We haven’t had a food post for a while, have we? Here it is, Fat Tuesday, so let’s have one. What’s For Dinner used to be a common topic here at NN.C, as you old-timers can attest. Occasionally I get an e-mail: Nance, what’s for dinner lately? I’m out of ideas. Well, I am, too. My cooking took a turn when we moved here, and a) we could no longer count on Alan’s presence at the dinner table, given the vicissitudes of morning newspaper production schedules; and b) Kate stubbornly refused to grow out of her toddler tastes, and continued to eat maybe seven foods. I decided life was too short to worry too much about this nonsense, and made a sandwich. FTW.
I think maybe I just needed to walk in the wilderness for a while, because lately I’ve been making my way back. It occurs to me that unless I want to put on five pounds a year indefinitely, ultimately ending up on one of those electric scooters at the grocery store, I should change my ways. The Mark Bittman book is illuminating a new path. I’m trying to simplify, un-process, give meat a detour more often than not and cook a bit healthier, but at the end of the day I want a little reward for all those whole grains and fresh fruit during the day.
So last night I decided butter is proof of God’s love, and decided to show the proper gratitude. I made a spinach soufflé and some oven-roasted potatoes with rosemary from our own bush, struggling through winter in the sunny window. And you know what? It was goooood:
Husband, in background, finds Field & Stream more interesting.
People are terrified of soufflés, and for no good reason. They’re much easier than you think, not nearly as tricky as you’ve been led to believe. If you can beat egg whites and fold them, you too can have a lovely entree consisting mainly of air. Truth be told, I prefer my soufflés of chocolate and for dessert, but for a light supper, it’s hard to beat ’em. Maybe with a little mushroom sauce over the top. Next time.
And while we’re on the subject of pleasures and indulgences, let me recommend the second book on the nightstand at the moment, Laura Lippman’s “Hardly Knew Her.” I know Ms. L has written short fiction before, but this is the first I’ve read of it, and I have to say, I’m impressed. These stories are wry and noir-y, concerned with a corner of crime fiction that rarely gets its full measure of attention — troublesome women. And not just the femme fatale in the fitted suit and veiled hat, either, but far more interesting ones, soulless party girls and over-the-hill sexpots and gold-diggers deprived of their full measure of gold. Oh, and the suburban prostitute-masquerading-as-a-lobbyist, and also the one who screws her contractor to get the little extras out of a home reno, and…you get the idea. Read and enjoy.
Pals, I have a whole list of supplemental readings I was going to post for comment, most on the decline of newspapers and some suggestions for saving them (or their newsrooms), but as I started to do so I realized I have utterly lost my enthusiasm for the discussion. Maybe it’s just today, on this fine, sunny, cold morning that still holds the promise of spring. Or maybe I’ve reached my limit. Anyway, not today. Today is a day for Mardi Gras beads and jelly doughnuts and last splurges before 40 days of Lent. (An agnostic though I may be, I retain the cultural patterns of my Catholic upbringing.) Can we muster some bloggage? Perhaps:
You couldn’t go to the Oscar parties, but Hank and his colleague Amy could, and bring you a full report. It doesn’t sound like that much fun:
Barward, we are thrust against the hardened chest of Gerard Butler (King Leonidas from “300”). Thrust again. Thrust once more. We can’t help it, buddy — we are being pushed from behind by . . . Oliver Stone and his Just for Men eyebrows. It’s a manwich. For some reason, Butler decides to go find his grog someplace else.
One minute these guys are all bluster and go-ahead-knock-it-off, the next they turn into pants-wetting, weak-kneed pansies: Rick Santelli vs. his imagination.
Sean Penn doesn’t need screenwriters — he comes up with his own killer lines, and at parties, no less.
And with that, I’m off. Go make yourself a soufflé.