Ok, before our regularly scheduled material I must STOP AND REPORT THIS BREAKING NEWS TRAGEDY:
Yeah, so I was walking out my back door to snap a photo of some books I’d bought and was surprised to find this little guy hanging out on my porch couch. So I screamed, slammed the door and peered out at him, and he peered at me. Then I was all, “awwwww, he’s cute! And harmless! I LOVE RACOONS!” But then he got tired of staring me and started hobbling down the back stairs, all gimpy and slow, and then I noticed his TOTALLY FUCKING MANGLED TAIL. Like, the vertebrates were hanging out. After I picked my jaw up off the ground and willed approximately one million tears back into my tear ducts, I saw his EVEN MORE UNBELIEVABLY MAULED BACK. There were honestly puncture marks and oozing blood and then I panicked and called animal control and was all THERE IS A TOTALLY HELPLESS AND LOVEABLE INJURED ANIMAL BEGGING FOR HELP AT MY BACK DOOR! And the animal control lady was like, “oh, yeah, mauled raccoons. There’s really nothing to be done, he’ll be fine.”
…So I guess that’s the end of my story. There’s really nothing else. Why do I bother?
Alright, hope that oozing blood visual got your appetite ready for some old school French cooking! I had bought a whole chicken intending to do a tutorial on breaking down a chicken, but then realized that I’d need a second pair of hands to do the photos as I was doing the knife work… and since C was off on a mountain bike adventure, it wasn’t in the cards. Instead I busted out Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking that my sister got me for Christmas to see how she’d roast a chicken. Normally I just do my own thing with roasted chicken, but I wanted to try something more traditional. It honestly wasn’t all that different than how I normally prepare it (I skipped the trussing of the chicken since I didn’t have any kitchen twine), I just used about three times any reasonable amount of butter and basted it and rotated it a bunch more. I roasted it with cherry tomatoes, celery, onion, and carrot, and didn’t use any spices, just salt, pepper, and a truckload of butter. Awesome. Made a simple vinaigrette for a spinach salad side, some cheap French bread from Not-My-Restaurant (sometimes you need some variety, goddamnit!) and it was set. As usual I failed to take a decent picture… my appetite always gets in the way of taking time for a nice photo. Oh, well!
Today my Uncle Rob came up for a visit (Hi, Rob!) and we visited our favorite used bookstore, where I discovered (FINALLY) their food writing section… it only took me going there about 30 times previous. I should really have just asked, huh? Well, I’ve been meaning to read more lately but haven’t felt inspired with any of my recent choices- but THESE BOOKS!? What’s better than combining my love of memoirs, food writing, and excessive swearing? Nothing, I think.
Cheesemonger- A Life on the Wedge by Gordon Edgar
Waiter Rant: Thanks for the Tip- Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by Steve Dublanica
The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry- Love, Laughter, and Tears in Paris at the World’s Most Famous Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn
Cleaving- A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession by Julie Powell
Two for the Road- Our Affair with American Food by Jane and Michael Stern
The Tenth Muse- My Life in Food by Judith Jones (Publisher of Mastering the Art of French Cooking)
Damn, if this reading list doesn’t inspire me to cook and write more, I don’t stand a chance… which I think means I could write it off as a business expense!?