What I'm Into - April 2016

One of our many back-porch gatherings this month...

One of our many back-porch gatherings this month...

We're already a few days into May, but I still wanted to write about what I'm into. April was full of a lot of fun events and time with friends and family. And although I enjoyed it all, I'm feeling a bit worn out. Writing these posts helps me remember how that mild fatigue resulted from a lot of really good things...

Eating

This month, it's not so much about what we're eating as where we're eating it (and where we're getting it from).

Now that most evenings are warm, we have moved into our 'second dining room' - our back porch. Living in a small house really motivates you to use every available inch, even if that means your living area spills out of doors. 

Flatbread pizza with grapefruit-avocado salad

Flatbread pizza with grapefruit-avocado salad

Warm weather also has meant firing up the grill more often to make almost anything we can get a hold of - flatbread pizzas, homemade sausage from Werner's German Meats, and even a pork tenderloin.

The past few weekends we've also started shopping at the farmer's market. I forgot how exciting farmer's markets are - the piles of vibrant green leaves of spinach and chard and lettuce, pungent fresh herbs, long papery leeks. I've come home with bags loaded down with fresh produce that disappears much too quickly. I'm looking forward to the start of our CSA towards the end of the month and the opening of the market on Wednesday mornings so I can get my fix more often!

One of our week's hauls from the market

One of our week's hauls from the market

Reading

It's been the month of loooong books - Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry (on audiobook), Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers by Nancy Jo Sales.

The first two books are actually perfect to read at the same time because of their exploration of the relationship between man and nature. I've never read Wendell Berry before but I have fallen in love with this book - a fictional memoir telling the story of a man, his love, and his community. Listening to the audiobook allows me to experience all the nuances of Kentuckian accents and to soak in the poetry of his words.

Kingsolver's book has been on my list for a long time, and it's the perfect springtime read for the opening of market season. She tells the story of her family's year on the family farm, eating only food that they raised or grew themselves or came from their community. It's a mixture of memoir and socio-economic treatise, and it will send you running for a garden hoe or the nearest farm stand.

The last book, American Girls, is a fascinating and terrifying exploration of the role of social media and technology in the lives of teen girls. Even though I work with teenagers in my job, I had no idea of the immense influence of technology on girls' identities, self-image, and relationships. 

Hopefully I'll make it through these three before the end of May!

Watching

I have had such a hard time sitting down to watch any show or movie, start to finish, this month. I think it's partially because whenever I sit down more than 5 minutes...I just want to sleep.

But I did discover that The Great British Bake-off with Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry - the show I fell in love with on Netflix, which only has season 2 - has more seasons for free on YouTube. It's a mixture of reality cooking show and food history. The episodes are shot in various locations around the UK, which, of course, provides perfect travel research for our upcoming trip.

Watch season one here.

Planning

We have a few 'bucket list' activities for May to take advantage of the spring weather. Several berry farms in the area provide 'you-pick' opportunities to go out to the farm and pick your own berries. I think Declan will love being outside, and it's a great way to teach him where his food comes from (besides just Aldi!). 

We also recently learned about a nature sanctuary near us in Parkville, MO. The photos are unbelievably beautiful and we're hoping to spend a few hours hiking around the woods and getting away from the city. 

And of course - four weeks from today, we'll be in Ireland! We've booked our in-country transportation and settled all the big details. Now we're just waiting and trying not to get too impatient to leave...

What are you into this month?

What I'm Into

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