saep lai.

That means “delicious” in Lao, and that’s exactly how I feel about last weekend. A dear friend came to visit (long-time readers may remember him from this post), and it was the perfect way to re-acquaint myself with home after my month on the road and the whirlwind that is the beginning of the semester.

D. arrived on Friday, after a long bus ride. I took him straight to a Lao feast, complete (though you can’t see it here) with Beer Lao I picked up from our local beverage store. Tam mak heung, nem khiaow, khao niaow, and a red curry fish dish with a Lao name I can’t remember. Saep lai.

On Saturday morning I made pancakes and we ate them on the porch!

And then we went to the farmers’ market and on a short walk to these waterfalls (seen here in D.’s hipster-view).

On Saturday night, I made a tomato tart with goat cheese and about a quart of farm cherry tomatoes. (This is the one with the dijon mustard slathered on the inside of the crust.) That salad is all farm veggies, too: red peppers, grated beets, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and lettuce. D. brought a growler of a delicious amber brew from his home.

On Sunday morning, we drove to a neighboring lake to go out for a fabulous brunch on the deck. Cheesy grits in homemade sausage gravy, corn beef hash with poached eggs in a dijon hollandaise, rosemary potatoes…so good. Then we visited a distillery and tasted brandies, bourbons, gin, and rye. I was too busy enjoying myself to remember to take any pictures there.

And then it was time for D. to catch his bus home. It was a full (and tasty) weekend!

I enjoyed another glass of beer from the growler D. brought, and prepped Monday morning’s class.

I also ate these roasted vegetables. The eggplant was particularly delicious, and a nice way to conclude a fantastic weekend. I also started another pinwheel blanket (also a wedding present). Pictures of that soon!

FO: joyride.

This is my favorite of the pictures I snapped of myself wearing Joyride, the beret I test-knit for foxflat this summer. (Project details on ravelry.) You can really see the colors and the shine of the yarn, and I love the way the lace looks. This pattern is aptly named — so much fun to knit! Unfortunately, I’m not convinced that this style of hat works well with my overly fluffy head of curls. (Or maybe I need to develop some more confidence?) I’ve got some more pictures to show you, and I’m thinking that I might ask a friend with straight, longer hair to model this so I can take some pictures worthy of my gorgeous FO. Also, I promise to take them somewhere other than my kitchen.

Here you can really see the color progression. I absolutely love the way this knit up, and I think this pattern would be lovely in a solid, semi-solid, or variegated colorway. The lace pattern and the dropped stitches seem to pair well with the yarn I chose. If you want to make one of your own, you can purchase the pattern on ravelry here!

Want to see more pretty things? Of course you do.

These are my new tall shoes: cork wedges from Born (on sale at Zappos). I wore them to a meeting on campus last week and found them to be easier to maneuver in than I expected. (And they’re comfortable!)

Also pretty: a stunning bloom in one of the many campus gardens. Just what I needed on the first day of class.

project breakfast burrito.

I’ve begun joking that my second project, something that people often ask about on the academic job market, is a coffee table book on burritos. While my road trip involved plenty of dissertation research, I also managed to eat enough green chile (in all its forms) to warrant an academic application for all of this enjoyment of deliciousness. Not all of the pictures that follow are of burritos, but I think you get the idea!

My first real breakfast burrito in years. Amazing.

Site of the above burrito. So good.

Grilled pizza at the home of my wonderful hosts: marinara, kalamata olives and mozzarella, and barbecued chicken with onions and cilantro. Even tastier than I remembered.

Burrito number 2, from the burrito lady. This burrito contains carne adovada, ham, bacon, eggs, potatoes, cheese, and green chile. So good. Not overkill at all. Seriously.

This one I ate for breakfast and lunch. (Standard-issue diner coffee mug for scale.) I brought work, ate half of it, took a break and did some writing, and then went back to the burrito. Yum.

Enchiladas at El Patio with friends. This is before they brought the sopapillas.

Blueberry ginger pies in Pie Town. There was pie for snack, dessert, and breakfast. Perfect.

Pie-baking hands.

Homemade chocolate peanut butter sauce for spooning over ice cream. Amazing.

The cowboy breakfast at the Gold Street Caffe. Scrambled eggs with ham and mascarpone cheese on a green chile scone. And a side of bacon, of course.

And then, of course, no trip to the southwest would be complete for me without a Fat Tire on the patio at O’Neill’s.

I’d say project breakfast burrito is off to a promising start. Happy weekend!

nashville.

Boh and I spent the weekend before the last full week of research on my road trip in Nashville with brokeknits. I mostly snapped photos of the food we ate, but I can assure you that both the conversation and the scenery were fantastic.

The Parthenon. Or rather, a scaled replica first made in temporary form for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, and later re-made in concrete. Of course, we had to see Gilded Athena.

Yup. What’s sort of crazy is that this is not unrelated to my work. I mean, Athena is not in my dissertation, but the ideas surrounding things like Centennial Park and the Exposition are certainly part of it.

We honored our trip to see Athena with tater tots. (Mine are covered by an incredibly tasty scramble of eggs and veggies.) We ate them in a lovely vine-covered patio area.

And then we walked by this meter, flashing FAIL. I could do so much with that, but I’ll hold off, as I’m sipping my coffee before heading to campus for the first meeting of the class I’m teaching.

Oh, right. And then this happened. We went to eat Jeni’s Ice Cream. (I didn’t realize there was one in Nashville.) It was amazing. I think ate something that had berries and lavender, something that had almond brittle in it, and something that was mostly pecans and whiskey. All in a waffle cone. It was amazing.

Cheers! A waffle cone toast to friendships that start on the interwebs and transition to real life!

And now, off to campus. Happy first day of school!

is this thing on?

I hope so. Thanks for sticking around through my absence from the blogosphere. I’ve got several posts worth of pictures from the month-long research road trip Boh and I returned from yesterday. Here’s a sampling of the whole thing, minus our weekend adventure with¬†brokeknits¬†— I’ve got enough pictures to turn that into its very own post!

First up? A self-portrait at Forest Park’s Grand Basin in St. Louis. Funny how temperatures rising to 106 degrees meant that I had the place to myself…

Boh loves hotels.

Walking dogs in the bosque.

Boh and I stick our paws/toes in the Rio Grande.

A morning walk in the foothills of the Sandias, on Albuquerque’s eastern side. Boh totally remembered the desert.

A view of the Sandias from the top of one of the volcanos on the west side.

Mount Allegra, the mountain in the backyard of the folks I call my New Mexico family.

Driving west on I-40 into a summer storm. (When all the big rigs pulled over, so did I. About half an hour of rain, hail, thunder, and lightning, and things began to brighten.)

There was a lasso in my room in Camp Verde, Arizona.

More bosque walking with Boh.

Flowers among the cottonwoods.

An awkward self portrait, mid-stroll.

My makeshift office on the back porch of my best friend’s house outside DC.

The Rock Creek Trail offered Boh and I a bit of shade and a nice break from working. It reminded me of home.

Amidst all the driving and outdoor frolicking, I also managed to get quite a bit of research done. (You know what else I did? Eat! I’ve got a whole series of food pictures I promise I’ll share soon.) Boh and I had a wonderful trip, but a month is a long time to be on the road, and I think we’re both very happy to be home.