Narrating Grace

What I’m Into (May 2014)

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I’m sinking into summer, and the sun-filled days feel luxurious after the long, hard, cold, miserable winter. Today is my son’s last day of second grade (how did that happen?). My husband is bringing him Burger King at school for lunch. It’s hard to know what my son is more excited for–his dad visiting or a greasy bag full of fast food. Ah, childhood!

My first visit to the farmer’s market felt like a revelation this year–fire-y geraniums, tangerine begonias, rows of tiny green herbs. I’ve given up gardening this year. It was a lesson in self-acceptance. I’m a bad–no, a terrible gardener (there, I said it). But I’m very good at eating and enjoying the fruits of other people’s gardens.

I can’t get food out of the ground, but I can cook it. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been knee-deep in food memoirs for the past few months, and I don’t see myself tiring of them anytime soon (and they all include great recipes):

Books:

Eat with Joy: Redeeming God’s Gift of Food by Rachel Marie Stone
This well-written, thoughtful, joyful book explores our relationship with food from a theological perspective. We’ve taken a nourishing, pleasurable gift from God and turned it into the enemy–counting calories, hating what it does to our bodies, viewing it as a source of shame. Stone uses Scripture to help the reader reclaim the joy of eating–and she does it all with humor and gentleness. I will keep this book on my shelf and return to it again and again.

Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist
This collection of essays explores how sitting around a table and sharing food, friendship, family and love nourishes us in powerful ways. Niequist is delightfully honest and funny, and I love how she ties God into everyday meals as well as blow-out parties. And her turkey burger recipe? Killer.

Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach
Rosenstrach started the popular blog Dinner: A Love Story and this book came out of its success. It’s inspired by her passion for making family dinners–with actual cooking–a priority. She’s non-judgmental and incredibly practical. Her idea for deconstructed dinners was a revelation for me (and a forehead-slapping moment). A big bowl of salad for dinner doesn’t often get celebrated at my house (much to my chagrin) and making dinner for everyone else plus a salad for myself feels like too much work. Enter the deconstructed salad! Last night I made her mind-blowing-ly good Salmon Salad (she demonstrates it here) and put all the ingredients in separate bowls at the table. The kids had fun picking out what they wanted, I got to eat a salad for dinner, and everyone loved it. This idea will seriously change my life.

Also reading: Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl, VB6 by Mark Bittman, Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for New Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People by Bromleigh McCleneghan and Lee Hull Moses (two great pastors and moms), The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Music:

My best friend from college and I went to see Nickel Creek in Minneapolis in May and they didn’t disappoint. I first saw them around 12 years ago and they’ve only gotten better. They’re a must-see live band.

I love Beyonce and just downloaded her B-Day album, which is fantastic for running.

TV/Movies:

I’m beyond excited that So You Think You Can Dance is back (and that it’s finally on Hulu!). I’ve also gotten hooked on Scandal, which feels like the perfect summer Netflix binge.

Last weekend I watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and really liked it. And I’m waiting impatiently to see Chef, the new movie out by Jon Favreau. I don’t often get out to see movies in the theater, but I’m willing to make an exception for the man who made Elf.

Events:

A wonderful (and too short) mini-break with lovely girlfriends on the New Jersey shore, complete with lots of ocean walks, ice cream and salt water taffy and hours of girl talk.

Hosting a Memorial Day party at our house for college friends of my husband. They’ve gotten together every Memorial Day for years–a testament to their long-lasting friendship.

Participating in the Ten Steps Walk for Crohn’s and Colitis with my cousin, who suffers from Crohn’s. My sister and niece came too–a great time to reconnect with family!

I’m excitedly anticipating another week at Collegeville–knowing the work will be hard but worth it.

Happy June!

Linking up with Leigh Kramer

 

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