Grilled chorizo and flatbread with charred vegetables

August 9, 2012 § 14 Comments

Ok, I’m going to come out and say it.  There’s a certain point every summer at which I start to get a little annoyed by the sheer bounteousness of summer produce.  I mean, I love it, I really do, but it’s just so freaking beautiful and abundant.  It’s kind of like that person you know who is really smart and talented and beautiful and then they’re nice on top of it, and and eventually you’re like, “come on!  Can’t you at least be neurotic?!”  I get a little bit that way about summer vegetables.  (Please tell me this doesn’t make me a horrible person, though, clearly, I have issues.)

We put summer produce on sun-soaked a pedestal, cooing over it and the way it needs only a little sprinkling of salt, maybe a drizzle of good olive oil.  We rhapsodize perfect garden tomatoes or fresh sweet corn like we do our first love.  And it’s all true, and completely deserved.  Fresh summer produce is miraculous.  It really would be a shame to do much more than serve it in a minimalist state, an ode to the garden.  And the essays that have been written on the subject, well, I have nothing to add to them that hasn’t been said. « Read the rest of this entry »

Strawberry gazpacho

June 8, 2012 § 25 Comments

So, I think I might have had more to share with you.  Some further reflections, maybe a recipe, and many many thanks for your wonderful, kind response to my post about my feast.  But it’s going to have to wait.  It will have to wait because my consciousness has been completely and irrevocably subsumed by this soup.

It’s like a secret that’s just too good.  It takes on a will of its own, growing and pushing and elbowing until it burbles out to be shared, whether or not you meant for it to be aired.  I do want to share this soup with you, and it has decided that it simply can’t wait any longer.

When we ate it for supper a while back Joel exclaimed, “this is the first soup that I can say without qualification that I love.”  Myself, I would count it among a very small handful of soups that I have truly loved.  But it is the only one of said soups that does not also contain more than my week’s allotment of cream in a single bowl.

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Sweet potatoes with andouille sausage

April 11, 2011 § 16 Comments

Of all the vices out there, jealousy is one that I’m actually not particularly prone toward.  I go in much more for some of the other ones (none of the interesting ones, I’m afraid, mostly just doubt.  If I were to choose which vice I would rather have be my predisposition, I think I would choose sloth.  I don’t know why.  It’s an odd thing to think about anyway, so I’m going to stop now.)

However, all bets are off when we come to the realm of food.  At times, I can be rather a slave to food jealousy.  I’m that girl at a restaurant several tables over, craning my neck and trying to figure out what you’re having and wishing that I had ordered it (“I’ll have what she’s having”…)  If we go out for ice cream, I take forever to decide which flavor to get, and then as soon as I have my little cup I’m immediately jealously eyeing everyone else’s luscious looking heaping cones of, I don’t even know what that is, butter brickle? Oreo? Purple razzle-dazzle chunky lola choco-madness?  It doesn’t matter.  I’m just jealous of it.

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Roasted potato and radish salad

September 27, 2010 § 5 Comments

I’ve been thinking about the idea of sabbaticals, or Sabbath (it only occurred to me last week that they have the same root!), a lot lately.  I recently had the opportunity to take a few months off from my doctoral work, and the time away proved to be a time of both physical and mental rejuvenation.  A lot of growth and exploration.  So often we treat a sabbatical as something you have to earn through lots of achievement and performance.  Our society tells us you deserve a rest only after you work, work, work.  But, I’m coming to realize it’s the other way around, really.  That a sabbatical is a time of separating yourself from that sense of needing to produce something, and allows you to come back to your most fundamental self that doesn’t need to perform.  It is a quiet place to start from, where you stock up on the energy and strength you need  in order to create and do your work.

I’m working with a wonderfully insightful and profoundly thoughtful couple to learn more about my sense of vocation and my work style, and they have asked me to think about the ways in which I create that space, take little sabbaticals, monthly, weekly, and daily.  In general I’m terrible at it.  I always let the little ‘to do’s’ interfere.  Or I get all reactive and testy about the idea of having something that I have to fit in and do everyday (whether it’s journaling, or meditating, or what have you), even while I long for it and love ritual.  But, I’ve realized that sitting down to meals, especially with loved ones is very much a Sabbath moment for me, one which I take three times a day.

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