Tuesday, June 27
I don't get a callback for Man of La Mancha, so I spend the morning in Central Park. I'm running by 7:15, reminding myself how good it feels to shake out my sleepy bones and break a good hard sweat. I've gradually perfected a playlist of music with just the right beat and vibe for running. My slightly neurotic music major brain gets bent out of shape if I can't run in time to the music. Finding just the right songs is harder than you might think. One of my favorites so far, though, is "Brand New Day" by Tim Myers. It's from Meghan's annual mix, and I play it on repeat to blast through the last few hundred yards of my run. Thanks, Megs!
Back at home, I tackle a mounting domestic issue: I am running out of clean clothes and will soon be forced to either smell gross or join a nudist colony. I vote the former. I load up on detergent and a pocket full of quarters and schlep my clothes to the laundromat a block away. I decide Tuesday afternoons must be a good time to do laundry because only a couple other people have the same idea. It's a nice, quiet way to spend an hour or so. After finishing Three Cups of Tea—an incredible book I recommend to everyone—a few days earlier, I dive into Donald Miller's Searching for God Know's What. I'm reminded of how much I like his voice. His low-key intellectualism and humor seep right out of the page, and I find myself laughing out loud for an audience of empty washing machines.
A couple hours and five dollars worth of quarters later, my closet is stocked with sweet-smelling clean clothes again. Oh the simple pleasures. :) It's like being in Thailand all over again and feeling so happy to finally get rid of the grime of the city. New York is like Bangkok in a lot of ways—hot, muggy, dirtier than Yelm or Spokane, and relatively unkind to the state and smell of your clothes. Which is why I love washing machines.
Later that night, I bust out my imaginary chef hat and get to work on a recipe Brooke gave me before I left. Back in January of 2008 while in our prep class for the New York Jan Term trip, I saw Brooke snacking on some fascinating bright purple food. She told me what it was, but I didn't give it any thought until this summer, random as it may be. The recipe is for tabbouleh, a traditional Lebanese dish, garnished with cooked beets.
It's a pretty easy mix of bulgur (from wheat), scallions, lemon zest, olive oil, tomato, mint leaves, and boiled beets. She usually includes some crumbled goat cheese, but I used feta from cow's milk instead. Beware: the beets are messy, and for a little while, they'll stain your kitchen and your hands bright purple. No worries. You'll soon return to your God-given color.
To be honest, I was skeptical about the beets. I tried them once before and thought they tasted like dirt. Because they do. Literally. But when boiled, they're not as earthy, and they mix well into this recipe, especially when combined with strong contrasting flavors like mint and feta.
Here's the final product, which only gets more and more purple as the bulgur soaks up the beet juice.
Clean clothes and a refrigerator of delicious food. I might not manage to book a New York gig, but I'm getting really good at the whole domestic living thing. Scary.