Issue No. 1: So Many Things


"The interesting and challenging thing about this moment is that we know the old forms aren't working. But we can't yet see what the new forms will be. We are making them up in "real time."

- Krista Tippet in Becoming Wise

Hello Again. 

At the risk of sounding more than little a crazy: The lion is my spirit animal. (You may recall that the kabocha squash is my spirit vegetable. We do contain multitudes.I know. Bear with me. And not because I'm a Leo (I am) or that I have an impressive mane of hair (I do), but because for the past two years I've been on a mission to live more courageously. You see, I have a well-honed ability to talk myself out of anything—a trip, a conversation, authentic connection, an ice cream cone, a morning run, my dreams. 

For me, living courageously has come to mean doing things differently than I've been doing then. Sometimes that means finding new ways to do the thing, and sometimes it means going back to the way I used to do the thing. 

And what I've noticed on this journey of mine is that courageous living is highly relevant: the way we are doing so many things—eating, producing food, treating the planet, working, connecting, communicating, consuming, using our devices, living—isn't working. It's not sustainable. 

So, what does this have to do with Tavaner's Test Kitchen? It's the evolution. I started TTK because I care deeply about inspiring people to choose differently when it comes to food: to cook it, take pleasure in eating it, and share it with the people they love most. 

This TTK-evolved newsletter (name TBD) will still include food and tested recipes, but it will also explore what it means to live differently and the tools, knowledge, theories, inspiration, businesses, and individuals that we need to do so. Think of it as the "Five Good Things" section expanded. 

It all sounds so serious, but this is also about having fun and play: our modern, busy and distracted lives often don't allow for that. 

I understand if this isn't what you signed up for. If you'd like to opt out you can do so here. I do, though, sincerely hope you'll stay. 

Let's do this. 


If we want our ideas to have an impact on both small and large scales they need to reach people. Enter: Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson. 

The Case Against Civilation: Did Our Hunter-Gatherer Ancestors Have It Better? The jury is out, but New Yorker writer John Lanchester makes a compelling case (and added more than a few books to my too-long reading list). 


Chia Fruit Jam 
My go-to breakfast at the moment is a slice of legit sourdough bread with salted grass-fed butter and homemade chia jam. (Thank you, Joy!) Initially, the chia jam was an answer to the question of overripe berries but quickly became a staple in our house. Take any ripe fruit you have (maybe not bananas... ), throw it into a sauce pan and 15-minutes later you've got some delicious jam. #winning

Bees Wrap. It's the new plastic wrap. Really. (Note: Read the cleaning instructions. Do not use hot water.)

Once you've gone capsule, you'll never go back. Fewer clothes, more to wear. Please.My summer capsule worked like a dream. My fall capsule is #inprogress. Here's a planner to get you started, and an app to help you out. (Men welcome, too.)

If you eat food, Michael Pollan's mini-series Cooked on Netflix should be required watching. (Do you need an excuse to eat sourdough? Watch.) 

The more smoothies I can take with me, the fewer I have to buy. (The same thinking applies to beer, coffee, wine. You know, all the good beverages.)

If you had to give up Apple, Facebook, Google or Amazon, which would it be? What if you had to give up two? Three? You'll live, promise.