With the holidays over and things slowly coming back to normal, I want to get back into the habit of blogging more regularly again. So in order to do that, I need to clear out some mental clutter.
Tuesday marked the first day in about two weeks that the temperatures went significantly over the freezing point; when preparing to go out to pick up some bread for dinner, I had steeled myself for the slap of cold I had come to expect when walking outside and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was…mild. I know it’s still early-ish in January and we have a long ways to go until spring, but it’s nice to have a bit of a respite from it for at least a few days.
I have a pile of cookbooks from the holidays, and I’ve already started using them. Gail Simmons’ Bringing it Home has given us some lovely meals, as has Lorraine Pascale’s Everyday Easy. On that note, I really do miss watching her and Rachel Khoo on the Cooking Channel, but whenever I feel that pang of regret that I don’t have access to that channel anymore I go to their website, look at their weekend lineup and find that the only thing worth watching are reruns of Good Eats. Regardless, I’m happy I have cookbooks from both of these women on my shelf, so now I can spend my Saturday mornings browsing them rather than pining for BBC shows of yore. I’m also very, very excited to dive into Marc Vetri’s Making Pasta cookbook because the recipes look fantastic and will likely necessitate some visits to the Lexington Market in order to procure more obscure cuts of meat and offal.
Among my mix of new cookbooks is April Bloomfield’s A Girl and Her Pig, a book that had been on my personal wish list for years. In light of the allegations against her business partner Ken Friedman (and her response to those who complained about it) I’m sorely disappointed in her, but I also understand why she probably kept her head down for so long. Positions of power are far and fleeting for women in the restaurant industry, and having been granted one by some of the most powerful men in the industry carries with it a lot of baggage. There’s a really good article on Refinery29 that was written shortly after all of this came out that is definitely worth reading, and it grapples with the notion of women who either turned a blind eye or even enabled the actions of garbage men.
Doubly problematic was that not only did I get her cookbook, but I also have the latest print issue of Cherry Bombe with her on the cover, a coincidence that was unfortunate in its timing and definitely raised some criticism. As a response, the editors have put out a new digital issue of the magazine titled #86This which compiles the stories of women in the industry who have grappled with harassment and abuse. The stories are difficult to read, but are very necessary right now.
ETA: Also, read this wonderful essay by The Everywhereist Geraldine DeRuiter in which she rage-makes the cinnamon rolls from Mario Batali’s so-called apology email. (Note: that apology email makes Michael Scott’s apology video from the episode “Product Recall” look…good.)
On a lighter note, I’ve found myself highly enjoying the book on hygge I bought late last year–I even went so far as to procure ingredients to make my own batch of homemade bath salts. Of course, this means I’m someone who owns a tiny bottle of essential oil, which makes me feel a little woo-like which I’m not super happy about, but so it goes. Speaking of which, Tim from Lottie and Doof has a pretty great recap of his trip to the ultimate Woo-ville, Moon Juice in LA. Activations ensue!
Our New Year’s Eve party went well, save for one minor fire incident right before most of our guests arrived. I had lit a small candle in our master bathroom, and unfortunately it turned into a fireball and lit a too-close hand towel on fire. Michael took care of it quickly with the fire extinguisher which meant we had to clean EVERYTHING in the bathroom, but aside from a broken sconce, a busted towel rack, and said burnt towel, it could have been much worse. To be completely honest, I never really liked the sconces in there to begin with, so now I have an excuse to shop for a new set. We likely made too much food per usual, but the food we had was pretty delicious. One of the snacks we made was Ed Lee’s candied bacon and curried almonds, which I highly recommend you add to your Super Bowl spread or if you’re having friends over for drinks. We didn’t really do much to alter the recipe–he even says you can use almonds instead of the prescribed cashews in the headnotes–so you can find the recipe here.