Friday, June 4, 2010


Garret and I enjoy a particular lifestyle that was easy to achieve while living in England.  Fresh produce and cheese from the market, fresh bread from a bakery, a variety of local meats, and strolls through villages that helped keep our bodies healthy as well.  We swore that when we moved back to the U.S. we would search out these things, but for a long time we failed, and we became grumpy.  I no longer took as much pleasure in cooking finding ingredients I used to have on hand hard to find (still hunting down back bacon, to no avail....I'm seriously considering ordering part of a hog cut to my request just to get it!).  True, I cooked a lot of soup this winter and usually threw whatever veggies we had into the pot.  But as the weather warmed up I've felt lost.
What back bacon looks like.

Not now.  With my baking last night and my need to make a quiche tonight to use up a whole ton of arugula we have I'm feeling better again.  I like the French/European lifestyle.  It's who we are.  I love a good strong cup of espresso made in a pot on the stove.  I love chopping up veggies for a dish seasoning with fresh herbs.  I love beeswax and natural fabrics like linen and silk.  Garret looked at me yesterday with my smudgy eyes (I did the smudged eyeliner he likes with a bare face) and smiled, telling me he was glad to see "me" again.  I was rambling on about food and wine and life.  I've been missing home so much but had neglected to recreate it here.  

But I'm signing us up for a CSA box, one in which we can go to the market each Saturday and pick out our own items.  They are fresh, organic, from a local farm.  And the site has plenty of recipes for any vegetables that I may not know what to do with (I'm a fan of stepping outside your comfort zone, and this weekly box will allow me to try things without costing us too much).  Each item (a bunch of beets, a qt. of tomatoes, fresh herbs, etc) costs less than $3 a piece once it's broken down and it will go on for 24 weeks.  It end up costing us far less than we would normally spend on vegetables, herbs and fruit per month!  (the whole box ends up costing like $23 a week for 8 items for a full portion)
Image from One Straw Farm

Where we pick up our box will be a local farmer's market I haven't tried yet that also has a stall that bakes fresh bread before they come there (and the market opens at 7!).  They have a little seating area to watch the market, and are venturing into crepes as well (I love savory crepes with goat's cheese and tomato).  We're headed there tomorrow, and our CSA starts the following weekend.  

I do indeed feel like "me" again.  I scrubbed down the kitchen last night, polishing the floors, listening to Sense and Sensibility in the background.  The smell of the beeswax candles we had lit for a simple supper of wild mushroom and leek soup (from Harry and David, but more on that later) left a nice fragrance to the air.  Tonight when I make the quiche at least half will get frozen for a day when I don't feel like cooking as much.  I'm attempting stuffed peppers later this weekend (red peppers stuffed with savory goodness).  And I'm scrubbing our home clean, planting some lavender we picked up last weekend, and airing out the sadness that went on too long as I moped.  

What about you?  Have you been putting off the life you love through the long winter?  Ready to air out your home?  Stay tuned here and on our home blog for some amazing projects we have coming up this month (including an item that will make me want to iron clothes!).  


  1. I am so glad to hear you are feeling more like "you"'s amazing isn't it, when you turn a corner and suddenly feel like you've found yourself agaon ;)
    I'm so excited to hear more about your farmer's market adventures! I'm trying to eat lots more fruit and veggies once I move house (next week) and am even growing some of my own (hopefully, if I manage not to kill them... ;)
    Also I love hearing you talk about England as I live here and it's nice to be reminded of the good things about it from someone else's perspective :p if you're ever back in this neck of the woods...! xx

  2. Rachel, If I am ever back in England (and God I hope we move back), you are on my list of lovely ladies to meet! England does have so many amazing things about it, so any time you need a reminder e-mail me and I will give you a whole list!

  3. LOL! You are hilarious, in a good way;) I put Emma when cleaning or being by myself, or going through a time of what I need to do for 'myself'. Relief to find that I'm not the only one. Lovely post and happy to hear that you're squealing over the top!!

  4. I am so happy to read this! Glad you are feeling more like you and your home is feeling more like your home. :)

    I have been putting EVERYTHING off since August. I am so happy the school year is winding down and I have time again!! I have already ben cleaning and organizing - and I am so inspired to do SO many things I have been waiting on. Come on summer!! :)

  5. Hi Kalee, I'm looking forward to your upcoming projects - I really need some inspiration! It's almost the end of the school year and things have been dragging; having to motivate the kids to work towards the semester exams, not yet done a real spring clean, just feeling a bit blah. Will you give me the required jump start?! :0)

  6. Ummmm, this might be a stupid question, but all our bacon looks like that here. What does your bacon look like there??