Favorites of the Week

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Favorite picture: Libbie in her Bushbaby headband project for school.

Favorite links:

Recipes I want to make:

Reading offline: I recently abandoned Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward – just too graphic and icky for me. Last night I picked up When Did I Get Like This? by Amy Wilson. I thought it might be just another so-so mothering memoir, but I am really enjoying it so far.

Saturday Linky Love

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Saturday Linky Love button


Over the river and through the woods, to Nana’s house we go …

Here are some links to read while you travel/veg/digest all the cookies you just ate.

Reading offline: Shift by Hugh Howey (prequel to Wool)

Just a note that this linky is for your own linkposts. If you have just one favorite post you want to share, leave it in the comments, OK? 

So, what did you read that was great this week? Link up here. You can grab the code for the button in the sidebar, if you want. Please link back to Vanderbilt Wife and add the PERMALINK to your post, not your home page.

Day 18: Hrm.

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This is the first day I haven’t had a post written in advance. I have two paragraphs of one, but I don’t think that’s going to work.

And all day I had a massive headache.

At 2:40 my son (22 months) cut his finger badly on a folding chair. He had to go to the campus health clinic and then an urgent care to get Dermamond-ed back together.

My in-laws are here.

No post tonight. See you tomorrow.

Eating by Ancestry – Wrap-Up

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As I have lamented on here, having strep throat really screwed up my plans for eating German food for a week. But, that’s life, right? I did want to go ahead and show you the recipes I have made, as we bought all the groceries and are still making our way through the pile of recipes I printed out.

Himbeer Kase Strudel (Raspberry Strudel)

Was it good? I liked it! I actually made a few cups of just the custard part and baked them with a raspberry or two and I liked those better than the actual strudel.

Did I make any alterations to the recipe: I halved it, and made the filling in the food processor, which was perfect for getting a really creamy filling.

Would I make it again in “real life”? I would definitely make the filling and bake it as custards or use it as a cheesecake filling! {I found that, not suprisingly, I had a very difficult time handling the phyllo and have no desire to work with it again, anyway.}

Frikadellen mit Bratkartoffeln (Fried Meat Patties with Fried Potatoes and Onions)

Was it good? We really did not care for the flavor of the meat at all. It’s a beef-pork mixture, which isn’t bad … I guess I was just expecting hamburgers and it was a lot more like meatloaf. Also, I hate onions that aren’t really cooked, and I KNEW I should have sauteed these before adding them to the mix, but I didn’t. And thus, I hated them. The potatoes were pretty good.

Did I make any alterations to the recipe? We did not have any marjoram or celery seeds, so we just omitted those. (I say we because this was my worst strep day and mostly Mr. V cooked and I was the sous-chef.) We also found the linked recipe very vague and had to make up a few steps ourselves.

Would I make it again in “real life”? No.

Rouladen, German Beef Rolls

Was it good? I thought the rolls were delicious. Mine were the only ones with pickles, and I felt that the tang went so well with the beef, bacon, and tomato-winey sauce. I’m pretty sure Mr. V hated them. He did not like the unrendered bacon. David liked the meat. He really likes meat.

Did I make any alterations to the recipe? I did not have a bay leaf for the broth. Nor did I have any really good way of keeping mine tightly rolled, but they still turned out fine. Note to self: buy toothpicks.

Would I make it again “in real life”? Only if I were just cooking for me or for my dad’s side of the family (the hearty, German side).

Rotkohl (German Braised Red Cabbage)

Was it good? YES! The sweet-and-sourness of it was simply fantastic. I never make cabbage at home because no one else will eat it, so this was a great treat for me.

Did I make any alterations to the recipe? I cut it in fourth. I didn’t use the apple because I don’t like cooked apples, and I didn’t use the cornstarch thickener.

Would I make it again “in real life”? For me or to take to an event or potluck, YES. Maybe just as a good lunch during the school year with a piece of pork. It’s not too difficult.

I did end up with, well, 3/4 of a head of cabbage left over. So I consulted my Facebook page and decided to try my hand at lacto-fermenting it. Ingredients: cabbage, apple, salt. Let sit for 3 days. We’ll see how that turns out!

I also made Gechnetzeltes, which is a pork saute with mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce. As my fever was high and I had to go lay down and let my mom finish it, I did not take any pictures! But I did eat a little and it was delicious. I do think I would make it again, although probably leave out the mushrooms to better suit my husband and daughter.

So, in conclusion: I really like German food. My husband does not. My baby likes meat. My daughter likes nothing that is not macaroni and cheese. (OK, that’s not true, but she did not like most of these meals.)

I enjoyed cooking the new recipes, when I wasn’t burning with fever. And I liked the simplicity of ingredients. I can see how cooking from one region – what we would probably think boring – is so much more cost-effective than the way we cook, from a culinary spectrum.

Thanks for dealing with me during this short journey!

Worth the Living

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On Sunday, Easter Sunday, we sang “Because He Lives.” And the line I can’t delete from my brain is, “Life is worth the living just because He lives.”

Why wasn’t it enough?

For one of our friends, the kindest person I’ve met, the one whom every girl was ready to marry just weeks into the freshman year of college … why wasn’t it enough anymore?

Zest for life shadowed by depression and circumstances. How could someone who loved life and others so much become so isolated? So desperate that life simply wasn’t worth the living anymore?

I don’t know.

I do know the scary edge of depression and the feelings of solitude. I know Paxil and Zoloft and they have been my friends. I know the desire to hide under my covers and sleep it all away. I know screaming and crying and wanting but not wanting to be alone. I know the what-if moments.

It’s hell to find out someone you love but haven’t talked to in years has taken their own life. To wonder what could have made it that bad and not know, have no inkling. To think, if I had called, if I had commented, if I had known …

It’s not about me and it’s too late for thinking. Only time for sorrow and flowers and tears for a ripped-apart family.

Maybe it’s not too late for one of your friends, though. Call somebody you love and say hi. It’s better to risk embarrassment at how long it’s been then to look back and have to wonder.

In loving memory of Michael James Clements, 1981-2012.

Holy Week with Toddlers & Preschoolers: Day 4

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I had fully intended to have a Jesus is Risen party today.

But … most everyone was busy.

And I woke up this morning at 5:35 only able to whisper a few words because my throat is full of junk and hoarse. I battled the sore throat and not feeling well all day yesterday, but I think it won.

So … we’re not partying today.

We may do a whole lot of laying on the couch.