Read. Eat. Repeat.

Author: Jamie

Gratitude & COVID-19

Gratitude & COVID-19

I received an incredibly thoughtful email from a wonderful human named Mary-Anne today. Mary-Anne got in touch with me because she and her Girl Scout Troop stumbled across some of the resources that I shared while working on their Go Green badges, which they’re currently […]

Arugula Poached Eggs

Arugula Poached Eggs

You owe it to yourself to make this recipe after a tough day; the kind of day that makes you feel like a one-person complaint department. Don’t measure or time anything, be completely imprecise. Here’s what you need: Shallots, 1 large bulb (sliced, diced, roughly […]

Prophecide

Prophecide

I’m a self-fulfilling prophecy. Weeks, maybe months ago, Eric and I had simultaneous good ideas. He said, “I have to write this down,”  and did. I thought, I’m going to keep doing the dishes, this is a great idea, I’ll still remember it later—I didn’t. So, moments ago, doing dishes, I had a good idea AGAIN.

I immediately stopped doing dishes, grabbed my computer and…thought about how I needed to think about a good intro for my good idea because I couldn’t just write it down without context. I’ve forgotten most of what it was but I have pieces of it.

  • Dancing in the kitchen is rejuvenating.
  • Make your dwelling a home NOW.
Things I Shouldn’t Have Had to Say to My Cat Today

Things I Shouldn’t Have Had to Say to My Cat Today

8/16/2019 Barley | “Get your face out of the bananas.” 8/17/2019 Barley | “Please don’t eat tape.” 8/18/2019 Barley | “Why are you like this?” 8/19/2019 Barley | “Stop blowing snot all over the porch slider!” 8/28/2019—My little bro’s 29th birthday!! Barley | “I know […]

Home

Home

I hung all of our wall decorations this weekend. Family photos, framed dictionary pages, the print of the great white rearing back out of the sea in a hail of pepperoni pizza slices that Eric gave me [because he has exceptional taste]. I want everything […]

Lucy Huber

Lucy Huber

I just woke up at 4:30am to find that I’d pulled out a third of the lashes on my top right lid, again. I Googled [for maybe the millionth time], ‘why do my eyelashes hurt’, and I found an article in Greatist about trichotillomania, which I’ve been both mispronouncing and misspelling (trachtillomania) for my entire life, usually in front of doctors—unfortunate.

If I’d written the previous paragraph yesterday, I’d have looked up trichotillomania, found I’d been mispronouncing it FOREVER, felt ashamed, put off writing about it, then eventually wrote about it leaving out the spelling thing and this whole tirade about it, and still feeling ashamed. Today I didn’t, that’s what Lucy Huber did for me. Lucy Huber is a humor and personal essay writer who apparently suffers from some degree of social anxiety, loves cats, and food (probably not in that order)—same as me—and then she talks about it—I don’t do that.

I will have a funny thought, and then I’ll write it down, and then I’ll wait and if I still think it’s funny the next day, I’ll try to think of a story that I can work it into or maybe a new blog  (someday, once I have the perfect idea), and then that’s usually the end of that. The note stays in my phone and a few months/years later, when my phone storage is full, I’ll find it and still think it’s kind of funny, and I’ll feel ashamed that I didn’t do anything with it.

Or the bad thing will happen and I WILL write it down but be so afraid of offending someone, or feeling stupid, or losing my job, or my husband leaving me*, that when it’s finally down on paper, it’s been sanitized to the point that it sounds like an approval-seeking twelve-year-old wrote it—think obnoxious, lacking life experience, vapid, borderline-creepy socially awkward.

The reason it sounds that way is that I’m a bad writer and I’m worried that people will find out. Then, I’ll feel like my whole life is a sham because I so desperately want to be a good and real writer. That was hard to write and it will be harder to leave it on the internet without obsessing over it or deleting it.

I don’t know if Lucy Huber feels that way when she publishes something, even if it’s something that most people will never read. I do know that, if she does, it doesn’t seem to stop her from writing, and writing the way I’d be afraid to speak in front of most people.

I’m a bad writer but I’m not going to get better without feedback or by not writing. If this post sucks, that’s okay. If you want to tell me that it sucks, I can accept that and would actually appreciate it a little. If you had a shitty day and you want to cut someone down for a minute, go for it, we’ve all been there. I’m just going to be a writer, maybe a shitty writer, but working to get better.

Thanks, Lucy.

*He’s not, I asked him, at least twice.

PS- I had a toasted pita with avocado spread sprinkled with Trader Joe’s EBTB seasoning this morning. My husband’s suggestion—amazing.

Precision

Precision

Baking is about precision absent of stinginess. Allow enough butter for the bowl, molasses for the spoon, flour for your hands. As you work, keep in mind that there’s possibly nothing in the kitchen more beautiful than softened [vegan] butter mixed with sugar forming sandy […]

Dairy-Free Home

Dairy-Free Home

My husband, Eric, is a truly spectacular human. He’s kind, generous, thoughtful, intelligent, gorgeous, good at everything he does (so frustrating), and compassionate—he tends to want the best for people and animals, in general, always. I have to brag on his behalf for just a […]

Why I’m Not Vegan.

Why I’m Not Vegan.

I am not a vegan and I’ve been thinking about it a great deal lately. I love animals, I hate factory farming, I’m dairy free, so why not? Three reasons: eggs, oysters, and my husband.

Eggs

Chickens are believed to be resultant of the ancestral co-mingling of at least two species of Asian jungle fowl and were first domesticated around 8,000-10,000 years ago for cockfighting, food, and religious purposes. Chickens made their way into the Americas in the hands of European and Polynesian immigrants between 1200-1600(ish).

My point here is that chickens are like dogs— we domesticated them a long time ago and have been cross-bred them to the point that there’s really no place for them in the wild anymore. If we decide as global people that we want to stop breeding domestic chickens, I’m all for it. Let’s let modern day chickens live out their lives in peace, die easy deaths, and be done with it. Until that day comes, it is our responsibility to care for the chickens that we domesticated and those chickens are going to lay eggs.

To be clear, we are whole-heartedly against factory farming and we do not buy grocery store eggs. We get our eggs from reputable sources at local farmers markets or from friends that we know love their chickens and care for them accordingly. Chickens will lay eggs no matter what and, if they come from a known reputable source, I don’t see any harm in eating those eggs.

Oysters

According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of sentience is being responsive to or conscious of sense impressions. I like this definition from Animals, Ethics, and Trade: The Challenge of Animal Sentience better, “Sentience is the ability to perceive one’s environment, and experience sensations such as pain and suffering, or pleasure and comfort. An animal that is sentient will have the ability to receive internal sensation and information from its environment, and then interpret this as an emotion.

In my opinion, oysters do not meet these criteria. They do have nervous systems and ganglia to interpret sensations but they do not have brains. They’re not making memories, engaging in cognitive thought, or feeling emotions like fear the way a cow, sheep, pig, chicken, or goat might—the way people do. I think it’s okay to eat oysters…and champagne.

My Husband

M husband is a patient, kind, thoughtful man who supports me whenever I express a goal or desire to him. He has my back and I have his. When I told him I couldn’t eat animals anymore, he was on board. When I told him I couldn’t do mass-produced grocery store eggs, he began buying local (sometimes considerably more expensive) eggs without complaint. When I said I was done with dairy, he switched to non-dairy creamer (Ripple is awesome), milk, and butter right along with me.

When I told my husband I didn’t think I could eat fish anymore, he took umbrage. He’s given up a lot. We used to get chicken wings together ever Sunday, roast a chicken once a week, eat bacon every Saturday morning, and enjoy the occasional VERY rare steak together. All he asks is that we be able to enjoy good sushi once in a while and sustainable, locally-caught fish (he even gave up salmon). You only live once and marriage is a partnership—sometimes, something has to give. Ergo, I eat fish sometimes.

That’s it. Agree with them or don’t but those are my reasons. If anyone would like to share their (polite) arguments or opinions with me, I’m open to them. I really do feel guilty for eating fish so if anyone has a good argument or alternative for that, I’d love to hear it.


Sources:

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

It’s 2019 and in late December, I decided that enough was enough. I was talking to my boss and she told me she’d finally made the choice to go dairy-free. She said, “If you think about it, dairy is gross.” YEAH, dairy is gross! I […]