sound wonderful!

Rosiecat said...

Thank you, Heather! You have a cute blog name :-)

Shannon said...

you are so good! making a habit of paper reading each week (i haven't gotten myself to do it and am woefully behind :(), rediscovering lovely treasures, cooking up a storm... i am jealous :) maybe you even got frisky and made your own crusty bread for the soup?

Rosiecat said...

Shannon! You're alive! You must have been crazy-busy for the past few weeks. It happens :-)

I'm pretty excited about the paper-reading thing too. It's such a positive thing to do to stay excited about the science and to stay intellectually engaged in the work.

As for the cooking, funny that you should mention bread. My last attempt to make bread didn't work very well, and I'm worried that it's the water here in College Station. I need to replace my yeast first and try an old recipe that I know and trust (a "positive control!"). So no bread this weekend but I did find an awesome tomato foccacia at the grocery store. It counts for something!