no explanations. just a moment captured.
I am obsessed with this kale salad. This week alone David and I have devoured tons of kale. This salad is so good that as we wait for the main dish to prepare we snack on the bowl of salad, stealing a leaf here and there until dinnertime. At the kitchen table, we pile the dark, leafy greens onto our plates and savor the flavors. Yes, we need to curb our excess binging on this salad but overall it is full of yummy green nutrients and a raw diet delight. And, I am happy this is our new snack instead of those pesky potato chips that seem to find their way into our cupboard. As I plop one leaf into my mouth at a time, I imagine preparing this treat for friends and families and contemplate when I could host my next dinner party to showcase this dish…
1 bunch of Kale
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/3 cup of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed if possible)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup of toasts bread crumbs (I use panko)
parmaggiano romano cheese
To Make: Toss the oil, lemon juice, and spices in to a large bowl. Tear the kale leaves off the stem, discard the stem, wash and toss into the bowl of dressing. Toss the salad together so that everything is evenly covered. Let kale and dressing sit at room room temperature for 10-30 minutes. In a small frying pan, add the bread crumbs and another 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over low heat. Stir bread crumbs around and keep tossing so as not to let them burn. Once bread crumbs are a little brown (toasted) looking, toss into salad and mix together. Finally shake your desired amount of cheese onto salad and serve. Voila! AMAZING.
David really outdid himself tonight on the grill. Since moving in last year, we have only used our grill a handful of times and our primary cuisine has been burgers and steaks. Today though, David went outside of the ordinary and grilled us something truly extraordinary. I cannot recommend this dish enough!
1/2 cup of ketchup, 1/4 cup of honey mustard, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce, and a 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Combine all ingredients together and use as directed below
1 dried ancho chile, 1 green pepper diced, 1 red pepper diced, 1 habanero pepper diced, 1 serrano pepper diced, 1 canned chipotle en adobo, 1 tablespoon rainbow peppercorns, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon Chinese chili paste, 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon water. Toast the Ancho pepper by holding it in metal tongs directly over the oven flame (gas stove) turning it once or twice to ensure even cooking. Once pepper puffs slightly let sit to cool and de-stem it. Put the Ancho chile, red and green peppers, habanero, serrano, and chipotle peppers into food processor and pulse for a rough chop. Combine all other ingredients and put into two gallon ziploc bags (each bag will hold half of the rack of ribs & half of the brine).
Ribs on the Grill:
Cut the rack of ribs in half and put each into one gallon size ziploc bag with 1/2 of the brine each. Massage liquid to coat the meat. Let marinate in refrigerator for 6-12 hours. Remove ribs from brine and head to the grill. Discard brine. Heat up the grill. Brush grill grate with oil. Put ribs on the grill in indirect heat. Cover the grill and cook for 1hr. Check to make sure ribs are cooking at 350F. After the hour, brush one side of ribs with bbq sauce, turn, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Repeat on opposite of ribs for another 3 minutes. Remove ribs from heat and serve! ENJOY THEY ARE SOOOO GOOD!
A weed is defined as “a plant that is not valued where it is growing and is usually of vigorous growth.” In the morning, I stumble out into the backyard with Buster and Bella and face the enemy. The weeds are “vigorously” growing, taking over, and turning our yard into a jungle. Pretty soon, I will need a machete to help me blaze a path through the tangle of dandelions, clover, crab grass, and juniper branches that are overspreading the area. I have nightmares of the weeds crawling their slow plant pace from infiltrating the garden beds up to grabbing hold of the house siding and reclaiming it as part of their nature. I swear when I go out in the morning the weeds are no higher than my ankle but, when I return in the evening, those weeds having basked in the sunny glory of the day are thigh high. We try to yank them out by their roots which they have burrowed through the earth’s crust. Successful removal of one, only leaves a momentary gap for two others to fill with their invading strength. Spring as just begun and already I feel like a tired warrior. The task is daunting and discouraging. Chemical weapons in war are a crime. Do I violate David’s code of lawn care ethics and release a spray of herbicides to deforest the jungle? I know the weeds are waiting for us to make our decision. There will be no peaceful co-existence. New to the neighborhood, the pressure of “not being those neighbors” is high. Are we to be doomed to the category of neighbors who do not “care” about their property? Yet, we do care…we care immensely. But, those weeds are stubborn, resistent, and resilient. Hours of labor one day are engulfed by new Taraxacum officinale and our dent is gone. The battle rages on…
I don’t’ have to go to “work” tomorrow. My sub plans are submitted and I am handing over my students for the day. It is never something I enjoy. I much rather prefer being in the classroom with my students, but tomorrow is our History Department retreat. Twice a year, the department gathers together in someone from the department’s home for a long day of brainstorming. Last retreat we focused on implementing design thinking into our curriculum. This time, the focus is on designing one term elective courses for all four grade levels. This is quite the endeavor. Instead of full year courses catering to each grade level, we are throwing this traditional model aside and trying to create something more reminiscent of college course selections. The classes will not be grade specific and will use a thematic approach to Global History. Wish us luck!! Any suggestions for course themes or structure?
To nourish our minds and stem the tide of hunger that will inevitably come crashing down on us during such a retreat, I made my semi-homemade berry tart to bring in the morning.
I have never done this before. Typically, final projects in my History class require extensive writing. For example, my freshman write a textbook at the end of their course. This time though, I wanted to try something different. These seniors had selected to take my elective on Genocide and War Crimes. As you can imagine this is a “heavy” course. Examining mass murder and violence is a complex and challenging program of study. All term the students read extensively, wrote prolifically, and questioned the events earnestly. Now I wanted them to have to demonstrate their understanding through a project that required them to have a vision and a purpose. Could they make a high degree of connection between project guidelines and their knowledge and perception of genocide in which they illustrate their craftsmanship and originality? I took my previous projects on design thinking as inspiration as I sat and crafted the prompt (below): design thinking I & design thinking II.
Create: Please create a work of visual art (conceptual art?) that communicates your ideas about what you have learned about Genocide & War Crimes and how this knowledge can benefit the world.
Your visual art must meet these requirements:
There must be at least 3-5 teachings in your visual art.
no peace, love, dripping blood, etc
no sad kids, or famous images of perpetrators, or famous images of violence
Requirements for presentation:
Why did you choose to portray Genocide in this manner?
How does this piece of visual art teach others about Genocide?
A few of the products I received:
Project 1: Photography by EW. Depiction of the Armenia genocide using a pomegranate (fruit of Armenia)
Project 2: Cambodian Genocide by NHS.
Project 3: Darkness Descending by AF.
Project 4: Wood Sculpture by LL. Distressed wood forced and hammered into place.
These projects and the presentation of their teachings on genocide really impressed me. If you are interested in the teachings that accompany each of the projects, please don’t hesitate to ask!
It was the last day of classes for the seniors. The halls pulsated with the intense emotions of saying goodbye (and for some saying good riddance). In many ways, it was a completely ordinary day. Classes started at 8AM and ended at 3:25PM. Lessons were taught and questions were asked. Homework was collected and projects were presented. Yet, this was a “special day” to be a senior. Those presented projects were final exams, it was the last lunch in the cafeteria, and the last time they would walk through the halls as the collective class of 2013. The Juniors excitedly assumed their position as the next oldest class in the building, each walking more confidently as they took the reins of the school from the seniors and flooded into the “cool place to hang out,” the school’s foyer. Many shed tears, hugs, handshakes, and other mischievous glances. The big fish in the little pond were ready to splash out of this neighborhood and be transferred into their new habitat. The funny thing about fish though is that moving into a new home is a shock for any creature and particularly stressful for fish. I hope they all settle well into their new college environments in the Fall.
One of the school’s traditions on this momentous last day is “Senior Send Off.” The entire upper school gathers, and the seniors take the stage to share where they are heading off to college next year and their favorite memory from their time here at our little private school. Dressed in their college swag, they approach the microphone individually and in pairs. Proud to be donning their new colors, they share inside jokes, shout-outs to teachers, gush about boyfriends/girlfriends, laugh about silly (and sometime sightly hazardous occurrences), and share other razbliuto with the school. During this assembly, I am teary-eyed. These students were freshmen when I was a freshmen teacher. Totally feeling out of place, unprepared, and distressed my first year of teaching, this little class taught me how to be a teacher. There is nothing you can google on how to do this job right. I was lucky when I was hired to this position with no experience and nothing but bright eyes and a promised strong work ethic to support my candidacy.
I remember that first day, what I wore, how my hands shook with nerves, and that I probably came across as mean, or at least as cold, since I didn’t want to give off the impression that I was clueless. These students taught me how to answer questions, plan activities, adjust to different learning styles, write tests, grade papers, but most importantly about how to build real and authentic relationships (friendships even) with my students. I laughed the hardest with them and probably cried the most as I figured out this emotionally demanding career. In some ways, their graduation day is my graduation day. Some of these students I even taught for all four of their years of high school. I guess the best part of being a teacher is that everyday is different, yet comfortingly the same, every student is different, yet needs similar stuff like support, patience, guidance, and push to do the heavy lifting with their brain muscles. I still have so much to learn and I hope that I will be saying this when I retire too. But, even so, this class in particular will always hold a special place for me. When I got a few shout-outs yesterday, my first in my four years of teaching, I was so proud. Not because I wanted to toot my own horn but because it helped cement in me that this is the right place, this is the right profession, and that even when it is hard those moments of appreciation are soul warming.
I took the day off in order to rest and rejuvenate after an emotional end of the work week on Friday. Migraines and insomnia all weekend, cemented my decision about staying home and getting rest on Monday. I think once my body knew that I was not going into work, it finally relaxed and gave me a full night’s sleep. Waking up to a homemade latte, David (he was home to wait for a home appraiser) and I did work together on the couch during the morning in our pjs and I tidied the house a bit in between grading my sky-high pile of essays.
After lunch, we took the pups for a little walk around the block and could not believe how Spring hit the Boston area practically overnight. Tulips were in bloom, neighbors were cutting their grass, and the temperature was amazing. Instantly it became apparent that dinner tonight had to be a cookout!! We needed to capitalize on this “stolen” day together and the weather. We cleaned off the grill, got a new propane tank, and fired up the Weber for some chargrilled deliciousness! Ah….it feels like summer is around the corner. I cannot wait for a full season of grilled meats, veggies, and fish curtesy of Chef David.
Take four 1/2 patties of grass fed ground beef and season both sides generously with black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of salt. Heat the grill. Once the grill is hot, throw the burgers down on the fire. We also cooked a blueberry chicken sausage and a chorizo sausage. Close the grill and let cook 5 minutes. Open the grill (carefully as it will be smoky) and flip the burgers and sausages. Cook on this side for another 5 minutes with the lid closed. Lift the lid, and add cheese to the burgers. Once the cheese melts carefully remove from flame and plate. Sausages are ready once they are firm to the touch of your spatula.
Adventures in raising a fabulously gender creative son.
Veg Baby News
by Miranti Borvornsin, the recipe and menu developer (specialize in Thai foods and Asian fusion) and custom confectionery designer for special events
hashtags are for social media and not baby names
Reducing plastic waste one day at a time
Critiques on social and education issues
Calling out media-driven myths
Hand crafted lovliness, made in my little house to adorn yours.