October 30, 2012 § 21 Comments
Well, sheesh. What can you say really? I must admit, I’ve been saying for the past several years that one of these days a hurricane was going to swamp New York, and then we’d finally really have to take the weather seriously and get over the idea that we’re somehow in control. But, gosh, I never ever ever ever ever ever ever (ever ever ever ever) wanted to actually be right.
I hope all of you dear people on the East Coast are doing alright.
I was on pins and needles all yesterday, all night, all this morning, texting, and emailing, and waiting to hear news from my brother and friends in New York, my good friends in Boston, Joel’s aunt and uncle in New Jersey. I sure wish something could actually be accomplished through waiting and worrying! Thankfully, it sounds like so far everyone, though without power, is generally unscathed.
I guess that right there is a little piece of grace in the midst of another big old mess. I try to hold on to the hope that there’s always something to be thankful for, and believe there actually is, even though I’m sure that hope feels like it’s slipped away a bit through their fingers for some people. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 8, 2012 § 28 Comments
Is it quite terrible that one of the things I liked best about Boston was the length of the corduroy jacket season? It stretched on seemingly into perpetuity, that in-between temperature season where you can throw a corduroy jacket over your t-shirt or over your wooly sweater and be happy.
I really love wearing my corduroy jacket, you see.
This makes me sound so frivolous, doesn’t it?! It is frivolous. Forgive me, I’m a flake! At least where corduroy is involved. And boots too, but let’s stick with corduroy for the moment. The point is, here I wore my corduroy jacket for perhaps two days, and then the season was over.
It snowed a little bit both days this weekend. In some places, actually, it snowed a lot! I absolutely love snow, and I say bring it on. The temperature is hovering right around freezing, the smell of leaves and an edge of snow are trapped, suspended in the chill, dry air. It smells like I remember Halloween weather always smelling. The ground is coated with crackling leaves, maple, birch, and aspen, and in many ways, this is actually my very favorite kind of weather. I keep being overcome by a delirious happiness when I step outside and feel that air and smell that smell. Except, gosh I’d like to be able to wear my corduroy jacket for a little bit longer.
I’d also like to have cake and eat it too while acquiring grass in a similar shade of green as that on the other side, if it’s not too much trouble, thank you. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 3, 2012 § 18 Comments
I’m convinced that if food knows you’re afraid of it, it will, most of the time, rise (or is it sink?) to meet your expectations, and give you plenty of trouble. This is why, for example, you must be firm while rolling out a pie crust, even as you use a delicate touch, and why souffles are best made after 10 pm, with a generous glass of wine by your side.
I’ve feared a wide variety of foods in my time, but one by one, I have try-tried again, building up my nerve and feel for things, and I’ve eventually conquered most of them. Fried foods, though, have definitely still got my number. I feel a vague internal cowering even now as I think about searing bolts of grease splattering everywhere, and me screaming and running like a peasant in front of a hord of visigoths, trying to get away from the oily conflagration that could, in my mind, easily start out of nowhere in a split second, as soon as there’s more than about 2 Tbs. of hot oil involved.
I’ve never actually had any mishap remotely resembling that (I’m much more liable to shave off my fingertip or set a cake ablaze), but it still scares me. Suffice it to say, I don’t do all that much serious frying.
Even less so because I’ve never had much cause to. I love the results enough to slave away over improving my bread, even my radicchio experience I’m willing to work at, but on the whole I don’t like fried food. I don’t like the taste, so why bother?
I know I’m kind of weird, with this. I know that my general dislike of fried chicken, fried fish, pakoras, tempura, even French fries puts me at odds with most of humanity. It’s not a problem with the fat content or anything, cream being pretty much my favorite food group. I just don’t care much for the flavor. « Read the rest of this entry »
July 20, 2012 § 14 Comments
A while back, I was walking with one of my younger brothers and having a conversation. We were ambling past a variety of food stands and restaurants and the conversation went something like this:
Brother: Oh, they’re using the old sriracha trick. Classic move. Nice. And sriracha mayo, that stuff is so good. I swear, sriracha makes anything delicious.
July 14, 2012 § 17 Comments
We’re back! And more than a little bit woozy in the head with jet lag, one moment feeling perfectly energetic but practically cross-eyed the next. We’re very happy to be reunited with our darling little bundle of fur who, quite adorably, almost went into shock upon seeing us again and spent at least half an hour doing nothing but pressing up against us to lick our hands and knees while making tiny, excited whining noises.
But, otherwise it’s a little hard to be back from such a lovely vacation. While we were in Norway, most evenings we found ourselves bundling up in parkas to stay warm in the late night sun. Back in Boston, we practically can’t go outside until the sun has gone down and the stifling heat begins to dissipate. I have to admit, I prefer the arctic circle version of summer. Here it does smell of sticky, muggy, blossom-filled memories of summer camp nights, though, which I kind of like.
There’s a lot to catch up on. But, I’m reframing my long to-do list as a record of all the neat things I get to do rather than have to do, and by golly, I think it’s actually working to help to keep the no-more-vacation-slump at bay.
A slump that would be easy to slip into, that one, as our trip was quite filled with happy days and nights spent with family and friends. There was plenty of rain but also several endlessly sunny days. There was the ever gorgeous scenery, and of course I got to fill up on all my favorite foods: hotdogs with lefse, skolebrod, boller, waffles, and enough ice cream, berries, and smoked salmon to sate even the most ravenous troll (if only trolls would prefer such things to goats and hapless humans!).
June 12, 2012 § 13 Comments
Do you all already love risotto? I feel like most people do. Like it usually comes naturally. I’m pretty sure I’m the odd duck in this one, but for me, well, it took me a while to hit my risotto stride.
When I first heard of risotto back who knows when at this point, I was immediately enticed by it. It looked like the rice version of creamy macaroni and cheese or maybe the rice version of pasta Alfredo. My impression of it was that it was a bowl of super cheesy, creamy rice. And how could that be anything but delightful? Right?
The first time I ever actually tried risotto was at the dinner we went to to celebrate my college graduation. It is a well known fact that a college graduation merits a celebratory dinner at a snazzy Italian restaurant wherein the graduate also gets to choose the wine. At least, I felt it ought to be a well known fact, and made sure our plans reflected this.
I wasn’t actually the one who ordered the risotto. I ordered lobster ravioli because at that time lobster ravioli was my culinary grail. The ultimate in fancy food (I don’t think I’d ever actually had lobster before that, come to think of it. What a dinner of firsts!). It was one of my best friends who came along and who ordered a vegetable risotto (she was being vegetarian at the time, I believe). I was delighted with her choice because it meant I could steal a few forkfuls.
March 20, 2012 § 11 Comments
A while back, more years than I’d like to consider actually – oh. yes. that’s a little scary to think about – I took a journalism class. As with so many classes, I remember very little from it. A few things, however, are indelibly stuck in my memory: the inverted pyramid format of conveying information (most important info first, juicy details later), which I found I abhored; the maxim, “if it bleeds it leads” (meaning, violence always get the front page); and the professor’s counsel that the public always wants stories about war, scandal, children, and pets.
I’m not sure I agree with that assessment. Or maybe it’s just that those are never the things I want to write about. (Good thing I didn’t wind up going into journalism!) Except today. Today I want to write about pets, specifically, my pet. You’ve all already humored me so much, but now I’m going to make you listen to just one more story about the puppy.
Because, this weekend, we took her to the beach, and she saw the ocean for the first time.
It was pure joy to watch her awe as she crested a dune and started at the sight of the water. She stared for a long moment, just like I do whenever I arrive at the ocean, actually. Then, she initiated a game of chase with the waves. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 6, 2012 § 19 Comments
My father, who is both a wonderful person and a wonderful eater, and one of the most truly consciously healthy people I know, has been having to make some dietary changes lately to try to figure out some minor allergies. That’s putting it mildly. By “some” changes, I mean he’s doing sort of the mother of all elimination diets. Even things like rice and potatoes, which are usually allowed in elimination diets are o-u-t, out.
If you’re exceptionally noble and self-possessed, I suppose you could see the good in such limitation. The strict form of the sonnet can give rise to even more beauty and creativity than free verse, and all that la dee da. But, overall, it has got to pretty much suck. Perhaps even with a capital S. That’s how I would feel about it, I know.
March 3, 2012 § 18 Comments
On Thursday it snowed! Finally. It wasn’t the best timing since Joel was flying back from a work trip that night, but it was snow, and I wanted it! The winter has been so sparse and brown, and when I looked out at the fragile white coating on the ground I literally felt what is meant by “a sight for sore eyes.” My strained retinas relaxed perceptibly, and something inside me that has been tight and knotted all winter relaxed and unwound just slightly. I’m a northerner. My heart aches for a real winter.
I think you can see it in the photos too, that de-saturated grey light that comes with flakes suspended in the air. Today it’s drizzling, so the snow won’t last long. But it was there, and I was happy.
But anyways, what was I here to tell you about? Focus. Focus. Reel it in, Emily. Ah yes, soup.