December 7th, 2001

You must be joking

my winter cooking frenzy

is actually fuelled by spending a lot of time at elflet's, reading cookbooks. (When in Rome....)

So Thursday, being grocery day, I whipped myself into a frenzy reading Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. By the time I left his place, heading for home, I wanted to cook. So I stopped by Whole Foods on the way out, happy, for a change, to trade off the extra east-bound traffic for a romp through one of the best produce departments I have access to.

But Whole Foods in San Ramon is smack next to a Borders Books. I had a medium bookstore accident. (The Hazan book, plus Puerto Rican Cuisine in America.)

So I bought food. Driving home, I considered what to cook first. When I noticed that I was juggling three or four recipes in my head, I realized this was enough food for me for something like three days. Bad. Must find someone to feed.

So I called up my vet in Stockton, with whom I've socialized in the past. She is busy separating from her husband, but was evidently happy to come to dinner, even if it was on four hours notice. I had a lot of fun cooking, and we drank what felt like a great deal of wine (but proved to be a half-bottle or so) and nattered away pretty late, considering it was a work night and she had to be in the clinic by eight.

Menu:
Hard-Boiled Eggs with Green Sauce. (I would call it "deviled eggs, Italian-style", since the yolks are seasoned with parsley, capers, and anchovy fillets. Salty. Yum!)
Roast Chicken with Two Lemons. (That's about all there is to it. Insanely delicious, too.)
Romaine Salad with Walnuts and Gorgonzola. (I've always thought gorgonzola cheese smelled like old socks. Why would anyone want to eat the stuff? Because it doesn't taste like that, silly. Inspired in part by a reading of The Cheese Course, I resolved to try at least one cheese I hadn't had before. Yum!)
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You must be joking

for me no letup, a fizzing human bomb

Nothing like staying up until 5am for no good reason to throw schedule, mood, and all thoroughly out of sorts. I actually did wake up at 9am -- who knows how -- and gave myself permission to crawl back into bed. Finally pried myself out at 1pm, telling myself that even if CNet hadn't called, perhaps someone had sent me email, so I had better get up and check it. Nope, no email.

This is, I think, the despair that is the flip side of the hubris. It's manifesting as a profound sensation of powerlessness, inability to effect any change whatsoever. It renders every undone thing that comes to mind into a mocking reminder of my inability to do, well, anything useful, and renders anything I *do* do instantly invisible. (You did the dishes? Yeah, so what? The kitchen's still a mess, and what are you going to do with this not-on-your-diet fruit that last night's guest brought over? -- That kind of dialog.)

Of course, I am the worst possible sort of company in this frame of mind.
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