Monday, October 28, 2013

My Kind of Place

A couple of weeks ago, TW and I quit our jobs and moved to the west coast. Over the summer I wrote a bunch of posts in my head about deciding to move, and breaking up with NYC (complete with a song), and the things I would miss about NYC. Then in July and August we discovered Insanity, I visited two nutritionists, and more posts were written (in my head) about things related to that (mostly how hungry I was). Finally, while road tripping across America I seriously planned to throw some stuff up on the blog so my nearest and dearest could follow along.

There. Now that we are caught up, here I am in California. TW and I are sort of in this limbo state. We are moving to Seattle, but we don't exactly have jobs yet, so we are hanging out in San Jose with the mother-in-law to save a little money in the meantime. It sounded like a lovely plan when we made it, and for the most part it's been great. We have been wine tasting, walking on the beach with dolphins, down to LA for a night and then back up to San Jose in a meandering sort of way stopping at all sorts of attractions along the 101. Including (!!) this amazing little town called Solvang that is modeled after a generic town in Denmark. There are windmills, precious little gardens, ebelskivers, and wine. Seriously. Amazing. We also walked on some of the softest sand these tootsies have ever felt at Pismo Beach.

Then there's the part that is unsettling. I have never left a job before with no plan for what was next. (Ok, not no plan. There's a plan a, b, c and d. I just don't know which one is going to happen yet). All of my earthly belongings, except a few shipped boxes and what we could fit in our car, are in a storage facility in Kent, WA. I just got what I think is my last paycheck from my former job. And we are sort of 'on call' to go to Seattle at a moments notice for interviews and the like.

So, I am returning to what is familiar. I have been cooking quite a bit, and subjecting my mother-in-law to my experiments with low carb/gluten-free cooking (result of aforementioned nutritionist appointments). Most of it has turned out quite good, although I have no pictures to that effect. I have also been drinking a fair amount of wine, catching up on Scandal and Breaking Bad, and snuggling up with my cat who is loving California's sunshine and his grandmother's spacious abode.

In addition to seeking comfort, we have been having some magical experiences. In California, craft fairs are called 'food and wine festivals,' and you are allowed to get a glass of wine and drink it throughout the fair. In Seattle, you are allowed to have unpermitted fires on the beach. Which we did, and watched a magical sunset, while a baby seal (I am assuming it was a baby, as I assume all cute furry things are babies) bobbed up and down in the water, the foliage rustled behind us, and a train passed by. It's moments like those, in all of the chaos that is our lives right now, that make me sure this is my kind of place.

And now for a non sequitur.  Last summer, when I was going to write a post about how we were ready to leave New York, complete with stories of crowded subways and the symphony in the park drowned out by children shouting, I was going to share a recipe for the summer rolls. I have always loved summer rolls, how they aren't fried, how they tend to be a lighter Thai appetizer, how they are delicious. Until this spring I didn't realize how easy they are to make. I found an post on Sprouted Kitchen for these and other travel snacks, most of which I promptly made for our family's St. John vacation. The summer rolls were gobbled up by my carnivorous father, but not my 2 1/2 year old niece. They were so good and easy that I made them again for the symphony in the park. They were not good enough to make up for the screaming kids or light stick salesman, but then, that's why we left New York.

Spicy Lentil Summer Rolls
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

Rice paper wraps (they are circular, and have these criss cross raised bumps on them)
1/2 cup cilantro
Any veggies you have in your fridge. I used: arugula, cucumber, sprouts, and avocado. Something with color would be nice.
Lentils, cooked
Sesame oil

Take your lentils and add sriracha, salt and sesame oil to taste.
Set up little bowls or a cutting board with all of your ingredients in piles.
Set up a damp dish cloth next to the ingredients.
Fill a large bowl with warm-hot water.
Dip a rice paper wrap in the water. Keep it in until soft, but not too soft (one tip I learned was to take it out when it was still 'al dente' or had some structure to it).
Place on the dish cloth. Add lentils and then the other vegetables in small amounts. Fold up like a burrito--start with the sides, then fold either the far or the close end over, then roll up. Confused? Visit Sprouted Kitchen's blog. It's great :) I also might have googled it to see pictures.
Bon Apetit!