Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Wait a while--just wait a while. If we don't chase things--sometimes the things following us can catch up."

~Cousin Jimmy, Emily Climbs, by L.M. Montgomery

Monday, February 08, 2010

I love having a piano. I love the noise, whether it's a beginner giving it a try, someone making up a song, or someone who has been playing forever. The thing is, though, I've been having a hard time loving our actual piano. When we got it, I kind of imagined it tucked away somewhere, but it has found its home in our dining room. The kids both love it there, because it's in the center of everything.

Recently I was trying to come up with some way to change the piano to make it more appealing to me. I suggested to the kids that maybe we should paint it. They responded as people who spent their formative years running around antique stores for fun would: they were horrified at the thought.

Over the past few days I've spent some time with our piano. I polished every inch of it. I scrubbed its keys. I replaced the torn fabric on the stool. As I worked I looked past its dings and dents and stains and thought about hands building, tuning, playing, polishing. And I think I found a way to love our piano.

Friday, February 05, 2010

First off, I've got to warn you that this is not pretty food. It's brownish and kind of mushy and just doesn't look all that appetizing. But a nice layer of shredded Parmesan on top makes all the difference, and the combination of flavors is really nice on a cold winter day.

Lentil Stew with Butternut Squash

3 stalks celery (I skipped this. I always skip celery. If anyone would like to explain to me the benefits of adding crunchy, stringy water to anything, I'm listening.)
1 large onion, chopped
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash (I used 1 1/2 squash), peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 pound brown lentils
4 cups water
14 oz vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt and pepper
shredded Parmesan

Combine everything but the cheese. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 45-60 minutes, til lentils and squash are soft. (The original recipe instructed to combine all in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.)

Spoon into bowls and top with cheese.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Have you ever made yourself a present?

You should. You totally deserve it.