Stop. No, seriously. Stop everything you’re doing. What are you eating for lunch today? Are you going to one of those delis that will put whatever you want in the salad and mix it with some mysterious, better-not-closely-considered dressing in a squeeze bottle and charge you $10? (Is this a NYC thing, or do they have these everywhere?)(Further, have I waded so far into the NYC bubble that I no longer know what people outside it eat for lunch?) Well, I want you to take a good long look at it and repeat after me: No more deli salads.
I usually try to shield you from examples of my various forms of Crazy, but in this case, it’s just too relevant not to own up to. You see, I’ve got all sorts of superstitions about pies, with each and every harebrained theory derived from some near or actual pie disaster in my past.
This is one of those dishes where I want to tell you to stop everything and make these right now, but then I remember that I already said that this week, last week, the week before and a few other times in between. If I keep saying this, I’ll be like the girl who cried … cook! and nobody will take me seriously when a truly transcendent recipe comes across this page. Like today. So let’s just suffice to it so that this is a frighteningly good recipe and an excellent way to handle the early spring disappointment of a farmers’ market providing you nothing but onions and tubers. Instead you can caramelize shallots!
If there is any singular advantage of having a Cook This list with bullets numbering into the hundreds, its that one always has an idea of what can be done when they finally make it to the Union Square Greenmarket on the most stunning, spring-like Sunday one has seen since forever only to find that it was not filled with the ramps and leafy things of one’s spring Greenmarket fantasy but onions and potatoes as far as the eye can see. [One can also write the longest sentence ever.]
Every morning, I wake up and I have to remind myself that it is not spring yet. I push past all of the cute spring clothes I’ve overeagerly purchased and reach for one of the sweaters and lined pants I swear I have worn ten hundred thousand times since September and I was tired of them then: It’s not spring yet. I read food blogs from people in Paris and San Francisco, fawning over the new strawberries and colorful produce at their farmers’ markets and go to ours and see the same cabbage and potatoes (though I’m crossing my fingers for ramps today) as before: It’s not spring yet. And I honestly don’t know why I would expect to be spring in the first week of April when it is never spring in New York during the first week of April but still, I have never been more impatient for the world to warm up around me.
What’s on your list? You know, the running one you keep in your head, in a series of Post-It notes spread across all surfaces of your life, or if you are particularly
scary kooky, on a spreadsheet? Me, I’ve got several lists. There’s the Apartment Want This list, because, oh, how I covet the home furnishings; the Go Here list, which holds my in- and outside NYC destination dreams; the Read This list, which I pretty much avoid, and the Listen to This list with all of the music I would like to download and shake my booty arrhythmically to were I not fascistly opposed to DRM.
Last month, en route to a cousin’s baby shower in Connecticut, my mother, sister and I realized that we needed a new envelope for the card we’d brought and swung into a strip shopping mall which housed a crafts store. I ran in to buy one, and found myself smack dab in front of something so mind-blowingly awesome, it took me nearly a minute to remember to breathe: as if I couldn’t love her any more, Martha Stewart apparently has a line of crafts products, and people, if there are two things I’m powerless in the face of, it’s a rack that contains not one, not two, but eleven different types of crafts glue and their doyenne. That I walked out of the store that day with not a single MSC product is nothing but a testament to my refuse-to-overstuff-my-tiny-apartment willpower, but it’s been three weeks now, and still, almost every other worth that breathlessly escapes my lips sounds like MonkeyPartyinaBox! or PaperBagPuppetKit! I am nothing if not a sensible, level-headed individual.