Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just keep swimming.

I should probably warn you that this post is not going to have anything at all to do with food. I was going to write a post about all the refined sugar (and reptile meat) I consumed at the Minnesota State Fair, but that will have to wait.

It'll have to wait because right now I have only one thing on my mind, and that one thing is this:

Bucket List Item #27, you are going down.

See, here's the thing. I never really learned how to swim. Not only that, but I've never even been able to float properly. There's a reason: I'm not very buoyant.

And see, I can say that confidently now and know that if anyone scoffs at me then they are wrong. I've been saying that to people all my life, because the truth is that when you put me in the water my feet sink. And since my feet are attached to the rest of me, then the rest of me sinks.

Once when I was explaining this to a certain ex-boyfriend of mine, he looked at me sarcastically, pointed at my breasts, and said, "Those are mostly fat. Women should be able to float."


Well, I sort of wish that this gentleman and I were still in communication so that I could call him up tonight and gloat. Because tonight my swimming instructor informed me simply: "You sink."

The good news (aside from the fact that I get to gloat a little) is that there are ways to compensate for that. Tonight I floated--really floated--for the first time. It didn't come easily. It involved a lot of concentration and a lot of muscle control, but I did it. The same is going to be true of kicking correctly--and hard enough and quickly enough--to keep my feet up near the surface of the water.

I was hoping that these lessons might be a relatively quick fix, but it turns out that I'm going to have to work my butt off. And then keep practicing. And, um, overcome the anxiety that has developed over years of panicky situations in which I was not able to keep myself afloat.

But have I mentioned that I'm a particularly stubborn and determined individual?

Yeah. That's right, Bucket List Item #27: Learn to swim. You'd better watch out, because I've got my eye on you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Since March

That's how long I've been looking forward to this particular CSA box.

Now, of course I've been enjoying just about every aspect of the CSA experience, and I don't mean to imply that there's been anything lacking from the previous boxes. From strawberries to braised cabbage to fennel mashed potatoes to chilled cucumber soup and even to the Ultimate Zucchini Bread Recipe Challenge of 2009, I have been eating well this summer and I've found a lot of joy in the process.

But this box, my friends, is my first once since tomatoes came into season.

So. Many. Tomatoes.

And see, I've been looking forward to this panicky "dear lord, what will I do with all the tomatoes" feeling since March because that's when I first read about Molly Wizenberg's slow-roasted tomatoes with coriander. Just do what the woman says. You won't regret it. The recipe was originally posted over at Orangette and it also appears in her book, A Homemade Life.

Just look at these gorgeous things.

And now that there's a crisp fall chill in the air, the time is right to pop a pan of these in the oven, pull on your sweatpants, curl up with a good book, and take a peek every hour or so until those tomatoes have reached glorious perfection.

Slow down. Enjoy the changing seasons.

Enjoy the tomatoes.