I’m still here!

Fully two years later, I’m still here — and slightly pained to see how relevant my last post still is. (Really, America? C’mon.) But enough of that. How are you, my lovely 98 followers? How’s life? What’s the last thing you baked? How long has it been since you’ve eaten pie?

If it’s been less than a few hours, it’s OK. This is a safe place. We don’t judge here.

As for me … I’m doing better. I finally admitted to myself that I have depression and anxiety, and got my butt on (four separate) medications. That kicked my brain in the right places and brought on a bunch of good, healthy changes. I found a new job that I really love, and ran a half marathon, and started getting along better with my family, and got a 97% match with a guy on OKCupid who I have now been happily dating for … let’s see … a month and twelve days, officially.

You see the kind of difference these brain pills can make? The commercials aren’t lying. Holy Moses, do I feel better.

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Literally my brain at the moment. Meadow, flowered hat, the whole nine yards.

That whole brain chemistry situation is a major reason I stopped blogging, because, uh, I wasn’t cooking. I know. Gasp, faint. I lost my appetite for over a year. It wasn’t pretty. I could be persuaded to eat a turkey sandwich here or there, or a piece of toast and a mandarin orange for dinner, but making mayonnaise or chicken broth or mozzarella cheese from scratch, as I have been wont to do? Fuhgeddaboutit.

So what does a food blogger do when she doesn’t eat?

Drop off the radar for two years, apparently. Sorry about that. A better person would have found a way to blog through it all — “12 Spins on the Classic Turkey Sandwich That Will Blow Your Mind,” or something. But I am not a better person. I’m me. And you lovely 98 people, for some reason, have chosen to stick with me through the silence.

So thank you for that. I have been cooking again, and I will reward your patience by resurrecting this blog at some point. It might take me awhile. It’s not a great time of year for natural lighting or seasonal produce, and truth be told, I’m still testing the limits of my new and improved appetite.

But I have been eating, and I think that’s a great first step. Onward and upward!

If you want a sneak peek into my fridge, here’s what’s been on the menu this week:

Spicy Chicken Sweet Potato Meal Prep Magic Bowls from Pinch of Yum. Does even this recipe look like too much work? Then don’t dice anything — toss the chicken breasts whole with olive oil and storebought Cajun seasoning. Bake the sweet potatoes whole. Get pre-cut broccoli segments from the store. Make it easy for yourself.

Honey Ginger Tofu & Veggie Stir Fry from Pinch of Yum. I used baby carrots cut up into segments, plus a container of snow peas from the produce section. Easy-peasy.

And coming up next week …

Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup from (yes) Pinch of Yum. With maybe sliiiiiightly less butter, because I’m a spoilsport like that.

Vegetarian Meatballs with Apricot Barbecue Sauce from an old church cookbook I have. The barbecue sauce is ta die fer, as the Pioneer Woman would say. This is one of my favorite comfort foods. I can’t wait.

Until next time!

~ Sonya Sombra

 


Image credits: Meadow from jill111 and yaks from Pixel-mixer on Pixabay.

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Obligatory Baby Yak of Goodwill. D’awww!

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Your unasked questions answered

First of all, my sincerest apologies to all the commenters, gossip columnists, and TV crews who have been wondering where I was for the past four months. Sorry for the panic — I know, it was like the Marie Celeste all over again, but with more conspiracy theories. It’s okay. I’m back now.

(And by “panicked fanbase”, I mean the one friend to whom I casually mentioned my absence, to which she replied, “Oh yeah, you have a blog.”)

In a nutshell: I’ve been finishing my master’s degree.

There's been serious talk of wearing wizards' caps to graduation. I'll keep you posted.

There’s been serious talk of wearing wizards’ caps to graduation. I’ll keep you posted.

“What’s your degree in?”

There’s more than one reason why I haven’t said before. First, there’s the whole stranger-danger thing. I sometimes play a game (benevolently, I swear) where I read strangers’ blogs and see how quickly I can identify what city they live in. Sometimes they’re super open about it. Sometimes they’re successfully secretive. Most often, they don’t want to say outright, but it’s super easy to find out based on the businesses and events they mention. Because I’m in a field that doesn’t have many masters’ programs in the U.S., mentioning my discipline in conjunction with the other events I’ve described would have been about as smart as posting a daily selfie with the Eiffel Tower and expecting my location to remain anonymous.

“Loving my new place in London! #privacyplease”

The other reason is that my field has a certain amount of stigma. About fifty percent of the time, when I tell people what I’m studying, they scrunch up their noses and say, “You have to have a degree to do that?” (I like to respond with a breezy “No, I just had a spare $45,000 lying around, and Joss said it wasn’t enough to reboot Firefly.”) Another thirty percent of the time, they’ll say, “Really? Where are you going to find a job in that?”, as though they expect me to have a road-to-Damascus moment and switch to, say, bioengineering on the spot.

But neither of these reasons are particularly valid anymore, because (a) I’m moving soon because (b) I just got a full-time job in my field. It can be done, friends.

So to answer your question: I’m a librarian.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a free stock photo of a stereotypical librarian. This fills me with hope.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a free stock photo of a stereotypical librarian. This fills me with hope.

“So, what’s new in your life?”

Well, I just got a full-time job in my field. Did I mention that? Please don’t hate me. It does mean I have to get to move to the Deep South in the depths of summer. So I guess I’m an adult now? Is this what adults do? Does it mean I have to stop sleeping with a nightlight?

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This is definitely not my nightlight. That mouse is far too scary.

In other news, getting a job before graduation means that all motivation evaporates. Right now I’m in the throes of writing MY LAST PAPER EVER (please don’t hate me) and it is not going well. For comparison, I have also written papers on canine imagery in Renaissance drama, the Protestant poetic of George Herbert, and medieval numerology, all of which were riveting season finales compared to this last barrier between me and gainful employment.

Also, I’ve been trying to purchase ebooks for the small library I manage, which is obnoxiously difficult and expensive, and catalog other ebooks with open-source software that was apparently coded in an era when ebooks were naught but a twinkle in Vannevar Bush’s eye. So the next time I hear someone say, “I don’t know why my library doesn’t have more ebooks; they’re just so much easier to buy and use,” I am going to stalk them until they start making risotto, and then I am going to cry into it, and it will be too salty and their dinner party will be ruined. Ha.

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“Speaking of cooking, can you make a roux with EVOO instead of butter?”

As I discovered yesterday while making the Pioneer Woman’s cauliflower soup, yes, you can, but it will have a pale green tinge that is not for the faint of heart. Also, you will need a heck of a lot of salt.

“What’s up next for IWtSLtY?”

I have every intention of returning to a regular posting schedule, but let’s be honest, I also have every intention of someday learning how to manage my hair, and that’s not working out so well.

However! I’m currently mapping out a No Carb Left Behind farewell tour of my home city, which I can bring you along on, now that it doesn’t matter if you know where I live. So stay tuned for that.

Finally, looking farther ahead: What are your thoughts on D.A. Days, our celebration of all things Potteresque? Is it worth a repeat? Would you like to see another fandom highlighted this year?

Until (an ideally very soon) next time,

~ Sonya

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[traditional Yak of Goodwill]

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Image credits: Great Hall gif from Warner Brothers via Tumblr, I claim no ownership of it whatsoever, please don’t shut down my blog; door by stux on Pixabay; librarian via Bill Branson on Wikimedia Commons; nightlight from twaita2012 on Pixabay; TH gif from MTV via rebloggy, again, no rights owned here, please don’t sue; yak from Simon on Pixabay.