Tuesday, June 21, 2011

why a sink full of dishes is an absolute delight

              Change is in the air on this first official day of summer. Tonight in the kitchen where I spend this evening chopping just ripened tomatoes, I consider how of late, the only smell that's permeated from this little apartment has derived more so from takeout. Tonight however, my counter space is littered with cutting boards and leftover shreds of carrot. Tonight, a sink full of dishes is an absolute delight.
            Acutely aware of my misshapen state, the state which has prevented me from basting, sautéing, grilling, and roasting lately, I welcome the feeling of drizzling olive oil in a sauce pan once again and of adjusting the burner heat so as not to sever the garlic before it can melt into the kale and celery. Tonight’s dinner is a labor of love. I have nowhere to be and plenty of time to feel under the weather but resilient, and so I return to the single recipe, which feels effortless and filling without prompting a wardrobe change brought on by the overindulgence of heavier ingredients. This lighter Tuscan bean soup (the recipe is included in a post I published back in March), while albeit strange to some who might question why anyone would crave a hotter item in hotter weather, satisfies my craving for something hearty and haphazard. This recipe boils down to a science of its own – asking only that enough attention is paid to cooking the cannellini separately before submerging it in a neighboring pot bubbling with chicken stock.

            And so tonight’s soup is about recreating a favorite dish regardless of the temperature. It’s about setting time aside to cook and be content with your own company. It's about enjoying the simple pleasures of loading a dishwasher and ladling that second helping of sinless delight.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Cut the Cheese (out)

         In light of my lactose intolerant stomach, I am cutting the cheese (out) of my diet. It does not stop there though, this endeavor suggested to me by a very dear friend of my families’ who also happens to be a physician, insists that this hiatus include all dairy, period. This means my breakfast can no longer consist of cereal and creamer crazed coffee with a side of Dannon, can no longer involve unflattering helpings of cheddar or gorgonzola atop my iceberg and radicchio respectively at the salad bar, but worse yet still is the parting from my mozzarella (such sweet sorrow).

       Its been three days and already I admit I’ve succumbed twice, well, there was that slice of Alpine Lace I stole from the cold cut spread Saturday night, so more than twice thanks to last night’s pepperoni pizza purchase I inhaled on the couch alongside my Entourage watching comrade. I did however manage to throw out the yogurt whose perforation I subconsciously peeled away at 7 a.m. on Sunday before quickly realizing I could not partake in my usual post run regiment. It hits me like a ton of bricks then that my morning routine clearly needs reevaluation.

       This gets me thinking – am I expected to eat croissants and pretzels and Panini bread for the next week or so while the doc and I test run his theory that dairy is complicating my already sensitive and predisposed enzyme inefficiencies? Surely this little experiment the doc has me committed to really is negotiable because even the doc knows that lettuce does not leap out of a plastic container if it’s not tossed with the right vinaigrette and mild Monterey Day three. The slip ups already amount to a full day’s worth of cheesy intake. We shall see but the future looks bleak for those whose diets center on things named Pecorino, Provolone, or Mascarpone. I am feeling Bleu just writing this.  

Once again there will be no pictures because I cannot keep my craving in the house. Yes, it’s really come to this point.