Monthly Archives: March 2011

Lemon Pasta

Despite the fact that I feel like I’m coming down with the flu, I somehow gathered up the energy to make lemon pasta, which is quickly becoming my favorite…alongside linguine with white clam sauce and my sugo al tonno. The simplicity of this dish astounds me. Lemons not only brighten food flavor, they brighten my mood and make things feel lighter. Because of this, eating three bowls seemed like eating only one bowl. While the nice thing to do would be to share my recipe, I don’t feel like being nice, and would rather retain my recipe ratios for selective presentation. Suffice it to say that my husband and our friend thought it was outstanding, and tasted as good, if not better, than recently taste versions at Il Buco and L’il Frankie respectively. So good and so bright, that even after brushing my teeth, the lemon, garlic, and Pecorino are tap dancing on my tongue and show no signs of exiting the stage before bedtime.

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You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up

I just finished reading You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up by Annabelle Gurwitch and Jeff Kahn. It is a very funny exceedingly honest account of love and marriage and how challenging it can be to keep that love alive while being married. In some ways it reminded me of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, ie, uncomfortable/insightful personal disclosures about things that make you wince because it hits too close to home. They recount the travails of dealing with a child who has very serious health issues and the impact that this has had on their relationship. Many of us can relate all too well to the intrusiveness of life, work, laundry, bill paying, and 401(K) allocations and how they conspire against spontaneity; the only true weapon to vanquish routine. HBO take heed: give them their own talk show and thereby improve the marital health of all Americans.

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Shameless

After swearing that we wouldn’t get hooked on another television series, we have fallen off of the wagon and have bonded with the Gallagher family of Showtime’s Shameless. I like Emmy Rossum and her “Angelina-Lite” sort of vibe. While William H. Macy is a little too good and sometimes hard to watch, Joan Cusak is perfect and often seems like she could be Blanche Dubois’ towering mid-Western cousin. I also love the attention to detail of the different sets. The Gallagher house looks like that of a working-class family of 7 where cereal, more often than not, is on the dinner menu. I was a bit jolted when I was imagining myself hanging out with them there–and not feeling uncomfortable amid all the chaos.

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Filed under TV, Uncategorized

Biscotti for Dummies

Since my disastrous last attempt the evening of the Oscars, I decided to give it another whirl after finally figuring out what happened. Aside from the fact that the recipe did not seem like it would make 4 dozen biscotti, I erroneously put in a cup of kosher salt versus a cup of sugar. I don’t know exaclty how this transpired but I must have been preoccupied and dumped the salt over the sugar. The were horrible and had to be thrown away.

Today, I made a respectable batch with whole wheat flour, apricots, cranberries, and almonds. They are definitely not as good as my cousin Lori’s, but I am hopeful that they soon will be. I think I may add some olive oil and rosemary to the next movie. The truth be told, I am not a good baker because baking requires precision. I cook with passion and measure and assess things through my eyes, my ears, and my mouth.

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Gray Matters

My word retrieval seems to be getting worse as the days go by. After listening to the report about how cell phones can decrease gray matter, I’ve made an effort to use the “speaker” function as much as possible to preserve whatever remains. Today I was trying to think of “orzo” and I couldn’t think of the word, though I knew it began with a vowel. Exasperated, I opened my laptop, went to Google and searched for pasta shapes.

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Filed under Memory, Uncategorized

Tiger Mother

I just finished reading Amy Chua’s book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and I really enjoyed it. I think that she is remarkably honest which I can’t imagine was very easy. While she is a bit extreme, it did make me wonder how differently I might have turned out if my mother had been more tiger-like. It is very hard to envision praticing an instrument for three hours every night (in addition to homework) and spending 5 hours on  Saturday commuting into New York for a one-hour violin lesson. The one question that she never posed was “should Chinese mothers ever consider therapy?” Probably not since they consider this approach to be evidence of love and faith versus neurotic and/or narcissistic behavior. It is interesting how unresponsive she was to her daughter’s pleas to back off, and that she simply didn’t “get it” for so long.

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Roman

I was on the phone for over an hour with my friend Roman. He is going through a rough time, but despite his travails, his wit is still handsome and has weathered his recents storms better than I would have thought. I am always tempted to turn on the tape recorder when we speak because he is so vebally effusive. He said three very funny things (which may not translate well here). They were?

  • “I would breathe but it smells like meat in here.”
  • “I’m not a victim I’m just fucked.”
  • “I don’t do success.”

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