Saturday, July 24, 2010

Jurraisic Jerk with a Side of Slaw

I have a confession to make.

Over the last year, chicken has become less and less appetizing to me. I still cook it weekly for dinner but a slow ever growing repulsion resides in my tummy.


Well, one day when I was looking at a live chicken, I realized that chickens look like baby dinosaurs. That thought promptly spiraled into the notion that dinosaurs are related to lizards.

I don't want to eat a lizard OR a baby dinosaur but when I eat chicken I am kind of doing that (give or take a few evolutions across the millenniums).

I shared this culinary crisis with my husband. He looked at me, vaguely smiled and returned to his book. A talent that has kept our marriage afloat for twenty years.

Today I checked out the weekly update on the beloved blog Blue Kitchen. I love the way Terry writes about food and his recipes rock. Please check his blog out - it's listed to the right in my blog roll.

I dove into the archives and read his first post (November 1, 2006). It's a lovely commentary on a dish called Chicken and Wine. In the post, he makes a light hearted reference to the theory that the chicken is a distant relative to the dinosaur. My heart stopped. I then went online to learn more.

The arguments are never ending. But that's a good thing. Because it leaves me with a sliver of hope that the chicken was God's only attempt at intelligent design.

Case closed.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Merging and Purging

When you move out of the City, you do a lot of driving.

When we moved to Strawberry Fields, I made a point of living right in the village so I could walk to the grocery, bakery, deli, and train station.

But the cold hard reality is that my car is now my bed fellow. And sometimes it feels like I'm waking up to a huge frat boy with Saturn LW1 stamped across his butt and I don't know how I got here. When we lived in the East Village, I never used the car. It was an object that I gladly let my husband take gender control over. Well times have changed. EVI must acclimate to this brave new four wheelin' world as she watches dust gather on her ancient red bike that could out pace the M8 bus as it rumbled across downtown.

For two weeks, I've been dropping Ben off at Rockn'Roll day camp, located in a town about fifteen minutes north of us. This commute involves merging onto a a major highway during rush hour traffic.

I HATE HATE HATE merging into major NYC bound rush hour traffic.

I feel like I'm crashing a party I'm not invited to. I feel like I'm being forced to be intimate with a stranger who may or may not
slow down
speed up
move into another lane

This is not a forgiving group of people. They go this route every day and could do it with their eyes closed (some do). There is no time for chivalry or politeness or hand holding the novice commuter (moi). The only thing that sustains me are the lessons I learned as a college student working for the Motor Vehicle Department one summer.
Most New York drivers:

cannot read
cannot speak English
cannot see

That's gotta put me in the top 50 percentile. Right?

On another note entirely, it seems like a death wave passed over my circle of friends and family in the last few weeks. No relatives passed on but friends of relatives. And the reaction has been interesting. My good friend's sister passed away and he is purging his home of stuff he should have dumped ages ago. My mom's good friend died, now she is purging her home of decades of stuff. It made me take a brutal assessment of my apartment and start tossing too.

Clearing the decks, purging the useless crap that we spent years assigning emotional value the magazine with George Harrison on the cover only the cover got ripped off two years ago in our old apartment and the front page is now page 20.

Purging is useful. As long as you keep the finger down your throat a metaphor.

Friday, July 02, 2010

First Steps

Last weekend we hosted our first official guest at our home in the woods. His name is Lucas and he is twelve years old.

It was a maiden voyage for both of us. He had never been away from his family for two nights in a row and I had not hosted someone at my home for two days in a row in years. My NYC pad was just too small. We were both a little nervous and a little excited to be taking this first step.

Lucas is Ben's life long friend. They met when they were both about one and crawling all over the playground at Tompkin's Square Park. Lucas and his family moved to Strawberry Fields from the East Village seven years ago but we always kept in touch. Now we are neighbors which is a blessing I am continually grateful for.

Both boys couldn't have been happier. They went hiking, canoeing, shooting off rockets that got stuck in tall trees, swimming and generally goofing off. His parents came to retrieve him on Sunday afternoon.

Several hours earlier a feeling of terror set into my bones.

Okay. Lunch for three children and three adults (my husband had to work that day). This should be no problem. I am actually known to be a pretty decent self taught cook. My husband and son raved about my meals -- as do my friends and family WHEN I BRING FOOD OVER TO THEIR HOUSE. Suddenly I was making a complete meals for more than my three person tribe.

Lucas and his family are vegetarian so I was careful to construct a weekend menu that he would enjoy. By the time I reached Sunday, I was drawing a complete blank. This meal was different. It was for adults. I didn't have the equipment for a quiche and it felt too hot to grill vegetables.

So I made deviled eggs. And a large colorful salad with a bit of pasta thrown in. And french bread and cheese. And watermelon. And ice cream.

Ice cream is undeniable proof of God.

Of course these guests were so kind that they would have happily eaten a bowl of cheerios with no complaint. By the time all the food was set on the table, I exhaled and my anxiety began to fade. It was replaced with the contentment that comes with good friendship and good food.