Archive: Oct 2011

  1. Let Them See You

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    I was seventeen, Shaun was closing in on nineteen when we went to the cabin. The idea wasn’t our own, rather a gentle nudge from a friend who knew we needed that trip more than we realized at the time. I’m thankful for his wisdom. Although we had been dating for nearly a year, I don’t think it was until that trip that we really saw each other. Saw each other’s heart; the joy and pain and the fear that lay tucked beneath the surface, the façade we for different reasons clung to.

    There were swings at the cabin, up the hill from lakeshore. It was barely raining that day, and we sat on the swings and let the wind fill the silence between us. We were both confused. I remember starting to cry, feeling that nudge again coming with the rain.  Shaun turned to me and said “you’ve got to let me in.”

    I attempted to start this post with a question, how many people in your life really see you? Following it with another, now how many people do you really see? I felt stuck — wanting to make a point about how often we go through the weeks and months surrounded by people believing we see them and know them, when in reality we don’t really at all. But that would be the obvious question.

    I dropped Shaun off at the airport earlier in the morning and felt a pang of sadness that we will be spending another one of his birthdays apart. The morning was crisp when we hugged goodbye, and the clouds considered a bout of rain. I drove away and thought of the cabin. Five years. It felt like a long time ago. I thought about how far we’ve come as individuals, as a couple. I thought about what today would have been like if we had put off that trip to Alaska and his grandparents cabin.

    The better question is this, who do you let see you? Why do you (we) hold back from allowing people to really see us for who we really are? We must work to be present and truly see others, but we must also work to trust that it’s okay to let others see our own true selves too. It’s scary. I know. But we may be seen when we let ourselves be seen. Maybe not always, but when we do, there will be opportunity and occasion for people who do want to see us, and we will not feel alone.

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  2. Famine, Food, Justice

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    There will be no pumpkin bread in this week’s post. No cinnamon-sugar scones, honeycrisp apples, rutabaga mash, baked spinach, and definitely no butternut squash gratin. But there will be F-75, F-100, and Plumpy’nut. This is what food aid looks like in the Horn of Africa right now. Keep Reading…

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  3. Sweet Pepper Soup

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    Today is one of those days where words seem to fail. Sentences and ideas come together, but nothing feels right. I’m saying something, but I’m not really saying anything. I’m dabbling in themes that seem important, but they aren’t authentic. I’m not feeling provocative, compelling, or wise. More exhaustion, frustration, acceptance, relief.

    I stop fighting the resistance and set aside the notebook. I rest my head back on the couch we bought second-hand a few weeks ago, laughing to myself when I remember how we almost broke my finger in the doorframe trying to move it into the apartment. Shaun is in the kitchen, I can hear him hammering planks of plywood for shelves in the pantry. Pickin’ on Coldplay plays on the desktop computer on the tall table and Sadie is asleep by my feet. The wind and the sun come through the screens and effortlessly toss shadows of the maple tree across the hardwood.

    Take off your battle fatigues for a second, Kelsey, let go of trying to write something big, inspiring, creative. This is all I have to offer today: say I love you more. That’s it. Pretty simple. Say it more. Say it right now, not later. It’s the only moment that counts. I’m not the first to impress upon it and I won’t be the last. Don’t assume people know how much they mean to you. Make an effort to tell them as much and as often as you can. In an instant, you may wish it were the only thing you ever did in this world, and all the other words that failed will not matter. Who will you say I love you to, today?

    What better way to say I love you than with a bowl of soup. It definitely makes the Billboard top-forty. And my take on this Alice Waters’ treasure, well I have to say (and Shaun agrees), this may be the best Happyolks recipe to date. Sweet red, yellow, and orange peppers are still coming in our local CSA box, but you could always use the more traditional looking organic bell peppers from the store too. Greens are off limits, not sweet enough.

    Sweet Pepper Soup 

    • 1 pound of sweet peppers, seeds and veins removed
    • 1 small hot red pepper (optional)
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3 tbsb olive oil, for sauteing
    • 3 tbsp fresh thyme
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 7 cups low sodium vegetable broth
    • 1/3 cup brown rice
    • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1/4 cup chives, minced
    • salt and pepper to taste
    In a large saucepan, bring olive oil to medium-high heat. Toss in sliced onions and peppers, sauté for about 10 minutes until softened but not browned, stirring frequently. When softened add garlic and thyme, stirring to coat and cooking for another 4-5 minutes. Pour vegetable broth over the mixture, sprinkle in the rice, add a bit of apple cider vinegar, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool for a few minutes while you prepare the blender. Transfer a few ladles of soupy-pepper mixture to the blender at a time, until all of the soup has been pureed. Serve with a few teaspoons of fresh chives and a warm country levain loaf.

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I wish I could make coffee dates with you all. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line with questions, comments, concerns, or just to say Hi. I like that. There is nothing more uplifting than an email from a a fresh contact or kindred spirit.

I can be reached through this contact form and at happyolks [at] gmail [dot] com.