Weekend Reads

sweet potato heart

This week was full of sweet potato love here at Humble Foodie, starting with 5 Uses for Sweet Potato Puree and followed by my new favorite recipe: Sweet Potato Brownies. Hearty servings of this scrumptious tuber (especially mixed with cocoa…) kept me going through a front-loaded week. Friday came to a close with a glorious dinner table laden with Thai food and a trip to the symphony.

To be honest, I don’t listen to classical music on my own. Last night’s performance might have changed that. Tchaikovsky’s The Tempest, Op. 18 and Symphony No. 4 in f minor, Op. 36 (listen here) were powerful pieces that pulled to the surface memories and emotions I didn’t remember feeling. Tchaikovsky’s written program for Symphony No. 4 shed light on the rollercoaster and ended with the first weekend read I want to share. His explanation of the fourth movement would make a beautiful meditation and reminder for difficult times:

The fourth movement: if within yourself you find no reasons for joy, then look to others. Go among the people. See how they can enjoy themselves, surrendering themselves wholeheartedly to joyful feelings…O, how they are enjoying themselves! How happy they are that all their feelings are simple and straightforward. Reproach yourself, and do not say that everything in this world is sad. Joy is simple, but powerful. Rejoice in the rejoicing of others. To live is still possible.

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

My practical side also thinks that The Tempest would make a good running soundtrack.

When you’re done swaying to the music above, start your Saturday with a few fun reads and recipes from around the web.

Recipe: Green Avocado Frosting
Perfect for your St. Patty’s Day treats!

Daring you to disagree, Terri Trespicio writes that Hobbies Are For Losers.

…chances are the thing you want to do, that you feel most passionate about, that you would love to do “for real,” is something you’re calling a hobby because it lowers the stakes.

New wardrobe on a budget: do a clothing swap!
Spring cleaning has me ready to unpack my summer frocks and gallivant around with bare legs. Get with the picture, 30-degree weather. Organizing a swap is a way to clean out your closets AND get awesome free stuff. Win-cute-dress-win.

5 Things to Eat in Virginia
Love the shoutout to my home state. It makes my heart pine for peanuts from Williamsburg, waffles at my favorite greasy spoon, and David‘s peach cobber cooked in a dutch oven over the campfire.

Introduction to the Paleo Diet
I love posts on paleo written by real people. Not that Robb Wolfe or Chris Kresser aren’t real…but it’s refreshing to read something written by someone who doesn’t live and breathe perfectly paleo all the time. Julie lays out this lifestyle/diet in real talk.

On my nightstand: Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin. I am fast becoming a food and agriculture nerd, so not all of the material is new to me, but I appreciate Salatin’s practical steps for reestablishing a conscientious and sustainable farming and land management system/attitude. It starts at home.

And finally, cheers to the freakin’ weekend, from the band I can’t stop listening to:

About Humble Foodie

While we both love to eat well, life as AmeriCorps volunteers doesn’t afford us the budget to try every new restaurant and type of cuisine. With many post-graduate expenses and limited financial resources, what’s a foodie to do? The answer is here, at The Humble Foodie. Instead of spending our hard-earned cash paying other people to cook for us, we’re spending as frugally as possible making delicious meals at home.
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7 Responses to Weekend Reads

  1. First, thanks for the link up to Mindful Health. I really loved Julie’s post as well, and I’m so thrilled to see you sharing it with your readers.

    Jealous that you went to the symphony last night! I’ve yet to go, but we did see the Nutcracker at the Joffrey this past Christmas and I was magical. My take away? More ballet, trips to the symphony, and maybe even the Opera this summer. Chicago has so much culture to soak up! Do you listen to classical music while working? I’ve found it the best thing ever.

    I need to check out the Joel Salatin book STAT. I’ve read a lot of food & health literature in the past but nothing, not even an article, by him, so this will be a treat. He’s so lovable, right? After reading Omnivore’s Dilemma I wanted to pack up and legit start a farm. My parents had to remind me that I don’t actually enjoy farm work. But, I do enjoy reading about it!

    Hope you get some time to unwind after a long week this weekend!

    • Alicia says:

      I saw The Nutcracker and Gisele at the Joffrey last year- again, not things I always pursue on my own, but I always enjoy going with friends or for work (favorite perk, even if it means late nights!) I’ve been holed up in a coffee shop for the last two hours listening to The Tempest and Symphony no. 4 on my headphones- usually I don’t work with music, but these pieces are a revelation. I’m happy my tastes are changing!

      Joel Salatin is pretty lovable, though I don’t agree with everything in his book. It’s such a no-brainer for an author pushing for change to include practical steps that the reader can take (or changes to push for on the political and consumer side), but not everyone does it. I appreciate these tips in the book. On the flip side, I’ve been reading it before bed, and after reading the chapter on CAFOs I had a nightmare about my food coming alive and eating me. But I guess if it takes a nightmare to shock me into reality about the industrial food system, it’s gotta happen!

      Looking forward to a peaceful weekend. Hope yours is off to a great start!

  2. Oh good gracious that nightmare! Michael Pollan would enjoy hearing that one. Have you watched Food, Inc. before? I think that Salatin is featured in that documentary? I can’t recall since it’s been years since I saw it…

    • Alicia says:

      Yes, he is! There are a few segments featuring Polyface Farms and Joel talking about their farming and land management practices.

  3. Yay, thanks for the shout-out! Glad you liked it. I bought applesauce at TJ’s yesterday, so now sweet potato brownies are ON. Kind of pumped about it.

  4. Sarah says:

    Hey Alicia, I’m glad that I’ve stumbled into your blog-world. I was even more pleasantly surprised to find a mention of Joel Salatin. I could read about farming and sustainable agriculture all day long. We’re going to have a lot to discuss, I do declare!

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