Week Enders | 25March17

Well, that happened…
I’m on a staycation and I’m not sure where the week went. And I don’t want it to end.

Just Beauty…
I haven’t picked up a copy of Allure in years. The last time I’d looked at the website, it was a jumbled mess. The April ’17 issue caught my eye as I was getting in line at the drugstore. Three beautiful women of varying shades of brown. The Beauty of Diversity headline. I didn’t have time to flip through it before I got to the register. So, I bought it. I loved reading the variety of voices of women of color.  I appreciated seeing WoC throughout the issue, but is it just for this month or is the new way things are done?

ICYMI
Shots Fired. Fox. Set in small-town North Carolina, Shots Fired opens with the investigation of the killing of an unarmed white motorist by a black police officer. The 10-episode limited series, created by Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood, stars Sanaa Lathan as a DoJ investigator. When I first heard about the show, I was skeptical. I didn’t want it to minimize what Black folks go through, just to get white people to try to understand it, because the victim looks like them. But, after watching the first episode, seeing what it is and is building up to be, I’m in.

Louie. I never really watched Louis CK’s Louie. When I was writing about Susan Kelechi Watson from This Is Us a few weeks ago, I looked at Claire 2.0’s IMDB page.  I saw Louie, but it didn’t really cross my mind to see what role she played and watch a few clips. Then, I read her anecdote in the new issue of Allure. She talked about how she was cast to play Louie’s ex-wife.  From the few episodes I’d seen, his kids were played by two young white actresses. I was just as confused and intrigued as she was. I’m venturing back into Louie-land, just to see Susan.

Run The Jewels.  The first official video off of RTJ3 for “Legend Has It” is out. Killer Mike and EL-P performed “Legend Has It” on Fallon last week.  And they did a fucking Tiny Desk Concert last month.  Lord, NPR.  I love you.  Here’s a long conversation with Ebro an ‘nem on Hot 97.

Legend Has It

NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert

Pitchfork Live in NYC 1March17

Drake.  His More Life “playlist” dropped last week. It’s been on #ObsessiveRepeat ever since.

Rupaul’s Drag Race moved from Logo to VH1.  It’s like VH1 and Logo are co-parenting.  Eps premiere with a bang over on VH1, then come back home to Logo.  The new season kicked off with, hello, LADY GAGA as guest judge/major inspiration.

This weekend, I might be:
+ watching a LOT of Bravo.
+ thinking about staring at the ocean.
+ buying ingredients for my first attempt at faux nashville-hot chicken.

What are you up to?

Week Enders | 18March17

Well, that happened.
I did it.  I watched the finale of This Is Us, when it was actually on, and I didn’t cry.  Of course, when I read Vulture’s This Is Us Best Cries List, I, you know, got a little emotional.

Mastry
Kerry James Marshall’s retrospective exhibition, Kerry James Marshall: Mastry, opened at MOCA this week.  Seeing it for the first time, Thursday night, was all visceral reaction.  Blackness and Black people, beautifully depicted.  It was regular, normal, every day black.  I felt intense joy.  I was so proud.  Inches away and dwarfed by canvases covered in the blackest of black and the most vibrant of reds and greens and blues, yellows and pinks.  It was everything and too much to take in at the same time.

I’m so excited to be able to experience it again.  To study the work, to go beyond my initial reaction and impressions.  It is, as we are, multi-layered, complex, rich and bold.

If you’re in LA or will be before July 13th, see it.

Kerry James Marshall in conversation with Theaster Gates | NY Times
Feist!
I’d been thinking a lot about Feist recently.  “La Sirena” from Monarch, on repeat in my head a few weeks ago.  I woke up yesterday, happily surprised to find new music from Feist.  “Pleasure” is the title track to her new album, out on April 28th.

More Feist – Including the hard to find Monarch.

Seeing Red
You know how this works. You go in for one thing and then, something just gets ya. I went into MAC just to smell, okay, buy the travel-sized scented Fix+ in Coconut. Ended up walking out with red mascara. It’s the In Extreme Dimension Mascara, from the Work It Out collection, in Heart Rate’s Rising. Red mascara?  Really?  For someone older than 25?  Yep.  I’m digging it.  If you want to go extra, you can.  But, it’s so wearable with just a few coats.  Check out the top lashes in this bit of selfie action.  I may need to get one or two of the other 11 colors.  MAC Select members get 25% off until March 20th.

Coming Soon and Soon-ish
Podcast Politically Reactive returns March 29th.
Man, I’ve missed Hari’s laugh.  Okay, and the thoughtful progressive political conversation between comedians W. Kamau Bell, Hari Kondabolu and their guests.  It feels like it’s been a long, long time since season one ended right after the election,with no guarantee of S2.  Thankfully, they’re going to keep this special thing going.  Hopefully, they’ll have ideas and interesting discussions that will help us to continue to stand firm, fight back and get through this thing with 45.

Grace + Frankie S3 premiers March 24th.
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are back as Grace + Frankie, still navigating their unexpected chapter as single seniors making new lives for themselves, together, after their husbands come out and declare their decades-long love and affair.  Next weekend will, definitely, be spent binge-watching season three.  And I can’t be the only one who kinda internally demands lots of June Diane Raphael as Grace’s daughter, Brianna, right?  Sorry, she’s just great. (Netflix)

Chewing Gum S2 launches in the US April 4th.
I’m all for another gloriously awkward black girl. The hilarious British comedy, Chewing Gum, is written by and stars Michaela Coel. The show follows the misadventures of Tracy, an endearingly-odd 24 year-old virgin, from a super-religious family, in her pursuit of, you know, getting some, on a housing estate in London. I’ve watched the first season three times since it premiered in the US last October. (Netflix)

Game of Thrones S7 delayed start on July 16th.
I didn’t regularly watch until the end of s5. I’ve seen all of s1. Maybe a few eps of s2, The Red Wedding and the episode where Joffrey dies. I could try to fill in holes before S7 starts in July. But, do I need to? Is it worth it? Am I really missing anything?

Insecure S2 is coming back, July 23rd.  I was NOT expecting season 2 so soon. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

This weekend, I might be:

+ washing my hair because I didn’t last week.
+ going to see T2 Trainspotting.
+ cooking up some experiments in vegan-ization.
+ wandering.

What are you up to?

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Week Enders | 11March17

Well, that happened…
Last week, I wrote about needing to find ways to more deeply connect to my body.  To feel and deal better with frustration and anxiety.  Well, I started somewhere.  Breathed a little heavy.  I looked for workouts on YouTube and started living the Nike+ Training app life.  I took the stairs at work.  Mostly down only, but, still, that is, again, a start.  I’ve been doing the wander, too.  I’ve been thinking about new routes in the hood and I’m working on wander playlists.  Glad I started somewhere.  I just need to keep going.  Is it weird to want to do a push up?

Wait, it was there all along?
I resisted some serious pull last week.  Glossier launched blushes.  Wayne Goss released an updated makeup brush set.  Sephora was even tempting folks with La Mer deluxe samples.  I didn’t buy any of it.  Not saying something GossyGlossi won’t come my way in the future, just not near.  I think my discipline was rewarded.  I randomly used the Tom Ford Cream and Powder Eye Color in Golden Peach from last year’s Soleil Summer Collection that was just sitting in the shadow drawer.  Ummm… Hello, Pretty.  So, so sorry you’ve been ignored.  That won’t happen again.  It’s still available and there are new shadow shades for 2017 that I won’t be getting, because Naked Bronze and Golden Peach are already owned and everything.   https://www.beautylish.com/s/tom-ford-beauty-cream-and-powder-eye-color-golden-peach

Logan.
So damn good.  A tear might have even fallen.  Is it wrong to want to climb the bad guys to kick their friends in the face?  If you’re a Marvel fan or long for a superhero film worthy of all the exclamation points, go see Logan while it’s on the biggest of screens.  See buffed Hugh Jackman in a tee as a Wolverine for the last time.  If you want a film full of action and a well-told story, but can’t make it to the theater, definitely get it on demand.  If catching it on cable is more your speed, it will be worth every minute spent.

This Really Is Us
I don’t understand how you guys do it.  How can you sit down and watch this every week?  I want to call the show emotionally manipulative trash, but This Is Us is just great TV.  It’s messy and life-y, all love and loss. Complicated and so normal.  Well-written and acted.  And I can’t handle it.  I have to watch in mini binges.  It’s easier to cry 2 out of 4 hours, than to know every single week, I could have my heart broken.  I caught up to the Memphis episode last weekend and was a mess.  Well, except for when I said Paper Boi five times after seeing Brian Tyree Henry.  I don’t know why I thought I had recovered enough to watch this week’s episode in real-ish time, breaking from my emotionally-supportive pattern.  Seriously, they had those beautiful little girls put their tiny hands in my chest and rip my heart to shreds.  Even, the mailman had me fucked up.  Ugh.

For the record and later discussion: Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth is the new Claire Huxtable.

All the cool kids are in Austin.
SXSW started. The music kicks off later in the week.  NPR has a preview mix.  Spotify has a SXSW Latino playlist of bands that will be at the festival.  And The Fader will be streaming live from The Fader Fort.

This weekend, I might be:
+ washing my hair.
+ doing an african dance workout.
+ wandering.

What are you up to?

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week enders | 3march17

Well, that happened…
Bill Paxton died way too fucking soon.   Moonlight won Best MOTHERFUCKING Picture!   And I was longing for Friday on Sunday afternoon.  That’s not a good way to live.

Nothing to see here.
I’m not buying anything.  Really.  I’m taking inventory.  I don’t even know what I have.  Until I do, I’m not buying anything I don’t need.

If I feel the urge, I’ll shop the stash.  I remember the Christmas that I took a dictionary from my brother’s room, wrapped it and gave it to myself.  I can get joy from things I already own.  And yes, the last sentence doesn’t really work, having read the sentence that preceded it.  You’d just have to be LittleMe or have questionable boundaries, which may actually be the same thing.

I’ve had a shitty week.  Work sucks.  The world sucks.  And I’m not handling it well.

Nothing’s working.

“Bad” food doesn’t taste good enough.  It can’t cause heartburn and be disappointing.
The spending high doesn’t last.  I just have more stuff and nowhere to put it.
The wine isn’t working.  The bottle is empty, the calories count and I’m not all that tipsy.
I’m not seeing anyone.  So, the intimacy intramurals are cancelled.
I don’t need a weed habit, legal or kinda.

I need figure my way out of this.  I need ways to get through the anxiety and frustration.

I know connecting deeply with my body will help.

First inclination, though, is to spend!  Join a gym.  Buy new outfits.  Buy weights and other exercise-y things.

Guess what.  I have things.  I’ve got mats and weights and balls.  At home.  What I really need, is to be active.  I need to do things.  I need to swim and wander and breathe and sweat.  A lot.  Every day.

So that I don’t get caught up in the planning of, instead of the actual doing of,  I’m just going to start somewhere.  Then, see how it goes.

These Three: 
Moonlight.  The script.  The greatness, is on the page.
I saw Get Out.  It’s WILD.  Def more thriller than horror.  See it.
Prepping for more posts.  Not sure if beauty or food will be first.  What would you like to see?

Rufus&Clem Week Enders Playlist on Spotify
Putting together some mood music for the resistance.  Be it to hold joy or for relative calm or just a soundtrack to badass-ery.


This weekend, I might be:
+ going to see Moonlight with a friend who’s been out of the country. He’s excused from the sideeye. I got the note from his mom.
+ going to the beach.  I want to hear the waves.
+ looking for music to share.

What are you up to?

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week enders | 24feb17

Well, that happened…
My momma came to LA.  I don’t think I ever been so grateful for a layover.  She was on her way home from the other side of the world.  We chatted.  She showed me pictures.  I stared at her.  Her skin, still a cool brown, but interestingly not as deep as I remember.  Her bracelets, silver rope replacing years of trade beads.  I took in her energy, for the first time, in my LA space.  It was so cool.

I don’t see her enough.

Changing that.

Wait. WHAT?!!! Prince is on Spotify?
I’m giggly+screechy!  No.  Really, just screechy.  All this Prince in one place.  Go check your streaming palace of choice.  Is he there?
(The picture above is a chopped and screwed snap from Purple Rain at Hollywood Forever last summer. )

Same problem. Different choices.
I’m bought a record player.  This one.  Not the one I planned, but it’ll do while I save for the other one.  I know what you’re thinking, hell, I know what I’m thinking and I’m okay with that.

Game Over, Man.  Game Over.
I’ve been watching the reboot of Training Day on CBS.  The ghost of Denzel’s Alonzo looms large, talking madddd shit.  Bill Paxton’s Detective Frank Rourke is more average antihero than engaging villain, which feels a bit worn at this point.  I wish he was an asshole, otherwise it’s just a cranky cop vs. earnest cop anti-buddy cop show.  I already watch cranky cop who might be doing bad things to get the bad guys on NBC.  I don’t know if there’s room for another that doesn’t stand out.  Look, I love Bill Paxton. Have since I was a kid.  He gives good asshole.  So, I might keep watching.  Hoping for it.  The other problem is that because Rourke is likable, Jason Cornwell’s Detective Kyle Craig ends up being a bit of an annoying killjoy.  The show is familiar and watchable.  It bats third show/emptied bottle of wine in the daily decompression lineup.  It’s kinda just on.

Moonlight, FTW.
The Academy Awards are this weekend.  That means two things: I can’t go to my Sephora at Hollywood & Highland and I will be in my feelings with whatever happens for the amazingly talented cast and crew of Moonlight.  I’ll see La La Land when they release the Hamilton DVD with the original cast.  Just saying.

Cause it’s supposed to always be sunny and hasn’t been, I think I might be doing these things:
+ going to see Get Out.
+ stopping by my local where my favorite librarian is putting on event about racism.
+ not talking about incense making cause I’ve not done it, but need to.
+ taking pictures of things.

What are you up to?

 

 

Week Ender | 18Feb17

Well, that happened…
I’ve spent most of the last week sick and voiceless.  While trying to fight whatever I’ve got, I started watching Suits.  Clicked on the first couple eps of S6 on Sling.  Started watching from the beginning on Amazon Prime.  Now, I’m midway through S2.  Hello, Hooked.  Honestly, they had me at Devlin-MacGregor.

Not quite sure why I’ve not seen any of it until now.  I was cable-free when it premiered, and I’m not sure if it was easy to see without opening up a vein to Time Warner or Comcast.  And, I guess, I didn’t see a reason to “find” a way to watch it.  Now that I’m here, I’m all in.  I really like the entire cast, but, you know, I LOVE Gina Torres and Rick Hoffman.  After years of L&O, I want more than the case.  I want the inter-office interpersonal relationships that are more interesting onscreen than the annoying ones in real life.  I love these characters and the way they play off of each other.  Plus, I get to see all my Toronto acting faves!

Yes, I know Gina left midway through season six.  That means I’ve got five and a half seasons of great acting in a killer wardrobe and aspirational low-key super sophisticated makeup.  Starting next month, with the return of The Catch, Gina will be a part of the Shondaland Lady Gang, on another show with a talented cast, great makeup and fab costume design.

I bought some stuff and it got delivert… I know the war is coming.  Sometimes, though, I just want to play on my face with colors.

Green Beauty – Late into the night I placed a Detox Market order.  Caroline Hirons made me do it.  I live in LA and could have just done the brick and mortar, but the internet and late nights were made for shopping.  SuperCool thing is sample pack you can create to try out coveted+expensive potions like the Vintners Daughter serum! More on the order later.

Charlotte Tilbury – Last week’s order came with samples, even ones I didn’t request. Perks for ordering directly from CT.  Big NO for Kim K.W. and Bitch Perfect lipsticks. Waaay too pale. Like major whiteness on my lips.  I, mean, okay, I guess for So Marilyn.  It’s bight red on me.  Wearable bright red.  I’m just not wearing red right now.  Very Victoria breaks my rule from last week.  I’ll have to put it on the list for when the moratorium lifts or when I stop lying to myself about there being a moratorium on nude-y/neutral pinky/mauve-y/peachy lipsticks.  Magic Foundation in 10 is a bit dark and red.  I’ll try a bit of the 9.5 or 9 when I order the Very Victoria.  Someday. Oh and the thing I actually ordered, the Pillow Talk lipstick is cute.  It does need a hint of MAC Chestnut liner.

Sephora – You know, the one from last week with the powder and ABH palette. I think I love the ABH palette.  The shadows are rich and pigmented and not the same bronze, brown and green that I always buy.  Playtime, people.  Time to PLAY!

Nars – I went into Sephora three different times to look at this limited edition palette.  The first time, I walked away sure that I didn’t need it.  The second time was a swatch only trip, but I knew.  The third time, I had to have it.  But, I waited.  I wanted to make sure I was paying cash and not just charging another haul.  Now, it’s mine.  I’m good on blush.  Well, there is that Hourglass one.  (I have a problem. I just said it out loud.)

Screw Winter…
It feels like winter somewhere not here.  It’s cold and rainy.  Where is my sunshine?  Why am I wearing something resembling a coat, a lot?  Why am I thinking about buying, like, sweaters?  Not cardigans, but comfy crewneck pullovers.  It’s like I’m dreaming in Fair Isle or something.

I’m watching that…
The Good Fight… On Sunday, Christine Baranski is back as Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife spinoff.  I’m excited for the character’s return and more Cush Jumbo. The thing is, the premiere is going to be on CBS and then, the show moves exclusively to the CBS streaming platform.  I just don’t know if I’m going to shell out more money for another streaming service. Yes, it’s only $6.99 a month. Just thinking about it, though, is making me wonder if I pay too much for what I already have and don’t really watch.  Showtime might be put on pause until Lena Waithe’s Chi gets a premiere date.  That does not mean an automatic pickup for CBS.  I just don’t know.  If I do it, it may be only for the duration of The Good Fight season one.  We’ll see.

Cause it was supposed to rain lots… 
I got drenched on my Friday afternoon commute.  What am I going to do on the long holiday weekend? I plan to be productive.  If that happens, though, I’ll be surprised.

But, maybe, I’ll be…
+ listening to bon iver playlists on spotify.
+ making and burning the incense.
+ sleeping. i shouldn’t but, really.
+ getting back to my freaking bullet journal.
+ taking pictures of pretty things in my apartment.

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Week Ender | 11Feb17

TWK | Credentials

Well, that happened…
Saw I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO the other night.  I thought I would be even more upset at the state of the current world, looking back.  The doc was powerful and moving.  For me, it was a reminder of our resilience in the face of hatred, oppression and death.  Instead of being emotionally triggered, I’m more focused on the life I need to lead and the world we need to not recreate.  Def check it out.

Shopping Carts, now emptied.
The new Laura Mercier Medium Deep Translucent Setting Powder. Yes, I’m late getting the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette. Charlotte Tilbury limited edition Pillow Talk lipstick.

Moratorium on pinky/mauve-y nude/neutral lip purchases is now in FULL EFFECT!  There needs to be a shopping ban, in general, but, you know, I’m not sure I see it happening.  Must visualize.  Si Se Pu… Okay. Okay.

The Binge
Girls. With the sixth and final season kicking off on Sunday, I am heading down that rabbit hole, willfully.  Watching all of It, again.  I’ve got plenty of feelings when it comes to Hannah Horvath and her crew.  Like, lots.  I’ve loved and hated the show, viscerally.  And with that, toss in a mix of pursed lip, hard side-eyeing white privilege and NYC in-my-20s nostalgia and it just gets complicated.  I’m really interested to see if I react differently to the earlier seasons. I’ll let you know next week.

My internet obsession, NYT’s Jenna Wortham, talked to Lena, Allison, Zosia and Jemima.  Part of the conversation is on my fave podcast, Still Processing. (more about my weekly appt with Wesley and Jenna, later.)

 
And the WINNER is…
The NAACP Image Awards are Saturday. The Grammys are Sunday.

I haven’t worked a red carpet or one-on-one room in YEARS.  I don’t even think I’ve watched The Grammys that much in the last 10, but I do know that I really, really, need AMAZEBALLS tributes to Prince and George Michael. Like, srsly.

And I’m going to need black folks to give Moonlight lots of things. Like, SRSLY.

Things I’m trying this weekend: rain come down edition.
+ spend time with wayne shorter. a friend thought i would dig native dancer.
+ re-reading baldwin.
+ yoga. with solange or bon iver
+ incense. make some or burn some or both.

How are you spending your weekend?

On Beauty | July Favorites

When it’s hot, my hairline is a raging waterfall.  The likes no hand or forearm can master.  Attempt to put on makeup? No, Ma’am.  On a cool day and when I needed to cool down, there were a few things in July that brought a smile to my mostly sweaty face.

COLD WATER – I’m a room temp fan.  Hardcore stan.  I order water with no ice.  Always. This heat, though.  It feels like for the last month my body has demanded the most. Super COLD, pls+thx.  All the time.  And with the exception of a weird heat/rash attack, I’ve seen the benefits of all that water.  My skin is looking hydrated as fuck.

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint in Deep/Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Topaz – There were a few days I was actually able to wear a hint of product.  After a disastrous attempt at bonding with a couple of drugstore cushion foundations, I wanted to play with my Glossier skin tint again.  The skin tint is minimal coverage. They call it a wash of color.  If I’m going to do minimal coverage, I just don’t cover.  Until now, I hadn’t really found a reason to use it regularly.  It just sat on the vanity looking ‘cool girl’ cute.  When I mixed a pump of the Becca with a bunch of drops of the skin tint, the sky cried.  The Becca added a bit of depth and warmth, while maintaining a look that is still sheer, lo-fi and understated.

Estée Edit Edgiest Kohl Shadowstick in Black Viper – I wandered into an Estée Edit event at Sephora and got got. I, even, said that I was on punishment when it came to black liner/shadow stick things.  Like, HOW MANY BLACK LINERS DO I NEED?  Well, I have another one.  Black Viper is already well-used and well-loved.  Could be on that grail that’s holy.  It goes on and doesn’t move.  When the waterfall is being wiped and they eyes aren’t spared, the waterline is still smoked out.  Let’s just say I’ve fallen asleep with it on and it’s been there the next day.  I’m just saying it’s possible.

Estée Edit Barest Lip Color in In The Buff – Call luck or fate, the first lipstick the makeup artist put on me was out of stock.  It was a good nude. Even great, until… In The Buff.  Hello, Everything.  Hello, Meant To Be.  The almost perfect, perfect nude-y mauve.  It’s sheer, buildable, with a subtle sheen and the ease of a no-look application.  Like, completely, perfect color.  There is one thing, though.  You know, the faint rose smell that you can’t stand? Yeah, that.  Ugh.  If this color married the Burberry Full Kisses formula and lost the scent, I would be beyond happy.

Acts/Ideas/Revelations to habit:

Straw, please.  When the temperature drops to reasonable and the desperation dries, I’ll have to remember that drinking water with a straw makes it a little easier to drink LOTS.  My dearly, newly, beloved can be an easily ignorable bore.  But, my aging face can no longer handle just mainlining coffee, even if it’s decaf.  That, and I know better.  Water, it is.  With a straw.

So, wait. I have to set it with powder? I missed that step.  I like to say I’m reflective, not greasy.  I’ve used powder before, years ago, on bare skin to finish off a simple no/low makeup look.  It was polished fire for, like, 15 minutes.  Then, before I got where I was going, it was gone.  Earlier this year, I fell in love with putting Guerlain bronzer where it wasn’t “supposed” to go, but felt it was a tad dark to do every day.  Cut to a couple of weeks ago, I pulled out a powder closer to my skin tone from the back of the drawer and set the Glossier/Becca.  Hours later, epiphany central.  I could still see the look I intended to create that morning.  This is definitely happening all the time, you know, when the sweating stops.  I just have to wash my face at night.  That or the MAC MSF is breaking me out.

Mix it.  Mix it good.  I hate the ashy/obvi sunscreen cast that sits on my face until it doesn’t.  Instead of putting on my moisturizer, waiting for that to sink in and then, putting on my sunscreen, I’ve started adding a squirt of sunscreen to a dollop of my moisturizer.  I just work it in all at once, and I’m done.  Fine.  Skin, further protected.  Glorious melanin, you’ve got back-up.

It’s August.  Stay hydrated and smile.  Cause the water will fall.

n♥

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Something Simple | Better Brown Rice

With the exception of Chipotle visits, my rice life is pretty brown.

I switched to brown rice in the early aughts.  A rice cooker became the go-to, because paying attention to a pot on the stove for 45 is 40ish minutes too long for me.

For all of that time, I have to confess: I made mush.  Like, really.  Dull and tasteless.  And, I settled.  Settled for bland, beige mush for years.  I had to smother it in black beans, a curry or a tomato-based sauce to mask the sadness and disappointment.

I was always a little jealous of those grains huddled together, yet, so free, on plates and in bowls prepared for me.  I just couldn’t do it at home.  I tried long, short, jasmine and basmati.  I went with what everyone told me, 2:1.  That’s how it’s done.

Until, one day, I really wanted to recreate the veg/grain salad that I picked up from a shop around the corner from the office.  I wanted make my own big bowl of leafy greens, colorful veg and rice with tahini dressing that didn’t cost eight bucks for a half cup of joy.  I wanted it bad.  I’d figured out how to make the dressing.  Bought all the veg.  But, I just stared at the big jar of rice. The one thing that was going to fuck it all up.

I don’t know what made me google.  It didn’t, really, cross my mind that what I was told could be wrong.  I think I was just, finally, trying to figure out what I wasn’t doing right.

So on my google adventure, I got a hit that made all the sense.  Martha said I was using too much water.  Simple as that.

No, really. It was that simple.

Since then, I’ve tried both 1.25 and 1.5 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.  I, usually, do 1.25.  And it’s sooo much better.

Have I made the salad? Um, so…

Bottom line: Don’t settle.  Figure out what works for you on the stove or rice cooker.  I’ve you’re pushing buttons on the microwave or dumping out that frozen bag, you should have already been fine.

N♥

Tastes Like Home | Daddy’s Stroganoff

sometimes it’s just the memories that remain…

I didn’t realize how isolated I’ve felt here, soooo far from family, until recently. Having a kitchen full of home has helped me feel a bit less alone. I’ve been updating and elevating {♥: girrrlllll…} childhood favorites for a while, but there are some really special ones I’ve been a little afraid to try.

When my dad died, all I could think about was how fun it was when he pulled Beef Stroganoff and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from his divorced dad’s bag of tricks. I wandered the stacks at the Central Library for looking for stroganoff recipes to help recreate those long ago weekends. Losing him wasn’t unexpected, but it was heavy. I let something else sparkly catch my eye and a daddy made dinner got shelved.

I decided to cut out meat and dairy almost three years ago. At some point, the idea resurfaced to, rah-rah, Veganize it! I bought noodles and faux sour cream. And a weird aftertaste ended the adventure almost as soon as it began. The noodles stayed in the pantry, all uninspiring. The sour cream stayed in the fridge, opened and undesired.

When I decided make some of my tastes of home for Vegan MoFo, I knew I had to finally do Daddy’s Stroganoff. I looked around for recipes. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to follow a vegan one, almost as written, or go with a veg version and replace the dairy.

I picked a vegan one. Bought the few items I was missing and set off to make something good. Um, so, yeah. I followed the directions and…

I didn’t like it. At all.

It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t right.

I hate wasting food. I really hate wasting food that I’m not proud of but I know to be *kanyeshrug* okay. I kinda wish I had that guy who, you know, eats anything. I could be all… “You eat it. It’s too hot. I’ll just have watermelon and a bit of wine.”

But, yeah, no. That’s not what happened.

All is not lost, but I’m just sayin’… I l♥ve mushrooms, and days later, it still feels like I flushed a big old bag and a half from TJs down the loo. {♥: but you, uh, did.} I drank most of the bottle of wine, so there’s that. I still have soy milk in the fridge. I don’t normally use it, so I may need to figure out how to make soy creamer. I have more peas and they will find their way into a good curry. It’ll all be okay.

I do have to finish that bag of noodles. Maybe I’ll roam these mean internet streets for a better stroganoff fit. I could even dive deep into Miyoko Schinner’s Artisan Vegan Cheese for a bit of homemade sour cream.

I am glad I tried this. My love for Daddy’s Stroganoff may just have been about the beef, the tangy sour cream and me as a willful kid getting one over on my ‘no red meat’ eating mom.

This little disaster isn’t going to stop me from making the other things I planned this week.  The heatwave, she just might do that.

Nikki♥