Lazy Sunday Reading

I wish I could have captured this morning on my camera.  I wish you all could have seen the steam from my cup, how the light danced from grey to blue over the dishes left from last night.  How a tree scratched the window and it sounds like a moth tapping to be let in, soft and gentle, a whispering Catherine in this Wuthering mid-century.  How the first bite of toast left crumbs on my shirt and how the cream swirled and danced in my cup just long enough for me to notice.  

Mornings like this happen all the time, I just am too busy to notice during the week.  Sundays come and I woke up at seven to start baking today.  I'm heading to the park later.  I'm taking a break from everything today.  But if you're still enjoying your coffee, if you're still finishing your toast, then here are some pieces I've written this week you might enjoy.  Keep your glasses on, stretch and yawn all day long.  These are the best moments of Sunday.

Fig+Bleu Elsewhere

"My Father, the Donut Lover" + Recipe for Powdered Donuts on Snacks Quarterly

It has never been that I never wanted to know my father; I just always found better things to do with my time. He’s quiet, worrisome. He’s well-meaning, but there’s a negativity to his comments that come from never realizing how deep emotions can go. He cried when I graduated high school and when I moved to California, every conversation in between was over the phone. In the back of my mind, he hasn’t aged a day. In the back of my mind, I see my dad in a sweatshirt and sleeping shorts, watching a sitcom on TBS, the couch cushions forming to his body. In the back of my mind, I know that image is a pillar of my childhood.  An obelisk, etched with laugh lines and cherry moles. A corn-fed Atlas who holds up the world in his faded flannel shirt.

"An Ode to Gathering" + Recipe for Cheddar-Apple Butter Galettes on The Baking Society

It wasn’t until later that I realized how vital this gathering around food was, how it existed in my genes as well as my sense memory. How it situated itself on my palette and into the corners of my nerve-endings, always on the outliers of my synapses. I gravitate to those hearty meals; my mom adds a can of Coca-Cola to her ham. I like donuts made from pinched-off biscuit dough and my lemonade so sweet it hurts your teeth. A piece of bread dipped in apple butter is the only thing you need with coffee. These were the years I remember most before bed, seasons of harvest and celebrations of life. How they shaped my worldview, my love of food, and the bonds that tie us together are enriched most in egg, sugar, and flour.

Mizuba, Matcha, and my wasted summer days

I waste everything.  I waste the breath it takes to say, "Thank you" on small talk, inconsistent storylines about how my day was, how my weekend was.  I waste the moments between sleep and reality to think about my day ahead, never looking back to be grateful of the day I just finished.  I work in a linear fashion, one foot marches in front of the other and everything that is not the current vogue of my tastes and ambitions gets thrown out.

I looked in my fridge the other day and saw cheese spotted with mold.  I saw a small, plastic jug with a sliver of milk swirling at the bottom.  I looked at the side door and saw the quart-sized mason jar of murky balsamic-pickled strawberries sitting untouched from last week.  Sometimes for me, in my linear mentality, the baking is done for the creation, not the ingestion.  I find more beauty in the in-between than any kind of final product.  Between the cooling and the icing periods.  Between the hulling and the pickling.  Between the rising and the falling of the yeasted dough and the Roman Empire.  It's all the same pleasure of the ephemeral and the sickening feeling of realizing you're stuck with things you never wanted, creations you let decay while your brain is thinking about tomorrow.

I wish I could be like my mother when it comes to waste.  I remember the summer before I moved to California, I quit my job to spend those last three months with her.  Yogurts were on sale at a discount grocery called "The Food Barn" and so we had a yogurt every morning, with coffee and an episode of "I Love Lucy".  I think about that now and how simple it all was, so simple to share those moments with my mother and how I wasted them on talking about the future, the big dreams of being a lawyer and the palm trees that would line my drive-way.  I should have taken that time to say, "I love you" more.  Instead, we would sit in silence and tan by the pool, yogurt cups blown by the wind and tipped underneath the patio furniture.

Mizuba matcha

I thought about this when I opened a bag of matcha that I hadn't touched in two months.  I know my history with waste and this product was good, so pure and farm-grown in Japan.  When I received it from Lauren over at Mizuba Tea Co., I tucked it in my little pantry in Texas, then tucked it in a box on its trip to San Diego with me, and now I finally used it to make a dish I wasted going to waste.  I repurposed the pickled strawberries into a jam and made my own version of those yogurt cups with a matcha panna cotta with "fruit at the bottom".  And it was wholesome, and it was light, and it was good.  And it was one of many lessons this week to not trudge ahead and collect the detritus of what we want, holding on until we feel suffocated by our surroundings, but to buy consciously, live in those simple moments, and to not waste if you can help it.

Matcha "Fruit at the Bottom" Panna Cotta


  1. In a small bowl, pour milk and sprinkle over 1/2 sachet of unflavored gelatin.  Let sit 4-6 minutes until gelatin has bloomed
  2. While waiting, whisk cream, matcha powder, honey, 2 TB sugar, and vanilla.
  3. In a small saucepan, turn on medium heat and pour both milk and cream mixture into pan.  Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves (about 5-6 minutes).  While this is cooling, go to step 5 to prepare the jam.
  4. Take off heat. Let sit to cool while finishing jam.
  5. In a small bowl, sprinkle remaining gelatin over pickling liquor and allow to blossom.
  6. In a small saucepan, break up strawberries and macerate with two tablespoons sugar.  When beginning to simmer, add gelatin mixture and stir until combined.  Allow to sit 3-5 minutes and cool before adding to jars/ramekins.
  7. To assemble:  Pour jam in bottom of container, then refrigerate for 6 minutes to cool and thicken slightly.  Then, carefully pour cooled panna cotta mixture on top.  Put in fridge and allow to congeal and cool completely, about 5 hours.


  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 sachet unflavored gelatin, divided
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 TB Mizuba matcha 
  • 2 TB clover honey
  • 4 TB sugar, divided
  • 1/2 TB vanilla
  • 10 pickled strawberries + 2 TB pickling liquor, strained

A Relationship like Lazarus and some Blood Orange-Rosemary Soda

I went to California for the week.  I bit my nails down to the quick. I started chewing Nicorette gum and I wore sunglasses to the point where my eyes couldn't adjust to being indoors.  I was a different person then. I'm a weed that grew past its season. Overgrown, lush.  The kind where you want to call it a forest, but it's too manic and frenzied in its excitement to bloom, it has no elegance to it.  I'm a hybrid of eagerness and stagnation, I am preserved in the dust motes of lazy Sundays where I am allowed to be by myself.  Alone.  Blissful in that time apart, I took root and began to create.  I bit my nails because I was nervous, nervous I would love it all.  

I stopped by the convenience shop at gate G in the airport and got myself a pack of gum and some magazines.  I tried to pretend I wasn't sweating, that my stomach didn't twist into braids of butterfly cocoons and that self-doubt of What if it's really over now?

It was my first time back in three months, to a town I never loved and in a house that never has enough light for me.  An antique rug and an outdoor kitchen, I had a different life when I moved into that house last October.  I even had a different life in December, when the wool was pulled from my eyes and I saw how crowded the shadows from the window blinds felt.  It was 65 degrees that winter and I had to excuse myself from our Christmas dinner at a restaurant in the heart of Balboa; I was sweating so much and I felt like I couldn't breathe. 

So I left.  And I returned three months later, with a five o'clock shadow and more forgiveness than I thought possible.

And when I came back, it felt wholesome and kind.  I cried until my nose bled when the dogs licked me until their tongues were dry.  I sat over the sink and tried to stop the bleeding, refusing to tilt my head back and meet Nolan's eyes.  To have him see me so weak.  I wanted to come back strong and instead I was bleeding.  We fell asleep at two that night, talking about where we went from there.  I was sandwiched between a collie and a coyote.  I fell asleep with the same howl of her forlorn call in my heart, hoping to be heard, saying, "I'm still here waiting."

For a week, I appreciated San Diego for the paradise it can be.  Picnics.  Whole foods deli section.  The beach.  Palm trees, windless nights, airplanes you mistook as shooting stars.  A Subway you ate at after some surgery or another.  Old friends, old coworkers.  A smoky gay bar that serves $2 well drinks at noon.  Curves, cracked sidewalks and a gym you used to have a membership at. We bought hand-braided bracelets and wore them on our ankles, promising to never take them off. "I like mine more than I thought I would." A pound of chicken that sat defrosting in the fridge for a week, useless because we ate out every day.  $5 kombucha on tap.  We went to the post office three times--once to mail my mom's birthday present, once to return an unwanted gift, and once to mail out postcards.

I wish you could be here!  I'm always thinking of you.

Nolan has small birthmarks that tan a little bit darker than the rest of his skin.  Small splotches that I could probably make a Rorschach analogy to and it wouldn't seem that contrived.  The whites of the insides of his fingers fit, curved, linked into mine.  And if there is a God, his design was so perfect, to craft our hands together in this way.  

It was good to come back to a home that missed me, where I could tell life went on without me.  It was comforting to know that the world didn't revolve around me.  That I had grown up in the last three months and I wouldn't allow myself to be as capricious as I chose to be before.  It was organic.  It was natural.  It was healthy for me to go back.

Organic.  Healthy.  Natural.  Words that inspired me this week to make a lighter fare.  My dad told me once he wants to see the sun set on every beach in the world.  I thought about that as my groggy eyes adjusted to waking up in the small beach tent one afternoon.  I saw red before I saw blue.  I was thirsty and I thought how good the small bubbles of carbonation would feel on my dry throat in that hot, hot sun.  I made some blood orange soda when I got home from my trip.  I added some rosemary to stay healthy, steeping it, pulling the magic from its veins.  I'll drink this batch the rest of the week and think of my time in California often.  Back to the beaches, back to my dogs, and back to my relationship--however small a miracle to come back from the dead like it has.

Blood Orange-Rosemary Soda

I found those bottles at Michael's.  Very tempted to bottle and sell to Press.


  • 1 1/2 cup fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 24 oz club soda


  • In a small saucepan, combine juice and sugar and heat on medium-high, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved.  
  • Allow to simmer until juice is reduced by half and is thick and syrupy
  • Allow to cool, then funnel into at least a 30 oz container
  • Fill remainder of container/bottle with club soda
  • Add rosemary
  • Refrigerate for at least half an hour
  • Enjoy, garnish with additional rosemary or with blood orange
  • Enjoy