four fun things

I’ve decided it’s time to start smoking cheese so… 

1. I had my younger son pull out an old electric smoker that someone gave to us, but it didn’t work. Or he couldn’t get it to work (which is the same thing as far as I’m concerned). 
2. He got out an actual fire smoker — coals in the bottom and food on top — that I’d bought secondhand. It works great for meats, but we couldn’t get the temp to stay below the necessary 90 degrees that cheese needs. 
3. He put coals in a pan and we tried to smoke the cheese in the grill but the coals kept dying.

And then I bought this sweet little do-hickey for 13 bucks and ba-BAM — billows of delicious smoke for hours. 

Now my cheese world has exploded. The smoked cheddar is fantastic — like a whole new kind of cheese. I’m so excited to try Gouda and Toscano Pepato.

Jarlsberg, Pepper Jack, Derby, São Jorge, Gouda (of course), and Toscano Pepato 


The other day I happened upon a video of some of the behind-the-scenes filming of Napoleon Dynamite.

I watched it multiple times, with multiple family members, and with immense glee. It was so fun to see Pedro, Uncle Rico, etc as their “real” selves (um … the actors, I guess?), and I was fascinated by how everyone seemed to be cobbling the movie together as they went. The whole process looked tedious, unglamorous — and wicked fun. 


How many of you know what the Enneagram is? (This is not a rhetorical question. I really want to know! The enneagram is such a central part of how I understand people and relationships that I often forget that many people — most people? — don’t even know what it is.) 

I always knew my number just from my reading, but then a few years ago I took one of the most in-depth Enneagram tests (some test out of South Africa that we had to pay for and gave me pages and pages and pages of analysis) and it confirmed what I already knew: I’m a raging 8. What number are you? Here’s a list of the best free tests, if you want to try one. (I just took the Truity test and I’m an 8.)


Here’s an oldie but goodie. On the surface it’s about marriage, but really it applies to all conflict. For a clip that’s not even two minutes long, there’s an awful lot to unpack.

I showed it to my kids this week, and they got a kick out of it.

This same time, years previous: apple strudel, kefir, the coronavirus diaries: week 45, this is who we are, the quotidian (1.13.20), full house, scandinavian sweet buns, cranberry bread, through the kitchen window, roll and twist.


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