Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 2010

Volume 6 Issue 8

*** Random Thoughts

A few weeks ago, my husband and I spent several hours hanging pictures. Since we moved in this house last September (10 months ago if anyone is counting) we have had three moving boxes of pictures stored in the hall closet. Every morning I’d see those boxes when I opened the closet to get out my exercise mat.

“We’ve got to get those pictures hung,” I told myself each time.

This winter I had the presence of mind to order prints of some of my husband’s family photos – pictures of him and his sister when they were children, black and white photos of hi s grandparents, a picture of his grandfather in front of the Pure Oil gas station he owned in Hollandale. A couple of years before we met, I had a wall of pictures like this of my family. I wanted to blend those with those of his families and combine them all with photographs of us together.

A couple of months ago, I made a bold step: I moved the boxes out of the closet and dragged them in the family room where I’d see them several times a day. I thought having those moving boxes sitting around, polluting the living space, would get on my nerves so much that I’d tackle those pictures right away.

That didn’t work.

Two weekends ago, for whatever reason, the mood struck. We replaced frames, replaced photographs. Moved photos to different frames, moved them back. Then the husband got out the tape measure, yard stick, and pencil. It took the better part of three hours but we now have a family wall of photos.

A photograph of my husband, child, and me is at the center with a mix of pictures of our families, past and present, surrounding us.

I’m finding that I wander through the room for no reason except to look at the photos.

I look at them and enjoy them.


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*** Great Quotes

“He who does not get fun and enjoyment out of every day … needs to reorganize his life.” — George Matthew Adams

*** Fun Food Idea

School started last week (August 5th; can you believe it). Broiled salmon and roasted broccoli is an easy and really tasty weeknight dinner.

Salmon with Lemon and Maple Glaze

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Refrigerate 10 minutes, turning bag once.

Preheat broiler.

Remove fish from bag, reserving marinade. Place marinade in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute.

Heat a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish evenly with salt and pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes. Turn fish over. Brush marinade evenly over fish. Broil 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

My current favorite side dish:

Parmesan Roasted Broccoli with Pine Nuts
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics – Ina Garten

2 to 3 pounds broccoli
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon or lime zest
4 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 tablespoon basil, julienned
Salt and pepper to season

Wash broccoli and chop the florets off. Save the rest for vegetable stock or what have you.

Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until they are lightly toasted. It takes only a few minutes so stay close.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Place the broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and toss with lemon zest, remaining olive oil, pine nuts, and chopped basil.

Serves about 4. I add any leftovers to a salad the next day.

*** Pass It On

If there’s someone you think would enjoy this newsletter, please forward this issue in its entirety. Email me at kudzuuu at gmail dot com to subscribe.

*** Hit the Highlights - a few choice blog posts from last month:

Maybe now I can join a bowling league.

The first blog I ever read.

Real books v. digital books

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*** Shameless Bid for Commerce

“Keetha DePriest Reed's "More Culinary Kudzu: Recollections and Recipes from Growing Up Southern" is part cookbook, part collection of wonderful essays on food, family and growing up Southern and altogether great fun…

I would very highly recommend "More Culinary Kudzu" to anybody who enjoys good food and good writing as well as to anybody who wants to find out more about the South. As for me, I only have one question left - how do I get invited to one of their family reunions?” – review by

*** Recommended Reading

“Bone Appetit” is by Mississippi native Carolyn Haines. The 10th in a series of books that takes place in the Mississippi Delta, this one is set in Greenwood.

Katie Crouch’s second novel, “Men and Dogs,” is another one of my favorites. I’ll be looking for more by her.

Books read in July.

Some of my favorite books read over the last 12 months.

*** Adorable Thing My Child Said

The child and my mother were in Jackson the other day to see a movie. Mom needed to run in a few shops. Text I got from my son:

"Mom now we're going to bed baths. And beyond."

Another one:

Him: How old are you?

Me: Thirty eight.

Him: Great! You’re just one 10 from sixteen!

Me: I’m more like two 10s and then some from having been sixteen.

Him: Oh.

*** Mississippi Writers Guild

The Mississippi Writers Guild sponsors writer workshops, conferences, writer retreats and reputable writing contests. Membership dues are only $40.00 per year. This year's conference is August 6-7, 2010 in Vicksburg.

The Mississippi Writers Guild is a non-profit association of writers from all over the state and is a growing part of Mississippi’s literary art landscape.

*** Calendar

Saturday, September 4 – Miss. State season opener at home against Memphis.

Monday, September 6 – Labor Day

Tuesday, September 7 – Jeffrey’s birthday

Thursday, September 9 – MSU v. Auburn in Starkville

*** Reminders and Unsubscribe Info.

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