Archive | Food Matters

Getting Fired, NYC Style

Of the many, many things I love about NYC is the fact that there is a bar I go to specifically when I want strange men to pay for my drinks while I mourn a fresh breakup with a woman. Tonight, I am sorry to say, I had occasion to visit said bar. On the docket: Mexican firing squads, a tequila cocktail that takes no prisoners and is named all too aptly. Note that I drank two and paid for none, my kind of new math. There’s something so wonderful about male chivalry when it comes without strings, and what could be less promising for a young man-about-town than a 40something broad mourning the woman who just sent her packing? (Send greasy carbs. And new love interests.)

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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Grace and Taxes

Today I spent hours on the phone with the IRS while in desperate need of a super-rare hamburger—and, yes, that’s a euphemism for my period and the attendant horrible no-good cramps. I’m not sure why I bother to euphemize  menstruation-related matters anymore, and, yes, pretend “euphemize” is a word BECAUSE IT BLOODY WELL SHOULD BE.

See what I did there?

Well. The agent was beautifully human with my financially disordered self, and after we arrived at an arrangement that drew less blood than I’d feared, I had an impromptu americano with a friend in the pretty late-afternoon sun. Now I’m putting together a midweek cod-potato-kale casserole to roast in the cast-iron. Permakitten is weaving between my legs mewing companionably and we’re both watching the sun set from my kitchen window, apricot and rose and indigo, deeper and deeper indigo. I’m wearing a velvet robe for the first time this fall and considering a glass of wine and it’s dawning on me: This is middle-age, isn’t it? Equally harrowing and cozy, with the good grace to register all graces, big and small.
—————-
Ahoy Maties Cod-Kale-Potato Cast-Iron Casserole.
(I made up this recipe so I guess it’s my prerogative to give it a goofy title.)
Very thinly slice potatoes and toss with thyme, sea salt, olive oil. Arrange on cast iron pan, and roast for 30 min at 425 F. Meanwhile pull cod out of fridge so it comes to room temperature and prep with salt, pepper, herbs. (Tonight I liked chopped parsley and thyme.) Pull out cast iron and top potatoes with a layer of thinly chopped kale tossed with olive oil and lemon and then layer cod filets on top of that. Roast approximately 12 min, let cool for another 5, and voila! Serve with wine, hot sauce, afghans.

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