Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Take What You Can Get

I love to cook. I love to eat. Both are best with fresh ingredients.

While the Dallas Farmer's Market and our neighborhood Newflower Market have great produce and a decent selection of herbs, nothing is better than clipping a few leaves from your own basil plant.

In September, it finally happened. The sun started to drop low enough to enter our wall of south-facing windows. I immediately rushed out to buy a pot, some soil, and a few plants.

I'm happy to report that almost a month later, with the exception of the chives that the cat took a liking to, all of the plants are thriving...basil, oregano, and thyme! We used all three last night on a yellow squash, onion, and garlic pizza.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

About two miles northeast of our apartment lies White Rock Lake, a small lake with roughly 10 miles of biking and walking trails and countless small parks. I discover the lake by accident a few weeks ago while lost on my bicycle. After finally making it home in 105 degree heat, I vowed to return.

This morning, I decided to start a new tradition here in Dallas...well, actually, I decided it yesterday, but it's hard to wake up at 5:30 on a Monday morning...especially when you've been sleeping late for six weeks. The tradition is an early morning bike ride around the lake. It took me about an hour and felt invigorating...a much better high than any form of caffeine can provide. I got home in plenty of time to "get ready for work".

On my ride, I learned several things:

1. To my knowledge, there is no single word for a bike ride. If I say I'm going for a run or a walk, anyone would know what I'm referring to, but if I say I'm going for a ride, I could mean any number of things. We desperately need to remedy this flaw in our language.

2. At 5:30 am in Dallas, it is DARK, and I mean midnight dark. In Jackson, at that time of the morning, there's at least a hint of the sun peaking over the horizon, but not here. It was all I could do to avoid runners while riding. Needless to say, I went out and bought some lights this afternoon.

3. There must be trillions of gnats around the lake. There are a few thousand less now than there were this morning (their corpses washed down my drain), but still, there will be plenty more for me tomorrow.

Hopefully, this is a routine I can stick with. It's hard to stick to anything that happens before 6 am, especially when you have someone lying next to you in bed who gets to sleep a few more hours. But, I really enjoy being one of the first people in the city awake. I love watching the sky change from black through several shades of purple and pink and finally to its rightful blue. I love hearing the animals change shifts as the night concedes to day. Most of all, I enjoy the sense of accomplishment I fell by having ridden 9 miles before most people have even slapped the snooze button.