A few weekends ago, our friends Tyler & Morgan came for a visit from LA, and we do what we always do: cook up a storm, drink a lot of super tasty yet affordable wines (because they’re my favorite experts), and brainstorm the next billion dollar idea. Like this kale chimichurri.
Late last night, 14+ hours of traveling and 7 flight changes later, I finally made it home to Austin after almost a month off visiting family and friends back in Boston (and lining up some amazing opportunities, but more on that later).
Just over a year since finding out — after many, many, MANY uncomfortable doctor’s visits, minor surgeries & tests — that I’m highly allergic to wheat (and shellfish) and having to suddenly switch to a completely gluten-free diet, I can say with authority that no time of year can be more frustrating (read: depressing) than the holidays.
For the first time in our adult lives, my husband and I will be spending Thanksgiving far away from home and family and friends in Boston — 2,200 miles to be exact. Something about the distance has given me a more introspective awareness of how lucky we are, despite a year that was awful and trying in so many ways, and of our duty to help those less fortunate.
One of the things I’m most grateful for since moving to Austin is the overwhelming support and options for living gluten free. This city is seriously the epicenter of the progressive food universe, most likely thanks to Whole Foods being founded here way back in 1980 and all the current urban farming going on in East Austin, but regardless of the root cause: I’m in heaven.
OK, my addiction to pumpkin has officially hit full tilt. I knew it was going to be hard acclimating to a different climate in Texas, but I didn’t know how hard it was going to be missing the change of seasons back in New England — especially as we near Thanksgiving and I’m still wearing sundresses and flip flops, verging on near-manic nostalgia for a real fall.
One of the few things I regret about moving to Texas so far is our timing — Red Sox winning the World Series aside, fall in New England is one of the most magical times, in one of the most magical places on the planet, and my absolute favorite season.
Down here in Longhorn country, one thing is for certain: Football is no longer just a game, and weekends are no longer just for brunch. I’m surrounded by Burnt Orange in every direction and the TVs are all tuned to game day coverage — NFL, college, and high school games. (Hook ’em!)
The last few weeks of Fall-like, 70-degree days and cooler nights have been an absolute gift after all those sweltering heatwaves of July — at least for me, since we’re going to miss September and October in New England (my absolute favorite time of year and place to spend it in) when we move to…Austin, over Labor Day. (There! I said it! Everybody freak out now!)
While I’ve enjoyed the challenge of coming up with cold recipes that don’t involve the oven, range, grill — even the toaster was too much heat last week — there’s only so many deli sandwiches one can eat before going a bit mad.