allisonholz: Here I am in my writing cave, aka my basement (Default)
Today is the Fourth of July, which for Americans means Independence Day. Because of the blood shed by the American Revolutionaries starting in the 1770s (and all of our troops in the last 230 years), we have freedoms that many people around the world can’t even imagine. This isn't a utopia, and there are lots of problems, but just being able to speak out about the problems and fight to change them is a freedom not every country has.

One of the ways we celebrate this day is by being with our family and friends, enjoying good food and good company. We have fireworks at the fairgrounds in our town, and can see them from our front lawn. My son gets so excited because we let him stay up past his bedtime to sit out and watch.

This year, we’re working on a remodel at our house. Buying a home and then tinkering with it is part of the quintessential American Dream. When we moved into our house four years ago, our upstairs was just a big room. Now we’re putting in a master suite with a full bath. My father and my husband are doing the rough-in for the plumbing this weekend.

While they work, I’ve been doing revisions on my novel and prepping food for today’s cook-out. It’s a stereotypical division of labor among the genders, although under normal circumstances I’m pretty good with construction projects. I know how to handle power tools and saws from years making sets in the theatre. But I happen to be in the last trimester of pregnancy, which means I’m ungainly and off-balance, and I can’t afford to make a mistake and get injured. Beyond that, I also love to cook and I’ve embraced my girly-ness in the kitchen. Baking, cooking, and growing herbs, fruits, and vegetables to eat are some of my favorite ways to spend my non-writing, non-reading time.

Today’s menu:

- Burgers and hot dogs on the grill, made with 96% lean organic ground beef and hot dogs made without nitrates.
A variety of mayo-based salads, including macaroni, potato, and broccoli salad (we like the sweet Amish-style dressing at our house).
Pasta salad made with Italian seasoning, olive oil, cherry tomatoes from the garden, and fresh mozzarella.
Corn on the cob
Fresh veggies from the garden (cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots) served with dip
Homemade sweet tea and lemonade

If anyone is interested, I can post recipes for any or all of the above in the comments. Although we aren’t doing steak or BBQ chicken today, I also have a great recipe for a steak marinade and for homemade BBQ sauce. In almost every case, I have made up or heavily altered these recipes over the years. Once upon a time, I had delusions of writing a cooking blog (you can still read the few posts I managed at The DIY Kitchen), but I picked a bad time to start. I’d just started my MFA program, I had a toddler running around, I was working full time, and I didn’t have the time to cook the meals, take the pictures, and then write up a blog post about them that sounded interesting and wasn’t just a recipe with explanations. After I finish my MFA I may revisit the cooking blog idea, and possibly link it to this blog.

For now, I’m headed back into revision-land. I’ve set myself a goal of 5-7 pages a day every day in July, which should get me to the end of my thesis novel by August. My daughter is due in September, so the earlier the better. ^_^

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allisonholz: Here I am in my writing cave, aka my basement (Default)
Allison Holz

October 2011

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