Looking in

02 . 26 . 12

Shaun hates it when I leave the blinds open when we’re eating dinner. People are watching, he jokes, it’s weird. For the most part I don’t mind if people are watching, we’re all watching something, waiting for something interesting to happen. Waiting to feel connected.

Looking in, we find relief to see ourselves reflected in the habit and nuance of another. We see something that reminds us that we’re not alone. We’re not crazy. We get to be heroes for a brief moment, anonymously validating that small thing, that big thing, that thing that didn’t make any sense. Real heroism doesn’t involve fancy acrobatics. It’s surviving. We keep going. We keep laughing. We keep working. We’re still here and that is something to look at.

Writing is like that. We leave the blinds open a little and share pieces of our humanity, that, hopefully, reaches a reader and holds them, even for a second, and whispers: you’re not alone. We write to liberate ideas and experience, we write to discover ourselves. We read to be validated we’re not crazy, we read to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves. There’s like this dance between the two that helps us not turn into a puddle on the floor. It’s amazing that a simple string of words can give us that connection, feed that longing for intimacy.

Everyone leaves their blinds open, figuratively speaking. Looking out, looking in, walking down the street, sitting at the stoplight. It’s not just in the writing, it’s everywhere. “It” being that messenger, that thing that speaks to the core of you and honors exactly where you’re at along the journey. Keep looking. The teachers, the validators, the writing is all right there in the window if you’re looking in.

Late Winter Salad adapted/inspired from Ottelenghi’s PLENTY 

  • 1 head cabbage (I used local green cone cabbage)
  • 2 heads radicchio
  • 1/2 cup dill, minced
  • 3 cara-cara oranges
  • 1 cup dried red sour cherries
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt/pepper
In a food processor with the blade fitting, blitz the cabbage and radicchio to a fine shred. Dump into a large bowl. Sprinkle with a bit of salt to wilt a little. Mince fresh dill and toss into the bowl with the cherries. In a small bowl combine olive oil and lemon juice, mix together, then pour over the mixture. Toss together. Segment the oranges by removing the skin and pulp and cutting out slices between the fiber skins. The Kitchn has a great tutorial for segmenting citrus here. Lightly toss the salad with oranges and add a little more salt/pepper to taste.

  • Beautiful Beautiful post! I love the angles and movement that you create in your images.

  • I could not agree with you more… my boyfriend hates it when I leave the blinds open when it gets dark outside because people watch. It’s true, I watch open windows too. I like seeing how people fix their apartments up and catch glimpses of how other people live. I’m so new to this whole blogging thing and I like feeling liberated with how I am able to share a part of something that I feel really passionate about. Beautiful words, beautiful food, beautiful pictures.

  • I love this. The salad is beautiful, and the analogy is beautiful as well. It’s a good reminder to be vulnerable in my writing. Thank you!

  • Leaving the blinds open! Good analogy! And recipe! I just recently came across your blog; enjoying what you got so far :)

  • Amber

    This looks amazing! You had me at dill. :)

  • I love looking in through people’s windows although I am quite grateful that my flat is not overlooked at all! Lovely post.

  • Such beautiful photos and movie !! That’s always a real pleasure to read your blog and test your recipes. Thanks a lot !

  • As always Kelsey, lovely post. I especially love the “we read to be validated that we’re not crazy.” So true.

    This salad sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it!

  • Beautiful shots and yet another thoughtful post – hoping my blinds are open this morning.

  • Chloe


  • the colours in this are just brilliant. we call that a “sweetheart cabbage” here (:

  • Beautiful, thoughtful post, with likewise images.

  • I saw some similar cone cabbage at Whole Foods the other day and thought to myself… how interesting! And beautiful! Looks like a delicious salad :)

  • i do love a good cabbage salad, and have had many. but never would i have believed that the blade of a processor would shred it so fine. truly? truly?! cannot wait to try.

    i do also love good thoughts well strung, and lo, there are some pretty splendid ones, here.


  • Beautiful words and beautiful salad :)

  • I love your analogy of writing being a lot like leaving the blinds open. Our dining room window is literally about a foot away from our neighbors’ dining room. And, often, I feel weird sitting there, eating dinner, while my neighbor is shuffling around, seemingly inches away from me. It sometimes feels like shes IN my dining room. But you are right, we’re all looking at something…

  • What beautiful words. Plenty is one of my favourite cookbooks, and this recipe is the perfect accompaniment to your thoughts. Gorgeous.

  • Ottolenghi’s cookbooks are so inspiring. Love the use of sour cherries here. The texture of that cabbage looks awesome in the shot above!

  • Just found your site, your photos are lovely and your words so eloquently written. I admire your work :)

  • Yum. I’m so glad to see a winter appropriate salad. Looks delicious.

  • Beautiful. Your blog is so wonderful and inspiring.

  • That salad looks like exactly what I need lately! And I love your thoughts–so true.

  • Love the salad. I just came across your blog and I’m enjoying it very much. Beautiful pictures.

  • Loving you guys even though I just found your blog.
    Voted for you at the Homies ;)

  • Wow, I’ve just discovered your blog. You write so beautifully. Your message matters and I’m glad to have found this. Awesome pics.

  • Lovely stuff!

  • This sounds so good, love the addition of cherries and citrus. Thank you for sharing :)

  • Thanks for sharing. The words. The salad. The light and the view. All make me happy to arrive here each time.

  • oh! does this look divine!! can’t wait to try it. the combination of textures and tastes just sounds so amazing. and, all of the ingredients are things my children like, so bonus! so excited to have come across your blog. i spotted it in The Kitchn’s contest last week, and am just now having a moment to oogle the recipes. what fun!

  • Well, that was lovely. I just found your blog the other day, and I’m very happy to have done so!

  • oh! it must be a name thing; my Sean is very much the same way with blinds. how funny.

    and, this is lovely.

  • Cookie and I usually go on a walk at 5 pm, when I’m ready to stretch my legs and walk off the work day. She’s always game, of course. I love getting a little peak into neighbors’ living rooms and kitchens along the way. The flashes of tv screens always catch my eye, but I have hope that many are sitting down to a good dinner in good company.

  • I’ve been on a bit of a cabbage kick…I’ve got to try this soon!


  1. Grapefruit Olive Oil Cake + Recipes for the Week of March 19, 2012 « calendar : cooking

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