1. The weekend. Sometimes, it's good to pause and acknowledge universal truths: spring is beautiful. The moon is beautiful. Weekends are not only beautiful, they are fitting, they are just, and--I think we need to all admit this up front--weekends save lives. Take this weekend, for example. We ate Vietnamese food, saw Damsels in Distress, watched a grandchild's soccer game, took that same grandchild to lunch and bought him a birthday present, admired his awesome prowess in the bounce house, ate Mexican food, and looked at the giant, brilliant moon. Just a few days ago, I was filled with anxiety about whether I would get everything done that needs to be done. Anxiety, the people: synonymous with stress, as I think we can all agree. Stress is a killer. After the weekend, I feel relaxed, confident that I will accomplish all that is necessary, and maybe I also don't really care all that much? Who can say?/same diff. But in either case, thank God for the weekend. Who knows what might have happened to me otherwise.
prerequisite to a
2. Cooking with what's in the house. Running son has a friend. They have been hanging out a lot. Did I say this friend is female? Today when they were exiting the house to go to church, I asked them if they wanted to have dinner with us after church. Sure, they said. So they left and I promptly took a nap, which ended when they returned. What? I said. Luckily, I was able to pull my wits together and make green curry cauliflower with rice, roasted brussels sprouts, salad with a sassy vinaigrette, and cut fresh fruit with mint sugar. And even though, in point of fact, I really didn't have quite enough rice, and the fruit was possibly a little on the worse-for-wear side of the fresh fruit spectrum, it all came off quite beautifully and deliciously. This abundance of surprise provisions, by the way, is a consequence of my being a terrible over-shopper for food. Sometimes this results in tears (over having way too many greens, for instance), but sometimes it results in a delicious dinner. And yay for that.
this is sugar.
this is mint.
3. Mint sugar. Mint sugar is the bomb. You put it on fruit, in judicious amounts, and it makes the fruit both slightly sweeter and quite a bit more refreshing. Here's how it works: you take some fresh mint, stems and leaves. Some people would tell you to remove the leaves from the stems, but I will tell you: not necessary. Because you're going to chop that mint, stems and leaves, until it is fine and finer. I usually take a couple of tablespoons of sugar and put it on the counter with the mint and chop away, because that way the sugar takes in the mint oil in the chopping process. When the sugar basically looks like it is flecked with infinitessimal fragments of green, it is ready to mix with whatever fruit you have cut up. It is brilliant with pineapple. It is piquant with strawberries. Today, I mixed it with cut-up black grapes, blood oranges, and blackberries (previously frozen). And it was--as always--lovely.