It has been almost a year since I told you that I don’t like boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, I never had and I never would. Furthermore, I did not understand the American obsession with them (in sandwiches! on pizza! in pasta! on salad! in 54-packs at Costco!). “They have the texture and excitement of pressed sawdust,” I believe were my exact words, and even though I knew I was in a distinct minority on this, I knew I couldn’t rest soundly until I got it off my chest.
January, 2008 Archive
I suppose there comes a point in every food blogger’s so-called “career” when she posts her favorite chocolate cookie recipe, but I’ve avoided this point for a long time because, does the internet actually need another chocolate chip cookie recipe? 130,000 times no. But, the thing is, I do have a favorite. And sometimes, sometimes when you’re making a heavy meal full of classics that I’ll get to one by one this week, you want to end on a simple–but not too subtle–note. See, this cookie has what we affectionately call “a lot of chocolate to very little dough,” in fact, when you’re folding all of the ingredients together, it seems impossible that so many chocolate and pecan chunks will fit in so little batter, and the best part is that they barely do.
Seeing that it is a whole eleven days into aught-eight, I’m going to stagger a guess that you’re sick of carrot sticks by now. But I don’t want you to feel bad about it. We all hit that wall between our ambition and the reality that being “good” all of the time is no fun from time to time. Hey, some of us walked right past the gym last night and proceeded to go shopping instead. I’m just saying.
I don’t know what has happened to me since we were on vacation in Aruba (what feels like a hundred years ago), but I seem fixated on one food, and one food only: Meat. Yeah, I hardly know me either. How could this have happened? The former vegetarian? The person who considers meat a side dish, and nothing else? She who could live by quiche alone? This road I’m walking down scares me. How long until I start craving Bistro Burgers? Gnawing on the bones of demolished lamb chops, then vacuuming them of their marrow? I’ve always seen carnivorous cravings as a slippery slope.
January is always the time of year when most of us get caught up in the winter produce doldrums, fueled by the dearth of flavorful fruit and the overabundance of hard, starchy vegetables. But I find if I set my mind on citrus, I can carefully sidestep most bouts of Farmers Market Mourning. There are few things teeming with more promise of a sunnier tomorrow than sour-sweet piercing members of the rutaceae family, and I’ve got an archive full of margarita cookies, lemon bundts, orange chocolate chunks, grapefruit loaves and key lime tartlets that should assure you that you need not feel that you are missing out just because the peaches and berries have gone into hibernation.
If you’re like most people at the tail end of this frigid first week of January, you’re likely torn between wanting to “do good” for yourself by cooking healthy foods with your eye on the long-off prize of bathing suit season (no matter how improbable it seems as your fingertips numb after spending only half a block exposed) and wanting to “hibernate” with indulgent food that sticks to your ribs, promising to keep you warm and padded until spring comes, and sadly thereafter.
My first day back to work after New Years started with my laptop flat lining, having to clean the office pantry microwave after my oatmeal blew up in it, finding myself completely and frantically over my head in a new bit of work I personally requested the week before and a wind-tunneled trip to the new Apple store to gaze at the shiny brightness. In short, I had hoped to be gently eased into 2008, but since that wasn’t in the cards for me, I ended it with a dinner of French Toast. What? Tell me that you’re not jealous.