Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Five Nice Bits of Randomness...

The lovely Tessa Kiros, as pictured on the back cover of Falling Cloudberries.

#1-- I mentioned Tessa Kiros in a recent post (about cookbooks). I love Tessa. She is at the top of my list when it comes to cookbook authors (along with Viana LaPlace, Nigel Slater, and Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid; I'm talking about readable and inspiring authors, as well as stellar cooks). Tessa truly inspires and motivates me with her style and manner and the culture she creates within the pages of her books. And her food is amazing and beautiful. And now something wonderful has happened! Tessa's absolutely gorgeous book,
Falling Cloudberries, is back in print. This is my current favorite cookbook. I discovered Gourmet magazine's "cookbook club" yesterday, and, what do you know, Falling Cloudberries is their cookbook of the month for May. (I think I've managed to include enough superlatives in this paragraph to adequately get my feelings across!) :-)

#2-- Awhile back I made a list of non-toxic products I like and use. Something new I've been trying/testing for a month now is an Aveda line of hair "bodifying" products. I use things for a long while before giving it a thumbs up or thumbs down because, often, after using a non-toxic product for awhile, it's starts building up on my hair and making it really dull. I'm happy to say that the Aveda products haven't done this. And, as they will eagerly tell you in their salons, all of their products are "at least 96% pure." I told my daughter that, for all we know, the other 4% is radioactive waste, but 96% pure sounds good! Aveda does have a good reputation with "green" advocates, like Renee Loux, for one. Here are the products I like:

Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Shampoo
Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Clay Conditioner
Aveda Volumizing Tonic with Aloe
Aveda Pure Abundance Volumizing Hairspray (the first non-aerosol that has good hold but hasn't made my hair look like oily concrete)

#3-- I thoroughly enjoyed my salad tonight. It was a thrown-together affair that I made up in steps as I got going. The salad looked sort of messy, but I really liked it. I smashed half an avacado and squirted the juice of about a third to half of a lemon on it. Then I plopped on a little bit of stoneground dijon-style mustard, added a few drops of liquid stevia (agave would work), and stirred. I gently smooshed this around on some chopped romaine until the lettuce was well-coated. That alone was good, but then I added some nicely ripened mango chunks to it. Yum. Very thinly sliced pieces of red bell pepper and some chopped cilantro would have added nice color, but the salad wasn't going to win a beauty contest anyway. It sure hit the spot, though.

#4-- I'm really proud of myself for getting all of my boxes of journals and papers and writings sorted and packed away in good time. You have no idea what a feat this was for me, and I am quite proud of myself. Usually when I even crack open one of these boxes, I'm doomed to stand in front of it, reading and remembering for hours. I did, though, enjoy quickly perusing a few of my journals from three or four years ago-- the one I kept on our Yosemite camping and hiking trip; the one I kept when I gave up the computer for Lent (that was an eye-opening experience); some of my eating journals; lists of books I've read; and more. As I read, it struck me that my life has changed in some ways since I started blogging-- there are both pros and cons to this-- and it will be good for me to be routinely away from the computer again for awhile. I hope to learn much this time around, too.

#5-- One nice thing I found in my pile of papers was what appeared to be something I printed from a blog in November 2007. It is simply a pretty photo of a vase of flowers with a quote below it (the flowers pictured below are my own):

"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."

~Thomas Moore, 19th century poet

If that quote with the photo is from your blog, thank you for sharing it. Those words are more profoundly true than many people imagine or want to believe. And I'm glad to end this post on that lovely note.