Month: February 2008
Over and out
Okay. So, it seems that I’ve come down with the flu. Brandon has been sick since last Wednesday, sweating and shivering and coughing, and by Friday evening, it had felled me too. Unless you count scrambled eggs and a half-hearted batch of tomato sauce, we have cooked absolutely nothing in the past five days. On the upside, however, we’ve done a first-rate job of filling the sink with dirty dishes.
Let me tell you, you know it’s bad when you eat cold pizza and ice cream for lunch, and you don’t even enjoy it. Or when you spend two days sitting on the couch, watching nature documentaries, a mafia movie, the Oscars pre-red carpet show, the Oscars red carpet show, the Oscars, and one and a half episodes of Law & Order, and everything, every last whale flipper and pockmarked mobster and close-up of bejeweled cleavage, makes you want to cry. Even Diablo Cody made me sob a little, because she seems like the kind of girl I would have wanted to know in high school, and by god, she made it big. Needless to say, it was a full weekend.
So I hope you’ll take a rain check? An IOU? I’ll even pay interest. Hell, I’ll pay interest in euros. You won’t be sorry.
Because assuming that we can peel ourselves out of our flannel pajamas, Brandon and I are going out of town tomorrow. To Europe. For two weeks. We’ve been planning it since early December, when our friend Olaiya stumbled upon some cheap(!) tickets(!) online. The three of us started to plot and scheme, and before we knew it, we’d booked tickets to Brussels. Olaiya lived there for four years and has been itching to show us her old haunts, and anyway, I can’t say no to a country that’s famous for waffles.
Plus, it’s a handy excuse for me and Brandon to go to Paris, just a hop, skip, and a train ride away. We’ve never been there together, and since much of our early bonding consisted, gag-worthily enough, of gushing about macarons and Pierre Hermé, it seems that we’re long overdue. And he claims that the baguettes from his favorite boulangerie can run circles around the baguettes from my favorite boulangerie, so a showdown is clearly in order. Anyway, what’s the use of a savings account if you can’t deplete it in one fell swoop? That’s what I’m saying. That, and that I need a vacation. And a Kleenex.
I hope you’ll understand. I had wanted to leave you with something better than dirty dishes – ideally this and this, in fact, which I ate on a recent visit to Portland and is possibly the most brilliant dessert ever – but I can’t. I’m so sorry. Really.
I’ll be back soon enough, though, with waffles, buttery pastry, and wine to share. And without the flu. I hope.
Over and over again
I hate to say it, but I had an awfully hard time getting here today. It’s not that I didn’t want to stop by and say hello; I like you guys too much for that. It’s just that it’s been way too pretty lately to be sitting inside at the computer. As I type this, the front door is open wide and an enormous, gauzy swatch of sunlight has stretched itself along the wall. Yesterday afternoon, when the light was glowy and golden, we rented a rowboat and paddled out onto Lake Union. Then we just sat there for a while, oars up, admiring the white-bellied yachts with frilly names like Princess and Dream Catcher, and let the current pull…Read more
Like a lullaby
For almost a year now, Brandon and I have performed a particular ritual at the start of each new season. It’s going to make some of you want to roll your eyes and gag – and really, be my guest; I gag a little just typing this – but I want to tell you about it anyway, because it’s kind of dreamy. You might even want to join in. Basically, the ritual goes like this: one night, when the season is just beginning, we climb into bed, prop ourselves up on pillows, and I read to him from Edna Lewis’s The Taste of Country Cooking. Now, I know what you’re thinking: You read aloud to him? From a cookbook? Oh,…Read more
In all the right places
Hi again, guys. I just got the March issue of Bon Appétit in the mail, so I wanted to pop in and tell you a bit about my column and the recipe it contains. This month, I’m tackling the (not-so-)tricky business of baking with yeast. More to the point, there’s a recipe for cinnamon rolls with cream cheese glaze. Yep, you heard me. Cream. cheese. glaze. (!). They’re pretty terrific, if I may say so: warm, soft, and gooey in all the right places. I owe a big thank you to a very kind woman named Yi-Fun Hsueh, on whose recipe mine is based. She’s a baking wonder. So if you find yourself needing a cinnamon roll anytime soon, you…Read more
I like to think of this space as my personal treasure chest of sorts. It’s a place to keep all my favorite odds and ends, my old dishes and etched spoons, my smudged and splattered recipe cards, the ones with rips and tears and dog ears. It’s my Official Repository of Good Stuff. Every week, I come here, into this warm white space, and deposit something I want to remember: a recipe, a story, maybe a photograph or two. Then, whenever I want, I can pull up a chair and look inside, pulling out ideas one by one, nibbling at crumbs, scheming and dreaming, making grocery lists and dinner plans. It’s very convenient. Much better than sealing things away in…Read more