Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This is Actually About Soup

As winter settles in, my soupmaking is ratcheting up. Jason's convinced me to start documenting my 'recipes', though recipe is a misnomer; it's mo re of a list of things that I combine in order to make some kind of awesome soup. But for posterity, and for the sake of having some record of what went in that one really good soup we ate that one night, I'm gonna start actually writing about my experimental soups.

Yummy Curry Lentil Squash Soup

I'm going high-protein these days, and I freaking love squash, and I had some pre-cooked Trader Joe's lentils and I wanted low-key, low-prep soup. Thus:

Ingredients: Squash; coconut oil (or olive oil or butter. But I prefer coconut oil for this); lentils; canned tomatoes; veggie broth; spinach or some kind of green; chickpeas; yellow onion; shallot; ginger; garlic; curry (cardamom pods, coriander, fennel seeds, tumeric, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper); salt
  • Roast a squash (in case, Acorn. Cut squash in half, put cut-side up in baking dish, drizzle olive oil on squash, bake at 425-450 until squash is soft)
  • While squash is roasting, saute diced onion, a shallot (or more if you have more than one), lots of ginger, and garlic in Coconut oil on low-medium heat.
  • When squash is done, scoop out and add to onion mix. Stir stir stir, and mush the squash a bit with the stirring spoon.
  • Add small amount of veggie broth and let it all simmer for a while; add more broth as needed. I make my own broth; this particular one had lots of apples in it so it was a bit sweet.
  • Add some lentils to the simmering situation.
  • Meanwhile, make this awesome version of Heidi Swanson's Sri Lankan Curry from her cookbook Super Natural Cooking. I was out of cloves, so this was a clove-less version. Still super yummy though. I toasts cardamom pods, coriander seeds, half a cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, cumin, and a dried red pepper in a skillet. Then I put it in my mortar/pestle thing and ground it all up with a good amount of tumeric. Grind grind grind.
  • Add 1 can of diced tomatoes (unless you have fresh ones, but this being winter in Cali, there are very few good fresh tomatoes). I used Muir Glen, which seem to be the ones that Bay Area hippie fancy food people prefer. Also the ones that Jason happened to buy from Long's.
  • Stir. Add ground up curry goodness, and more broth, depending on your desired soup consistency. This one is good as a pretty thick stew-y deal.
  • Add some chickpeas for extra protein and awesomeness
  • Throw in some spinach leaves at the end and stir until they're wilted.
  • Voila!
  • This would be good with salad, but we didn't have any salad greens, so we had some hummus that I made, and some Sunflower Cheddar Dr. Kracker crackers.
  • Then watch 3 episodes of Entourage On Demand. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Time Capsule

For the Time Capsule of Pre-Married Life

Dear Diary,

In early September 2008 I am...

Sleeping in only slightly later than Jason
Wearing silky grown ass woman things to bed
Reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Keeping the front door open all day
Killing the resulting flies with an electrocuting tennis racket
Talking to Aubs in NYC during her glamorous interlude from bus/farm life
Obsessively reading the political blogs: Sarah Palin (WTF?!?!), McCain (seriously, WTF?!?!?!), RNC, DNC, blah blahblahblah
Refining and listening to our wedding mix CDs
G/I chatting my ass off with Kirstie, Jason, Aubs, Chiara, K Neary, K Seal, etc etc
Thinking about making appointments
Thinking about buying shit online
Learning too much about LED lights and lantern lighting options
Leaving messages for the caterer
"Cleaning" my office
Lightly working on my syllabi
Walking Buzz and feeding him treats
Petting Stevie and feeding him treats
Preparing to write a ceremony prose piece
Preparing to write my vows
Feeling emotions
Feeling in love
Seriously, smiling
Feeling pangs of baby-want in my lower woman regions
Seriously, reading the word pregnant produces a heretofore unfamiliar tingly sensation within
Loving Junot Diaz, wanting to be Junot Diaz, wanting to write like Junot Diaz
Imagining the wedding.
I mean, that's like a constant
Checking my email
Reading SFGate
Worrying about crime statistics
Writing Thank You cards
Procrastinating Bill Paying + Other Financial Matters
Googling the word "wife"
Admiring September
I love this month
The weather, the sky, the energy
It's a great month for all of this...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Wife Stuff

It occurs to me that this time in my life, this part—this part where I am not married, where I check the 'single' box on forms, and I have a boyfriend, and I have not had a wedding, and I do not have a husband, and I am not a wife—this part is almost done, and it would behoove me to document its existence and its passing. My mind is a gentle whirl of wedding thoughts, not stressful and hellish, but constant and constant and constant. So easy to forget about the big picture when there are candles, LED lights, carpools and caterers to think about. And vows. There are vows to think about—I feel like we'll leave that until the end, procrastinate the most important part until the last second. This is my style, it has worked thus far.

This is not something I normally do—write candidly, plainly, about my life—but getting married is not something I normally do either. In fact I have never done it, and I hope to never do it again. My future husband has done it before, but nope, not me.

I am not freaking out, or awfully stressed. I am content, and happy, and very in sync with Jason. I just kind of am. I don't feel terribly creative, nor do I feel terribly complicated. And that is a weird thing to say, that I don't feel complicated, but I mean it. I mean that this all just seems to be happening in the right way, unfolding at an ideal pace. And my thoughts and emotions surrounding the wedding, the marriage, the whole huge crazy fact of it—relatively simple. Which, despite Tropic Thunder's usage of the term, does not mean stupid or moronic. This is simple; this is love. This is us doing this thing that we want to do, that we are excited to do, and we're doing it in a way that is deeply personal, very ours, very uncompromised. Very true.

All of which is not to say that I don't sometimes freak out, think whoa wife oh my god what the fuck. Think how does this change how people relate to me, to us? Do I become 'the married friend', will saying 'husband' stop feeling totally bizarre at some point, will 'wife' be a word I identify with, will we ever just not want to be married? And on and on and all that necessary and real shit. I like the freakouts. They make everything more real.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Surgery Emotion

Last night I suddenly felt myself well up with post-surgery emotion, and I started to cry, and it lasted for about a minute. I think it suddenly hit me, that I had this thing done, and that it was actually really quite scary, and a big deal. That I was unconscious for over an hour, my body and life completely in the hands and abilities of people that I don't know, some anesthesiologist keeping me breathing, this surgeon cutting me open, inserting cameras and tools, removing an organ, glueing me back together. And being in the hospital with an IV in my arm, and my mom taking care of me, and hobbling around and having morphine injected into me. It's all scary. Vanessa is my hero, the way she's so strong and brave in the face of her situation, which is like a million times more intense than my piddly little ordeal.

When I started crying it was also because I felt overwhelmed by love and support and I was staring at Jason and I had one of these moments where I am bowled over by the marrying thing, by my total complete desire to be his wife, and even though that is still a very strange thing to write or say, I feel it completely. And Kim was visiting, wearing these incredibly hot wool sailor pants that she had taken in so the legs were all slim and fitting, not belled; and Jenn and Jeff and Arlo had just left, and Arlo is the cutest, and Jenn and Jeff were adorable with their taking-the-baby-on-a-walk gear; and my mom was wonderful all day, reading the Sunday Times and making banana coffeecake, and hovering and taking care of me; and Louisa and Chuck and Kevin and Mollie came to visit, and Louisa brought flowers (gladiolas), and we all sat and talked and showed Louisa and Chuck the video of Chuck drunk at Coach Sushi. And Aubs was sweet and last night she made me soup.

So for a moment it all overtook me and I felt relieved and grateful and stunned and awed by a combination of everything. And now I am in my recovery chair, and I watched The View and Price is Right and ate yogurt and drank tea and now I will read Frankenstein for a while. Then I will buy a new laptop, send emails, and plan my syllabus. I might also nap, make phone calls, sit in the sun, pet the dog, write, and imagine living in a farmhouse in Marin with my husband. Not bad, this recovery.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Now With No Fingerprints

I just burned the tips of my pointer finger and thumb when I stupidly picked up the lid to my casserole dish pot thing, after it had been in the over at 425 f for like 45 minutes. Now there is this fascinating feeling on both tips---the skin is very tight, like it shrank from the heat, and it also hurts, which is obviously the more obvious feeling to have. Insde the orange le cruset casserole pot was a very delicious eggplant bake that I made up, which was, to some degree, like lasagna without the noodles. And who needs noodles? I layered sauteed onions and mushrooms, sliced eggplant, kale, sliced mozzerella, finely grated ricotta salata (yum), and a sauce that I made from reconstituted dried tomatoes from Jason's mom's garden, roasted red peppers, almonds, roasted garlic, and olive oil. Then I baked the shit out of it and it baked and baked and got all bubbly and good and then I burned my fingers and it's actually totally fine, it's just that the burned tips make typing kind of hard. So I'll stop.