Archive for August, 2009


WND – Mastering the Art of French Cooking, sort of

August 28, 2009


I have a confession to make.  I don’t own a copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  Neither does my mother.  In fact, outside of a movie I’m not sure I’ve ever actually even seen a copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  Does this make me a bad person?

My roommate and I took ourselves off to see Julie and Julia one stiflingly hot Sunday a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve read both the books that it was based on – “Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously” and Julia Child’s memoir, “My Life in France” (completed/edited by Alex Prud’homme) – and enjoyed both of them.  In the movie the story of Julie in modern New York cooking her way through “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” is an interesting framing device, but the dual romances between Julia and Paul Child and between Julia and food steal the show.  This is partly because it’s a more unusual and therefore more interesting story, and partly because it’s Meryl Streep and it’s hard to outshine Meryl Streep. Read the rest of this entry ?


WND – Concepts of Home

August 20, 2009

cucumber mandoline

When I was growing up we used to go to my grandmother’s in Virginia for a month every summer.  We’d get there and it felt like time just stopped and that one month lasted forever. It didn’t matter where we were living at the time, we always went home for a month in the summer and things were exactly the same as I’d left them the year before and I knew that they’d be the same the next year. Read the rest of this entry ?


WND – Squeals of Girlish Glee

August 13, 2009

corn husks

I got a package in the mail on Tuesday and squeaked with delight when I opened it up and it revealed the folding, reusable plastic grocery bag that I’d ordered late last week. I’d been wanting a reusable shopping bag that was small enough to carry around with me so that I’d have it when I need it (read, for unexpected trips to a farmer’s market during lunch), and that I could carry over my shoulder. I love getting food at farmer’s markets but I hate lugging it home. Baggu makes shoulder strap reusable plastic grocery bags that fold up into a tiny square that’s so small it can get lost in my purse. They also come in a huge variety of colors, and I’m vain and I like having a pretty shopping bag (I got the purple flowered bag, if you’re curious – second row from the bottom in the middle – and it’s adorable).

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WND – In which everyone we know RSVP’d yes

August 10, 2009

shucked corn

What do you serve 14 people, one of whom is vegetarian, and one of who doesn’t eat eggs or dairy?

The quick and dirty answer is vegetarian chili with cornbread.  You substitute plain noodles for the cornbread for the person who can’t eat eggs – or embrace better living through chemistry and use egg substitutes to make the cornbread.  I can’t quite bring myself to do this, but others might not be quite as up tight. Read the rest of this entry ?


WND – Dinner Delayed

August 3, 2009

You’ll have noticed the lack of Dinner this past week. This is because I was in San Francisco visiting Jes (and a few other people) eating the most fabulous food every night. I believe on Wednesday night I was feasting on Zereshk Polow at Lavash. Or maybe I was tucking in to a fish taco at Park Chow, or possibly I was indulging in decadent lemon ricotta ravioli at Zazie’s. I also ate at The Girl and the Fig in Sonoma – excellent cheese, terrible service – and breakfasted at the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building and managed to have coffee from the Blue Bottle twice. I will cheerfully admit that it’s the best coffee I’ve ever had and I understand why people stand in line for it for hours.  It was decided that Jes should give up this historian thing that she’s doing and become a full time restaurant guide for San Francisco, because all her recommendations were amazing.

This week we’re delaying Dinner until Sunday because we’re doing a hail and fairwell dinner for a friend who’s in town briefly after a year in Japan before she jets off to Madison, Wisconsin to start grad school in media studies (it’s possible I’m just a little bit jealous).