Category Archives: the back burner.

writer’s wednesday [gruen]

“An older man sits by the fire, his jaw covered with stubble, scabs, or both. He has the sunken face of a person with no teeth. We make eye contact and hold it for a long time. I wonder why he’s looking at me with such hostility until I remember I’m wearing an evening suit. He has no way of knowing that it’s about the only thing separating us. I fight an illogical urge to explain this and continue on my way.”

– Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants


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summer salsa.

As a wedding gift, Alex and I were given six beautiful heirloom tomato plants. They were tall and scrawny and about a foot and a half tall at the time of the gift (around two and a half months ago) and we planted them in our yard. There were two Sungold plants, one Green Zebra, one Garden Peach, and two that I (embarrassingly enough) can’t remember. One is a roma-like variety and the other is a more standard red. Anyway, the roma variety has “bottom-rot”, which has been a major bummer. The standard red is producing a tomato here and there, I’ve gotten a decent handful of Green Zebras and Garden Peaches, and one of the Sungold plants is doing well. The other one, on the other hand, well – see for yourself.

That’s a little blurry, but let’s just say this guy is out of control. In a good way. Check it out:

I’m telling you, these pictures don’t do it justice. This thing is the size of a small jungle. IT’S AWESOME. I pick a whole batch of tomatoes about every three days. Aren’t they pretty?

Between our tomato plants, my aunt and uncle’s tomato plants, and the every-now-and-then tomatoes that I get in my Dominion Harvest deliveries, I have been making the most delicious salsa ever. I use as many tomatoes as I have/want to use, chop up one onion, and add big slices of whatever kind of hot pepper strikes my fancy at the grocery store. I also dump in a little salt and pepper, and sometimes I squirt in a tad of lemon juice. If I’m serving it fresh, I add cilantro – but cilantro’s one of those things you either love or hate. If I’m freezing it, I leave the cilantro out. I’m not sure how the texture of the leaves would turn out post-thaw. My food processor does the rest – and VOILA! The best salsa ever.

Anywho, we have been eating this stuff like it’s our job – and since I’ve used different tomatoes each time, the batches have ranged from green to red to pink to yellow. It’s fantastic!

Do you have any favorite salsa recipes for the summer?


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writer’s wednesday [jordan]


You liked her?


Present tense, please. Love her. Whatever she is. I’m thinking of her now, Fergus. Will you think of her too?

The Crying Game by Neil Jordan

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city lights on the water.

Yes, the title of this post was penned by T. Swift. And no, it really has nothing to do with this post. I just love her, okay? No judging. :)

I’ve been gone too long – as usual. Wedding stuff/grad school stuff/life stuff is consuming me. Today, I worked both jobs. I’m tired.

This weekend was glorious. Alex and I did nothing on Friday night – but we did it together. I loved it.

Saturday, we went to Charlottesville – McGrady’s, to be exact, for an amazing co-ed shower thrown for us by the Burkes. Good people, good food, good weather – what more could we ask for? I forgot to take pictures. I wish I had a camera elf. You know, to remind me.

Sunday, I went to church with my family. Alex was studying – exams this week! I went to Mom & Dad’s for Mother’s Day, had a great meal (cooked by Pops) and a lovely nap.

I feel like there’s so much I haven’t blogged. Sooner or later, I will. Or maybe I’ll just start with the present, whenever the present provides me with enough time to write the way I’d like to.

In other news, I’m terrified about my trip to Charlotte. I’ll be there two weeks from now. I’m not ready. It’s too expensive. I’m scared.

Sweet dreams. :)

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off and running.

this week has been long. well, technically it’s been short – because my office is closed on easter monday. but this four-day work week followed a six-day work week. so that makes it seem longer.

tuesday and yesterday, i worked both jobs. today, i was grateful for the drive straight home. it’s so much better than the drive from job to job.

anyway, the point is – even long (long/short?) weeks have their up-sides. and lucky for me, this one is no exception. see for yourself:

maybe a promotion. more later.

the run i went on when i got home tonight. a necessary evil in a week like this one. :)

bringing home two new toys (from the clearance rack, no less!) for c & r. watching charlie literally jump for joy, and seeing roxie ten minutes later guarding both of the toys¬†and growling when he gets close to them. she’s 1/6 of his size.

an email from betsy. it was fabulous enough to hear from her, and even more fabulous to learn the details of her oh-so-rapidly approaching return to this virginia.

taking a walk with carrie on my lunch break yesterday. it’s so nice to have friends close by.

tons of goodies on sale at kroger 10/$10 this week – including but not limited to goldfish crackers, easy mac, hummus, and pillsbury cinnamon buns. yesssss.

gchat. enough said.

dinner out with alex, thanks to a gift certificate i won at a work party earlier this year. nothing like cheese fondue, wine, and my favorite boy. technically that was monday night, but we’ll count it.

and the grand finale –


i mean, honestly. a week can only be so long when there’s that to look forward to. :)

moral of the story – if you feel like making a list, make one about the good stuff. the longest of weeks will seem like a moment so fleeting you’ve forgotten the bad parts already.

back next week, loves. thanks for reading. xo


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trying new things.

Okay, so last week, Alex was having a sort of crummy day. And nothing makes my future hubby happier than meat when he’s down in the dumps. Straight up, delicious, meaty meat. He’s a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy – who, luckily for me, also happens to be willing to try lots of random vegetable and fish combos too. Anyway, I remembered that he mentioned years (yes, literally years) ago that he loved Sloppy Joes. And I had never made – or eaten, for that matter – them before. I remembered seeing this recipe online a while back, so I tried it out.

I have to say – I’d definitely recommend it! It’s super easy, and makes a decent-sized batch. We ate leftovers for a few days afterwards! We had ours with whole wheat buns and a bottle each of Legend Lager – Legend is a Richmond brewery, but if you can get their stuff wherever you are, I’d definitely recommend it. :)

That same night, I decided to think up a better way to start our days – aka re-vamp our breakfast routine. We’re big fans of super sugary cereal, but I’ve been thinking that there has to be a more nutritional way to get our engines going in the morning. So, armed with some sausage and absolutely no plan, I made a breakfast casserole. I started with 4-6 eggs (I actually cannot remember how many I used), which I whisked into a scramble in a medium mixing bowl. I browned a roll of hot breakfast sausage on the stove, and plopped the crumbles into the eggs. I shredded a 4-ounce block of Cabot sharp white cheddar into the mix, added a little bit of milk, and stirred. Then, I greased the bottom of an 8×8 inch Pyrex and poured the mess into it. I cooked this for between 20 and 30 minutes (again, I should have been a little more exact) at 375 degrees (I think it was 375 – GAH, I know. I’m sorry!). I know that these aren’t the most specific directions, but it seems like this is something that’s pretty hard to mess up! We ate like kings every morning for the rest of the week – I cut the casserole into 8 pieces, which gave each piece a very reasonable amount of egg (less than 1 egg per serving), sausage (less than one official “serving” per piece) and cheese (not exactly sure the serving size to piece of casserole ratio). We loved it – I’ll definitely be making this again on a regular basis. It was so easy to just get out a slice and zap it before work in the morning!

Okay, if you’re still reading this (which I don’t blame you if you’re not – I’m a little all over the place today), here’s the REALLY big news. If you like these recipes – get excited for the coming months. Thanks to the advice of a co-worker, I’ve signed up for a share with Dominion Harvest for this season! Basically, Dominion Harvest is a CSA co-op that delivers the box of produce directly to your house. Um, don’t mind if I do!

Alex and I will get a box of produce (complete with a dozen eggs and some sort of awesome local cheese) every two weeks to start. You can do every week, too, but I didn’t want to overload us at the beginning. We are SO excited about this – it’s like a farmer’s market that comes straight to your front door! According to my friend who referred me, DH also sends out recipes via email – which is awesome since a lot of the veggies we get probably won’t be on our normal recipe list.

I still hope to grow some goodies in our brand-spankin’ new backyard, but it won’t be a huge harvest this year between exams/job shifts/that whole wedding planning thing are all taking up lots and lots of the good stuff (i.e. TIME) these days. This is my way of being adventurous and supporting local farmers (almost 100% of the goodies in every box we get will be from farms less than 100 miles from the Richmond area!) and of course eating lots of delicious dinners this year.

Anyway, sorry for this ridiculously long, rambling, and picture-less post. Thanks for reading – really. :) Hopefully the recipes to come (with some eye candy) will make up for it.



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writer’s wednesday [donoghue]

“Men aren’t real except Old Nick, and I’m not actually sure if he’s real for real. Maybe half? He brings groceries and Sundaytreat and disappears the trash, but he’s not human like us. He only happen in the night, like bats. Maybe Door makes him up with a beep beep and the air changes. I think Ma doesn’t like to talk about him in case he gets realer.”

Room by Emma Donoghue


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