And poof! Summer in the Valley

Living in the Central Valley has it’s perks for sure. It is only three hours to Los Angeles or the Bay Area, two hours to the coast, and an hour to the mountains. Our freezing time in the winter is pretty minimal, but we are rapidly (like tomorrow) approaching early summer. This year has been a little wonky with the temps; one week we went from 60 to high 80s. So tomorrow will be one of the hottest days of the year so far at mid 90s. Luckily, we do not have high humidity, or my hair would look like I put my finger in a light socket with all the frizz.

I am glad that people are getting the COVID-19 vaccines, and that the world is slowly inching towards the new normal. I have gotten used to wearing a mask, and it doesn’t bother me any more. It actually helps in two ways. First, it keeps the pollen level down from breathing it in, and second, it hides when I’m making frowny faces at people. Besides, think about it. How much money have we all invested in cute masks to wear over the last year and a half? They have become a fashion accessory, and I’m going to wear mine for awhile.

The semester is winding down, so that means graduate paperwork is flowing across my desk for checking and sending off for signatures. I have been in my department for long enough that I have seen one full cohort achieve a graduate degree. It makes me feel good knowing I helped keep them unflustered with helping with paperwork questions. The admissions cycle is done, and the new incoming cohort is furiously sending in their pile of paperwork. In August, the cycle will start again. It is an interesting dance, and I like that I am able to help where I can. I’ve also been doing the groundwork for going back in August to start on a BA. I’m a little excited, but not excited for homework. As a lifelong learner, I enjoy the scholastic journey and anthropology will provide an interesting trip.

I’ve been lagging on my cookbook collection updates, and I apologize for that. With 1200+ cookbooks, I’ve been pondering different ways to make the list accessible, but not overwhelming. I hope to have the new pages available soon. In the meantime, rest assured that there is one full book case (2’x1’x6′) full on celebrity chef books (plus a stack or two in the front room).

One way I’ve been keeping my creative ideas going is to participate in themed cooking challenges on Instagram. It is fun, and there is a mix of professional chefs and home cooks. I generally can hold my own, and I try to thing outside the box a little. Recently, a chef reached out to me to do collaborations with her for mystery boxes. The first box was fun, and the second one’s results will post on May 2nd. The ingredients are strawberries, cheese, takoyaki/ebilskiver pan, and chicharrons. I have an idea of what I’m going to do, but you’ll have to watch the social feeds to see what we come up with. I really had fun with the basket, and picking the curveball made me chuckle. I think I’ve watched a little too many Chopped and Cutthroat Kitchen episodes.

Thanks for following the food adventures, and I hope you are playing Worst Cooks Bingo.

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