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I've allowed myself to be afraid of gluten-free baking for too long now. The thought of making a baked good without those all-important strands of protein just seemed a little wrong, and so many gluten-free products have that mealy, rice flour texture that isn't necessarily off-putting, but it's...well, just not quite right.

Brillat-Savarin famously said that gravy is the dividing line between fasting and feasting. Preach!

As a Southerner, I can attest that a truer thing has never been said. I can also attest to the fact that gravy does not mandate spending more of your precious paycheck on groceries. Hence red eye gravy. Country ham drippings plus stale coffee. Voilà! Flavor.

As a woman, I can say that I've had more than enough bad chocolate to last for the rest of my life. And flowers and silly stuffed animals and... Valentine's Day seems to have stagnated somewhere in the realm of kitsch, but in a not-so-trendy, jellied salad sort of way.

This has been a very exciting week for the garden. Not so much in what grew there or what was picked or planted there, but in the potential for next year. Compost delivery!

Roasted chickpeas have been all over the blogosphere lately. And why not? They're crunchy, savory, satisfying, and fun to eat. Who knew that the darling ingredient of silky smooth hummus fame could be eaten in a completely different and surprising incarnation? 

One thing about cool dishes that can be a little problematic is creating rich flavors. When no heat is applied, onions are intense and domineering, tomatoes are acidic and watery, and peppers can be unappetizingly astringent.

There are some things I want to bring back. Aprons, for one. I inherited a small collection of aprons from my grandmother. There were some well-worn ones with raggedy hems and faded stains, and there were a few that were only used on special occasions—the Sunday aprons. I really can’t think of a more perfect article of clothing.

As a 22-year old, I have lots of strong opinions on itinerant life. Moving in and out of dorm rooms for four years and then in and out of cheap apartments every six months or so really squelches the spirit, especially for someone with a strong nesting instinct.

One of the small mercies of summer is water. Big, wide, open bodies of water. Oceans, lakes, slow rivers, ponds. And narrow, bracing bodies of water. Mountain streams, snaking tributaries. I am hard-pressed to choose which I prefer. Steeping in slightly cool bath water, floating like an errant leaf, or taking a teeth-chattering plunge in turbulent, icy streams.