Monday, June 22, 2009

Beauty of Solitude

I recently showed a friend of mine the book I am currently reading (cue appearance of neat widget from shelfari at left), titled "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant." His response was "this makes me sad and depressed, just reading the title." But he didn't get it. Cooking for yourself, just like cooking for others, is an expression of caring and thoughtfulness. It allows for self-reflection and meditation time. It lets the hands work away, while the mind, although reading numbers divided by a small diagonal line, can ease into matters it doesn't like to tackle head-on, but rather, come at them sideways, like a crab. At least that's how my mind likes to work. Especially on big or transformative issues. What do you think?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Victories, in Threes

1) This morning, in one hour, I made 66 cookies of the cinnamon oatmeal chocolate chip with walnut variety. Before work.
2) Yesterday, I both wrote my Morning Pages and exercised to my bhangra video at home for 40 minutes. Before work.
3) The day before, I delighted in a second viewing of the trapeze artist school that has popped up 10 minutes away from my house in the parking lot used by NY-DC buses. Nets and cables and everything- so random and so fun!
This is an effort to prop myself up from 1) Verizon the Devil Spawn screwing me over again 2) having to cancel my trip to NYC this weekend, messing up my schedule and 3) seeing the dentist and having him tell me that my lower wisdom teeth are actually coming in backward. I believe this to be incorrect and exaggerated. But we'll see.
I will have to come up with a lot more victories to fortify me this weekend, because next week I have an eye dilation (invasive), a teeth-cleaning (hygienist with no bedside manner), and who knows what else.
And I really have to choose my library movies more carefully, by the way. The last two viewed- Chinatown and Tess of the D'Urbervilles- were utterly depressing and not adventure stories as I thought they would be. Bring back Happy-Go-Lucky!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Second Round!

First is a cool perspective from my last trip to NYC: the view of Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights.

Chocolate Cacao Nib with Lime cookies, by Elise from Simply Recipes
Then the Red Meal for Kim!

And finally, my first yeast-containing experiment: overnight cinnamon rolls from Sarah at Pink of Perfection :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

By Way of Explanation

Ok, so before I fire off another volley of photos, I will first explain the previous batch.
The first details my first attempt using morel mushrooms, a highly swoon-ifying type of woodsy mushroom made famous by French cooks. I went through all the machinations of cleaning, soaking, rinsing, etc, to make a cream sauce that I combined with asparagus. Went down like chocolate syrup. (that is to say, good)
The second is a picture of the finished product of another rather long and involved process (for me): beef daube over pappardelle. It's basically a beef stew that marinates a while first for flavor instead of being browned. Very good, although I could have wished for better quality meat. The package of precut stewing beef (while still labeled 'round') I got at Giant produced a few pieces that had fatty bits and were gristly. And the pappardelle I chose- lemon pepper from TJ's- was bit overpowering; plain would have been better. But overall, a good experience.
The third is an exquisitely executed classic- a BLT. It was basically pre-ordained, since I had leftover everything that I needed to assemble it! So I fancied it up with basil and French mustard and something else, I can't remember. That's the problem with not taking notes every time and not blogging about it at the moment you're eating it- one forgets! But it is a sacrifice worth making, because I much prefer eating in the moment anyway. Oh, sidenote: recently tracked down the passage of Proust in which he discusses his madeleine experience. Very calming and rings very true.