Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Richard Brautigan

It was a dish of ice cream
tasting like an operating table
with the patient staring
up at the ceiling.
-Richard Brautigan, Lay the Marble Tea

I always wanted to write a book that ended with the word mayonnaise.
-Richard Brautigan, Trout Fishing in America

Monday, January 28, 2013

Laurie Colwin

The old days were slower. People buttered their bread without guilt and sat down to dinner en famille.
-Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

Marion Cunningham

Eating food that strangers cook is vastly different than eating what's cooked at home. The real key is sharing food at that table and, believe me, we know we're not born civilized. We're small savages, so you have to be taught the table is the place where you learn who you are and where you're from, understanding that a lot of people just do nothing but fight at the table. Nonetheless, you come to know one another. The result is you know who you are.
-Marion Cunningham

Comfort Food

I woke up at three thirty AM and stayed in bed thinking about what I will cook today. I got up and rinsed and simmered a batch of lentils and then I decided to make a pot of oatmeal with raisins.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Simple and Delicious

I am not always excited about food and at these times I just try to cook one thing each day so there's something good on hand to eat. Last night I soaked a pound of chick peas. This morning they had plumped-up. So I put them in my crock pot with the soaking water about an inch higher than the beans, and added a tablespoon of olive oil. I put the lid on the pot and set it to cook at 225 degrees. I went upstairs to my office and closed the door. I forgot about the beans. An hour or so later I opened the door and the hallway smelled great. Then I remembered the beans. I tasted them. They were done. I added kosher salt and Adobo seasoning. They were so delicious I ate a bowl of them for breakfast with toast.

Anthony Bourdain

We know, for instance, that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of families who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.
-Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

PETA doesn't want stressed animals to be cruelly crowded into sheds, ankle-deep in their own crap, because they don't want any animals to die-ever-and basically think chickens should, in time, gain the right to vote. I don't want animals stressed or crowded or treated cruelly or inhumanely because that makes them probably less delicious.
-Anthony Bourdain, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook

Few things are more beautiful to me than a bunch of thuggish, heavily tattooed line cooks moving around each other like ballerinas on a busy Saturday night. Seeing two guys who'd just as soon cut each other's throats in their off hours moving in unison with grace and ease can be as uplifting as any chemical stimulant or organized religion.
-Anthony Bourdain

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


It's a windy 25 degrees out so I am keeping the living room curtains closed for fear of losing the precious bit of 50 degree warmth inside. I wonder if it is still considered solitude when the radio is on and Lily-dog is on the couch in the next room. Is it solitude when the voices in my head are chattering like a tree full of starlings? No matter, it's time to shower and put on warm dry socks. I put together a batch of bread dough. While that was incubating I chopped up celery, black olives, carrots and garlic. I warmed up three cans worth of diced tomatoes then I added in my home-grown and dried basil, two bay leaves and oregano. I drizzled in olive oil. The sauce is simmering now, bringing a scented hope to my home.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cheerful Bowl of Corn

Today I heated a few cups of frozen corn and added olive oil and salt and pepper. It made a cheerful bowl of yellow, for lunch.

E.B. White

Countries are ransacked, valleys drenched with blood. Though it seems untimely I still publish my belief in the egg, the contents of the egg, the warm coal, and the necessity for pursuing whatever fire delights and sustains you.
-E.B. White, from The Story of Charlotte's Web by Michael Sims (page 142)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Eggplant Guilt

I felt guilty each time I looked at the three eggplants sitting in a basket on my table. I bought them in a moment of exuberance, because they were beautiful, my husband reminded me. They were beginning to age and I didn't have a plan. Last night I sliced them in 1/4 inch rounds, salted them, and placed them in my large colander to drain in the sink. I went to bed. This morning I rinsed them and squeezed stacks of the eggplant rounds between my palms. Then I cubed the stacks, slicing them on my cutting board. I still had no idea where I was going. I placed the eggplant in my slow cooker and added a jar of leftover vegetable stock, a container of chopped black olives that were looking for a job, along with two large cans of crushed tomatoes. I added chopped fresh garlic, olive oil, two bay leaves, dried oregano, basil, Adobo and salt. I tasted it and liked where it was headed. I let it simmer while Lily and I took a long walk. When we got home the kitchen smelled fabulous. Bill and I ate bowls of this eggplant-guilt stew with grated Parmesan on top and toast on the side.