It’s coming on Christmas. They’re cutting down trees. They’re putting up reindeer, singing songs of joy and peace, oh, and I wish I had a river I could skate away on.
maybe instead of complaining “not all men are like that”
you should be saying “too many men are like that”
because when you say not all men are like that what you’re telling us is that you care more about your feelings than you do about our safety
and that’s some shit right there
Varieties of indulgence (and breakfast). Above: pomegranate mint parfait. Below: monkey bubble bread.
I found a pomegranate parfait recipe on some weight loss site a while back, and it became a torrid love affair, a true obsession… and an expense, because pomegranates are not too cheap most of the time. But if you want to fall in love with something VERY good for you (a rare feat for me, at least) try it out. Mix about a half cup of plain nonfat greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and a tiny bit of vanilla. Tear up (or ribbon, if you’re feeling fancy) three big leaves of mint and mix that in, too. Then in a glass alternate layers of the mixture and pomegranate arils. I use about a half of a smallish pomegranate per parfait. It’s really, really freaking good. It’s so good, I have to force myself to acknowledge the existence of other breakfast foods.
Onto the bubble bread. It too is really freaking good, though somewhat of a time commitment. Involves yeast, making dough, letting things rise, rolling pieces into balls, then assembling, baking, and cooling—not to mention the tortured waiting while you wonder, “Will it be just as good as that picture? Can I really pull it apart into little doughy pieces of cinnamon-covered awesome?!” (Answers: yes.) Photo per the recipe in Baked Explorations. I’m normally not one to invest in a cookbook, but if you have a sweet tooth, this one’s worth it.
[And wave hello to my awesomesauce roommate and amateur parfait model]
(So I love beets, okay?! Don’t give me that look.)
Introducing: the prettiest thing I have ever cooked. It’s a thyme and citrus roasted chicken breast with braised rainbow chard and beet greens, topped with roasted beets and warmed tangerine segments.
I first roasted the beets for about an hour at 350, after drizzling them with citrus olive oil, nestling a bunch of thyme in between, seasoning with salt and pepper, and packing ‘em up in foil.
I based the chicken breast on this recipe, though subbed tangerines in for lemons (because I bought a whole bag of tangerines the other day and then ended up disliking the way they tasted alone—smooth), and only used garlic and thyme for seasoning.
Then braised a whole bunch of rainbow chard and the beet greens with some more citrus olive oil and garlic, plus fresh tangerine juice and about two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. (Fun veggie note: chopping up chard is the most satisfying sensation ever. That may sound crazy, but give it a go.) I used this method, roughly, though these sorts of greens cook better if you begin with braising the stems, then add the leafy parts after two minutes or so.
To dress the greens, I put sliced beets and tangerine segments on top, then (IMPORTANT) poured on some of the juice from the chicken’s roasting pan. Then sprinkled on some more thyme.
The greens also would have been good with the gorgonzola in the fridge… but I’m on gorgonzola overload this week. Also, I would not advise using tangerine zest for this, because the greens are naturally a bit bitter and the chicken already involves sliced tangerine with the rind still on.
USA meets Italy for lunch today. Spinach and root vegetable salad topped with gorgonzola, fresh thyme, and a drizzle of the AMAZEBALLS extra virgin olive oil I got in Fiesole. I have learned that homemade salad can in fact be delicious. Just requires some thought… and some chopping. The chopping is usually what puts me off.
And because it was so freaking pretty, and I miss it, a picture of one of the olive groves in Fiesole.
Deconstructed broccoli cheese soup… aka, what lunch should look like!
I followed the instructions here for the broccoli base, but also added a cob’s worth of corn (cooked on the stove in a cast-iron skillet until slightly charred—but if you can grill it, that’d be better) for creaminess. And I added a bit of lemon juice and thyme. For plating, put a small spoonful of greek yogurt in the center of a bowl and top it with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar, whole corn kernels, and toasted pine nuts. Then pour the warm broccoli soup around the outside.
I was surprised by how good this tasted once all the components were in the same bowl. Excited for leftovers!
The two interviews in the latest Paris Review are in lovely, serendipitous conversation with one another.
Ursula K. Le Guin: “My impulse is less questing and more playful. I like trying on ideas and ways of life and religious approaches. I’m just not a good candidate for conversion.”
Interviewer: “What it is [sic] that draws you to this ‘trying on’ of other existences?”
Le Guin: “Oh, intellectual energy and curiosity, I suppose. An inborn interest in various and alternative ways of doing things and thinking about them. That could be part of what led me to write more about possible worlds than about the actual one. And, in a deeper sense, what led me to write fiction, maybe. A novelist is always ‘trying on’ other people.”
Emmanuel Carrere: [on writing The Adversary] “I prefer to take responsibility for my own mistakes than take on [the real-life murderer’s] reality. That is what I am proud of in the book, from a moral standpoint. I never spoke for him. I never put myself in his place. A little girl once said something in front of me that I just loved. She had misbehaved and her mother was scolding her, saying, But put yourself in other people’s position! And the little girl answered, But if I put myself in their position, where do they go? I have often thought of that since I started writing these kinds of ‘nonfiction’ books, the rules and moral imperatives of which I was starting to become acquainted with. I don’t think you can put yourself in other people’s positions. Nor should you. All you can do is occupy your own, as fully as possible, and say that you are trying to imagine what it’s like to be someone else, but say it’s you who’s imagining it, and that’s all.”
I was happy to read the second interview, because the concept of “trying on other people” was deeply disturbing to me for some time after I encountered it, in part for the reasons Carrere expresses. Though there is a distinction here between fiction and nonfiction… it still feels unsettling, to imagine, to have the gall to believe, you can “try on” anyone but yourself. And what such an appropriative act necessarily does to the person you’re “wearing.”
Then I thought, what about people who are gone? Aren’t we in effect trying them on again and again? How fundamentally altered they must become, after years of wear and tear, with no means of correcting the wearer’s assumptions, or wishes, or fears.
There is a special level in Hell reserved for people who write in library books.