It’s been well over a month without a blog post. I apologize. That has never happened.
But, here’s the thing… It sure doesn’t feel like it’s been that long.
The last six weeks have flown by.
It’s likely because the weeks have been jam packed of life combined with lots and lots of baby prep.
There has been fun things like getting the nursery complete, showers as well as Lamaze, baby basics and CPR classes. And, there has been a bit of not so fun things like reevaluating life insurance plans with our financial advisor and getting Will’s determined with lawyers.
Projects around the house and researching the best bottles/gliders/sleep habits/etc. have consumed my free time. Not to mention, I did my best to cram as much work travel into the last month as I possibly could knowing that I need to be close to home for the last month.
And, here we are. 37 weeks.
Less than three weeks until baby. (Give or take, I suppose…)
And, yes. While the past month was busy, it was also really productive and much of the “To Do Before Baby” List is checked off. Which is perfect because I am really looking forward to the next few weeks.
I hope to have time to relax, enjoy the quiet moments as I put away tiny clothes, maybe do a little crafting, hang with Adam, get a pedicure, and maybe even read a book that doesn’t have to do with childbirth or infant care.
I am the kind of girl who is always reading something be it motivational books, career focused books, biographies, cookbooks and more.
But, strangely, as creative as I am, I am not a huge fiction fan. I would so much rather read stories from real people. So, more often than not, if I am looking for a book to be more of an escape versus a lesson, I find myself drawn to memoirs.
I also tend to lean towards books that focus on food (shocking…)… even in memoirs!
Below are a few of great memoirs that I might pull off my bookshelf as I try to get through the next few weeks with some good stories and great food.
I reference this book often. But, it’s honestly so great and I find myself drawn to it this time of year- baby or no baby.
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle follows Barbara and her family as they take on a year of eating food that either they grew or was produced locally. It starts in the spring and progresses into the height and gardener’s glee of summer and fall.
It is also a good balance of facts about the food system from Barbra’s knowledgeable husband and a younger perspective as Barbara’s daughter also contributes a bit to the story. Her daughter is studying to be a dietician and shares great seasonal recipes based on their seasonal bounty throughout the book.
Dying to Try: Asparagus and Morel Bread Pudding
Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes
Too many times when reading this I thought, “Oh my god. She’s me.”
Shauna and I have many parallels in our lives from our Chicago backgrounds to her summer’s on the west coast of Michigan in a town a whopping 20 minutes away from my parent’s home where I “summer’ed” as a kid and now. Heck. She even writes about totally unglamorous things like weight struggles and leftovers and all that would run through my head was, “Me too!”
But, the way she writes about food is exactly how I feel about it too. Shauna writes that the table is her alter. I am not terribly religious, but I do have faith in something larger than me and believe in God’s presence because I feel that same fullness that some people get at church at my dining room table.
And, man, did her book fill me up too. It is full of real, sweet, short stories that coincide with her favorite, most memorable recipes. Shauna’s cooking style is also very similar to mine. Simple, a tad healthy, yet still very midwestern and delicious.
Dying to Try: Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce
Comfort Me With Apples: More Adventures at the Table
I have always joked that I was born in the wrong generation.
I think I could have fit in wonderfully in northern California in the 1970’s.
Which is right where Comfort Me With Apples finds us when Ruth lands a job as a restaurant critic. She travels the Golden State and beyond meeting the major chefs like Alice Waters and Wolfgang Puck and celebrates the super-fresh style of food that I love about California.
But, between the fabulous meals she shares her life with just as much authenticity as the food. There’s the unraveling of her marriage as her career soars, the death of a parent and second chances all served along side a little humor and warmth.
Dying to Try: Danny’s Lemon Pasta (Made with fresh egg Fettuccini)
Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes
I have never been the girl that dreams about France. But, this book had me not just dreaming, but scheming about how to get there… soon.
Elizabeth has such a friendly, relatable way of writing about love, leaps of faith and food. The memoir begins as she is expecting her first child and I so appreciated the honesty in which she wrote about maintaining her sense of self as she embarked on motherhood.
I was also completely enamored by her ability to bring Provence to life in my mind. It was like I could smell the lavender and feel the coziness of the old home she makes her own. She also convinced me to add a saffron harvest to my bucket list and to dive head first into a new business with my own husband as she shared her experience of opening an artisanal ice cream shop.
… But, more on that later.
Dying to Try: Lavender Honey and Thyme Ice Cream