This is home lately. I’m trying to enjoy it while I can, before I’m on the road again. I fill my days with work and when I can’t work anymore, I dream about swimming with whale sharks & teach myself cinematography by rewatching old Harmony Korine films I loved in my twenties, this time watching the camera. Lately, I’m more interested in the idea of photographing pelagic beasts & making travel documentaries & little movies than dinner parties and cake. Maybe that’s always been the case or maybe it’s just that time of year; I tend to get restless in winter.
Come December 12th (how can it be less than ten days?!) I leave for Beijing, and I’ll scarcely be home again save a week around Christmas until early February. I’ll be in upstate New York, Paris, Morocco, Italy, and the UK. Then I’ll be home for a month before leaving again for another 2 or so, this time for Japan and then on to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam before heading to France & Spain. (If you’re interested in joining in on some of these travels, you can join our retreat mailing list here.) I’m preoccupied with fantasies of white sand islands in the Indian Ocean, ski slopes in Japan, and hiking into the belly of the Himalayas. That and brushless 3-axis gimbals and GoPros and red filters and Zeiss lenses and micro 4/3 cameras. Adventure & video. That’s all I think about these days.
Here at home, things get lonely. My husband is working 5 days a week out of town, and when he’s here he’s working too. My work is no better; we’re both terminally on the clock. The moments we do find together, brief morning coffees or late night in bed, are glorious, all the better for their scarcity. But I want more with him. Because we’re both working straight through the holiday season & scarcely going to have time for one another much less a tree or Christmas party with friends, we’re taking off for Morocco on New Year’s day with a short two day stop in Paris, the first vacation we’ve had together that’s over 3 days long. Excited isn’t even the word.
During these stretches of time home alone, I’m not inspired to cook anything elaborate. My dinner on exhausted nights alone is sometimes nothing more than a heated up can of Annie’s Bernie O’s. With extra salt. But on nights where I’m craving something more or when I’m feeling creatively inspired, it’s soup. Always soup this time of year. It may not be a looker, its muddy green color won’t win it any awards, but this winter greens soup spiked with ginger and topped with preserved lemons (not pictured), feta (or yogurt or creme fraiche), and pink peppercorns is everything right now. I am, it should be noted, mildly obsessed with homemade preserved lemons & pink peppercorns. I’m currently preserving a Buddha’s hand citron with pink peppercorns, clove, cinnamon, and bay leaf in a sludge of sea salt and meyer lemon juice. I can’t wait to put it on everything. A little how to will be coming your way soon…I think they make excellent gifts!
So whether you share this with yourself while watching ocean documentaries on Netflix & dreaming of being a National Geographic photographer or whether you share it with your family around the table, I highly recommend this frequently during the winter. You can even freeze it!
In other news…
1. Matt & I on Once Wed, being at home, me with no make up
2. Only 4 tickets left to this Floral Essence, Elixir, & Herbalism meal + workshop at my home
3. On Monday spots become available on the Photography + Culinary Expedition through Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam I’m hosting with Acanela Expeditions. I’ve never been so excited about a journey as this one. Join the mailing list if you want a head’s up.
- Approx. 18 cups greens 1 bundle collard, 1 bunch kale, 1 5 oz box spinach
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 head of cauliflower cut into 1″ or so chunks
- 32 oz vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon honey or to taste
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or to taste
- 1 tablespoon of preserved lemon brine for garnish, optional
- feta yogurt, or creme fraiche (for garnish, optional)
- pink peppercorns for granish, optional
- Heat the oil in a large soup pot until shimmering, add the garlic, ginger, and onions and sweat for about 5 minutes until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
- Add the greens in about 3 additions, stirring between additions and allowing them to cook down before adding more so you can fit it all in the pot. Once the greens are wilted, add the cauliflower.
- Add the vegetable stock and the rest of the seasonings. Simmer until the cauliflower is tender. Puree in a blender or vitamix. Return to the pot. Adjust texture if desired by adding more stock and adjust seasoning. Serve warm garnished with preserved lemons, feta or yogurt, and pink peppercorns. Or eat plain…it’s just as good with nothing but some crusty bread.
My name is Beth, Elizabeth Evelyn to be exact. A native Tennessean, I was born in the South.
I am the author behind Local Milk Blog.
Local milk is a journal devoted to home cookery, travel, family, and slow living—to being present & finding sustenance of every kind.
It’s about nesting abroad & finding the exotic in the everyday.
Most of all it’s about the perfection of imperfections and seeing the beauty of everyday, mundane life.