November 28, 2012 § 18 Comments
Fair ladies, kind gentlemen! I bring you: more broccoli!
Yes. More broccoli. Consider it another delicious stepping stone on the cruciferal march toward that cauliflower with harissa cream that I mentioned, and I swear I am working on, and it will appear any day now.
As a reward for your patience (or a way of buying it, perhaps?) though, this gratin is none too shabby, at least that much I can promise.
But first and foremost, for those of you who had Thanksgiving last week, how did it go? Are you still stuffed? Ours was quite the gathering, the most rollicking Thanksgiving I’ve been to in years, perhaps ever.
We were not only my family but also Joel’s, and on top of that not one but precisely six Norwegian students, here in Minnesota studying at various universities and connected to my mother in various ways.
The turkey was gargantuan, the gravy flowing, the Brussels sprouts piled high, and the pies numerous and flaky. The conversation was sparkling. Also, loud. Norwegian Americans may be reticent, but Norwegian Norwegians generally aren’t. Nor is my family. Plus, my grandmother was in the midst of everything exhibiting her talent for handwriting interpretation (mine = hard to read) and discussing Project Runway. Always a kick. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 24, 2011 § 16 Comments
What is it with this time of year anyways? It’s so, I don’t know, distinctive, I guess. Not that other times of the year aren’t, but fall feels more ephemeral and therefore somehow stands out from the hot days of mid-summer, the frigid days of mid-winter, or the muddy days of spring. All of which last long enough to wear you out, at least slightly.
Fall manages never to outstay its welcome. It’s like a favorite uncle, or other cooky relative, who blows in and out, full of color and liveliness, and who never sticks around long enough to grate on you. But, perhaps you never really get to know them either.
Fall tends to be a bit of a yearning season for me. A busy, yet philosophical season. And beyond a doubt, the most nostalgic season (which is saying something since I am, as a general rule, nostalgic!). I think of the line in that goofy movie “You’ve Got Mail” when Meg Ryan’s character says that fall makes her want to buy a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.
Except, for me, when the weather becomes as bracing and clear as it was this morning, I find what I want to do is go door to door and sell folios full of static cling window decorations shaped like skeletons and bats and pumpkins and turkeys.
January 18, 2011 § 19 Comments
It’s another snowy day in Boston. It is not yet a day where school and work has been canceled, but it’s beginning to look as though it could turn into one. We had a true snow day last week. We, and like three-quarters of this country. I heard somewhere that one day last week, every single state in the United States had snow (even Hawaii!) on the ground. Well, except Florida. That troublemaker. Waking up to a snow day, the edges of the world taken off by the softness of the white, the stillness that hangs in the air, the celebratory confetti of fluffy flakes, always fills me with the giddiness of a child who knows instantly – without having to check the television or radio reports – that she does not have to go anywhere today. She can stay home and play in the growing drifts.
Watching the snow falling always makes me think of grace. Grace, cascading down to cover the world, making it look clean and new, reminding us of how marvelously beautiful it is. It’s something we need so very much. Of course, I suppose I would have a hard time selling this notion to the commuters stuck in traffic, or in snowbanks. And isn’t that just so like us, to take grace and instead of just accepting it, letting it be a gift, we want it to be what we want. We try to drive around in it, plow it and salt it to conform to our paths. And then we’re surprised or annoyed when we start fishtailing around or spinning our wheels. Instead of frolicking in it, or sliding on it, or letting it gently stick to our eyelashes and melt on our noses. Or simply watching it while drinking hot chocolate and sharing a warming meal. « Read the rest of this entry »
January 11, 2011 § 11 Comments
Wait!!! Before you cross your arms with a “harumph,” and turn away muttering, “Celery? Seriously? This is taking the whole healthy eating in the New Year thing too far. Celery is what you put in your rabbit’s hutch when it looks at you with big brown eyes that say ‘give me something crunchy but flavorless.’ It is not real human food…” Before you do that, first listen to me when I say, “I agree!” I really do. Unless it’s a vehicle for eating peanut butter and raisins, I rarely put celery into the category of food. Rarely. But, I do make occasional exceptions. After all, you do need celery to make a good mire poix for starting off many a soup or stew. And I wouldn’t have quite believed it, except that I tasted it myself (and by tasted, I mean devoured it), this salad gets a big old exemption as well.
The reason I made this salad it that I dreamed it. Literally. I woke up after having this salad in my dream, and I figured I really ought to give it a try in a waking state too. Not that being in one of my dreams necessarily makes something a good idea. Quite the opposite. I frequently dream about things like being in a train depot on the back of a giant turtle that is about to dive under the water, or climbing an endless staircase into an orange sky surrounded by people with balloon heads, or polar bears reenacting tragic love stories by Shakespeare (actually, that one might be a good idea. Venture capital investment opportunity anyone?). But, I had such a good feeling about this salad as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and the rest of the details of my dream slipped into the fog of lost memories, that I couldn’t resist digging up the ingredients and giving it a try.