Bonjour, mes amis! Did you think I had fallen out of the blogosphere? Mais non, just taking a break while I tend to things here in Texas. I canceled my April trip to Paris for a variety of reasons, including the fact that the weather here in Texas was heavenly and Paris was still, well, not. Also, Mark had a business trip come up during the time I was to be there. AND my daughter was working on the herculean task of compiling and distributing materials for sorority rush at the University of Texas in the fall, and I didn’t want to completely abandon her. Turned out she didn’t need me- got it all done on her own and ahead of schedule. Funny how our almost-adult kids need us so much less than we tell ourselves they do. Anyway, I stayed here and made several trips to Austin to visit my family and work at our poor neglected lake house. Is it still a lake house if the lake is nowhere to be seen? Or is it a fake house?
In my continuing quest to reduce food waste chez Mai, I am trying out a produce storage system I read about in this post by Barefeet In The Kitchen. In a nutshell, she recommends abandoning our crisper drawers (which are black holes of death and decay in my fridge) and instead keeping fruits, veggies, and herbs in paper towel-lined Tupperware. So far, I’m liking it. I think it helps just having the good stuff up at eye level, rather than in the big drawers on the bottom. It might not be good if you are short on fridge space, though. Check it out and see if it’s something you might want to try.
Most of us didn’t know much about Chechnya when we awoke to the news that the Boston bombers were born there. By some freaky coincidence, I had stayed up late the night before that news broke, finishing a novel set in Chechnya. The book, which should be published in May, is called A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra. This powerful story of human struggle, love, and sacrifice is set between 1994 and 2004, a period rife with unrest and bloodshed in Chechnya. As specialists of the area attempted to explain the recent history of Chechnya to mystified Americans, I was grateful to have even a rudimentary understanding of the period from reading the novel. I would have recommended the book even without the connection to the Boston tragedy, but now it seems relevant as well as riveting.
And finally, a recipe to share. My immediate family does not share my love for lamb, so when I was thinking of what to cook for my parents last week I thought it the perfect opportunity to enjoy some of that delicious meat. I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen for lamb chops with a pistachio tapenade. Oh my. Can I tell you how delicious it was? And easy? A perfect way to celebrate spring! (And on another note, why oh why did spellcheck want to change “tapenade” to “tamponade”? Anyone?)
I have a post of Paris pics all ready to send out to those of you who have remained loyal during my hiatus. Thanks for hanging in there with me! You are still out there, right? Hello???