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latelies

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lately, it’s been in the almost-eighties, here. mild and windy. and although it’s february and I have had pink grapefruits and yellow lemons in my fruit bowl, I’ve also had fat orange heirloom tomatoes. lately it’s been this amalgam of winter & summer fare; greek salad spicy with chile and peperoncini, panzanella, roasted beets with fennel and orange, salami, blueberries.

I’d planned on caprese this week, but the weather just turned. so last night, I roasted the tomatoes instead, and they are stockpiled; all withered and jammy, smelling of promise, ready to make a caprese for the transitioning seasons.

I’ll be having that for as long as my mozzarella will provide.

and I’ll be having anchovies on toast. ah, anchovies on toast. it is so very humble and so very winning in that way only starch, salt and fat can be. and if you’re a rational human being, you have all of the ingredients on hand right now.

start with good anchovies, salt-preserved or canned. I’ve been using Cento anchovies in olive oil, which stay in one piece, and are tasty to boot. drain the anchovies (into a bowl, if you’d like to save the oil for cooking) and rinse them gently, but well, and lightly pat them dry. then, toss the lot with a polite swig of vinegar and a drizzle of a tastier olive oil than that which they were preserved in. add some cracked pepper and chopped herbs; parsley would work well, as would basil, but I’ve been using mint and it does just fine. toast a couple slices of crusty bread, rub ’em with a clove of garlic, and slather ’em with good unsalted butter. top off your toast with the anchovies, smashing them slightly with the back of a fork. no need to use a whole can if you’re just making a snack; a little goes a-ways, and you can save the anchovies, chilled, in that chipped salad bowl your mom gave you. they’ll just keep marinating.

behold! a happy sum, much greater than its parts.

david ryski . b. ferry .

refresh

juicing

So, I recently agreed with a friend to detox & diet a bit. I like the idea of a refresh, something to reengage and lighten our physical + mental states.

for her (oh, brave yoga-going girl!), this means cutting out gluten & grains, potatoes, fruit, dairy, and sugar. for me, on chilly patio nights with loved ones, this means merguez sausage sandwiches, hot red oil staining the baguette, with herb-speckled pommes frites + aioli and an IPA.
for me, it means focusing on contentedness and joy rather than anxiety and negativity.

the week has been spicy salami, little wax-covered cheddars, and a green juice with all sorts of loveliness including jalapeno and pineapple; roasted beet & fennel salad with orange, malty seeded crackers with musty fennel-pollen scented goat cheese; tabbouleh with roasted peppers and almonds.
one day, I had a long late lunch with an abundant salad– cucumbers, beets, carrots, chickpeas, feta, turkey, and mixed greens. today I just had yogurt, chocolate covered berries, and dried mango.

and boy, I feel wonderful.

(heidi swanson)

almost new

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the year is about to change! we will all be brand new again.

the other day, lunch was fittingly spartan– in appearance; a tangle of steamed spinach, some pretty pink boiled fingerlings, and blanched carrots. it was a plate whose prettiness and winning combination of sweet, starchy and mineral achieved glory (while indebted to such simple measures as salt and pepper, olive oil and lemon). supremely satisfying.
lately, I’ve been missing my sisters (what better time of the year to be with your family, playing yahtzee?) and reading the grub st. new york diet, always fascinating, wonderful and endearing. unsurprisingly, sam sifton’s is a highlight; totally brilliant. david rakoff’s is also great.
brotherhood through foodstuffs! that’s something to go off of for the New Year.

soverypretty.

kale & olive oil & other latelies

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scrambled eggs with kale, cooked in a big French casserole dish. this is very soul-enriching; saute some kale and spinach in good olive oil with a decent pinch of salt, and crack the eggs right into the pot of greens, stirring patiently with a wooden spoon until all is in readiness.

or! get out that big casserole dish. give it a glug of olive oil and dump in some [cooked] beans with a bit of their cooking liquid (I prefer ceci beans) and simmer them until they’re really fall-apart tender (not long); mash them up until you have a paste, throw in some kale (or your hearty green of choice), another slip of olive oil and a pinch of salt & put on the lid. this steams the greens in a cloud of starch and oil until they’re tender. when all is in readiness, top off a big bowl of creamy beans and kale with still more olive oil and maybe some red chile flakes or a fried egg. and you are whole.

the kittens are in the habit of dutifully waking me up at 6am; if I sleep in they are plaintive, impatient. so, I get up and run.

it’s been kale & olive oil, running and listening to records, and life seems peaceful, and reasonable.

(“oh fried eggs!”, perhaps the greatest tumblr.)

december, 2012

All the past we leave behind,
We debouch upon a newer mightier world, varied world,
Fresh and strong the world we seize, world of labor and the march,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

The end of the world being nigh is not what motivated this post. But in any case, we can all be better for a week, just in case. We can always do better.

I have made some questionable decisions up until this moment (and let’s be honest will continue to do so), but today, things are different. Today, I started running again and for real (a cool and blue 7:30am). Today, and for 12 months after, I am going to be oh-so patient and unfickle and grow out my hair (for real). I am going to cuddle with Hank and Johnny the kittens at least five times a day, watch still more French films and discuss them with enthusiasm and not a bit of loftiness, I am going to eat mustardy kale salads with kidney and ceci beans and perfect boiled eggs chopped into a flurry of rich yellow and waxy white. I am going to exude positivity.

It’s not the new year, yet, but it is a new day. And maybe the world is about to end. In any case, I can do better.

Walt Whitman / images from Pinterest

Back!

Hello. Hello, hello, hello. It has been awful long. But, here I am. I’m back.

 

Today, I steamed some chard and seasoned it with salt & pepper; made a sauce with dijon mustard & butter, a splash of vinegar. Alongside baguette, chevre, and some sweet-spicy tomato jam spiked with chiles, it felt monumental; that sauce was sharp and soft at the same time, the minerality of the greens soothed and gussied up.

Yesterday, so wonderful and out-of-the-blue, a guy called Cricket with a lumpy sweater, a smile and a guitar sang to me.

 

It’s strangers who know songs you love and sauces made of butter & mustard that make sense of things.

XO

To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can’t eat it. -Leo Tolstoy

I’ve been thinking alot about accessibility vs. pretension lately, as I ponder what in the world, if not an ‘artist,’ I’ll be when I grow up. So, I like to draw. Calling it anything else seems absurd. It is nothing loftier than that.
While I believe that successful art is powerful because it is universal and wonderful because it maintains accessibility, the art world doesn’t function on those terms.

The foodie world, where being humble is so important to understanding and working with ingredients, has similar issues. It’s like people want to fight accessibility, and elevate their process and their work by making it incomprehensible.

I take issue with this, if anyone cares to know.

And we could talk for an eternity about how these issues conflict with or are led on by cost & consumerism, but let’s just stay a little more focused, just for now.





Let’s celebrate sandwiches (Saltie!) and simple line drawings and cleverly designed clothing. Let’s think about how people interpret beauty, and how they try to capture it and hold onto it in their everyday existence. Please, let’s. Let’s consider how problematic and faulty it is to use the designation ‘art’ as a divider between oneself and the everyday. How utterly against the point.

Yesterday I had a hardboiled egg and poached shrimp bahn mi, with the egg & shrimp still warm, and melding with the mayonnaise & sriracha and the juice from pickled vegetables.
And I have been eating big bowls of farro salad with tomato, green olive, and almond, a dish that was both humble & proud. Oh, and a salad of boiled potato, tomato, and blanched green beans in vinaigrette, with some sardines and much love.

I decided awhile ago, without really realizing it, that I wouldn’t like to be called an artist. Maybe because I’m not one, or maybe just because it’s a loaded descriptor.

(top image from Garance).