Today we took a long drive West. I’m always up for a road trip, and this was a particularly beautiful day to meander through small towns, past gentleman farms, and out into the country – or as much “country’ as you get out here. We did manage to see some animals – cows at the Tufts Veterinary campus in North Grafton, and a few llamas in someone’s yard. Being an impromptu trip, I left without a camera and with a minimally charged cell phone, so most of the trip I just looked out the window and admired the scenery. One amusing point of note: at some point we’d noticed we’d been driving through farmland for miles and decided to take bets on when we’d see the next Dunkin’ Donuts. Devon bet ten minutes, and I bet four. Given that it’s New England, we essentially both won. There are approximately three Dunkin Donuts establishments per capita around these parts.
When we came home, I spent an hour in the evening writing in longhand on crisp white paper – making lists and scratching out fragments of ideas with one of my trusty Pilot G-2 pens. They are my favorite pens these days – the right shape, and with good ink. During the week I spend so much time tethered to my computer and my phone, that words flow differently when I can use my whole hand and my body to get something out onto the page.
This week was lovely and full – I found myself marveling that all the things that happened could have possibly fit into a mere seven days. At work we launched our new step tracking app, Breeze, which makes your iPhone 5s essentially the equivalent of a Jawbone or a Fitbit, except with the added benefit of guided coaching and a beautiful user experience. The team started working on Breeze not long after I started at RunKeeper, and it feels good to be working with such a creative group of folks and seeing a product created from idea to launch.
Another major thing of note is that I received a package in the mail from Ten Speed Press, with a copy of my friend Karen’s new book Asian Pickles. The book is coming out this spring, and would be a lovely resource for dealing with abundant produce – you can pre-order it here! I’m looking forward to working my way through her recipes.
The week in food began with a Passover seder, where we observed Sephardic Moroccan tradition of Bibhilu – circling the seder plate over each persons head, singing a short passage – Bibhilu yatsanu mimitsrayim – “In a hurry we left Egypt”, and tapping the head with the plate before moving on to their neighbor. It’s a lovely mystical experience that makes the meal even more special. We read the four questions, we sang songs, and ate whole eggs to symbolize life and the possibilities of the future. There were mini meatballs, matzah ball soup, gefilte fish, my aunt’s Tsimmes (braised beef, carrots and sweet potato), and my grandmother’s potato pancakes. My mom made my favorite charoset – an apple chutney studded with dates and walnuts, and our hostess Roz made the most incredible frozen lemon torte. I’ve acquired the recipe and will likely be making it again this week – it has about a dozen egg yolks in the recipe, so I may have to scale it down.
In fitness and health news, I had a fun day lifting on Wednesday – practicing push jerks and split jerks, went to the Marathon Expo on Friday, went for my first run in weeks on Saturday – two short miles and then about three more walking ones, and have been working through Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s 21-day Meditation challenge. I’ve a slight tendency towards attention deficit symptoms when I have a lot going on in my life, and meditation is an excellent way to calm my mind and give it a rest. Even 20 dedicated minutes without distraction is rare around here, so I’ve been enjoying each guided practice immensely. This coming week I’m looking forward to spending some time outside logging some miles, doing nightly planks to work my core with FitFluential’s #FFAprilAbs challenge, heading to CrossFit for Oly Lifting Clinic on Wednesday, and hopefully squeezing in a yoga class.
Here’s what’s on tap for our meals:
Week of Sunday, April 20th
Sunday: Whole Foods Hot Bar. In honor of Marathon Monday, Whole Foods was offering 50% off hot bar from 4-7 pm this weekend, so I took full advantage of the deal and ended up going home with some chicken, mashed potatoes, and their Italian zucchini, tomato and garlic.
Monday: Roasted Mediterranean Chicken, Turkish green beans, and sweet potatoes. For two of us I’ll roast a tray of chicken thighs, or in this case, a half a chicken with herbs rubbed into the skin. If it’s really nice out, I might barbecue it.
Tuesday: Tropical Taco Lettuce Wraps with tomato and avocado salad. I saw Mel posting a tropical taco recipe today that included some chopped mango and allspice (which I can’t get enough of lately), so I’ll be doing something similar here over salad.
Wednesday: Jerk pork tenderloin and brussels sprouts. Again with the allspice – I can’t get enough of it – it’s one of the real stars of jerk seasoning. I’m a fan of Lucinda Scala Quinn’s basic jerk chicken recipe, which I’ve adapted over the years to go with chicken or pork.
Thursday: RunKeeper Night of Awesomeness Barbecue. Once a month a RunKeeper coworker is in charge of planning the festivities, and this month Doug, our VP of Engineering, has invited us to a barbecue at his house in Somerville.
What’s on your table this week?