It is the middle of August already, and I feel like I’ve accomplished exactly nothing this summer. Except a multitude of the accomplishments that stop being accomplishments an hour after you finish them, like when the dogs leave muddy footprints on the clean floor, or the cat complains that she’s hungry again. Also full of accomplishments that lead to new chores, like, yay, I cooked a delicious meal! And did I really have to make all those dishes dirty in the process?

That said, I have done some serious nesting this summer. I don’t know why I’ve gone so heavily for the “carpe diem” mindset, but the past two months have been filled with me saying things like, “I think my life would be better with a dish drainer,” spending an hour researching online, then buying. I love my new dish drainer; it is exactly what I wanted it to be. I use my new wok almost every day to make the elaborate veggie hashes that I’m eating for breakfast. I’m making delightful things in my new air fryer/convection oven: fish pakora today, sweet potato fries yesterday, pumpkin scones on Friday. I’ve only cut myself once because of my new mandoline/veggie chopper, and it’s super handy for quickly dicing onions or evenly slicing cucumbers.

My new baker’s rack is the perfect place to hold both the wok and induction cooktop, and air fryer/convection oven. My new coat stand is a much more satisfying place to store all my outside gear, with more hooks than my old coat rack, and a shelf above the shoe rack on which to drop dog gear as needed. My new nightstand is actually a dog crate: Sophie doesn’t like it yet, but I hope she will eventually. And my new sideboard delights me — it gives me more storage, a convenient resting place for my laptop, and a great surface on which to place my farmer’s market bounty and a mason jar of dahlias from the garden.

Was all that spending a good idea? Well…no. I’m not earning nearly enough money from book sales to justify any of it. And, on the other hand, yes. Because my house is cozier and more comfortable and there’s not a single one of my purchases that I regret. (I suppose I might regret Sophie’s crate someday if she continues being disinclined to enter it, but it’s actually a pretty nice nightstand — lots of room on top for power cords and kleenex and things — so I might not, too.)

Also yes, because many of those purchases are geared toward making it easier for me to cook good things, and I have been cooking a great many good things. I should have reached the reintroduction phase of AIP but I haven’t really. I tried a sprinkle of black pepper last week on Day 31, but promptly got congested. I suspect that the congestion was more likely to be caused by moving some furniture and getting dust and cat hair in the air, but I didn’t try again.

Today’s good thing: AIP fish pakora. Cooked in the air fryer, so not actually fried, despite the look. The coating is cassava flour with a little turmeric in it, plus a cilantro-garlic-marinade on the fish. The fish was black cod, purchased straight from the dock. Totally delicious.

I wish I’d kept some kind of journal when I did this back in 2014, because… and wait! I did keep a journal, or at least a blog. Let me scroll back in time…

Wow, I sure posted a lot back in 2014. I think part of that was that I had three blogs: one for cooking, with recipes; one for writing, where I posted regular word count updates; and this one. At some point, I merged them all together, and quit posting on the cooking and writing blogs. But I started AIP for the first time on August 20, 2014 and when I hit 30 days, I wasn’t feeling well enough to start reintroductions.

So… I guess I persist. Well, I was going to persist anyway, even without that knowledge, but now I know that it wasn’t a miracle eight years ago either. And also that last time around, the way I felt better was to follow all the rules, including adding things to my diet, not just subtracting. Specifically, adding fermented food (sauerkraut), bone broth, organ meats, and increasing leafy green consumption to ten cups a day. Sigh. Organ meats are the hardest, but I do get sick of leafy greens, too.

Well, onward. And onward right now should be moving on today’s next thing: feeding Sophie, feeding the chickens, and figuring out what I’m making for dinner. Whatever it is, it will undoubtedly include leafy greens.