Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Totally Unrelated: (Re)Discovering My Inner Girly Girl

Saucy San Francisco Scarf: Check!

I've been lusting after a scarf like this for months. The San Francisco Cool Kids sport them all year round. They wear them so nonchalantly, so...blase-ly and unconcerned-ly. Their knots are intricate and well-practiced. And, admittedly, these scarves are pretty much the perfect accessory for the unpredictable San Francisco weather. They're neither as thick or enveloping as a pashmina nor as skimpy as a Parisian neck-kerchief. They keep your temperature regulated and keep you looking très cool. (P.S. Spell-check wants to auto-correct "pashmina" to "pastrami." Which is kinda ok with me.)

My point here is that I've been wanting one of these saucy scarves for quite a while. But I have this little problem with...well...girly-ness. Somewhere between hanging out with the theater techies in high school and going to a very-feminist all-women college, I decided that being girly was the equivalent of being silly.

For a while there, I shaved my head (but not my armpits), wore sports bras instead of real bras (ok, I still do that sometimes), and collected dirty jokes like they were going out of style (with which to shock my more delicately constitutioned women companions and impress my more raunchy male companions, of course). I also firmly suppressed my very real desire for high heeled shoes, sparkly jewelry, and pink martinis.

At some point, I woke up and realized that this was not who I really was. Really, like most women, I'm somewhere in the middle. But after years of constantly shoving that Inner Girly Girl in the back closet, you might be surprised at how hard it is to let her out again. It surprised me. I find that I have to really work at it.

I stood there next to the display of saucy San Francisco scarves for a good ten minutes. My pal and fellow Kitchn writer Leela dutifully commented on each scarf I held up to my face, comparing color with skin tone, texture with softness, and generally coaching me into buying one.

It was a big moment for my Inner Girly Girl. Maybe next time I'll wear heels.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

This Week at The Kitchn! Plus a side note on the difficulty of letting go

This was my last week with my regular schedule at The Kitchn before going down to fewer posts and it's making me feel a little weepy. It's all for good reasons, mostly to do with freeing up a little more of my time with this whole book thing happening. But, man, The Kitchn has been such a huge part of my daily life for so many years that taking even this small step away from it just feels...weird. It feels a little like losing my center of gravity. Or rather, like my center has just shifted a little to the side and now my balance is all wonky.

And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that my ego is hurting a little. These posts are my babies. As genuinely happy as I am to see other writers on the site eagerly stepping in to take over the now-empty post slots, there's this twinge of anxiety that I'm letting my babies go. How do I know the other writers will treat them right? How can I be sure they're taken care of? It's astounding how emotionally attached I feel toward them.

But I have to laugh at myself. The other writers on The Kitchn are phenomenal. More than that, they're my friends and we work as a team. My little Kitchn-post-babies will do wonderfully in their capable hands.

And this is really a very good thing for me. I'm usually of the mindset that I can do it all, all the time, and nope I don't need any help thanks! Then I am very surprised weeks or months later when I'm suddenly a stressed-out ball of quivering nerves who can't sleep at night. Go figure!

So yes, this transition is leaving me feeling off-balance and emotionally akimbo, but it's a good move in the long run. (Dear husband: You're welcome!) I really am looking forward to having more time and just plain ol' energy to work on the book as well as some other projects that have been on the back burner for far too long. Good times ahead. Eventually.

P.S. Check it out! An article I wrote on grilled calzones got picked up by the Chicago Tribune, and that's pretty cool: Bubbly, Hot and Delicious: Grilling Turns Calzones into Crispy, Flavorful Mouthfuls

And here's what I've been up to on The Kitchn:

What have you been up to?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

This Week at The Kitchn!

Yes, eventually I will get into a good rhythm of posting things other than my Kitchn round-ups. Like about how I hover over my fermentation buckets like a mother hen. Like the confession a friend recently made to me regarding summer squash. Like more deep thoughts relating to writing, brewing, and my neuroses.

But because I've been swamped trying to juggle all those things and find my balance, for now it's just a Kitchn round-up. Forgive me? What about if I make you Spicy Jalapeno-Lime Hummus and homemade pita?

And what have you been up to this week?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This (Past Two) Week(s) at The Kitchn!

Some summer travels and general life business meant that I didn't get around to posting my usual round-up of Kitchn posts these past few weeks. And since this something I do primarily for the benefit of my mother (the definitive one-stop-shopper), I'd better get a re-cap up ASAP before the irate and/or concerned phone calls start coming in.

And what have you been up to these past few weeks?