Feel It Coming

There were fleas. Millions, it seemed. They loved my ankles. I suppose the outbreak was the last farewell from the foster dogs of winter and spring who nestled under our bed on the blankets from Morocco. We dragged every single modality of fabric from our house to the industrial washers up the road and watched the pesks drown in the suds while eating pizza by-the-slice and studying French verb conjugations on the linoleum. A grizzly looking man in worn denim took laps around the dryers selling yellow squash and strawberries from a wagon. Nancy Grace blared from a mounted television in the corner. Where had the time gone? A few years ago we spent every weekend at this laundromat playing out the same routine (sans fleas), dumping out the stink and work of our week and sorting it with the rest of the neighborhood. We felt like real “grown-ups” with our own washer and dryer when we moved to this place a year ago, the one we will say goodbye to in 10 days. Ten. In ten days I will have packed the car, thrown the tasseled cap, and baked through the last of the flour in the freezer. We’ll hand over the keys and take I-5 North for the last time, waving goodbye with big, big smiles to the coast that has truly held me together in more ways I could possibly repay it for. We’ll come back again, one day, but not soon. Not like this.

Folding the sheets, I hmmmm’d at Shaun… “I think we need to do one more post before we leave.” Oatmeal seemed like a strange note to end on here. Of course, the saint that he is, agreed to whatever, whenever. Between the last exams, last bike rides, last get-togethers, last trips to goodwill… I wanted there to be tacos. Yellow squash seemed appropriate. And I wanted there to be music. I made you a mix to listen to while you make these. Songs from my story, our story, songs that maybe can become a part of yours. Sometimes I think a few minutes of lyric and instrument can say more about the swells of emotion that rise and fall during times like these better than I possibly could.

This is it folks. This is where the good stuff is. Swimming it all right now, arms stretched wide, lapping up the last bits of sweetness from this bowl of lessons. I feel it coming. Newness. So, so Happy. Ready.

Soft Shell Squash Tacos

Inspired by Suzie’s Farm

  • 4-6 yellow crookneck squash
  • 1 cup of fresh dill, minced
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt/pepper
  • (optional:) chopped spinach or other green mix
  • 2 cups masa harina
  • 1 + cup hot water
  • 1 tsp salt

For the tortillas, dissolve salt into the measured glass of warm water. Pour over the bowl of masa harnia slowly, stirring as you go. Mix until combined; smooth but not sticky. Knead/press into a ball. Cover, and let rest for as long as you can wait 30 min-2hrs.

In the meantime, cut squash into small diced bits. Combine with minced red onion and shallot over medium heat with the olive oil and vinegar. Coat and stir until you get a bit of steam going, about 3-4 minutes, tops. Remove from heat, mix in dill, mustard, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Back to the tortillas. Layout a few (2-3) sheets of parchment paper and fetch a flat plate or dish to help you press out the dough. Pinch off a golf-ball sized chunk of dough and roll into a smooth ball. Set between two pieces of parchment and start to flatten a bit with your hand. Continue with hands, or for even edges, grab a heavy bowl and put your weight into it over the sheets of parchment and the ball. Remove, peel back parchment, viola. Cook for two minutes on each side in an non-greased frying pan. Set aside and begin to stack ’em up.

Before you’re ready to eat, mix feta into the squash mixture and toss with a bit more salt and pepper. I like these with 40 percent greens, 60 percent squash, but feel free to experiment.

  1. Margarita

    Hi Kelsey, first of all sorry about the fleas. They are never pleasant to be around with. What is it about moving that is always bittersweet? Those moments and events that once seemed so mundane suddenly become special because you know it won’t be an everyday thing anymore and you catch yourself being sad knowing that this is the last time… In those moments, you just close your eyes, take a picture of the memory in your head, and tuck the photograph in a special box that you open when you need to smile. Know that you are in my thoughts through your transition. It is not easy, I know, but I sense that you are prepared and looking forward. Best of luck to you my friend! This taco filling looks super enticing… I wonder where in the world I can find that crookneck squash?


  2. sreebindu

    delicious =)


  3. Nicole Franzen

    I love that you made fresh tortillas by hand, brave girl. I adore your writing. Enjoy your final days in CA and on to new and fabulous adventures! Safe travels :)


  4. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes

    This is a beautiful last post. I discovered your blog a few months ago and it´s an inspiration both the writing and the incredible photographs. You´ll take your style wherever you go and keep on delivering great things!


  5. patti

    So glad you wrote one last post from San Diego. My heart is swelling with emotion as I flash back on those incredible four years. So much has been lived, so much yet to be lived out, can’t wait to follow along, watch more sweetness, adventures, growth, inspiration and heartfelt stories pouring out of you, filling us up in a myriad of ways. Love you Kelsey Hayes Brown!


  6. A Thought For Food

    Best wishes to you on this move. I hope this new venture is just as wonderful as the last.


  7. Thyme (Sarah)

    P. was on a business trip back in Albany last week (one of the cities where we lived). He went to our favorite corner restaurant (Gingerman’s) and then walked down the street to our beautiful brownstone where we lived when the kids were 7 and 10. He called me in front of it and we relived the street, the house, the little shops,etc. The good thing that comes from moving is that you learn to not take anything for granted and really magnify the current experiences you are having. Good luck~ Rooting for you~


  8. Cookie and Kate

    Once again, I’m in awe of your writing abilities. You’re gifted. Can’t wait to follow along in your new adventures, and oh yeah, these tacos look incredible. Safe travels! I opened my pantry a couple of weeks ago to find not fleas, but weevils, in a bag of farro. I didn’t know what they were at the time, I now have the cleanest mason jar-lined pantry in the entire midwest.


  9. Chinmayie @love food eat

    Beautiful photos.. Love your blog for how unique the style is!


  10. Elenore Bendel Zahn

    Ah, amazing! I wish you the best car trip ever filled with passion, inspiration but above all. Love for that which is coming <3


  11. adrienneats

    Good luck with the move! Cheers to happiness, moving, and new experiences! Can’t wait to follow along. Ah these tacos look refreshing and beautiful, might I add. Love your use of that dish to get them flat!


  12. Juliette

    It will be an exciting period for you! I wish you all the luck with it. Probably you will miss the plce you live in now, every now and then, but that’s just how it is. I am listening to you mix now, it’s bautiful, thank you.
    Good luck guys!



  13. Lindsay Jewell

    Cheers to newness.


  14. la domestique

    Funny, I had to indulge a serious craving for soft tacos earlier this week. :) This is a beautiful post, and I wish you all the best in your next adventure. The mountains are waiting to welcome you!


  15. Amanda

    Safe travels and see you on the other side 😉 xoxox


  16. Maryanne Gobble Photography

    You’re kidding, this recipe is made for me! I’m going back to the store for dill seeds. Come July I will be eating these everyday. My pet peeve is people commenting on recipes before trying them (and then never trying them). I am so sorry. I’m having an uncontrollable comment reaction to these pictures.


  17. Chloe

    all the best to you on this adventure. xoxo


  18. Laura

    I feel like I’ve said this before, but I’m so excited to follow along on your new path. To see how the light and energy will change in your photos, the surroundings, the shift in seasonal inspiration. Aaaah, the rush of newness on the horizon :) Happiest trails to you, lady.


  19. The Wimpy Vegetarian

    These look fabulous, and perfect for dinner tonight. Your photos are so wonderful; warm, inviting, evocative. Safe and happy travels in life to you!


  20. Sarah

    You are amazing! I never even thought about making corn tortillas like that. Another beautiful post. Thank you and hope you have a fabulous trip to your new home.


  21. El

    Congratulations on your graduation and good luck with the move. Keep us posted. The tacos are a great way to let go of the old and begin anew. They look wonderful.


  22. Marissa | Pinch&Swirl

    That’s a brilliant idea for making corn tortillas. I have one of those aluminum presses and have never had any luck with it – can’t wait to try this technique. + We came home from vacation when I was a teenager to a flea infestation. Awful. I slept in the bathtub. I itch just thinking about it. Hope all goes smoothly with your move.


  23. Eileen

    Squash tacos–yes please! I had some very similar tacos with garlic and cilantro squash and homemade refried beans just last night. Those tortillas look amazing! I never make tortillas, but maybe I should… :)


  24. holly

    beautiful post, beautiful tacos, beautiful words!


  25. talley

    Tacos – a perfect ending, and a perfect beginning. Were you left off I think i’ll pick up. I’ll invite some friends over, we can make corn tortillas and then stuff them with yummy fillings (including squash). Perhaps it will be a taco pot-luck, we provide the tortillas (with a little elbow grease from our friends) and they provide the fillings. It will certainly add a much needed pep to what often turns out to be bland Swiss food. And besides, it’s summer, the season for potlucks and porches and perfect summer evenings with friends. Just think of all the porches, potlucks and perfect summer evenings you have waiting for you in Colorado! Happy travels, and congrats on graduating.


  26. kale

    I absolutely love this idea!


  27. Courtney

    I was never a fan of yellow squash as a kid, but this recipe is making me reconsider! As always, the recipe looks delicious, and the photos amazing. Good luck with the move and looking forward to your future posts once you get settled :)


  28. Dana

    I love your method for making the tortillas! And you are a brave woman, cooking right before a move. I wish you the best!


  29. brandi

    i hope the move goes well!

    fresh made corn tortillas are one of the best foods, ever, I think.

    also – totally random, but I had a dream that I was interviewing you for the blog and you mentioned that you loved taste on tour (joe kwon’s food blog, from the avetts). and that was it. we were automatically BFFs.


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  31. Betsy

    Good luck with your new adventures! I can’t wait to read all about them.

    Ps. San Diego will always be here. Come back and visit <3


  32. yocheved

    this looks so yummy.. i can’t wait to try them!


  33. Kasey

    When you’re leaving San Diego, there have to be tacos! To all of the newness ahead, friend. And I can’t wait to listen to your mix!


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  35. Rebecca

    Yum! Can’t wait for summer to arrive here, so I can try these! Goo d luck on your new venture!


  36. Amanda@EasyPeasyOrganic

    how pretty! i love your tortilla press, too :)
    happy travels.


  37. Sonja / A Couple Cooks

    Kelsey and Shaun, I’ve been meaning to write from the both of us — congratulations on your big move! We’re excited to read about the journey ahead, and Colorado — what a beautiful place to start anew! You guys are such an inspiration to us. Thanks for what you do, and we’re looking forward to continuing to watch the way you capture the beauty of life! Much love XOXO
    Sonja (and Alex)


  38. molly

    Your tortilla method is ingenious. So trying out soon.

    Your mix is lovely; listening as I type.

    Your next steps? Full of all manner of wonder and goodness, I have no doubt, not one wink. Onward…


  39. Liz W (EmmaEats)

    These look spectacular. I don’t know how it is that I’ve never made tortillas before. Your technique is ground-breaking. :) Along with your writing and images, I’ve been inspired too. I’ll be making these soon!


  40. Goddess Huntress

    Cheers to your new adventures!


  41. Jacqui

    So excited for you and your new beginnings! Murdo and I are moving to a new home soon, also, and starting new jobs and taking big jumps forward, and it’s such a great feeling. Good luck to you two. :)


  42. Alma

    Looks so tasty!

    May I ask you, where your ring is from?




  43. katie-anne

    oh wow! i feel like a total rockstar in the kitchen after making this! i added black beans and salsa and subbed cilantro for dill, and can’t get over how great the tortillas were! thanks for the inspiration. best wishes on your move.


  44. Luise

    Fantastic taco recipe, love the photos too <3


  45. susanna

    I’m so glad that I found your blog tonight via Susan Tuttle. She wrote that you are one of her top five favourite picks in blogland.

    You write so well. It’s like reading a letter from an old friend or family member. Down-to earth. I’m not sure where you are going or why – I’ll find that out in moment – but I could connect with those last lines in your post about newness and being ready. I’m at that point in my life right now. I can feel as though a change is going to happen. I’m wishing for it, crossing my fingers for it! Good luck in your travels and I hope you have happy adventures along the way.


  46. susanna

    PS: Thank you for the terrific playlist. And thank you for the link to http://www.8tracks.com. I hadn’t heard of it before. Cool!


  47. Sophie

    Hello! I just stumbled across your blog, it’s absolutely lovely. Well done! Can’t wait to search all the archives.


  48. Life & Sunshine

    these look amazing! ive been wanting to make tortillas, you’ve just inspired me :)


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  50. Terry Haggerty

    Lovely dish, lovely mix. Thanks!


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  56. Jason

    Where’s the “like” button


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