If you’re going to call one item in your pantry an essential ingredient than it should probably be salt. Salt is an important flavoring but also much, much more and likely used in just about every recipe you prepare.
Not only an essential cooking ingredient and taste modifier, sodium chloride is also an essential nutrient that we can’t survive without. Essential indeed!
But what is the difference between the most common types of salt: kosher, table, and sea salt? And how best are they used in the kitchen?
Last day of vacation yesterday and it feels like a success. The hurricane almost completely missed the Cape. The girls alternated their freak outs to one of them per day. Michelle only attended one work meeting. There were boat drinks and lobster rolls, bike rides and sunsets. Still masks and distancing but we made the best of it.
We did learn our school fate on Friday and after all the hand wringing and anticipation, I think finding out on vacation wasn’t a bad thing. Just another reminder that so much is always out of our control. I’m learning this lesson very slowly. Best to focus on the response. Learn our lessons from the spring and try to be better prepared and less fragile in the fall. Be a little less broken and a little more improved. Antifragile. That’s a homeschooling lesson the kids can potentially learn from.
We received another email survey about school re-opening from the superintendent this week. I dutifully opened it, read it, and then just as quickly closed it. My brain just shut down. Michelle and I have been debating our answers for the last four days. There’s no simple, easy, or right answer to the school question.
It was a stark reminder that being a parent is the hardest job. No training. No pay. Responsibilities that are never easily defined and always changing. So what do you do? I have no idea and that’s also parenting. The best you can do is be adaptable. Be ready to respond to a an unending, ever-changing flow of complicated circumstances. And keep the wine fridge stocked.
Like kale, I think beets are long overdue for a primetime makeover. As a plant-based athlete, I love beets. Beets are a rich source of antioxidants, like vitamin C, carotenoids,and nitrate. Nitrate is a chemical naturally occurring in certain foods and is converted into nitric oxide when consumed. Beets can raise your nitrate oxide levels which studies have shown can increase blood flow and improve lung function. In short, beyond just being nutritious, they can make you a better athlete!
So they are tasty and a natural athletic supplement, but what about growing your own? Another reason to like beets. They are a quickly growing, fast-maturing and easy vegetable to grow in a home garden. They are fairly hardy in frost and cold tolerant and can be grown throughout the spring, summer, and fall in colder climates like New England.
So how do you grow better garden beets? Here are my top 7 home gardening tips for better beets.
Cecilia is taking trombone lessons this summer and, unlike piano lessons, she’s mostly learning riffs and scales, not full songs. Like most kids, Cecilia likes to go fast. She likes piano pieces with speed and panache. Who can blame her? It’s easy to rush in. It feels good to start. But if you’re going quickly for the sake of speed (or to get that practice session done), you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to miss opportunities.
And listening to their lesson is a good reminder to myself. There is no prize for doing things first, the only thing that matters is doing them well. With the current state of society, there is no rush. One of my favorite things about the pandemic (can you have a favorite thing? is that strange?) is just seeing neighbors hanging out in their yards talking. Slowing down today can pay huge dividends. Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. You actually go faster and better whether it’s learning the trombone, surviving the pandemic, or vacuuming glitter.
We recently went blueberry picking at a nearby farm. Turns out, when you are required to wear masks and can’t do any field sampling, you fill up your bucket much faster! It also happened to be really hot that week and turning on the oven at all for preserves and jam wasn’t appealing.
We ate many of them fresh but we also had fun coming up with a blueberry popsicle recipe that tasted way better and was way more healthy than the vibrant blue ice pops that typically fill our freezer.
A month or so late, but we finally made it to the Cape. And the girls immediately set about trying to cram in all that missed time into eight hours. You’ve probably had these days with your kids where the time flew by as you hop, skipped, and jumped from one activity to the next. A day where you didn’t think about work, or your phone, or maybe even the virus for a bit. It’s wonderful…and completely exhausting.