A Slice of My Life – Week 17

April 30, 2013

Coming home from a vacation is never easy.  Coming home from Hawaii is particularly jarring.  Where is that smell of gardenias?  What happened to my lei?  Why is there no shave ice anywhere near me?  Why does the air feel cool at night?  You know.  But I have to say, coming home to sunshine and warm temperatures for now and the foreseeable future make re-entry a lot easier.  Above, a little sprinkler running.

Indian food testing.  Of all the classes I taught in Seattle, my Indian class was the most popular.  I planned to teach it twice and, because the class kept selling out, I ended up teaching it six times.  Earlier this fall, our school had an auction and I teamed up with a friend to offer this class as an auction item.  (She hosted the class because my kitchen is too small to teach in.)  In preparation, I practiced all my recipes and added a new one that was a big hit.  I’ll share the recipe with you this week.

This is a bathroom in our house that we recently remodeled.  It is hard to photograph because of how the light comes in.  I wish I had a before photo because the change is pretty miraculous.  I’ve mentioned this before, but our house is in the fire zone of Oakland.  In 1991, a huge fire came through and burned over 3,000 homes.  Almost every single house in our vicinity burned.  The people who rebuilt our house tried to recreate the house they lost and tracked down all the outdated paint colors and finishes that had been in the original.  Fortunately for us, another couple owned the house before we bought it and systematically remodeled almost the whole house.  The rooms they didn’t get to were two of the bathrooms, the room that became Graham’s (which was used as a storage room), and the laundry room.  The bathrooms were covered in hideous wallpaper and had mauve toilets and mauve shell sinks, and terrible ugly tile.  We opted to leave the bathroom in Spencer’s room in all its ugly glory since he and Graham are the only ones who use it.  This bathroom we updated and I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  The laundry room is much more functional and organized and Graham’s room went from being the worst room in the house to probably the best.  I will post more photos soon.

This little light hangs in my kitchen.  It is right above a small seating area.  I almost never turn it on because there is almost never anyone sitting in the seating area, but it always looks like it is on because of how the sun hits it.

My new favorite single girl (as in husband is out of town) dinner.  Quinoa, kale, avocado, 4-minute egg, chile sauce.

Last weekend, I attended the Big Traveling Potluck.  I didn’t take many pictures.  Many people try and capture as many shots of themselves and friends as they can and write big recap posts about events like these.  I opted to not do that.  I had kind of mixed feelings going in to the event.  I am no longer interested in going to the big blog events (like BlogHer Food or IFBC) because I feel that the content is constantly repeated and the conferences have gotten so huge that all sense of community and intimacy have been lost.  The Big Potluck and its sister event, The Big Traveling Potluck appealed to me because of its size (about 80) and because the message seemed to be about building community rather than learning about how to get more hits on your site.  I’ve made some amazing friends in my years as a food blogger and my interest in attending events is more about seeing the friends I know, meeting friends I know only through social media, and meeting brand new people.

I say all that and then I have to add the caveat that big social gatherings are hard for me.  They are hard for me even if I know every single person but they are especially difficult when most of the people are unknown.  I majored in theatre in college and I am good at acting like an outgoing person but inside I am an introvert and continually extending myself socially can be exhausting for me.  This event was wonderful in that I did see some of my old friends, I did meet some of my Instagram and Twitter friends (all of them as lovely as I had thought they would be), and I did meet totally new-to-me people who surprised me with their friendliness and graciousness.  I feel like I earned at least ten new friends which is such a treat.

Ever since moving to California, I’ve thought about trying In-n-Out.  I know they are famous for their hamburgers but I know you can get a grilled cheese and I had heard the fries are good.  Wah-wah-wah.  The grilled cheese, which is just a cheeseburger without the burger part, was gross enough to not finish it, and the fries were limp and terrible.  I have heard you should get them “crispy” but I don’t like crispy fries.  The best part of the meal was the Diet Coke.

Whenever I wear these shoes, I get compliments on them from strangers and friends alike.  I decided to count the people who said they liked them on a day when I was around a lot of people (the end of the Potluck and the flight home).  I got 13 compliments on these shoes in one day!  Too bad they kill my feet…

Aaaaaaannnndd back to reality.  Lunch box packing.  I hate packing lunches.


  1. “I am good at acting like an outgoing person but inside I am an introvert and continually extending myself socially can be exhausting for me.”

    Yes. Oh my goodness, YES. This is me, too, and exactly what I don’t love about big blogger events. There are pluses, like you wrote, which make them appealing, namely the one-on-one interaction, but the constant go-go-go of talking and chatting and so on wears me out.

    Comment by Shanna — May 1, 2013 @ 12:37 am

  2. so glad I got to spend a little time with you this weekend.

    and yes….BACK TO REALITY. Dang lunches!

    Comment by tracy — May 1, 2013 @ 2:45 am

  3. I totally understand the introverted thing–I think most of us introverts have learned to look outgoing in social situations but come home exhausted. I enjoy your ‘real talk’ perspective on the pros and cons of big events such as the blogger conferences. I am about to go to a big academic conference in my field and am both dreading and looking forward to it for the very reasons you describe. It’s all fine in the end, though. BTW, love those shoes–big bummer they hurt your feet.

    Comment by Stacy — May 1, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

  4. Would you mind sharing your 4 minute egg recipe? I hate packing lunch, too… :(

    Comment by Suzanne — May 1, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

  5. I am going to two smaller conferences this year (Eat Write Retreat and Big Summer Potluck) and am definitely much more excited than I would be if they were huge. Plus, they’re all close to home which is good for those of us who already have no money since we have six weddings to go to this summer. Ahem.

    I am sad that none of these conferences are taking me closer to you though!

    Comment by Joanne — May 1, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

  6. Suzanne, I put my eggs in a pan filled with cold water. Bring the water up to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and set the timer for 4 minutes. What I’m looking for is a set white and a still soft yolk. For some people that is five minutes but for me it seems to be four. I drain the eggs the minute the timer goes off and fill the pan back up with cold water and lots of ice so they don’t overcook.

    Comment by dana — May 2, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

  7. I’m glad we got to have some chatting time! Sorry INO was such a disaster, but I hope the burritos on the way down were better (IME, the tacos are better at that place).

    I really enjoyed the Potluck, but I was completely exhausted. I wanted to be after hours social on Friday and Saturday nights but it was all I could do to crawl into bed.

    Comment by Kate @ Savour Faer — May 2, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

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