My mug collection (a mini tour)
When I think about the comforts of home, I think of coffee (or tea) mugs. The one has a handle that fits my hand shape exactly. The one that is handmade, bought in a place dear to me. The one I bought at Target, but hang onto because it's a favorite for a friend when she comes over for coffee. (Remember when that was normal?)
Anyway, as frivolous as this may seem, I thought it would be fun to photograph (nearly all of) my mug collection and share a tiny tidbit about each mug. There are some I love for black coffee specifically, some I use only for tea. Some slightly larger, perfect for adding whole milk or half and half, if it's one of those days. They're not perfect, and a few have persistent coffee stains (I think baking soda would remove those? But for now, they're there).
Without further ado, here are the mugs:
Upper left: a mug from Intelligentsia. I bought this for Nicholas after a summer visit to him when we were dating. A trip where I took a combination of a Megabus and a train to get to him.
Upper right: a mug from Greyhouse Coffee, where I worked in college, still one of my very favorite places. Sent to me by a barista friend when we lived in Texas. Big volume, great for frothed coffee or hot cocoa.
Lower left: another from Greyhouse. It was a staff Christmas gift in December 2011(?) maybe. A classic diner mug.
Lower right: a "pocket" mug, that my MIL gave me a few years ago. Also nice for larger volumes, and its handmade.
Upper left: an IKEA mug in a nearly perfect shade of blue. It was inexpensive, but I like how the handle feels.
Upper right: a handmade mug we bought in Canmore, Alberta on our Canada trip in 2016. Originally bought as a gift for my SIL, but it chipped in transit, so we kept it and bought her a replacement. I like using this one for tea.
Lower left: a mug from my mom. The quintessential Minnesota mug from Caribou coffee.
Lower right: Handmade in Austin, a gift from a sweet friend, right before we moved back to the Midwest. I use this one all the time. Another shade of really pretty blue. And I like how thick the ceremic is.
Upper left: I bought this one at a thrift store when we were newlyweds. I love the color and the speckling.
Upper right: Another one I bought a few years ago, originally because I thought the patterning looked a bit like knit stitches. And now I hang into it because it's a favorite of a sweet friend of mine, and she always uses it on the very special occasions that she has coffee here.
Lower left: I received this in a MOPS mug swap. I love the color, the sentiment, and the shape, so I reach for it often.
Lower right: A very special mug that a dear friend brought back for me from Northern MN (specifically the Grand Marais area), a place near and dear to us both, although we've never been there together. It's handmade and nearly always the mug I reach for on weekends, because it feels special. The other side has a glazed flower.
Top: Another favorite of mine. It's from Anthropologie, but it has a Scandinavian feel to it, and I love the classic blue and white floral pattern, the fluted texture, and the shape.
Bottom: Looking a bit rugged now, but I bought this from our (now) local coffee shop, Dagger Mountain, for Nicholas long before we lived here. It's a really nice size.
Top left: A handmade mug I bought at a local shop in Austin. It's smaller in size, so I tend to use it when I brew French Press coffee for company.
Top right and bottom left: Special his and hers Christmas mugs (the only seasonal ones we own). I love them.
Bottom right: a special tea infuser mug that my SIL gave to me. It feels very fancy to use it (and I love every tea I drink out of it, maybe because it produces a more mindful attitude?)
And special mention of a mug we unearthed in my in-law's basement, boasting a photo of Nicholas (right) and his cousin (left), when they were tiny.
And that's all! Well, there are a few mugs set aside, including a matching white set that we have in storage, but these are the ones in our cabinet at the moment. Perhaps I've put too much thought into this, but that was fun. ;)
Hearty Beef and Vegetable Stew (Slow Cooker recipe)
I am certainly not a food blogger, and it has been some time since I shared a recipe on the blog. However, I wanted to share a "recipe" or method, if you will, for our very favorite beef roast in the crockpot.
2022: A year in review
Welcome to my annual post of our life in the last year – a review of all the big and little events, travels, habits, heartbreaks, and joys. These posts require a lot of time and energy, in part due to sifting through all the posts I wrote in the last year, but also because these posts spur me to reflect and sit with the previous year for a moment, before stepping into the next one.
In the kitchen, July 2022
As a home cook, I spend a lot of my time in the kitchen everyday, and lately, I've been finding so much joy in trying lots of new things in the kitchen with items from our garden, ingredients purchased locally, or new recipes made with my sourdough starter.