Archive | Book Matters

Head-Splitting Split-Pea Soup

Yesterday I woke at 430am and wrote about date rape until midday, at which point all I wanted was wine, shitty 90s tv, and (somewhat inexplicably) split pea soup. Since my refrigerator contained a bevy of greenmarket ingredients threatening to spoil, I poured a riesling, Hulu-ed Dawson’s Creek (has there ever been a more insipid series?), and improvised the following recipe. It’s wicked simple except for the odd cocktail of flavors, and doggedly un-Kosher despite the fact that Rosh Hoshanah was still in effect when I made this. (I told you I was Jew-ish!)

THE RECIPE                

                    
 2 cups split peas  
6 cups water (feel free to substitute vegetable or chicken stock if you have it on hand; I didn’t.)
2 strips bacon (feel free to substitute smoked salt if you abstain from delicious delicious pork)
1 tbs (splash) olive oil
3 stalks fennel, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
2 medium-sized carrots, chopped (too many carrots and this is an intolerably sweet soup)
1 big ole pinch cumin seeds (please don’t ask for exact measurements; witches are serious improvisers!)
1 big ole pinch smoked paprika
thyme, fresh
lemon balm, fresh
flat parsley, fresh
mint, fresh
vinegar, rice or white
salt (duh)
black pepper (duh)
Optional: plain yogurt or crème fraîche
PRESSURE COOKER IF YOU HAVE ONE

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Dreams of a Metaphysical Detective

As I write this my head hurts, my stomach hurts, my heart hurts. This is because my period is due to arrive this morning like the fusillade of bricks that is menstruation when you are 48 years old.

Rest assured that as rough as PMS can be when you’re 18–and I remember it as a wicked pissah–it’s a billion times worse 30 years later, as if your menstruating self refuses to go out without a bang. This is something women don’t really talk about because there’s so much shame around menopause and getting older in general.

Anyway, the pain is so bad that I can’t work on my book today. But rarely does PMS fabricate anything wholecloth and so the truth is I’ve been feeling stuck for such a long time that part of me thinks I should scrap the entire book endeavor and find a line of work that, you know, actually pays. The problem: What exactly would that be for a woman rounding the corner to 50 who’s only word-played for a living? Not to mention that, even in dark stretches like this one, I remain convinced there’s a reason besides solipsism to share my story.

Also the universe keeps trying to redirect my hazy, lazy self.

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Fool on Tap

Don’t Look Now, it’s elementary school Liser

Like many oddbot children, I spent my formative years absolutely convinced I was meant to be a superstar. I considered myself a quadruple threat–writer, actor, dancer, singer.

Dancing was the first category to go. Mind you, it wasn’t by choice. I spent most of first and second grade leaping, twirling, and boogying through grocery aisles, playgrounds, the living room. After school I took ballet and disco, the latter held in the school cafeteria, tables and benches pushed back so we’d have room to really dig into the classics–you know, the funky chicken, the bus stop, the hustle. The hot lunch special heavy in the air–I still associate Donna Summer with sloppy joes–I wore a sparkly tam o’shanter I was convinced wouldn’t be out of place in Studio 54. (Then as now, my imagination was overactive.) Though micro-movements eluded me, hip-waggling has never been a personal deficiency so I got by.

But when it came to ballet I was the pits. A tall, gangly child clad in dirty pigtails and coveralls, my outsized hands and feet could not be coaxed into first position, let alone fourth and fifth. I kept tripping over myself and the other girls, neat as pins in their perfect leotards and hairbuns. Worse, I kept nervously joking –“position, huh? What’s your position on the gas crisis? How about the Iran hostage situation, badabumpbump.” A daddy’s girl saddled with an unfortunate preciosity, I was like a mini Jerry Lewis rather than a singularly uncoordinated second grader. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy