So, How Was Your Day?
Oatmeal with whiskey. Iced tea.
Salad. Pizza (sausage and jalapeno!).
Shaved vegetable salad with homemade ranch dressing. Malted ice cream with almond crunch.
It is the weekend, so we sleep later than usual (which isn’t very late—we’re up by 8am). I make some oatmeal while cleaning up the kitchen. Bryan (my partner) is in the other room exercising. I eat at my computer while checking email and getting lost in the internet. Have you seen a slow loris? Sensitive plants are so cool! I want to go to Portugal. I also spend a good amount of time researching Neko Case, in part for fun, in part for a project I am working on. She’s a good writer. But enough with the internet! I force myself to shower and get ready for the day. As I am getting dressed, I realize my closet is a mess and decide to deal with it by pulling a bunch of clothes out and piling them on the floor, at which point I decide I need to get out of the house. The clothes remain on the floor.
Bryan and I go into the city to meet our friends Katie and Justin for lunch. Katie has been my best friend for forever and is due to have a baby any minute now, so we’re all anxiously awaiting his arrival. After lunch we walk over to Sprout Home, my favorite plant shop. Katie and Justin pick up some herbs for their kitchen, and we find a quirky little fern to add to the gang of plants in our sun room. We give Katie and Justin big hugs, knowing that the next time we see them they’ll likely be three instead of two. Bryan and I take our time strolling back through the west side of the city to the train. It is hard to resist these first days of spring, I want to be wandering outdoors all of the time. We spend a few minutes admiring the skyline from the Ashland green line platform bridge (which is our favorite view of Chicago) before hoping on the train headed west.
We get off of the train a stop early to get some groceries. Sometimes I feel like I spend most of my life at the grocery store. We impulse buy a lot of gum at the register. When we get home, I photograph some malted ice cream and almond croquant that I plan to write about on my blog. It’s delicious. I spend the early evening getting a little more work done, editing some photos, and writing a bit. For dinner, I throw together a salad using some homemade ranch dressing that I had invented the night before. It is tangy—I can’t decide if it is too tangy. We eat the ice cream for dessert. Bryan practices guitar, and I do some cookbook research. We meet up on the couch to watch The Inbetweeners Movie, which we thoroughly enjoy, though not as much as the series. I get into bed and flip through some recently acquired cookbooks (one of the benefits/curses of food blogging is that you get a lot of cookbooks) before switching over to George Saunder’s Tenth of December until it is time to sleep. I dream of Nicki Minaj, a 90s color-block production of Romeo and Juliet, and friendly zombies.
Three Last Things…
1. What’s up with the whiskey in your oatmeal?
Bryan and I spent part of our honeymoon at Barnsley House in the Cotswolds. It is an incredible hotel in a gorgeous part of England. For breakfast they served porridge with an optional shot of whiskey added. It blew my mind. I like it best with Drambuie, which is an herb and honey infused malt whiskey. Drambuie isn’t very fashionable these days, but I am obsessed with the flavor. It also pairs really well with strawberries. Anyway, make oatmeal and add 1-2 tablespoons of Drambuie (or bourbon) and a little brown sugar—The Best. Also, you get to tell people you take whiskey in your oatmeal, which is nice and provocative.
2. Your site is one of the biggest cooking sites out there, you’re a food writer, and you go to bed reading cookbooks. Have you found a way to separate your real life from your blog life? Can you enjoy a meal without thinking about it as content?
Yeah, this is something that I am careful about. It is important to me that the writing I do about food does not get in the way of my enjoyment of food, or in the way of my life more generally. I almost never take process photos of cooking, because I don’t like interrupting the experience of preparing food. I also rarely make anything specifically to write about. I basically go about my normal life and cook the food I am interested in and curious about. If I like what I made, I snap a few photos. It is all pretty casual. It means that I only post on my blog occasionally, but you know that I really like what I do choose to share. I have always told myself that if the blog ever starts to feel like work it is time to stop. I still love it, so no end in sight! It is also important to note that I care about other stuff. My background is in art and design, I have a bunch of interests and food is just the one I am choosing to share with the internet. The term “foodie” bothers me, not because it is a stupid word, but because it is so reductive. Who cares about food if you don’t have art and love and nature?!
3. What the hell is a slow loris?
OMG! They are this amazing animal that is especially cute when eating a rice ball. I love how persecuted they look! Slow Loris Video
Tim lives in Oak Park, Illinois, with his partner, Bryan. He is a food writer, stylist, photographer, and creator of the award-winning blog, Lottie + Doof. lottieanddoof.com