“Repotting a plant gives it space to grow. Repotting ourselves means taking leave of our everyday environments and walking into unfamiliar territory—of the heart, of the mind and of the spirit. It isn’t easy. The older we get, the more likely we are to have remained in the same place for some time. We stay because it’s secure. We know the boundaries and, inside of them, we feel safe. Our roots cling to the walls we have long known. But remaining inside can keep us from thriving. Indeed, without new experiences or ideas, we slowly grow more and more tightly bound, eventually turning into less vibrant versions of who we might have been.
Repotting means accepting that the way is forward, not back. It means realizing that we won’t again fit into our old shells. But that’s not failure. That’s living.”
― Heather Cochran, The Return of Jonah Gray
Something very exciting has happened! The lovely people at Bloglovin’ have nominated me for their 2015 Bloglovin’ Awards in the category of Best Food Blog, along with Manger, Smitten Kitchen, Sprouted Kitchen, and Honest Cooking. It’s illustrious company, and I’m thrilled to be nominated. If you like, you can vote for me here. Thank you!
In other news, I’m preparing for a few weeks of travel, first to Alaska (!) and then to France, where I will marry the Frenchman for the second time. I’m hugely looking forward to both trips, and will post about each in time.
Lately, on my hour-long commutes to work, I’ve been gobbling up books on tape. In the past few weeks, I’ve hungrily run through The Poisonwood Bible, Magonia, and The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry. I’m quickly reaching the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, narrated beautifully by Claire Danes, and I’m heartbroken about it. Do you have recommendations for what I should listen to next?
If you want to be extra fancy, you can make half juice-half water ice cubes with lime slices frozen in them to float in the punch. Or, freeze the same in a bundt pan, if you’ll serve the punch in a big bowl. This recipe is good for a party. You can mix it up in the morning, chill it, and top with the fizzy water just before guests arrive. If you like, garnish with lime wedges or basil leaves. Serves a crowd.
- 1 cup basil leaves
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 (750ml) bottle gin
- 6 cups (48oz/1,419ml) grapefruit juice
- 1 cup (8oz/236ml) lime juice
- 1 liter (4 cups) fizzy water
- 4 limes, sliced into coins
- Make the simple syrup: In a medium pot, stir the sugar into 1 cup of water. Turn the heat to medium-high, and let the sugar water come to a simmer. Turn off the heat, and add the basil leaves. Let the simple syrup steep for 30 minutes. Run the syrup through a sieve, and then move it to the fridge to chill, at least 30 minutes.
- Mix together the basil syrup, gin, grapefruit juice, lime juice and 2 cups of cold water; chill for at least 30 minutes, until quite cold. Before serving, top the punch with lime coins. You can add the fizzy water all at once to the punch bowl, or allow each guest to top off their own glass. [You can make the punch (basil syrup + gin + grapefruit juice + lime juice + water) up to 1 day ahead, and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.]