Well, now that we have left Lisbon, I figure it’s time to start writing about it. Our plan was to arrive in Lisbon and stay. For two and a half months. We had booked an Airbnb (with the greatest hosts ever) for the first two weeks, and we were going to use that time to find an apartment and a coworking space, to establish a routine, and to explore the city, of course. But within our first few days in Lisbon, things changed. I felt completely drained. I did not have the energy to wander far from our apartment, much less decode a new language and public transit system, hunt for apartments, or research coworking spaces. I was wiped out, and I did not have the ability to summon the excitement for being in a new and beautiful place. So after some serious heart-to-hearts, Jonah and I decided, once again, to change plans: we would stay in Lisbon for a month, explore the rest of Portugal for about three weeks after that, then fly to the Netherlands to visit some old friends who live there and to meet some friends at the beginning of their own Europe trip, and then fly back to the States.
I can’t believe it was almost four weeks ago that Jonah and I left Thailand. I became much more attached to Chiang Mai than I thought I would be by the time we left. While the motorbike rides ended up killing my back, I miss puttering around the city, holding on to Jonah as we wove between cars. I miss leaving all the windows open at night and having the sounds of dogs and motorbikes rise up to remind us where we were. I miss the friends we quickly made and that I briefly got to know. I almost miss wearing sandals every day and that shorts were in regular rotation for me.
Well, it has happened. This morning I woke up, and almost immediately started crying. It could have been attributed to the fact that my health has been going through ups and downs lately (indigestion is just part of the game here in Thailand, I suppose), or the fact that a neighborhood dog kept me up most of the night. But it could also have been a combination of our visitors leaving, the fact that my friend Mac texted us that he was at my favorite Portland holiday event the Holiday Ale Fest, and that we are leaving Thailand soon.
It seems odd that a bout of homesickness would be spurred by the fact that you’re leaving a a place that is not your home. Perhaps it is, in a way, the same anxiety though. While there is still plenty that we have not done in Chiang Mai, plenty of food we haven’t eaten and sites we have not seen, it feels familiar in so many ways. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that I was no longer phased by the no fewer than seven wats we pass every day on our way from our apartment to the co-working space. There are a handful of restaurants where we eat that I know exactly what I’m going to get before we go, and I look forward to seeing the same servers and to being recognized by them in return. I feel so comfortable on the back of our motorbike, in my pink helmet, daydreaming as Jonah zips us through the city.
It has been a long time since I have rounded up some weekend finds for you. And since I have been longingly staring at recipes on blogs I love, pages I follow on Facebook, and my Instagram feed, I can tell you that I have some things I really want to cook. We’ve been gone for about three weeks now and, after my friends and family, the thing I am missing most is cooking. The good news is, I can text and Skype with my friends and family. I cannot chat with my pots and pans, the smell of onions sautéing in butter, my favorite wooden spoon, or freshly baked pumpkin bread. So instead, I am planning on living vicariously through all of you as you cook your way through fall, my favorite season. Here’s what I would make if I were you.
Three of my favorite things in one dish: crispy chicken skin, cream sauce, and mushrooms. This recipe from fellow Portland blogger Rebekah looks so freaking tasty, and I think it would be perfect for dinner with friends on a chilly fall evening.
Brooke’s writing continues to blow me away, as do her recipes and photos. The accompanying blog post breaks my heart, but these cookies sound like they’d lift my spirits. They look like the perfect treat for the season, nutty through and through with the tahini, pepitas, and peanut butter.
Yes yes, I’ve obviously posted this before. But it is my absolute go-to in the fall. The miso gets perfectly caramelized and the harissa lends the perfect amount of heat. Want to make it into a hearty salad? Make a teeny bit extra of the miso-harissa-olive oil mixture and, once the vegetables are roasting, squeeze a lemon into the remaining mixture. Whisk together, and then add chopped kale leaves and massage them with the dressing. Toss with the roasted vegetables once they’ve cooled for a bit.