Since I came home from Ireland, I’ve been working on not taking my phone to bed with me. It was a big step, which my Mennonite upbringing is embarrassed to admit, and one I might not have taken without the eccentricities of outlet placements in a very old Irish farmhouse. Since I’ve had a smart phone, (well, probably since I’ve had a cell phone) I’ve slept with it on my bedside stand and my smart phone was the last thing I looked at before I went to sleep and the first thing I’d reach for when I woke up, either in the morning or in those middle-of-the-night awake spells I sometimes have. While I was in Ireland, there wasn’t an outlet near enough to my bed to keep my phone near me while being plugged in. My phone needed to charge at night since it was my main camera and its battery was on its way out. That was the first time in at least a couple of years that I went to sleep without reading or internet-ing with my phone some beforehand and I was surprised (and not proud–see Mennonite note above) at how much I felt the lack of it initially.
Since I got used to falling asleep without phone-ing, and since more and more sleep hygiene studies say that screens at bedtime are bad for sleep, I’ve decided to try no screens in bed for now. Most days I’m just fine with it. I’m not sure how long it will last once the semester is running full force and I rely on my phone more to keep my life organized. One day at a time.
I’ve been reading in bed for for forever, though. When I was a high school, it was a very common occurrence for me to get in bed, say “oh, just one chapter,” and then read ever so much more than one chapter. Without my phone, I’ve been reading real books again, which I haven’t done as much in the past few years. Jewel, I finally read the Molly Wizenberg book you have me for Christmas a few years ago. I really enjoyed it. Thank you. I’m glad I got around to reading it. After finishing the book, I looked through Molly’s blog for awhile (the next day, or course) and also enjoyed that. I’ve been trying some of her recipes. Her cooking instincts and recipes are generally simpler than mine, but that kind of cooking works well in the summer with fresh ingredients that don’t need much cooking and it is good to remember that simple foods can delicious. For the upcoming fall and winter, I found some of her more complex recipes. I made and froze individual servings of chickpea, chard and tamarind soup and of her chana masala to eat during the chaos of the semester.
My favorite popsicle recipe right now is from her blog. In the way of the internet and current food blogs, she adapted David Lebovitz’s watermelon sorbetto recipe, so my version is an adaptation of an adaption. My only change is a substitution of a tablespoon of tequila for a tablespoon of vodka, for the very simple reason that tequila is what I had in the house. Eva and Gwen gave me an inherited, partially used bottle of tequila when I tried Fany Gerson’s Sour Cream, Cherry, and Tequila paletas recipe for a potluck. Those paletas weren’t a winner in my book, but I will gladly use the tequila one tablespoon at a time in these watermelon popsicles. Like I’ve said, most things are better with lime on them, and the combination of watermelon with hints of lime and tequila is really great here. And they’re pretty.
I will emphasize the importance of getting a good, sweet watermelon for this recipe. The tequila and lime are, like I said, just hints–the real flavor is here is watermelon. Hence, the better the watermelon, the better the popsicle. The second watermelon I bought wasn’t quite as good as the first one I used when discovering this recipe and I can tell it in the flavor of the second round of popsicles. That didn’t stop me from making three batches last week (it was a large watermelon). I took some of them to Beth’s birthday party and have the leftovers for whatever warm days are left (*sob*) in the semester.
I’m headed off to bed soon. Do you have any suggestions for night time cozy reading? I’m glad for suggestions right now.
Love to you.