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feeling lucky

Today, I did all the dishes I haven't done for about a week.

I thought about finishing college.
Because I am done. I am done with college. Finished.

I've spent a lot of time writing you, trying to summarize and wring some moral or theme that accurately represents what the past four years meant, or are supposed to mean.

Here is what happened that I could not have predicted four years ago:

I grew up.

Child to sort-of-adult.


(four years ago)

Just like that.

I cried a lot, and everyone else cried a lot, and it was good and bad, but mostly it was interesting.
And now this particular thing is mostly over.
Two weekends from now, I walk towards a diploma with a tassel on my head.
And then the real stuff, I am told, begins.

Also, I've wanted to tell you, that I did what I've been so long promising to do: I wrote a cookbook.
It's called Good in the Kitchen: A Memoir about Food, The Media, and the Women Who Changed How America Eats. 






It's about my grandmother and Julia Child and me and cake.
It is also finished.



I am proud, but mostly relieved.
If you want to know more about it, shoot me an email.
I'll tell you more later.

I don't really know what's next.
I'm in a band and I want to write a million songs.
I want to bake some bread.
I want to sit in a garden while holding someone else's baby.
Wake up and go swimming.

All I really want to say, is how lucky I feel.
That there ain't words big enough, that if I'd known how much love there is--
that exists in this world-- for eating well, and eating together--that there is so much joy to be had--
if you'd have told me four years ago, I don't know if I'd have believed it.

I believe it now.

I feel so lucky.

Thank you.

xoxoxo
m



How to Hardboil an Egg

It's okay.
I mean, it's really okay. 


I failed at making hardboiled eggs last night.
But it's okay. 


Hardboiled eggs are only the easiest thing in the world to make-- but somehow, I don't know, I didn't cook them for long enough, or the water wasn't actually boiling, or something. 
The point is, I couldn't even make a hardboiled egg. 

Stranger things have happened. 


For instance, remember when I told you about how I was trying to plant my own garden, a la Jorge Luis Borges? 
Well. 
A flower grew. 
Who knew? 
I am so proud. 
I never knew I could grow anything. 

But back to hardboiled eggs. 
I love Nora Ephron, and Nora wrote this marvelous essay about living in New York City in her mid-twenties, and starting out as a reporter, and how she would go to work all day, and then come home alone and cook herself a full meal, something that made her feel brave and plucky, unlike other girls who were probably just eating pathetic cartons of yogurt in front of the television. 

 
Of course, she acknowledges, it never occurred to her that cooking and then eating a meal meant for four was probably equally pathetic. 
I think about this every time I cook for myself.
So brave! So plucky! 


And then, sometimes, you can't even hardboil the egg. 
And then you really have to muster some courage. 

Anyways. 


Here Is How To Hardboil An Egg From Better Sources On the Internet Just So You Know

Instructions from SimplyRecipes.com


1. Place the eggs in a single layer at the bottom of a saucepan. Cover with at least an inch or two of cold water. The more eggs that are crowding the pan the more water you should have over the eggs. Heat the pot on high heat and bring the water to a full rolling boil.
Adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the water may help keep egg whites from running out if an egg does crack while cooking. Also some people find adding 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the water helps prevent cracking as well as making the eggs easier to peel.

2. Turn off the heat, keep the pan on the hot burner, cover, and let sit for 10-12 minutes.
If you have the type of stove burner that doesn't retain any heat when turned off, you might want to lower the temp to low, simmer for a minute, and then turn it off.
Depending on how cooked you like your hard boiled eggs, the eggs should be done perfectly in 10-12 minutes. That said, depending on your altitude, the shape of the pan, the size of the eggs, the ratio of water to eggs, it can take a few minutes more. When you find a time that works for you, given your preferences, the types of eggs you buy, your pots, stove, and cooking environment, stick with it.
If I'm cooking a large batch of eggs, after 10 minutes I'll sacrifice one to check for doneness, by removing it with a spoon, running it under cold water, and cutting it open. If it's not done enough, I'll cook the other eggs a minute or two longer.
I also find that it is very hard to overcook eggs using this method. I can let the eggs sit, covered, for up to 15-18 minutes without the eggs getting overcooked. 

3. Strain out the water from the pan and run cold water over the eggs to cool them quickly and stop them from cooking further. Or, if you are cooking a large batch of eggs, remove them with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water.
The best way to store hard boiled eggs is in a covered container in the refrigerator. Eggs can release odors in the fridge which is why it helps to keep them covered.
They should be eaten within 5 days.

More soon. 
Ily. 
XOXO



cortado

Hello beautiful darling, 

This is the last post for the year, I think. It is all so strange and magical. So full. 

The Christmas lights are up again, but I just keep thinking about last New Year’s Eve, and how I left the parties and went and ate a cheeseburger alone in a park, and stared at the skyline and decided that this would be a year where I would do what I want
I tried. 
Sometimes, it was lucky. 
I am so grateful. 




There are no recipes for you now-- I’m working on another project that will hopefully come to fruition this spring. I’ll tell you more later.

New Year’s Eve is approaching again. 
I don’t know what to do with that.
Everything is coming and going so fast. Everything is scary and too much and too sad, yet, 
I have a good feeling about the coming year.
But then again, deciding on optimism is really the only thing to be done. 
“2015 is the Quinceañera year!” I tell anyone who will listen, but I don’t think anyone else likes this idea as much as I do. 

I don’t know what else to say. 

I hope you’re eating well and treating yourself to some nice coffee drinks. 
Lately, I like cortados. 
I think I’m going to go get one right now. 

Before I go, I just want to say-- 

All I feel is hope 

and 

I love you. 

xoxo

Midnight Cheese


There's a line from the Joni Mitchell song "My Old Man" that I love, it goes "The bed is too big, the frying pan is too wide."


Baby, that's where I'm at.
Lately, when I can't sleep, I roll out of bed and stand in cold light of the refrigerator and eat hummus and chocolate and cheese in an attempt to fill up the night and the hollow spaces inside me.
Because at night, I easily get lost in the past and overwhelmed by the future, and food is so tactile and so real that something as simple as a snack brings me back to the present, which is also intimidating, but better, because there is chocolate to be had in the present. 
And chocolate is comforting. 
The famous food writer Ruth Reichl wrote a beautiful memoir called Comfort Me With Apples, which is a mostly perfect title, but if I were to write that food memoir right now it would be called Comfort Me With Chocolate. Or, Comfort Me With Cheese


Baby, if we're being totally honest, I just can't bring myself to really cook meals these days. 
The frying pan is too wide. 
So mostly I am eating eggs, hummus, beans out of a can and apples and coffee and beer. 
Which is simple and small and just fine. 


But this is really to say, I think about you all the time and I have a lot to say, I'm just figuring out how to say it right. 
I don't know. 
I'll bake you a cake soon and we can talk about that. 
But right now my frying pan is too wide, and I really just want to eat two kinds of cheese until I'm full enough and then go laugh and drink beer with my people. 
Because right now that feels nice and sweet and good. 

So. 
Cake soon. 
Meals again soon. 
But for now. 
I love you I love you I love you. 

xoxo
mary 



Excellent Midnight Cheeses:
Tillamook Sharp Cheddar: http://www.tillamook.com/
Cabot: http://www.cabotcheese.coop/
Barber's 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar: http://www.barbers1833.co.uk/