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lamb rite of spring

By on May 21, 2013 in dinner, experimenting, fail... or not, roasting | 0 comments

One day it appeared. Spring. A warm breeze gently breathed through the windows, comfy tendrils of air wrapping themselves around bare arms. Carpets of green appearing where brown was two days earlier. Pollen flying willy nilly through the air, digging deep into the sinuses of many an allergy sufferer, causing a spike in the stock of facial tissue suppliers. So one fine day in the fresh light of spring, I decided it was time for lamb. Deciding to cook up a young, fresh animal may seem a macabre reaction, but there are some rituals of ancient times that require a lamb sacrifice. A sacrificial lamb, offered up so the seductively balmy breezes wafting through the window would be assured for a few months more. Granted, far from being a sacrificer, I was getting this from a small supplier, neatly ground and packaged, but surely that is a modern device for the old tradition of a sacrificial...

springy spinach awakening

By on Apr 7, 2013 in dinner, experimenting, for one, love, vegetarian | 0 comments

  It is unclear to me how January 1st became some marker for a brand new year, particularly living here in the Midwest. All those resolutions, made giddily (or ponderously) the night previous, just inebriated enough to not notice the freezing temperatures outside. All these grand plans, fueled by this energy found solely in the idea that the year has flipped from 2012 to 2013. And then in the quite literal cold light of dawn, what you really want to do is curl up under that comforter on the couch with a cup of tea and watch reruns on television. Which is pretty much what you did the day before. You might get roused again around Groundhog’s Day, along with that lying rodent who relies solely on the random chance of sun being in the sky to tell us if we can look forward to a time sans bleak grey skies and naked brown trees. In recent winters with so little pretty blanketing...

bork bork bork

By on Jan 3, 2013 in dinner, love | 0 comments

Some place wealth, power, and fast cars upon altars of worship, bowing to the cold and sleek shiny lines I imagine such things to have. Well, fast cars have those lines literally, so that didn’t take much imagination. I digress. I’m sure these things make some people swoon, but I’m fairly sure those people who swoon at this have hired other people to swoon for them in a very fashionable style while they sit back and sip impossibly expensive martinis, unable to smile due to their recent botox injection. Or is that too judgmental? Likely. I, too, have altars of worship, which I’m sure can be just as harshly judged. But ask yourself… who would harshly judge a Muppet? You heard me. A Muppet. A fuzzy denizen of crazy hope and imagination. And then you glance at the picture above and ask yourself… and what the hell does this have to do with food? Well give...

noodling around

By on Dec 16, 2012 in dinner, experimenting, for one, love, vegetarian | 0 comments

It has been a while, hasn’t it? I was reminded of this by a few friends the other day over beer, who encouraged me to get at it again, and where the hell have I been? Many, many months ago, I embarked upon a freelance job that involved the election in November. Slowly, slowly, I watched the summer slip away while I remained indoors parked in front of dual 24″ monitors, the unnatural blue glow helping me to maintain the look of a pale fish in the middle of a summer of record heat. As a part of my increasingly vampiric existence, food became something scooped out of tin foil pans and shoveled in mindlessly with plastic forks. My favorite season wherein I could giddily run around a farmer’s market and buy obscene amounts of fresh veggies, and I was spending it eating scads of starchy takeout, because even my staunch home-cooked-dear-sweet-christmas-not-out-of-a-box food...

blackberries and basil

By on Jul 29, 2012 in baking, dessert, dinner, experimenting, fruit | 0 comments

I am deeply suspicious of anyone who claims to know exactly what they want. Is it what they want right then? What they think they are supposed to want? What they wanted ten years ago but never got and are still telling themselves they want it? Does it take into account the myriad situations life throws at you that might make you reconsider everything you know? And if you achieve exactly what you want… what next? And what do you do if you can’t get what you want? Do you listen to the Rolling Stones, who sing that you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need? In the fluidity of our everyday existence, there is always uncertainty. And uncertainty is an excellent pairing for food. Yesterday morning I found myself finally with the time and means to go to the farmer’s market proper (a big one with multiple vendors, not the single...

meditative pasta

By on Mar 6, 2012 in cooking, dinner, experimenting, love | 0 comments

Cooking. The act of peeling, chopping, sauteeing, stirring, whisking, etc. never fails to be a source of meditation for the likes of me. My whole brain shifts into another state where time becomes more fluid and scent comes to the forefront of my senses. Without cooking, there is turmoil. Unhappiness born of the constant struggle to make a living as a creative professional and coming to terms with how often that means failure, whether it be my own fault or the simple and persnickety circumstance of timing. Cooking is just for me. No one stands behind me to tell me to turn something red five seconds after they tell me they are not a visual person. There are no committees of people lurking over my shoulder, yammering as I feel my entire being turn into plastic and look down to realize I have become a very tall computer mouse with brightly colored sneakers. For several weeks I have not...