Not for the belly

So, Mormons can't drink coffee. Or tea. Nowadays, there's solutions to this conundrum (diet coke for the pep, herbal tea for the cold, Pero for the fun creamers, and so on). However, pioneers weren't so lucky. They had to be more...creative. I guess they were desperate times, but did they really need to try soaking and then drinking every conceivable plant and grain?

From a website I was scouring for ideas for the Utah Party that I may or may not be having: Barley Coffee (roasted then ground), Barley Water (just boiled and strained), Rice Water (ditto), Sage Tea, and Toast Tea (burn bread, crumble, cover in hot water).

I'm disturbed by these ideas. Also, doesn't it seem sort of wasteful to use grains for making a drink? Didn't these people have to eat flowers for a whole winter or something?

Though, if all that was waiting for you on a cold winter's night in Utah was a steaming cup of rice water, I can maybe understand why all the pioneers look so grumpy in photographs.

since I lack the will to say no

About a year ago, my sister asked me to run a 5K with her. A group from her neighborhood was doing it, since that decreased the entrance fee. I agreed, with a bit of trepidation. Exercise and me don't along much. Couple that with the fact that, prior to agreeing to this, I couldn't run more than three-quarters of a mile without wanting to die/having my lungs refuse to function and you might see why it didn't seem so keen. But, I pulled it together and got it done.

I realize that a 5K isn't really much to write home about, but I was pretty proud of myself. Sure, I was a bit deflated when I saw a girl from my ward just afterwards who, after hearing how long it took me said, "Oh, good, at least I beat someone". That was completely tactful. At any rate, though, I've been keeping up running more or less (a lot closer to less the last few months, though).

So now, I have a new goal. Well, not really so much a goal as an order. My friend is prepping for a marathon*. With that in her sights, she's convinced me to run a half marathon with her this spring. So, I've four months to get myself prepped for 13.1 miles. This only seems totally unreasonable, right? I feel like posting this here will force me to be a little bit more accountable about this promise I was coerced into. And, hey, it might be a little bit fun. Or something.

*this seems unwise to me. The first guy who ran it died!


Christmas can look really magical. And delicious.

Fail, England, Fail.

Dear England

Sure, you may have beaten them at two World Wars and your men may live longer than theirs, but man, when it comes to Christmas, the Germans really won, didn't they?

They gave us Christmas trees and nutcrackers and gingerbread houses. And, pretty much all the fun traditions. What, precisely, was your contribution to Christmas celebrations? Victorian ghost stories. Seriously? That's all you've got? Yeah, I know a lot of Christmas traditions don't make sense but this one in particular is sort of baffling. What, exactly, is the connection? Way to drop the ball there, John Bull.

Though, while we're on the subject: could you pass the word along to America and suggest we start doing crackers? That'd be great.

Thanks and loves,


Can you do that?

I have this friend, ke, with whom I have been known to do a little cooking. Sometimes, though, I doubt her choices. She has these crazy ideas, see. So I'm hedgy and iffy and then, when it turns out she's actually a genius, I'm amazed. I really should learn to stop doubting her.

In specific: cumin whipped cream*. It doesn't seem like that should be allowed, does it? But, it is. And it's delicious atop roasted carrots with anise. Even if roasting carrots and then chopping them into fine dice is enough to almost drive me mad. Seriously, though, savory whipped cream needs to be more plentiful in my life. I'm not entirely sure how I've managed to live this long without it.

So, uh, thanks, ke, for not listening to me when I make icky faces about your food ideas. You're the best--even if you didn't let us go to Carhenge.

*part of me want a hyphen in this string somewhere. Not sure where. Or why.

Think of the fall combinations!

I'm about 99% convinced this pan wouldn't work. At all. But it's so adorable. I wants it. I needs it.

I could then make pumpkin-flavored, acorn-shaped mini-cakes and literally produce the culinary equivalent of fall.

the poem about which I should have written my math paper


Bent over
the open notebook--

light fades out
making trees stand out
and my room
at the back
of the house, dark.

In the dusk
I am still
looking for it--
the language that is


a baroque obligation
at the wrist
of a prince
in a petty court.
Look, just look
at the way he shake out

the thriftless phrases,
the crystal rhetoric
of bobbined knots
and bosses:
a vagrant drift
of emphasis
to wave away an argument
or frame the hand
he kisses;
which, for all that, is still

what someone
in the corner
of a room,
in the dusk,
bent over
as the light was fading

lost their sight for.

Eavan Boland

I already want to die




Look, I'm cool with the winds. I can cope with the freezing temperatures (I can just put on my tuque and all problems are solved). But the snow? I can't stand it. It should stay in the mountains if at all possible. Or, alternatively, all our roads should have hot water running underneath them. Surely that can't cost too much, can it?

The end is near

It's finals time. And therefore, I have lost all sense of proportion. That is to say, all my usual skills at time management and reasonable goals have flown out the window. This happens every time. Sometimes, my response is to decide at midnight that I need to start baking, and then baking for four hours straight. Another semester, I read something like 10 novels in one week, rather than doing my homework. In others, like this semester, I start watching a lot of tv (though, this time, it's tv on hulu, which is even more dangerous, since there's so much more of it. Oh my gosh, so much more of it).

The bad part, of course, is that I'm still two weeks out from the end of tests and papers. Which means it could, conceivably, get more and more absurd. My five hours of sleep a night might pare down even more. And life will be a hazy, irritating blur.

However, my loss of rationality isn't limited to the fact that I find ingenious ways to waste hours upon hours. No, I'm also adept at taking on way more than I could ever possibly accomplish. For instance, a couple of days ago I made up my to-do list for the end of the semester. Amidst things like "watch WALL-E" and "Islam faith report", I included this gem: Abstract Algebra.

Yep. My plan, apparently, is to learn all of abstract algebra in order to write my final literature and math paper. It can't be that hard, right? I mean, it's just math, after all. Totally straightforward. And, hey, the paper's only a third of my grade.

Ugh. I. am. so. screwed.