popcorn.

More deliciousness from Super Natural Every Day: popcorn! And not just any popcorn. This is popcorn made with butter, dijon mustard, and thyme, and it was the perfect incentive for diving into my grading. Grade a paper, eat a handful of popcorn, grade a paper, handful of popcorn, paper, popcorn…you get the idea.

I snapped this picture of Boh earlier– he decided to hang out in his box for much of the afternoon. I think he must have known (because of the barometric pressure, maybe?) that thunderstorms were in the forecast for today, so he was preparing to hide. The storm never came, though, and now soft and steady rainfall is predicted through the night and well into tomorrow. Poor Boh. I hope he didn’t worry too much.

In knitting news, I’m almost to the very last stripe of my shawl. Stay tuned!

cookbook annotations.

Have we talked about this? I write in my cookbooks: dates, love notes to myself, substitutions, impressions. This does not strike me as odd — I write in all of my books — but I will say this: my cookbook annotations might make me happier than all my other marginalia combined. I like to flip through them and think back to the meal, the evening, heck, even the kitchen in which I last prepared a particular recipe. You can see my notes on Heidi Swanson’s Sun Toast in the picture. Here’s the toast:

I made it again today, and snapped a cast iron pan picture:

So simple, and seriously delicious. I may rub garlic on all future toast.

Somebody is excited for spring. (And so am I!) It is getting harder and harder to stay inside and read, grade, and write. A few more weeks of this pace. Just a few.

mail day.

You know what else (besides turning in exam #2) made Thursday a great day? It was a great mail day. Which reminds me of the excitement surrounding the mail — sent ahead, general delivery, to post offices in small towns we’d be riding through every ten days or so — on a cross-country bike trip I participated in nine (whoa!) years ago. The joke was that “mail” day was actually “male” day, a celebration of all things male. There was a long (tongue-in-cheek) list of the kinds of things that were acceptable on male days (I’m pretty sure trampolines were on the list). I hadn’t thought about that in years, but typing out “mail day” brought it back and made me laugh, almost a decade later.

Anyway, I had ordered — and then forgotten about — Heidi Swanson’s latest cookbook, Super Natural Every Day. I intend to cook out of this ALL SUMMER, and I have big dreams of modeling my lake house kitchen on much of what Heidi describes about her pantry, kitchen tools, and emphasis on a range of grains and better-for-me flours. I know I’m only moving across town, but I am trying to use up extras hiding in my kitchen cabinets before the end of May. This book is beautiful and incredibly practical. I want to eat everything in it.

This guy got his own “male” day of sorts yesterday. Instead of working last night, I cleaned out a kitchen cupboard, and found a bone I’d been saving (and then totally forgot about) for Boh. He watched it intently (pictured here), tossed it around a bit, and then ran away from it/came back to it several times before settling down to eat it. Male day, indeed.

I really need to get back into reading (and grading) mode this week in order to feel ready for my third exam, which starts a week from Monday. Here’s hoping for a productive day!

umbrella, -ella, -ella.

I have no idea what Boh was thinking — except that it must have had something to do with that Rihanna song from a few years ago. To this day, when I hear it, I think of a friend of mine who made it his goal of the summer of 2007 to turn that into a campfire song. I love my silly dog.

The good news? Yesterday I needed the umbrella (-ella, -ella), but today I was in flip-flops! I knit these legwarmers back in 2007, and I wear them all the time — to yoga, when I get out of bed in the morning, when I just need a little extra warmth. They might get more use than all of my other knitwear combined, come to think of it.

Also, I turned in exam #2 this morning! One to go. I’m taking the night off.

another stripe.

Still here, still knitting! I didn’t mean to disappear this week. I was just waiting until my stripe study shawl “looked” bigger. As the shawl grows, each stripe takes longer. I’m not convinced that I’m doing the increases at the off-center center correctly, because the point of the dark stripes looks a little wonky. I wonder if a less open increase, like a kfb, might help with that. (Because I’m totally going to knit this again. And again.)

I’ll leave you with some visuals that demonstrate to me that spring is almost here:

Me, last week — wrapped in my terra shawl, a warm sweater, long underwear, and warm house boots.

Me, yesterday: in a lightweight shawl, a floral print, and pink! As I type this, the sky is clear and the birds are chirping. I’m headed back to the library as soon as it opens, but first, Boh and I are going to take a nice walk. Happy weekend!