Tabbouleh + Chicken with Garlic Parsley Marinade

Tabbouleh with Marinated Chicken Breast

I didn’t grow up in the kind of family with heirlooms. Our “good dishes” were a scalloped-edged Pfaltzgraff with a finish easily marred by butter knives. My mom’s modest collection of jewelry contained mostly the costume variety—sparkling, perhaps, but of no special value. We inherited no military relics or quilts sewn by great-great-grandmothers or brooches that crossed an ocean. But when the time comes (hopefully many decades from now) to divide my mother’s belongings, I will fight tooth and nail for one thing: her green plastic colander. Continue reading

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Black-eyed Pea and Bacon Hash

Black eyed peas and bacon hash

Nothing makes me more optimistic than the first page of a new journal. The world shimmers with promise and wonder as I survey the tidy lines, mustering a sentence worthy of the white space. My handwriting that first entry is notably neat, the prose aiming for profundity (though frequently missing). I’ve amassed dozens of first journal entries since I began writing them at age eight. Unfortunately my perfectionism predates my passion for writing; I saw anything but daily journaling a failure and often ripped out a month’s worth of entries because I skipped a single day.

I’ve matured a bit since my journal-purging years. I can even return to a blog after 33 post-less days and refrain from deleting the entire site. Continue reading