Finally, the snow is beginning to melt. The recyclables in front of our house look like a can castle holding my embarrassment captive. Did we really drink that much? We all seem a little shell-shocked by what our homes spit out. 35 cans of Newsman Own Organic Turkey Cat Food? Really? Maybe everyone else is owning it and I am just imagining a community outraged over the exposure of our private rituals (lots of red wine and bargain blue bottle SKY).
Despite’s the park’s overflowing garbage cans the park is still beautiful. Zeke (my hound mutt) managed to pick up and leverage a four-foot branch over his back. He looked poised for two buckets of water to carry. Urban farmer mutt. It was hilarious. He very much looked like this:
He was almost as hilarious as the throngs of people that rushed to buy skis to use in Prospect Park. Not only do they have skis but also the svelte gear to boot. A few weeks ago, a skier asked me if my dog would attack him while he glided by. Perhaps this is also an urban development. Post-skier incident:
Now what to cook this evening? With my 3PM work appointment crawling close, I better decide, shop and simmer that baby soon. I like drawing recipes from cookbooks so much more than online. While I find user review’s helpful (apparently the highest standard being “MY HUSBAND LOVED IT”), they also seem less intimate. I don’t feel like I am cooking side by side with the author. The user reviews (never go past the second page) start to feel like a foodie YouTube comment orgy, full of substitution suggestions and questionable add ons. I lose the foundation too quickly.
I often think of the state of the publishing world and its scramble to keep books in print. I think cookbooks stand a chance. Cooks like to prop up books. We can’t touch IPADS with buttery hands and greasy fingers. Part of what I love about my old cookbooks (especially my mother’s) is their wear. The book’s tomato marks are the stove’s lipstick stains. It’s close. Cooking should always be close. There’s a dialog between the cook and the author. When I don’t cook with recipes (which is what I imagine most to consider the only time I COOK) I feel like a teenager that is testing my boundaries. I don’t feel the same history, the same sense of memory that family recipes pass to me. This is not to say that I don’t like to have fun and experiment with food. For now, I relish the recipe. I don’t find instruction boring or tedious. Rather, I find it to be exactly what it is: instructive. It teaches me what to play with later.
Since the weather is going to turn downright frigid this evening, I think I will cook a beef stew. Last week I cooked a veal stew with olives and orange peels. Most cold nights warrant hearty and rustic meals. Who wants a lean, delicate piece of fish when the wind blows? The ironic thing is I printed the last week’s meal off EPICURIOUS (which has great recipes, if not intimate ones). I have since lost the recipe. Print out recipes are so disposable anyway. While I savor an oil mark in a book, I find a stain on my print out sloppy and worth chucking in the can afterwards.