Tuesday, June 15, 2010

... And the Livin' Is Easy

In honor of summer, I've decided to go with a little re-design here at the Files. Enjoy!

It's shaping up to be a bit of an odd summer. We've had days and days of rain here, which has made getting outside a bit of a challenge. I know I have tons of work to do in my little veggie patch that's growing away outside, but whenever I even think about setting foot out there, a deluge of rain falls from the skies. Today, in about 20 minutes, we got 1.5 inches of rain. Seriously!

One thing I do really love about summer, even when the weather is perpetually dreary, is that little bit of extra time I get. One of my big goals for the summer (as is true of just about every summer) is to eat healthier. I know what constitutes healthy eating, but sometimes it's just easier (and less time consuming) to drive through and get a burger or throw a frozen pizza in the oven than to cook a truly healthy meal. All this week, I've been making a concerted effort to cook truly healthy meals and to try a bunch of new recipes. Sunday, I made a delightful chicken marsala and had the most amazing mushrooms ever. I sauteed them in a little red wine. Even my sis who is frequently a little iffy where mushrooms are concerned (she does not share my love affair with the fungus) was in awe of these things. Last night, I made a delicious balsamic pork dish that again had my sis in heaven. Tonight, for the very first time, I made meatballs. I found this recipe that "hides" carrots and zucchini in the meatballs. I popped them in the crockpot with tomato sauce and let them cook all day. I'd only ever had meatballs as a kid, and I hated them. My mom was not the most skilled cook -- a fact I'm becoming more and more aware of as I get older and become a more talented cook myself. So because my mom's meatballs were, frankly, pretty gross, I always thought that all meatballs were so vile. WRONG! As my sis said tonight, too, it's nice to get a feel for what recipes would work during the school year so that we don't slip back into the pasta-hot dog-frozen pizza rut we often get into when I'm in the midst of speech and theatre season.

One thing that continues to strike me as kind of funny is how, when you're making the attempt to eat better, food becomes kind of the center of your every thought. It seems as if I'm constantly thinking about eating, planning what to eat, or getting ready to eat. As I made the meatballs this morning, I was pondering what I would eat for lunch, what snacks I would schedule in and when I would schedule them. When I'm not paying attention to what I eat, food fades more to the background of my thoughts because I just kind of eat whatever whenever. Somehow, it feels like it should be the other way around.

(PS -- Today's picture is dedicated to my friend Debbi who introduced me to this classic documentary when we were in college. I saw it as a delightful drinking game -- take a chug of Boone's Farm wine every time they say, "Wave!" She saw it as a serious documentary ... and maybe a life to which she aspired. I hope she's finally forgiven me for laughing through the whole movie, particularly the warning about the stone fish. Step on one, and you're dead in 15 minutes!)

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