2014

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

rice crispy treats

Time is passing, and it scares me. 

Thanksgiving is always a marker of this: the old people move slower, the young people move faster, have babies, get married. 
Everyone still eats green bean casserole. 

Jordan asked me if the drive back from Oklahoma "felt cinematic?" 
Sometimes it has. But this time it didn't. It just felt long. 
The year feels tired. 



The other day, I remembered this line from a Jorge Luis Borges poem that Julian read to me once, and there is a line that goes, "and you plant your own garden instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers." And I thought about this, because without even thinking, I bought an amaryllis bulb and put it in a turquoise pot filled with dirt. 
It has grown five inches since I planted it. 
So far, things look promising. 

The past few months have been so very quiet. Quiet months after a very full year. 
I came back from Thanksgiving and opened my windows to drifts of gold leaves that finally fell after the cold snap and hoped that this would make for some kind of momentum.

I do not know how you know when you are growing up. 



I've been making rice crispy treats with chocolate chips for the two boys I babysit. 
"Bring me one thousand hundred more next time!!!" They order me.
I've been trying to make pinto beans the way my mother does, only mine are never as good. 

A few months ago, I would come home tipsy from nights out and peel off my party clothes and stand in front of the stove, stirring a skillet of scrambled eggs, which inevitably burnt, because who has time for heat that isn't turned all the way up? 
And also, there was a rat in my kitchen last night and I didn't even know what to do. 



And maybe it's because of these things, or in spite of them, I feel so hopeful right now. 
Hopeful in my bones. 

I asked my grandmother, I said, "Grandma, if I decide that I'm going to have everything I want, do you think I'll get it?"
"No." She said. 

But I'm going to believe it anyways. 
And maybe the best part, when I really think about it, is that there are so many things-- gold leaves and the end of school and even drunk burnt eggs and sticky little boys who love rice crispy treats--  
I only want "one thousand hundred more" of all of this too. 

I'm going to believe it anyways. 

I love you. 

xoxo


Rice Crispy Treats

3 Tablespoons butter
40 (about a bag) Marshmallows
6 cups rice crispy cereal 
1 cup chocolate chips (optional) 

In a large pot on stove, melt butter. Add marshmallows and toss to coat. Over heat, stir the marshmallows until they are completely melted and well blended. 
Add cereal and chocolate chips immediately, mix well. 
Press into a greased 13x9-inch pan. 
Cool completely. 




Bulla Soup



My Danish great-grandmother used to make this soup for my mother, and my mother used to make it for me. Last week, when Jacob was staying with me, he felt sick, and so I had to call my grandmother, who knew my great-grandmothers recipe, and told me how to make it over the phone, and so now I am sharing it with you. 
This soup is called Bulla Soup, and I don’t know exactly how to describe it to you, but it’s like dumplings. Really rich, floury, wonderful, boiled dumplings. 

November is the time for soup. 

In New York,  when I was very hungry, I would go to this crazy dumpling place where you could get eight fried pork dumplings for three dollars, and I would walk and eat all the dumplings just dripping with soy sauce, and I felt so young and so free and so good. 
It’s food like that, that makes me feel the richness and glory of the world. 
Bulla are not pork dumplings, you have to sit down and eat them in a soup, with a spoon. You do not get the romance of walking through grimy streets alone, while taxi cabs howl at you when you cross the street before the little flashing hand signals you can go. (I was always crossing streets at the exact wrong time.) 
But bulla are a quick thing to make. Very simple, and satisfying. 

Here is how to do it: 

First, you heat some broth, such as chicken broth. Make sure it just about boiling. 

Then in a separate pot, heat a cup of water to a rolling boil, add 1/2 cup butter. 
You heat these together, and then, all at once, stir in 1 cup of flour. Stir rigorously over the heat, until the mixture forms into a ball. Remove from heat. Then, thoroughly beat into the flour/water mixture, four eggs, one at a time. 
Next, take a spoon,  and grab a rounded scoop of the mixture, gently lower it into the boiling chicken broth. 
And then you wait for the bulla to rise to the top. 
And when it has risen to the top, you know it is finished. 

The simplicity of good food, occasionally speaks for itself. 
So I'm not going to say anything beyond, "These really do it for me." 

I hope you’re so well. 
Talk soon. 
I love love love you. 

XOXO

Chia Seed Pudding

I go grocery shopping on Saturdays now. 
And I cook a lot on Sundays-- sometimes spiced sweet potatoes, always brown rice, once, a disgusting and heavy loaf of bread. 


Life is strange. 
I think about that a lot these days-- mostly because it's unbelievable that we are lucky enough to be alive at the same time-- but also how little control I have, really. 
Often I wonder, how it is that anyone gets so that they have work, babies, house and garden full of fireflies? 
Is it always just falling and falling into things and people?

I guess. 

I like making chia seed pudding on Sundays too-- it's so simple and luxurious-- like eating a sweet caviar, or frog eggs. 
I like it also, because when I was in New York, I would take the F train to Midtown, stop at the same quick breakfast spot and buy a banana and chia seed pudding and hope that the iced coffee would prevent me from sweating through my business casual. 
It was such a lonely, lonely summer. That’s the thing about loneliness --you think-- this is the worst it will ever be, and then, one day, you are lonelier. 
So I took the F, and listened to soul music the whole way there, and ate my chia pudding, surrounded by glass and iron and felt small but often good.  Usually, when the workday was over-- I would walk the long way home-- eat $3 Indian food and sit in a park. 
I wondered a lot about work. 
And how I don’t know how to add value to the world yet. 
And how I don't know how to get there.

I like to think it begins with going grocery shopping on Saturdays, cooking on Sundays. Eating pork-belly sliders and drinking vodka with your sister friends on Thursday night, and then going out on Friday and Saturday too. Or maybe staying in, tucking small children into bunk beds-- waking up early, walking. 
Maybe, after a time-- when the work is more done, and more years passed and everything more known, somehow maybe one day, you go home to a garden of fireflies. 
After just falling and falling and falling into jobs and people. 
And chia seed pudding. 
Ideally, hopefully, chia seed pudding is part of how you get there too. 


Chia Seed Pudding 
via TheHealthyFoodie.com 

1/4 chia seeds
3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
maple syrup to taste

In a small bowl or half pint Mason type glass jar, add coconut, chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut water, and vanilla. Stir until very well combined. 
Place in refrigerator and allow to rest overnight. 
Eat.