A year ago today, I was nervously setting off on my first wholly solo travel experience to the Netherlands and Belgium. It was just a few days after Luna had passed, and I had no idea how I would feel during the trip. I ended up being so, so glad I hadn’t backed out; it was the perfect time to get away from home and to distract myself with all that Amsterdam and Bruges had to offer. It also confirmed a fact I’d long suspected, but hadn’t had enough solo travel time to confirm: I am my own #1 travel partner. No disrespect to the many family members and friends I’ve travelled with, but I freaking love my own company! As if I needed more confirmation that I am an introvert through and through. (Steven, for the record, is my #2 travel partner. He’s also an introvert. We can feel alone even when we’re together.)
I haven’t got any solo travel plans this year… yet. I’m always on the lookout for cheap flights, and I’d love to book something for Labor Day weekend. I have managed to get a little traveling in during the first half of the year, though; I went to New Orleans with a couple friends (loved it!), spent five days in Kansas City for work (a surprisingly neat city), and went to Chicago for a quick weekend trip to visit some friends and meet their baby (<3 Chicago, and the baby was pretty cool too). I’ll be in Rhode Island next weekend to hang out with family members visiting from across the country (and meet another baby), and then I’ll be in South India for two weeks in July to celebrate my brother’s wedding. I’m counting down the days ’til this trip, although it’s going to be wholly different from the aforementioned solo travel experience: We’re going with my immediate family, various partners, and my cousin, and we’ll be traveling together for most of the time… not to mention attending the wedding ceremony/reception and various events with my sister-in-law’s family. Lots of socializing, basically. Gonna have to carve out some introvert recharge time!
Anyway, on to the small bites for this weekend.
Food52 has been publishing some really lovely pieces lately, including this sweet little story of a fig tree cutting that traveled from Sardinia to Dallas and helped the author’s two sets of grandparents bridge a linguistic divide. Valerio Farris’ description of eating a juicy, swollen fig makes me wish I liked the fruit!
A thoughtful analysis of Solo, the new Star Wars movie that gives us — at long last — Han’s back story. I’m not sure I agree with every point here, but it does help explain why the film felt a bit flat. Which is not to say I didn’t enjoy it; it was entertaining enough. But it didn’t feel like a real Star Wars movie in the way The Force Awakens did, and it’s certainly nowhere near as solid as Rogue One. The frenetic pace, unnecessary subplots, and quick tour through lots of locations with no chance to get to know them were just a few reasons I disliked The Last Jedi, and unfortunately Solo has similar issues.
I’m a newcomer to Jack Monroe’s work, but I enjoyed this piece on the privilege inherent in going vegan and the damage the so-called “militant vegan” can do for folks who are curious about plant-based eating. While I personally find it very difficult to understand self-professed “animal lovers” who eat meat, and I have a negative gut reaction to someone who eats vegan 90% of the time yet consume the occasional meat or animal product, I also know that someone eating vegan 90% of the time is someone who is drastically cutting down her consumption of animal products… and isn’t that what we all want? There are entire books to be written on the tired debate about the labels we use and what “plant-based” vs. “vegan” means and whether a “part-time vegan” can actually exist (*eye twitch*), but overall I think we need a hefty dose of both pragmatism and empathy in this movement. Jack’s piece speaks to that need.
The Office, as usual! I just discovered that Michael Scott and I share a birthday. I can’t believe I didn’t realize that until now.
I’m not one to eschew rice for any reason, but I am one to eat cauliflower as often as I can get it! Therefore, this cauliflower rice kitchari from Minimalist Baker sounds excessively tempting.
Spoiler: We’re cooking through Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro for our June cookbook challenge, and yesterday I put together a seitan, avocado, cucumber, and tomato salad that was shockingly filling — and tasty. Our first recipe from the book was less successful, so I was glad the salad was satisfying!
I am (quite literally) salivating at this strawberry margarita pie, featuring cashews and lots of coconut. The perfect summer dessert?!
Aaand that’s all I’ve got for you today. Let me know if you’ve read/watched/eaten anything of note lately!
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