Self feeling restless this morning. Up since 4, she spent the last few hours grading papers. At 7 a.m., she finally decides to give snoring hubby a sharp poke in the ribs: “Let’s eat at The Cheesecake Factory.” Hubby, even when asleep, always responds on cue: “Where’s that?” Self responds: “University Avenue.” Hubby says: “Can’t. Cheese gives me a bad stomach. I’m lactose intolerant.”
Yesterday, conversing with Dear Cuz in Virginia, self elicited her thoughts on a dish she discovered in Philippine cookbook Galing Galing, by Nora and Mariles Daza (“Pepitoria II”, but since no one read that post self kindly deleted it — instructions involved decapitating live chicken, perhaps that was not the best choice of subject for the weekend before Thanksgiving). Somehow, self found herself blurting out this provocative statement: “I’m fat.”
Cuz protested: I’ve never seen you fat. You can’t be fat.
Self: Was I fat last year? That time you picked me up from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts?
Self: Well, I’m fat this year. Must be from all the teaching.
What self loved about VCCA was that it had a pool. And this pool was for the most part empty (good, otherwise self would have been too embarrassed to shimmy around in a bathing suit). So, self actually emerged from her residency thinner, and with a tan.
But this time of year is terrible, for in addition to the fact that self is still teaching (three more weeks to go!), self finds all these wonderful food suggestions popping up on all the blogs. For instance, on Slashfood, Emily Matchar writes an amusing post (“sweet potato foam with marshmallow-scented air. You’ve crossbred your own heirloom turkey” etc etc) about an “Elitist Thanksgiving” (see food blog Endless Simmer):
a cheese course with a cheese so rare you can’t even read about it in English. Then on to capon, the precious, coddled castrati brother of the chicken. Pair that with an ethical fois gras, from the liver of geese that have gorged themselves into liver disease with no urging from man. Finish with sweet potato souffle and cocktails made with $6,000 liquour and passionfruit syrup
There is also the “Martha Stewart Ultimate Thanksgiving Menu,” which Matchar describes as “the kind of feast that would be best served at your country home in Connecticut in the company of your fellow Mayflower descendants.”
And self must admit that at one time she did really love Martha (last year). She wanders over to Martha’s site and peruses the menu, which starts with roasted sweet potato soup with curried apples (Alas, self does not find the idea of curried soup even remotely appetizing), but looking at the instructions for the fabulous browned turkey she has on her home page, self thinks she can actually rise to the occasion and produce herbed butter, but who is she kidding? Last year, self dragged home the Mother of All Roasting Pans from Williams Sonoma, and other than look at it she hasn’t yet managed to call up the energy to plunk a turkey on its wonderful non-stick grill rack. Son is coming home and there is nothing in her fridge, only a 4-lb. loaf of turkey breast that she bought from Costco weeks ago, that she wouldn’t eat even if it were bathed in gravy. But she ought to get at least a pie! She hates pumpkin, but there’s apple pie everywhere! She could go to Baker’s Square, or Draeger’s, or Ann’s Coffee Shop in Menlo Park, or even to Costco for one of those two-feet in circumference pies that no one except self will eat . . .
This morning, self attempts to amuse herself with The New Yorker. And right after the “Now Playing” section is a full-page ad for Gourmet.com:
Gourmet’s Favorite Cookies: 1941- 2008
The most amazing recipe from each year
Aaargh, it’s too much! Simply too much!
Self must now drag herself back to the grading. Stay tuned.