The T-Shirt Situation

Sorry for the delay in posts, but I’ve been busy quitting old jobs, starting new jobs, moving, visiting family… and washing my hair.

Amongst the things that moving does for you, I think most clearly it defines just how much ‘junk’ you own. It’s incredible the amount of randomness that I just can’t bring myself to part with. I loaded up my car not once, but twice, with heaps of unused stuff to donate to a few local charities.

The one thing not in my ‘donate’ pile?  T-shirts.

I am attached (possibly addicted) to my t-shirts. When you look at the picture below, please keep in mind that I have donated a billion* t-shirts that didn’t have sentimental value over the last few years. Additionally, I have 2 very large quilts made of … you guessed it… t-shirts.

See all the red? Most likely, those are from my days as a ‘Battling Bulldog’ in high school. Gym shirts, cross country conference championship shirts, track shirts, and summer basketball shooting camps all represented in red and gold cotton. Teenage memories…

See the myriad of navy and gold? College kids don’t ever deny a free t-shirt and my alma mater certainly didn’t skimp on handouts. Nothing says I am a ramen-eating, poor college student like running across campus from the library where you had been cramming for an organic chemistry test with your three roommates at 8:30pm on a thursday night because you heard through the grapevine that they were handing out free t-shirts at the women’s volleyball tournament. Of course we stayed for the game…

Some of the t-shirts I made myself, like the one that says ‘Mighty-chondria’ – the intramural basketball team compromised of intellects who made up for what they lacked on the basketball court in the biology lab.  Or the “Singles Awareness Day” t-shirts my single friends all made one year to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a non-bitter, but slightly-bitter way. There are 5 or so t-shirts from previous canoe races. Yes, I race canoes in my free time.  There are probably 20+ t-shirts from various road races that I have run. And 20+ more t-shirts from various events my dad and his coworkers have volunteered at. Sidenote: Looking for a great gift for your 20-something daughter this Christmas? Wrap up a bunch of leftover t-shirts leftover from a company sponsored event. Label them in creative ways, like the small ones as ‘going out t-shirt’ and the larger ones as ‘sleeping t-shirts.’ Do this every year. She will laugh and think it’s funny. Then she will wear the t-shirts appreciatively.

There are some fancier dry-fit t-shirts, some old grungy shirts, and quite a few with holes and stains. There are a slew of t-shirts that are too big, too small, or have ill-fitting sleeves. There are even a few where I intentionally cut off the sleeves – I went through a sleeveless t-shirt phase a few years ago.

To you, my t-shirts may be gross, they may represent wasted space, or they may just seem like a bunch of old cotton rags… which is exactly why you won’t see my beloved t-shirts in my donation pile.

Because to me, they each have a story, a meaning, and a little piece of my own history. At this point, I really want to make this even more ridiculous by saying something about how cotton really is the fabric of my life…

Let’s make soup!

Green Chile Posole with Black Beans
Source: Everyday Food Magazine, originally adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
Printable Recipe 

1 poblano chile
1/2lb tomatillos, husks removed
2 serrano chiles, seeded and diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1C cilantro, chopped (+ additional for garnish)
1C baby spinach leaves
1/2C parsely, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1tsp dried oregano
1/4tsp allspice
6C low-sodium vegetable broth
2C (15oz) hominy, rinsed and drained
salt
1 lime (2T fresh squeezed)
grated Monterey Jack cheese

Broil poblano until charred under broiler – about 5 minutes per side. Place in paper bag, seal tightly, and steam for about 15-20 minutes. Open bag, remove poblano, and rub to remove skin. Steam and seed poblano. Place in blender.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook husked tomatillos for about 5 minutes, until soft. Drain. Add tomatillos to blender. Also add serranos, onion, garlic, cilantro, spinach, parsley, cumin, allspice, and 2C of broth. Blend until smooth.

Pour tomatillo mixture into large soup pot. Stir in additional 4C broth, hominy, and black beans. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Let cook uncovered for about 45 minutes, until slightly thickened. Garnish with lime juice, salt, cheese, and cilantro.

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