random

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/



New York City, I want to hold your hand.


New York City. I love you. 

If I could be your lover I would. 
I would take your hands in my hands. 
And I just wouldn't let go. 

Because only in precious Queens will perfect boys take you to eat Indian/Chinese food in restaurants with disco balls. And to eat Thai food in gardens. The train to get there is so long. 


And only in Brooklyn will you go to random Hawaiian themed parties, and talk to boys with sad eyes, while eating sugary frozen pie from the Momofuku Milk Bar at 3am. Or go to Roberta's pizza with Olivia, 



and eat green covered pizzas, and poppy seeded gelato that tastes like sparkles. 



Or make your way through a cheese plate with a kind stranger/friend who tells you that she has "never fallen in love slowly." And get drunk on nice beer and brazilian music in your friend's basement kitchen. 



Because only in Manhattan will you eat dollar slices of pizza, and cheeseburgers and drink stella and talk about where it is you are/aren't, and get lost in plates of cold spicy noodles, and soup dumplings, and puerto rican ham sandwiches and perogies and cups of coffee and mango lassi, and drink more beer and eat two kinds of cheesecake in one sitting, and just love it all. 



However, there are no breakfast tacos in New York. 
So I'm back in Texas. 
So full, and also so hungry. 
A friend once told me, that maybe it's love when "you want to hold someone's hands, but they are already holding yours." 



New York City, you held my hand before I even tried to reach out. 

So blessed and so grateful. 




*****

Artichoke Basille's Pizza
328 E 14th St
New York, NY
(212) 228-2004

Mission Chinese Food
154 Orchard St  New York, NY 10002
(212) 529-8800

La Taza de Oro
96 8th Ave  New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-9946


Roberta's
261 Moore St  Brooklyn, NY 11206
(718) 417-1118

Xian Foods
67 Bayard Street
New York, NY 10013 


SriPraPhai 
64-13 39th Ave
Woodside, NY
(718) 899-9599

The Corner Bistro
331 W 4th St  New York, NY 10014
(212) 242-9502

Veniero's Italian Bakery
342 E 11th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 674-7070

Caracas Arepa Bar
93 1/2 E 7th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-2314

Diner
85 Broadway
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
11249

Smourgasburg

East River State Park
(90 Kent Ave at N. 7 St)

Blue Ribbon Sushi
119 Sullivan St
New York
(212) 343-0404

Madman Espresso
319 

E 14th St  New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-2233

Velselka
144 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 228-9682

BaoHaus
238 E 14th St  New York, NY 10003
(646) 669-8889

The Gray Dog90 University Pl
New York, NY
(212) 414-4739


Station166 N 7th St  Brooklyn, NY 11211(718) 599-1596


Omelettes




I like my omelettes a little crisp and lacey, almost an eggy snowflake, folded over cheese and greens. With an extra grind of salt on top. 

I like the sameness of omelette making. The technique might vary, but in the end, you always get an omelette. 
Or hopefully you do. 

I talked to a friend today, I told him how much the transience of life has been scaring me lately. 
Change. 
And he looked at me and said simply, "That's the way it's always been."
He's right. 
But I can't shake the fact that most of the people I know now, I probably wont know in five years. 
Despite the aches and bruises, the same/dullness of school, that guy who never called me, the cruel thing she said, the times I cried in the shower, and all the breaking aching disappointments of growing up and living more, I love this now. 


I love these people and laughing until crying with them, the dreaminess of Friday afternoons, my neighborhood grocery store, the fact that I live above a doughnut shop, running in the quiet neighborhoods around the university, coffee shops and conversations that roll and unwind endlessly... 
These are things worth remembering. 
These are things to love. 

But five years from now it wont really matter. 
So I look forward and smile. 
Hopefully by then I'll be writing better songs and living in Brooklyn, with an apartment full of plants and twinkle lights. 
And it will be better




But five years from now, no matter the location, no matter who I still know, or who I am. 
I will still be making omelettes. 
They're the perfect comfort food for when you are hungry and maybe a little lonely and need a hot meal. 

Omelettes: a meal for every now and every future. 

XOXO
m

L'Omelette
from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child

2 or 3 eggs
Big pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper

Beat the eggs and seasonings in the mixing bowl for 20 to 30 seconds until the whites and yolks are just blended.

1 tablespoon butter
An omelette pan 7 inches in diamete at the bottom

Place the butter in the pan and set over very high heat. As the butter melts, tilt the pan in all directions to film the sides. When you see that the foam has almost subsided in the pan and the butter is on the point of coloirng (indicating it's hot enough), pour in the eggs. It is of utmost importance in this method that the butter be the correct temperature.

Let the eggs settle in the pan for 2 or 3 seconds to form a film of coagulated egg in the bottom of the pan.
Giving the handle of the pan with both hands, thumbs on top, and immmediately begin jerking the pan vigorously and roughly toward you at an even, 20-degree angle over the heat, one jerk per second.
It is the sharp pull of the pan toward you which throws the eggs against the far lip of the pan, then back over its bottom surface. You must have the courage to be rough or the eggs will not loosen themselves from the bottom of the pan. After several jerks, the eggs will begin to thicken. (A filling goes in at this point, if using.)
Then increase the angle of the pan slightly, which will force the egg mass to roll over on itself with each jerk at teh far lip of the pan.
As sson as the omelette has shaped up, hold it in the angle of the pan to brown the bottom a pale golden color, but onlya second or two, for the eggs must not overcook. The center of the omelette should remina soft and creamy. If the omelette has not formed neatly, push it with the back of your fork.

Turn omelette onto a plate and rub the top witha bit of butter and serve as soon as possible.


Peas and Shells Alfredo

I write you from a distinctly uncool coffee shop. I'm people watching and admiring the faint outline of a sign that used to say OYSTERS. 

I feel quiet. 

I love it when you know that Life is Happening, and things are exciting. 
Life is Happening is events: the party where you meet someone new, or a conversation that changes you, or a new job or move. 
When Life is Happening it feels like the gears of a watch are clicking into place. 



You can almost hear it. 

I used to believe that the exciting, crazy "Life is Happening" moments, are when you become who you are, and know what you're about. 

Now I think, that maybe those moments are just the product of the quiet, thoughtful days where nothing is really going on. The days when you're quietly and slowly figuring out how to make the dial of your watch click forward on your own. 



I made this pasta with some of the people I love the most. 
We had a round of toasts and then ate and laughed together. 
I realized then, that maybe, becoming the person you want to be, can be as simple as eating the meal you want to eat, with the people you want to eat it with. 



Maybe I'm all wrong. 

But I swear, this pasta made me feel like all the gears in all my watches were clicking into place. 


Peas and Shells Alfredo
from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman 

Yield: serves 2 generously or 4 petitely. (We made extra, so about a pound of pasta.) 

Salt to taste
1/2 pound dried small pasta shells
1 cup fresh shelled peas (about 1 pound in the pod, but we used canned peas because we're lazy)
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cooking according to package instructions. Add peas to cook during the last 30 seconds of pasta cooking time. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water, and set aside. Drain the pasta and the peas together. 

Dry out the pasta pot and pour in the heavy cream. Bring the cream to a simmer, and cook it until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the butter, and stir it until it has melted. Generously season the sauce with freshly ground black pepper, add a pinch of salt as well as the lemon zest. Add 3/4 cup of the Parmesan, and stir it until the sauce is smooth, then toss in the drained pasta and peas. Cook the pasta in sauce for 2 minutes, until the sauce has slightly thickened. Add the reserved pasta water by the spoonful if needed to loosen the sauce. 

Divide the pasta among bowls. Garnish with remaining Parmesan and the flat-leaf parsley. 

Note: We also added the meat of one rotisserie chicken, mushrooms and some shredded spinach. For extra goodness.