Issue No. 2: Better Than Perfect
“For is there any practice less selfish, any labor less alienated, any time less wasted, than preparing something delicious and nourishing for people you love?”
― Michael Pollan,
Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
With our modern lives so planned, structured, and digital, Matt and I have long had the idea to host a regular Friday "open house" where we invite everyone we know (no RSVP required), provide some food and drink, and people can come and go as they please. Ideally, such gatherings would be hosted in a naturally luscious backyard with a long wooden, ancient-looking table, lanterns, and lively conversation.
We hosted our first of such events in our very sparsely-furnished Seattle apartment a week ago (far from the idyllic backyard scene I described above). I knew that if I waited for the setting and timing to be perfect, this dream would never be realized. Our theme was the Pacific Northwest and we served wines from Washington, local cheeses, and smoked salmon from our September fishing trip in Puget Sound (yes, I went salmon fishing). The turnout was small and cozy, which was good because we had nowhere for anyone to sit. But most importantly, it was fun. There was nothing high-tech or fancy or Instagram-worthy about it; just good people, thoughtfully selected food and drink, and a spectacular view of Seattle (see photo above). For us, that was more than enough.
As some of you may know, we recently made the move from the Big Apple to the Emerald City. With this new beginning, we made the decision to really embrace Marie Kondo's "only things that bring you joy" rule and not let anything into our home that we don't really love (hence the sparse furniture mentioned above). We didn't stop at furniture—you should, um, see my closet. That said, there really is a tangible difference.
Speaking of joy—chocolate and books are two sources for me. Enter Bean to Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution by none other than my friend and fellow food nerd Megan Giller.
Car sharing. We've long been a one-car household. When we lived in Austin we relied on Car2Go for our second as-needed car. In Seattle, we've added BMW's ReachNowto the mix.
As a reward for unpacking our stuff in less than a week, Saturday morning we treated ourselves to cinnamon rolls from Sea Wolf here in Seattle. These are the perfect example of what craftsmanship and local sourcing can so deliciously produce. I'm scheming on what to reward myself for this week ... Ideas?
Maple Cinnamon Grain-Free Granola: I don't eat a grain-free diet, but I do like to experiment with different ways of making conventional foods, like granola. While granola without oats may be blasphemous to you—I get it, I do—this alternative way of making it is packed with nutritious nuts, seeds and coconut and makes for a delicious snack on its own or breakfast sprinkled over yogurt or chia seed pudding.
Our gun crisis in one chart. (Thank you Jocelyn K. Glei.) There really are no words. More evidence that processed foods are, of course, not okay. Good news? Celebrities are encouraging people to read ... books.
BestSelf Co.'s SmartMarks for analog notetaking that doesn't interrupt my non-digital book reading flow. So far, so good.