As for this sauce, I’ve decided to write a cookbook called “Cement-colored sauces.” And it will probably have a chapter called “Concrete-colored dips.” I had the bright idea of putting spicy purple basil leaves in this, but somehow it all turned grey, so I added some green basil leaves, so that it looked like I’d done it on purpose. It was actually a pretty pale green by the time I was all done. And very tasty! A little sweet, a little spicy with the jalapeno, and rich and nutty with cashews. We ate this with crispy roasted eggplant and croquettes, but it would be good with any roasted vegetables, or on pasta or rice.
This morning Malcolm told us about a dream that started slightly scary and strange, but turned into a fun adventure. Isaac wanted to be in Malcolm’s dream, and he kept asking where he was during all of the action. Finally Malcolm said, “You were in your own dream!” And Malcolm was undoubtedly in Isaac’s dream, and before long Isaac would have scampered into Malcolm’s, if he hadn’t woken up. In my own dream, instead of tears, small bubbles came out of my eyes. They were sort of smoky amber colored, and about the size of marbles. They rose from my eyes into the air. In my dream I wrote a poem about the golden bubbles, and in my dream I loved the poem, it seemed perfect to me, and I was sure I would remember it when I woke up. I didn’t, of course, but I did feel vaguely hopeful, and happy to think about crying glowing bubbles rather than tears. It made me think about the story of Pandora, which I had read earlier in the day. When she opened the box, all of the evils flew out: drudgery, old age, gossip, distrust, envy, lies, deceit, accusation and despair. But she managed to close the box in time to keep hope inside. “Zeus had put hope at the bottom of the jar, and the unleashed miseries would quickly have put an end to it.” But they didn’t, so we mortals still have hope, which means we still have a chance to live and be happy.I’m calling this “salsamole” because it seems like a combination of guacamole and salsa. I had a lovely ripe champagne mango, and a lovely ripe avocado, and I decided to combine them. I added cucumber for crispy crunch and some little yellow, orange, and red cherry and grape tomatoes from the farm. I kept it simple and bright, but you could easily add chives or roasted garlic or herbs, if you wanted to make it more complicated. This was very fresh and delicious, and didn’t last very long!
Here are some songs I like by him.
I like them all, actually, but I’m late for work.
This recipe is super easy! It’s a great way to use up leftover grilled vegetables. You just purée them with some beans and spices, and you’re done! It’s great with crackers or chips or spread on crusty bread. Or serve it with oven-roasted fries and a salad as a meal. It would work really well with leftover grilled red peppers, too.
This is a good dish for people who are looking for something different to do with summer squash. It’s not just sliced and sautéed, it’s grated first, and then cooked for a while with scallions and fresh herbs, so that it turns soft and saucy, almost like a jam. Then olives and tomatoes and pine nuts are added for a bit of texture and a kick of flavor. This would be nice on the side like a condiment, almost, but I think it’s best on toasts or crackers or spread on crusty bread.
This dish is simple, too. It was incredibly easy. I’m not sure what to call it. A dip? Goat cheese guacamole? A sauce? You could eat it with any kind of chip or cracker or smeared on bread or with the saltine nachos my boys invented or with roasted vegetables or with fresh vegetables. It’s soft mild goat cheese mixed with soft mild avocado with fresh chives (from the farm) and lime juice. You could add other flavors if you like…chopped tomatoes or cumin or cilantro or jalapenos, but we liked it simple, like this.
“Now, on a Sunday morning, most of the windows were occupied, men in their shirtsleeves leant out smoking, or carefully and gently held small children on the sills. Other windows were piled up with bedding, above which the dishevelled head of a woman would briefly appear. People called out to each other across the street, one of the calls provoked a loud laugh about K. himself.” I read The Trial by Franz Kafka in high school. Now, decades later, I will admit to being a little fuzzy on the plot and themes, and whatever else we probably wrote our paper on. But for some reason this image, of a man leaning out the window in his shirtsleeves on a Sunday morning glows in my memory and my imagination. I could feel the air, morning-cool, but warming every moment. I could see the man’s shirt, it was white, with thin blue stripes, soft and light. I could even feel K.’s awkwardness, his sense that he wasn’t part of this busy world of people starting their day. I like to read about people at windows, and I don’t know why! But I’ve collected a few samples, for your delectation, and I expect a 5000 word essay on my desk tomorrow, explaining the significance of the window in each example vis-a-vis the tropes of subtexts signifying the microcosm of the other in the substantiality of the now. Or you could share some memorable quotes describing people leaning out of windows that have stuck in your mind half your life. Or you could say, “you’re crazy, man, nobody collects literary passages about windows. I’m out.” The choice is yours! Ready? Begin!
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?
(T.S. Eliot, of course! The lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock)
It was to remember the streets of Harlem, the boys on the stoops, the girls behind the stairs and on the roofs, the white policeman who had taught him how to hate, the stickball games in the streets, the women leaning out of windows and the numbers they played daily, hoping for the hit his father never made.
(James Baldwin, Another Country, which has people leaning out of windows all over Manhattan and the South of France)
..while at times I feel that to be able to cross the Rue Saint-Hilaire again, to engage a room in the Rue de l’Oiseau, in the old hostelry of the Oiseau Flesché, from whose windows in the pavement used to rise a smell of cooking which rises still in my mind, now and then, in the same warm gusts of comfort, would be to secure a contact with the unseen world more marvellously supernatural than it would be to make Golo’s acquaintance and to chat with Geneviève de Brabant.
(That would be Proust)
Young Woman At A Window
She sits with
her cheek on
in her lap
to the glass
(And our William Carlos Williams)I wasn’t really sure where I was going when I made this pate, but I like where I ended up. This was delicious on small whole grain toasts, with a few sprigs of arugula and a thin slices of smoked gouda. It’s made by braising fennel and garlic in white wine with a bit of rosemary, and then pureeing this mixture with walnuts and ricotta, adding an egg, and baking until set but soft. It made a nice side dish warm, the first night I made it, but it was better the next day, at room temperature on toast.
Here’s Woody Guthrie with Do You Ever Think of Me (“At my window, sad and lonely, often do I think of thee…”)
Remember the Chekhov play The Three Sisters, in which one of the sisters longs to go to Moscow? It’s a theme! Well, here at The Ordinary, for the past few days, our Moscow has been the secret path that leads to the secret path on the other other side of the towpath. If you think I’ve mentioned it before, it’s because I have, and that’s because IT’S ALL I’VE HEARD ABOUT FOR DAYS NOW!! When will we go? Why can’t we go? Why shouldn’t we go just because a storm is raging around our house? On the very first day of summer vacation, way back in the glowing, hopeful, anticipatory month of June, Malcolm and I happened upon a small winding path that branched away from the towpath. He was ecstatic! We ran through it, leaping fallen logs, stooping under trees, racing through light and shadow. He’s wanted to return ever since, but with one thing and another, we’ve never made it back. Lately his yearning has reached a fever pitch, so today we braved spiders, ticks, stinging nettles, poison ivy, mosquitos and impending thunderstorms, and set out on our journey. (Who is an anxious mom? Who is?) It’s quite a long journey, as the Isaac walks, but it was worth it to see how happy the boys were. After a night of rain the ground was muddy, the leaves sodden and fragrant, the creeks fast-flowing. In June all the green things were small and pale and bright, but today they’re lush and dark and overtaking all the paths.
Funnily enough, we’d eaten this beet carpaccio the night before, and I’d remarked that prepared this way, beets didn’t taste like dirt. Huh? Asked Isaac (he’s a small boy, dirt is his medium). I’d replied that beets grow in dirt, so they taste like dirt, but in a pleasant way. In this carpaccio, however, they were juicy and sweet. This couldn’t be easier to make, and it’s very delicious. The boys loved it!! I love goat cheese with beets – sweet and juicy meets a bit of creamy tartness. The pecans added crunch, and the sage added depth.
There are so many! I could go on and on and never stop! What are some of your favorite dance clips?
You know what else will cheer you up? A bright pink and green pinwheel! This roulade was very fun and easy to make, and tasted delicious! The roulade itself was like a big fat pancake (it’s actually closer to a flatter soufflé!). It was sweetish, because of the beetish, and a little tangy with goat cheese, and lovely and summery with thyme. The filling used the greens from the beets, in combination with some chard (you could use any green you like!) and was a nice savory contrast to the roulade. Pine nuts add a bit of smoky crunch. The nice thing about the roulade is that it’s very good at room temperature, so if you don’t want to heat your kitchen up before you eat (on a 100 degree day, say) – make this earlier in the day and set it aside till you’re ready! We had it with a no-cook sauce of tomatoes and avocados, chopped chunky-style, and tossed with olive oil, basil, and balsamic. Add a salad of crisp arugula and crunchy hazelnuts, lightly dressed with olive oil, sherry vinegar and some crumbled goat cheese, and you have a perfect summer meal!!
Here’s Jackie Mittoo and the Soul Vendors with Love is Blue.
My favorite cooking utensil – the one I use for absolutely every meal I make, is a wooden stirrer-scraper that David made. It’s made from curly maple, and it’s the perfect combination of beauty and function. It’s long-handled, but the handle is tapered, so it doesn’t fall into your pot, or fall out of your pot and clatter in a big mess on the floor. Its straight beveled edge is absolutely perfect for scraping the bottom of the pan when you add white wine, to get all the lovely caramely tasty bits mixed into the sauce. I love that David made it, and that I use it to make meals for the family. I love that it takes on the colors of the food I cook, and that, as it does, its beautiful, rippled grain becomes more visible.
Of course I used it to make these zucchini fritters!! They’re fairly simple – crispy outside, soft in, melty with goat cheese and crunchy with pine nuts. (My god they’re good! I haven’t splurged on them in a while and I’d forgotten how delicious they are!!) The fritters are lightly flavored with fennel, lemon, and basil – summery! Malcolm invented the dipping sauce. We’d been eating salted limes, and he thought that if limes were good with salt, they’d be good with tamari. The sauce is full of flavor – ginger, garlic, lime, tamari and hot pepper. It’s unusual with the fritters, but really lovely. You could, of course, make any other sort of sauce you like with them.
Here’s The Specials with Too Hot, because it’s close to 100 degrees here, and we’re melting!