Lifestyle Links

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Alright. It’s hopeless. I’m in a domestic mood and can’t bear to write about politics or policy right now. I surfed around for hours yesterday looking for something juicy, but I kept getting hung up on the pretty girlie stuff.

I’m about to lose all my male readers. Oh well. Here are some girlie things that I found yesterday.

I got started at the New York Times article about how celebrities are expanding their world domination by starting lifestyle brands. There’s Gwyenth Paltrow’s Goop, of course — a silly, silly, tone deaf website and newsletter that I love to hate. (It’s losing money. shhhhhh.) The article mentioned other celebrity brands, including Blake Lively’s Preserve. I’m not exactly sure who Blake Lively is, but I loved the photographs on her website.

And I’ve been cooking a ton lately. I’ve had to move some of my CSA vegetables onto a shelf in the garage, because the damn squash take up too much real estate in my kitchen.

Squash is good. But it’s a pain to cut up. I love Martha’s short cut to cooking spaghetti squash. You don’t even cut it in half. Just piece it with a fork and throw it in the oven for an hour. When it’s done and cooled a bit, then you cut in half and take a fork to the flesh. It’s pretty much fool proof.

I’m not really a fan of treating spaghetti squash as a pasta. It’s a vegetable, dammit, so dumping tomato sauce and a meatball on top  is time consuming and kills the taste.

Last week, I took the shredded squash and sautéed it with butter, parmesan cheese and a bunch of fresh herbs that were still growing in my garden. Here’s another Martha recipe.

This week, I’ve made brussels sprouts, too. (Roast ’em with lots of salt.) Braised chicken and turnips. (Cook with white wine, chicken broth, and honey.) Pork and mashed potatoes. Tonight is a leftover night.

So, this past week has been a lot of cooking and cleaning. I’m rubbing lotion into my cracked hands. I’ve also been going to a lot of local school functions, too. I think that giving back should start locally. And that’s an important part of modern lifestyle.

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25 thoughts on “Lifestyle Links

  1. I pretty much hate all squash, Goop, and those table cloths that only cover the middle of the table. They make a little ridge right where I want to set my glass.

  2. “I’m rubbing lotion into my cracked hands.”

    We had a bit of a flood (clean water, fortunately), and we’ve got half a dozen or so box fans and several dehumidifiers going all at the same time to coax the moisture out of the walls. Current kitchen humidity level–27%! Only two more days, hopefully.

    I like rubbing on lanolin (you know, the stuff they sell for treating cracked nipples from breastfeeding) before bed. It’s gooey and expensive ($10 a tube), but the family finds it very effective. Back when I was a kid, my mom would use Bag Balm (the dairy cow udder balm) on her hands:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bag_Balm

    It sounds like it’s really caught on, despite not being approved for human use.

    I love the tin! So retro and cute!

  3. I think the boys like the food, don’t they? In my internet browsing yesterday, I saw an article about cooking, which said that the proportion of people who cook has gone down from 62% to 53% (or something close to that), but that 92% of women used to cook. I think that more men are cooking (anecdotally) because I think most men actually like to eat quite a bit. Unlike, say, put pictures on walls, and decorate dining room tables, which is a rarer trait among most men (I once read a hilarious article about how architect’s wives don’t get to decorate their homes, if they’re not architects, too).

    I like tablecloths that go down the center of the table, because I love wood dining room tables. Ours is cherry, and is probably the first piece of real furniture we ever bought. I haven’t taken good care of it (a conscious choice, because I don’t like having to protect the things I use) but cherry wood is always beautiful.

    1. Grilling for men seems to be a huge big deal these days. Also, bachelorhood goes on much longer than it used to.

      I also can’t quite wrap my head around getting a gorgeous wood table–and then shrouding it with a huge table cloth for special occasions, so it might as well be a card table.

      1. Little kids can toss over a card table easily. The wood is heavy. Other than that, I’d think the card table would be great.

  4. My latest discovery (due to my fantastic CSA) is red kuri squash – tastes somewhat like butternut squash, but you can eat the skin. So it’s much easier to cook, and is delicious. I roast it and combine it with chick peas, red peppers, and coconut milk to make an actual curry (the squash itself does not taste like curry, despite the name).

    I’ve gotten three new Ikea bookshelves this month and with the added space, now have become one of those people who puts things other than books on bookshelves. I have a vase with a flower in it on one shelf. For an academic, this is a huge move.

    1. Just so you don’t start being one of those people who hangs large paintings over the books on their bookshelves, or guts antique books for ugly craft projects.

      1. Not likely! Five out of six shelves on each unit are still books-only. It’s just nice (and aesthetically pleasing) that not every shelf is absolutely crammed full of books.

      2. I used to keep an empty drawer in my old kitchen, because it made me feel like I still had room. Doesn’t work in the current house, where drawer/shelf space is at a super premium (open kitchen, no walls, so no place for cabinets).

    2. It’s because of e-books, right. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be any space for anything but books. We are very slowly trying to decide how much of our space we want to dedicate to books. Before the internet/ebooks/etc. we were resigned to devoting most of our space to books, as needed. Now, I’m wondering whether some of those spaces could be used better for something else.

    1. It all depends on whether you count cooking time as time spent. For someone who’s home but busy, something you can throw in without a lot of work and then just come back to is faster than something that cooks faster but requires more minutes of prep time.

  5. You won’t lose me on lifestyle posts – I love this stuff, even if I mostly take a gander as I go racing by to throw rosemary and garlic on the chicken breasts, wrap them each with a slice of bacon and throw them into the oven to roast. Then I clear out the dishwasher which we ran last night so that I can empty the sink of breakfast dishes and put away all the lunch utensils while thinking wistfully of how it would be nice to get some new kitchen accessories – do they have anything nice on Pinterest? Oh, found a neat recipe that might be Primal-friendly and fun for the holiday season, add that to my sites before I go back to work on this distance course. . . .

    Someday my house will look pretty, my kitchen will be full of healthy food and my work will all be done. Maybe when I retire but if I paste a picture up out of Martha Stewart Living or Goop, maybe you won’t know the difference?

      1. It’s just good sense. Anybody can have a spouse who thinks they drink too much. That’s not a very specific indicator. But if the whole family agrees, it’s probably because there is a problem.

  6. Throw the squash in the microwave for a minute before cutting it. (I don’t even pierce the skin or anything.) As long as it’s decent sized it will only get warm, but it’ll be waaaaaay easier to cut.

  7. I want to meet people who read Goop for anything but a hate-read or buy overpriced stuff from Blake Lively. I can’t imagine these creatures but they must exist.

  8. I confess to making spaghetti squash in the microwave. Also acorn squash with maple syrup.
    easy, fast, fun. When we lived in Eastern europe, you could buy these big chunks of pumpkin and squash already cooked in these big outdoor ovens — a little fast food, Balkan style.

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