Sometimes you just need things to be easy and uncomplicated. To cap off a long week, you want something familiar. Something simple and delicious. That’s what this chocolate pudding is, just simple. No parfait treatments...Read more
The thing about pizza it’s easy to fall into a toppings rut. You can never go wrong with a good, basic slice of pepperoni with red sauce, but what about when you don’t have any tomatoes or jarred marinara on hand? No sauce? No problem. Open the fridge. You got some jam or fruit butter in there? Now hold on, I’m not suggesting we go all peanut butter and jelly on this pizza, though I did have it once in the ’80s at a place in Pacific Grove, CA. No, this week’s Friday Night Slice is uncured Columbus Genoa salame, mozzarella and fig butter. You get a bit of the sweet from the fruit butter and a little salty from the salame.
Top it after baking with some grated parmesan and a sprinkle of chopped Italian parsley.
Look inside their recipes boxes or the careful cursive recipes on scraps of paper stuck inside other cookbooks and you’ll know their dark hearts. Lists of ingredients, no amounts, sometimes no instructions.
These lies aren’t intentionally meant to deceive. Or to maintain an illusion, like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. These lies are lesser crimes, crimes of omission. But lies nevertheless. Like with my Grandma’s Fried Rice.
The other night Wolf and I were watching House of Cards and talking about Kevin Spacey. We’re doling out the episodes, one per evening rather than gorging on the whole season. When was it that Kevin Spacey broke out? We reckoned it was the trifecta of The Ref, Usual Suspects and Swimming with Sharks that really put him on the map. Two years later, in 1997, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil came out. Now I admit, I haven’t seen this film in years, and really all I could remember about it was that it was set in New Orleans. So I looked it up on IMDB and I haven’t stopped laughing since. Look at that ‘stache!
It turns out Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil was set in Savannah, not New Orleans. Quirky characters walking invisible dogs, antebellum architecture, wrought iron gates, seersucker suits, you can see how my memory might have interchanged the cities after so long. Did my entire opening just get blown up? Well, whatever. We’re still having One Pot Jambalaya with Andouille Sausage.
Once the library was where I went for story hour, sitting in a semi-circle around the librarian, listening enthralled as books were read to us in sing-songy, “everything-is-aaaaahhhhmazing” tones, every sentence curled like a springy ringlet. When I could read on my own, it became a weekly stop for the summer reading program, all the books I’d finished logged in careful large print, each awaiting a star sticker at the end of its row. Later, as a “Volun-teen,” I spent part of the summer in the air conditioned glory of the basement children’s department, shelving books, learning the Dewey decimal system and handing out gold star stickers.
Then, like an old toy left behind, I lost touch with the library as a place of reading pleasure. College will do that to you. The library became a place to study, look up information in the Congressional Record, search articles on microfiche, Xerox stuff and steal kisses in the stacks. You go there when you have to, and for several years, I bought books here and there, without giving the library, college or otherwise, another thought.
Toying with chocolate chip cookie recipes has started something dangerous. It’s not the just having cookies around…it’s the dough. The current wisdom calls for aging the dough in the fridge for 24-36 hours. But unless you hide it in the back of the fridge, it’s impossible not to nibble. And this is only the first go – a chocolate chip cookie with red miso buttercream.