March 30, 2008


After a wild week at work, one which left me reeling by Friday but which I do not wish to revisit (because I'm beginning to feel as though work is this alter ego of mine which isn't even part of the texture of my real nature and therefore isn't worth mentioning, ever), we had an incredible weekend. I want to begin by thanking Craig one thousand times for not only supporting me in everything I think and do, but also for relaxing with me and loving every second of being in New York. I keep hearing things about finding your dream and pursuing what you want, and Craig reminded me the other day (prior to the weekend) how badly I wanted to be with him and how I did absolutely everything in my immediate power to make that happen. It reminded me of this particular Friday back in Detroit sometime in 2003, the only time in all the times I left Detroit to get to him that my flight was canceled - not delayed, just outright canceled. I used to leave Friday nights and fly to Connecticut (and later, upstate New York) and land and have a couple of hours with him Friday, all of Saturday, and minute hours on Sunday before leaving for Detroit again (and later St. Louis during the brief stint that we were that far apart, when he was in Syracuse and I was west of the Mississippi). Anyway, that night, that shitty Friday when my flight was downright canceled (and I will never forget it because not only did the experience suck but also I was flying out of one of the ends of our mile-long Detroit terminal - not typical for my flights from Detroit to Hartford) I felt positively absolutely helpless. No matter what I could do to pursue Craig from afar, no matter how many times I could and would call him, write to him, remind him of my existence and so on, what was I to do with a canceled flight? All of this said, there are two things that I have pursued and have found and have to love - being with Craig, and living in New York. Both were things I can't believe to this day are mine to claim. So, so what that work isn't quite fulfilling some magical obligation that I have to the greater good? I've got possibly more satisfaction than some people experience ever. And it's only begun.*Friday we ate Brazilian across the street. Saturday we woke up very early and headed to the West Village for breakfast - wound up at a cool place called Sweet Life close to the Hudson. I say cool but Craig was annoyed a little (we probably won't go back). The guy's partner didn't show up so he was servicing the entire group of maybe 15 people on his own. But, as Craig pointed out, the guy also wasn't very urgent in his customer service abilities. After that, we just walked. We haven't spent a lot of time in the West Village, but it was great to be there. The photographs I took don't do the neighborhood justice whatsoever. It's cute, unique, intimate, proud New York. The above shown pink building was the most hideous thing and while Craig couldn't stand it, I thought it expressed a lot of the character of what we were seeing on the West side of the Island. We stopped for crepes at the Shade Bar around 1, and Concrete Blonde (old KB fave) played on the speakers and later during lunch we even heard a little solo Johnette (Concrete Blonde lead). Then we went to Lederhosen by Bleecker on Grove Street. We saw Lederhosen on Three Sheets a while back and have been meaning to check it out. The beer was so awesome! Nothing like drinking some quality German beer in the heart of NYC. The bartender women spoke German to one another at one point, and Craig and I were both a little absorbed in it. When they parted ways I turned to Craig and said, "What did you think of that?" and he said, "What, our little trip to Germany?" We will definitely take my parents to Lederhosen. My dad will try to help translate - it will be fun!*We went to several other places after - the White Horse, which was crowded, the EAR bar or BEAR or something - a bar Craig told me was listed in our Best Bars book as a "haunted" bar, but I never saw a thing - not even a glass move by itself. We wound up at this other bar, too, which we were in, sitting in the exact same spot, back in 2002 on one of our NYC trips when we were young. Craig swore it was the same bar and near same booth, but I didn't believe him until today he showed me our photo album from back then - he got lucky - the same framed painting hangs in both the 2002 pic and the photo we shot Saturday!! Then Craig did two things for me: he took me to see the French Culinary Institute (just the outside) and he took me to 421 Broome Street, to Heath Ledger's apartment. I was definitely overwhelmed standing there in front of it. It's a beautiful SoHo apartment building and of course it just looks about the same as all of SoHo, but it was magical to stand there, for me. I identified Heath as an artist all the time I loved his acting (I watched Candy not long ago and was amazed even then that he could pull off Indie just as impressively as he could Hollywood) and the fact that he was just a couple of years younger than us and we lost him remains sad, to me. It's a fairer tragedy than some, I'd say. Anyway, we didn't linger about too long there, just long enough for me to snap obsessive amounts of photographs that all look similar or the same!*And today, we ate bagels and took a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond for miscellaneous. Tonight I cooked a curried chicken in a creamy almond sauce and it was delicious. There were so many things in the sauce: cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, turmeric, Madras curry, cardamom, chicken broth, onion, garlic, sugar, salt, sour cream, flour, sugar - and the Basmati and Naan bread I made with it complimented it perfectly. And now I approach ten. I'm tired, listening to Elliot Smith and blends of sounds of No Country for Old Men which Craig watches from the living room. I'm going to go give him a huge hug and thank him for hanging around. I already thanked him exuberantly many times this weekend. I think he's as glad as me that I was persistent. And I'm grateful for every day that we have.*

March 26, 2008


Blurry, but there's a shot down the "hallway" of our apartment at our computer room. I found this pic while rummaging through old photos and can't recall if I ever posted it before. I also can't recall if I ever posted about lists, a topic which has been running through my mind for months now and of which I was reminded this morning watching Rachel Ray. I stayed home again today. I feel much like this year is bringing on really random sick days for me (this marks the third of 2008) but I'm reconciling right now with an unfriendly sinus infection, most of which I've battled through at work but for a host of reasons (one being that I am not sleeping well these days in part because of work and related worries) I decided this morning to stay home and attempt alleviations. Thus far that has included sleeping until eight and blowing my nose a lot more than I'd like. Anyway, I was watching Rachel Ray and she featured a "frazzled mom" on today's show. I'm not sure that anyone living in this time right now can call themselves anything but frazzled, but that's a different issue altogether. On the show, they aired cuts of this "frazzled" 24 year-0ld mom video-taped at her home running around with an infant, a toddler, housework, on-line college and part-time paralegal work (which she miraculously performs from home). Her husband, who is roughly ten years older, exists in the story insomuch as the girl starts her "hectic" day by packing his lunch before he heads off to undescribed work. (Right off the bat I muttered to myself, Ok, asshole, first thing's first: you make your own sandwich!) They appeared to be a reasonably sane and conservative couple who happens to have two kids and a double income situation. But the girl sat at Rachel's table with Rachel and an "advice person" (??) (not sure what this woman's training quite could be, after watching...) and the poor frazzled mom just seemed...unfocused. That brought me immediately back to my earlier vague notion of lists, and supposing life were a series of lists. I thought I was so smart and in tune until the "advice person" turned to the mom and declared, "You need to make a list." The mom looked aghast, like, What, you want me to add one more activity to my day?? And the advice person went on to explain that by creating a list, the mom would be sectioning parts of her day to devote to certain activities. Now, while I am moving into a very list-conscious consciousness right now, I felt fairly much like I think the mom felt: what kind of bad quickly-conceived idea is list-writing?? This mom clearly traveled a million miles dragging unable-to-make-sandwich hubby along to be on Rachel's show and the advice person announces with positive authority, Make a LIST? Seriously? Hopefully the frazzled woman's adventure to New York was paid in full by Rachel!*So, when I call the mom "unfocused" it is simply because I relate 100%. Today, staying home was much more about alleviating sinus problems by not breathing in NYC smog/Flushing Toxins as well as grabbing a couple of additional hours of sleep to support the fast-paced lives we lead. But here I sat at home, with 80% ability (versus last time I stayed home when I was completely laid out on the couch) and yet, I could not focus. I couldn't get my head in order enough to decide what apartment chore to accomplish first (I'm not one to waste a day watching mindless talk show stuff unless absolutely laid out). So I recalled the list conversation I have had in my mind. Suppose life were a series of lists. Suppose I was born and the first list I was able to write was, "Go to school." Underneath that I'd write, "Do well in school." Underneath that I would write, "Learn life skills in tandem." (At that point perhaps I would have accomplished things I never achieved, such as learning to sew buttons, learning to manage money, and learning to - I don't know - use a pressure cooker, like my mom always used to cook chicken??) (I'm petrified of pressure cookers to this day!) Then place me in high school and my list would look something like, "Decide on a lucrative major for college." "Find boyfriends who are fun but not planning on being life partners so that you get a feel for what relationships are like, without the ugly pressures of being a wreckless teen." "Tell your math teacher you admire her even though you hate Calculus." Right? "Bank that minimum wage paycheck instead of blowing it on coffee at Waffle House and insignificant amounts of GAP jeans."*The thing is this: today I made a list, and so far half of the items are crossed off. The remaining items can easily be accomplished if I focus before the end of the next two hours. If I drift off and craze out because of what needs to be done, and responsibilities and this and that, likely I won't get one thing done. And it isn't like life is this long series of things that need to get done, but yet, wait, it kind of is. Our parents grew up, met each other respectively, married, had us, raised us and off they go to experience retirement (although my dad has a way to go yet!) Surely that was never a pre-written list but look at what they've done to this date! Accomplishments are only that at completion, and right now, I'm not sure what I can trace as such a thing. Meeting Craig was the best thing ever to happen to me, but we're just beginning. Deciding how much I love to write and that I want to write for hours on end doesn't secure one thing - it's still marked "unfinished" on the list because I can't choose from poetry, food, fiction or memoir. Lists, I tend to think, might be what aid in getting things done. I've got so many running ones in my mind - things for which to save, things to tell Craig because he needs to know, things I'd like done differently, things I'd like to do differently, and so many more! I'm wondering now that if I write these activities down, will I get them done??*Off to cross more stuff off. Food for thought.

March 23, 2008


Happy Easter! I keep telling that to Craig today and he keeps asking me why I keep telling him that. I explain, What's not happy about Easter? and he has no response! We've had a fairly good weekend. There is a lot of college basketball (March Madness) distracting us from Real Life but we've enjoyed it. The above shown photograph is of "Swamp Water" at Brother Jimmy's snapped yesterday, when the waitress who served us all day and into the evening liked us so well that she treated us to this on the house. I can say firmly that every time I've had sips of this stuff, I've likened it to a bitter version of Tang or Kool-Aid. Nevertheless, my company let us out early Good Friday, and while I took total happy advantage of the break, Craig couldn't break away and therefore I rode the train solo to the Lower East Side. He kept assuring me he was on his way, and it took a lot of time but he did finally come meet me, and we had a nice time. College basketball during March Madness can be maddening, which I felt was the case Friday. And Saturday, we woke up together so happy to be ensconced in a weekend and we watched all the shows we hadn't caught from the week. Then we watched a movie called Diggers, then we got ready and headed out to Brother Jimmy's for hoops. This morning we both wanted out of bed early. We were overslept, tired but not satisfied with our restless sleep, so we headed to breakfast at Genesis after discovering Yura wouldn't be serving Easter brunch. And now I am cooking up Burgundy Beef Tips for dinner, and Craig wants to eat. There is another hour before dinner is ready, potatoes, green beans and all. But I've worked really hard today: I shopped for groceries, came home, packed them away, scrubbed the bathroom top to bottom, and scrubbed the kitchen, too. I feel pretty much like I've done good work, and regardless of Craig's complaints now, he will be happy when dinner is ready. I don't know. It's Easter. This is a weird time for us because we're not with family and we're not big Easter celebrators. I don't know. Happy Easter to our families, and to my favorite person, who roams around this apartment grazing for food at this hour!!*

March 20, 2008


I finally found it: the perfect make-at-home Indian recipe that would remind us of our Indian carry-out place. Oh, it was a dish ridden with flavor. And the scent of cooking it took me to new heights. I finally found, after reading its name over and over again in conjunction with Indian cooking, Garam Masala, a spice which seems simply comprised of only like five things I might feasibly throw together from my spice pantry. But no, I declare Garam Masala to be the Spice that Enabled Me to Cook Something Indian that Tasted Good.*I had a recent encounter with a wonderful older woman at Key Food. We were both in the rice aisle, and I was browsing for Indian-grown rice versus the Thailand-grown jasmine rice that I mistakenly used last time I cooked Indian (a curry recipe). Thai rice and Indian rice are distinctly different in flavor and even in scent while cooking. Anyway, I was bent down peering at Basmatis, which are Indian-grown rice grains, when the woman said to me from the row of juices oddly placed directly across from the rices, "Have you tried Basmati? The grain melts in your mouth..." and I said, because I didn't quite understand her at very first, "Yes, I've had that. Now I'm trying Indian rice." When she walked away, I looked back at the rice only to realize Basmati rice is Indian rice. And Thai rice, which I've had tons, is Jasmati (or Jasmine rice). Look, I'm new to this rice universe. Thankfully the nice lady didn't feel the urge to correct me!*Anyway, what I needed for my Indian Butter Chicken, which is the Sunset recipe I tossed together for Craig that tasted so terrific and authentic (not knowing what that means), was the Basmati. And we both agreed, it made a difference over serving Chicken Curry on Jasmine rice. These things we learn slowly.*Today I learned that there is a food writing course being taught at a prestigious location in Manhattan beginning in September and running through November. It is a night course, one night a week, and would fit perfectly into my plan, provided it doesn't fill up before I can afford to sign up. Unfortunately this and next month equal taxes, and what I owe kind of stinks. But if the course doesn't fill up, and if I'm able to enroll, I might have a semester's worth of time to learn about food writing and whether or not it's something I'd like to casually or actively pursue. I've got these tendencies to shift talent gears, deciding one day that I'm really good at this, deciding the next day that I'm definitely skilled at that. And maybe that's normal for a person who isn't entirely comfortable in their career shoes. However, Craig and I will not throw money at something not worth my while. It doesn't make sense to invest in something vacant. But the great thing is, he supports every announcement I present to him. He's really excited at the prospect of me taking a food writing course. He's been the happy recipient of mostly good newly-discovered meals crafted by me for nearly a year now (plus the time prior when I was learning and fumbling to cook!)*So we'll see. Meanwhile, the photograph depicted above represents the lovely glass-bodied blender I bought myself to better whip the sauce for the Indian Butter Chicken. The blender was under $40, and yet its glory is white, glass and lovely, considering it isn't a blender/food processor combo (which is the ultimate goal I wish to reach in terms of grinding kitchen equipment!)*March Madness has begun, this morning I arrived to work before 6 with Craig as my company for a very important thing I needed to do, and now we're trying to rule out watching Lost over the start of March Madness. I think the weekend will be spent catching up on shows. Hopefully we can just relax. Relaxing is what I need!

March 15, 2008


Today has been a packed day of expeditioning. We woke up rather early, before 8, and Craig headed out for bagels and coffee from Bagel Express. After breakfast and showers we traveled on foot to 82nd Street to pick up some keys to empty apartments at various locations in our neighborhood. We're not anticipating a move in July when our lease ends, but we'd like to leave options open, particularly since our management company is broker fee-free and there's a possibility our deposit for this place could roll over to cover deposit for another of their units. The weather was positively perfect this morning: ample sun, brisk fifties-temps and a light breeze. The first two apartments we looked at were on 81st (to clarify, if apartments are vacant, our management company will give keys in exchange for a photo ID and you can help yourself to look at your leisure - nice feature to New York apartment-hunting, different from having a bossy salesperson leasing agent persist that the white-walled beige floor-to-floor carpeted apartment you're touring with her is absolutely perfect when in reality it's no different from every other suburban apartment complex apartment you've seen) (as has been my past experiences in most places I've apartment-shopped). Immediately I noted the upkeep of the facade of the building, the pretty-colored stucco, the cleanliness of the street, even. That's a luxury we do not possess on our block. I've convinced myself that the crumbling brick and weathered fire escapes of our street add character, but vaguely fantasizing I might hypothetically one day call 81st Street my home instead reminded me how nice it would be to have a clean row of nice buildings surrounding me instead of 2nd Avenue construction debris and whatever else litters our curbs. Now, for the most part, the apartments I've seen in the City have several things in common (not only through our leasing company, but others, as well). Typically (which does not occur in our building, oddly) the hallways and stairwells are so narrow that one can only dread the thought of moving large furniture through these passageways. Since we do own a rather large television, my gut reaction is to imagine two people on either end of it knocking it into walls and shattering whatever brains exist inside its cabin. For the amount of money we spent on that thing in Atlanta back when, that would sure be a shame. Next - oftentimes appliances don't match one another. Here in our place, we have a white atypically-sized (small) fridge, black microwave and black stovetop/oven. I call that luck. Some apartments will have a beige dishwasher housed nextdoor to a stark white oven. Ugly. But hey, you're in Manhattan, right? Right. Another thing I noticed today as we viewed empty units includes wasted space - who notices, in a regularly-sized suburban apartment averaging say 800 sf (minimum), if the hallway when you enter is approximately 6 wasted square feet? Who cares? Here, it's significant space that could be utilized better otherwise, as was the case once today. For the most part, of the handful of places we saw today, we increasingly realized the lucky card we drew when encountering the place we today call home (and might sign on another year to do so). There was a one BR, for instance, whose bedroom's radiator was in the only convenient place to put a bed (if a bed would even fit in the room at all, which would be a stretch!) That would lend to a mattress maybe floating in the middle of the room, which would then fill the room leaving no space for any other item, period. Another apartment we saw had such a dinky kitchen that even the most successful of professional chefs could not have excelled there. We looked at a place that Craig was beside himself to see, an apartment which billed itself as a one BR but which boasts a rather spacious patio out back. I will say, having viewed the overgrown brick-paved patio with its artsy views of backs of other brick buildings, a spattering of trees, and more sky than I've seen from Manhattan in a long time!, that if needing a retreat from the indoors to sit and savor Sunday coffee and read the paper were on my list of mentally-massaging activities, I might actually sacrifice the things I'd have to give up. For instance, the "bedroom" of this apartment by far would not host a mattress of any variety. The space is cut out in places by exposed brick walls, and a small closet invades the floor space, as well. The best use of that room would be as an office - a small, small office! But above the kitchen, with a seemingly unstable ladder as access to it, spans a loft which, without a mattress, might have its ceiling height at, I don't know - 4 feet. In other words, this loft isn't one that is to be walked around - it's more of a "storage" alcove - but the way we figured going into it is that you'd shove a mattress up there (not really sure how, but somehow!) and you'd climb that ladder each night and crawl to the mattress surface and remind yourself each night repeatedly as you fall asleep not to sit up abruptly, for that could yield a nice headache when your head meets "ceiling". But again, if Sunday morning coffee tastes better in spring when sipped inside the security of wood-planked fenced patio looking up at the small fraction of NYC sky you get to see, this apartment might be worth the effort.*We covered a lot of apartment-looking ground, to be honest. And since this time two years ago marks roughly the anniversary of our first NYC-apartment search weekend (it was more like May but we're close to that mark), we turned back the keys and headed to JG Melon (at 74th and 3rd) for burgers, just as we did that Saturday in 2006. Craig called it apartment hunting tradition. Cute. This time I ate their turkey burger and loved it. We even shared one order of their awesome cottage fries! After lunch (by this time it was only like 2 o'clock - we felt so accomplished and productive!) we walked in the direction of 86th and Lex. At 75th and 3rd, though, Craig stopped and looked up at an awning and asked me if I wanted to scope this place out. The awning read "Citarella" and, I don't know, I wasn't enthused, but I agreed anyway (we had no idea what kind of place it was). So we went in, and my first and really only reaction was What...what, is this place real? Citarella is a gourmet grocery - gourmet grocery, so what, KB. But no...not like the D'Ag's that I mentioned previously, which is nice, nice like a Publix in the South or like Marsh in Indiana. Citarella is stretches of foods that had even Craig perplexed and excited. He was all over the joint, pointing out the fresh meats ranging from lamb to livers to veals to cornish hens, the immense amount of fresh sea food options (octopus! varieties of tuna! different sizes of scallops! everything!), the fresh mushroom-truffle mix, the olives...the vegetables (some shown above but only a small fraction) are julienned or coined or diced and pre-packaged like beautiful little color palettes, all ready to toss into an easy weeknight meal...and evidently Citarella has its own line of fresh sauces, soups, salads, bakery items (we saw the case - it looked deadly) and so forth. (It's hard to see, but the celephaned package in the last photo contains fresh quail eggs!) It was rather a reeling experience. I'm sure nice groceries aren't specific or native to New York City. I have lived so many places and experienced the shoppers' paradises of those locales but seriously, if I could just dream myself into a storybook life, it would be one where Craig and I push the stroller (with baby) through Citarella carefully selecting the most delectable of gourmet cheeses, whole grain crackers, spicy homemade sausages, fresh pestos, greens, always-ripe tomatoes, and everything else we would need to throw together a luxurious Upper East Side intimate dinner party, we check out and don't fret the bankbook outcome, we retreat to our penthouse (in this dream, I will even take something floors below the penthouse!) and tuck the baby to sleep and ready the apartment for friends and everyone comes and they know us well enough to know we're not basking in our riches, we're just happy to experience the thrill of living here and doing it well.*Sigh. That said, going into that place with Craig was a lot of fun. It was about a half an hour where we both daydreamed and gawked at labels and at the fact that people really do live that way, shopping there regularly. After Citarella, we hit Best Buy at 86th and Lex for a couple of things. Then we went to Little Red Hen(s?) for rumored Best Cheesecake. See here...
It looked a little crooked in the case but we picked it anyway - it was their last "small" cheesecake. We brought it home and yes, it tasted pretty terrific. Currently, Craig naps and tonight we're headed to Brio 89 for the first time since it opened roughly half a year ago. Brio 89 is a wine bar in the neighborhood that is a sister restaurant to its Brio NYC somewhere else in the UES, I think? Either way, it's so chic, from the outside. It will probably be nice. Then we are heading to this "best kept secret" bar called the Auction House. We walked by it today to locate it and yes, there is no sign or reference to it being a bar anywhere outside. You do need to know the address. Reviewers called it everything from Victorian to "a place where the Vampire Lestat would hang out". Interesting enough. After that, we are headed to a Piano Lounge in the neighborhood. It's basically been a neighborhood date day. And it's been so nice. I love having Craig with me to guide me around. He's such a great man.*

March 10, 2008


I'm not a politically-driven person in the least, but I must say, for this day in New York when a governor is discovered to have participated in an act of prostitution, it makes a New Yorker (or American in general) stop to think. Who are our leaders? as he stands astride his wife gripping her hand and she appears ready to throw up on the floor on which they stand. Nevermind all of this, because it will only act to further my distaste for what we like to call World Leaders. What are they leading?*Tonight, I gloriously post the photograph above, the snapshot I shot moments before 6.30 p.m.! The daylight is hanging on, just gripping onto the last moments of daylight. Today marked the start of Daylight Savings' time and as one might note from my enthusiasm, my, have I been looking forward to more glimpses of light. Spring brings a bunch of really good things to me: my 31st birthday, mild temperatured dates with Craig, walks through the Park with Craig, flowers on 5th Ave and Park and Madison Aves, New York City in Spring, Craig in Spring, me in Spring! There's so much hope wrapped into Spring, and the fact that we're embarking on our second Spring in New York City, approaching our third whole year in a City which I only used to know as a stranger passing by, as it brushed my hand, winked at me seductively...the whole season is going to brim and overflow me with love for the place where we live!*In rather less fortunate news, I failed the Cajun Chicken Cakes tonight. The cakes themselves, prior to sizzling in the skillet, came together just fine: the chicken of these cakes is pre-cooked and shredded, there's just one egg, a cup of finely-chopped wheat bread, fat-free mayo, et cetera et cetera, and the shaping of "cakes" even went without a hitch. But when I lit the skillet with hot oil, ladled the cakes into the hot oil and began the occasion of sizzling the things, several "cakes" fell apart like little brats. So, Craig and I wound up with cake "messes" instead of lovely round-shaped cakes. I was so mad, but Craig didn't mind at all - he even enjoyed the Remoulade, which he would usually decline.*Whatever, kitchen...Spring is near. And with Spring brings a lot of eating out, a lot of long walks and cool air. Who will mind then that the cakes can't hold their shape!*...

March 06, 2008


Last night I concocted homemade enchilada sauce for vegetarian enchiladas. The sauce turned out quite good, in fact, even with that tablespoon of honey that I feared but included anyway! Craig went to a Knicks game with co-workers so he didn't try these until lunchtime leftovers today - he liked well enough for me to put the dish on repeat. The filling for the enchiladas consisted of corn and black beans and finely diced zucchini, to which I'd next time likely add onion, green pepper and maybe some jalapeno for kick. Tonight's dinner will be here soon (finally, it's Thursday and we have not eaten out all week so Indian from Baluchi it is!) Tikka Masala, while not adventurous, is my favorite, plus the seared lamb kababs as appetizers and the luscious warm naan bread. Cravings, for me, are becoming peculiarly strong, which I never experienced before. I've always loved food and most of my life I was fortunate enough to carry on my dad's family's tradition of cougar-like metabolism, but turning thirty crashed my weight world and here I am nearly a year into my Weight Watchers membership (and proudly back to high school-age weight!) but now, this far into our stay in New York, I've learned so much about foods and flavor and aromatic pleasures in the kitchen that I experience actual cravings, full-blown lingering desires to eat certain foods that I've grown to just love. Indian cuisine, Thai cuisine and sushi fall into the cravings category, for me. I've attempted to cook Indian, as earlier mentioned, and I've got a full array of Thai dishes, compliments of Cooking Light, that satisfy my yearning for curries and coconut milk and basil (of course, heavy on the sodium side, as my dear friend Lauren has pointed out, due to salty fish sauce!) and sushi is clearly something I would never approach to attempt on my own! But there are more adventures I'd like in the kitchen someday, some which rely on a bigger kitchen, better stove, and a more varied arrangement of kitchen utensils. For now, as Craig pays for the Indian delivery (hurray!) I will stick to what I can accomplish in the miniature kitchen we've got...and Tikka Masala, American Idol and Lost are mine tonight on this cozy Thursday!

March 04, 2008


I'm mad at this blog page right now because I spent one hour posting Sunday, and when I hit "publish", everything went away with the flash of an "error" message. I blame myself more than anything for not being more intuitive to the wily ways of the Internet and its peculiarities (why didn't I copy and save my post into Word just in case the Error would occur and all writing would be lost in cyberspace??) but nevertheless, here I am, back for more abuse. I just want to post a little about tonight's dinner fiasco and whatever random else.*First of all, what, again, is miso? Miso, from my at-a-glance research, is soybean paste. I don't quite calculate what that precisely means. I understand soy and I know that I like tofu in doses, but Craig cringes when the word "soy" crosses the path of his hearing, so I left out the fact that tonight's dinner would, in fact, contain something soy-ish. Or, soybean-ish. I've been striking out lately, right and left, from cauliflower "potage" (don't be fooled by the fancy language...the soup sucked) to even an average Chicken Curry attempt last night, which broached Indian food in its likeness but which lacked the authenticity and deliciousness of real Indian food (pardon me if being a New Yorker affords me the chance to call any Indian restaurant within a 5-mile radius "authentic" when in fact that could be untrue!) But I think tonight's dish, the Miso Chicken with Brown Rice (boring as that sounds!) turned out actually quite good. My hunt for miso was the most engaging part about miso itself. Miso itself is quite boring - looks something like brown gritty soft clay, but the hunt was interesting in that the aforementioned trusty Internet sent me to either an Asian market or a Health Food Store. I work one subway stop away from a Chinatown but that is in the opposite direction from home, so attempting to justify a trip in the opposite direction of home shaving minutes off my day following a too-long staff meeting from 4.03-5.40 didn't appeal to me. Thus, I wound up in a Health Food Store I've seen before on 1st Avenue. Of course, in the refrigerator section, as indicated to me by the Internet, all flavors of miso were available. I selected the mild white. And dinner tonight, despite the chaos of all the chopping which I underrated going in, turned out downright tasty, soy products and all. The dish rivalled a Shrimp Fried Rice dish I've made before (a healthy one, of course). But the thing with a Health Food Store is this: the pressure to become completely fit, sound, right and organic lingers in the air there. So if you do not walk out wondering vaguely what you can do to better your own health for your own purposes, likely you will never care about such things.*