We’ve been spending many weekends with Charlotte at Oma and Opa’s house. They’ve decorated for Christmas, a concept Charlotte doesn’t quite get (does she know what a year is? And that Christmas comes every year?), but she likes the festivity, all the pretty lights. Here, they’ve decorated with pears, pomegranates, and pine cones.
There’s been a lot of chicken and saffron-flavored rice dinners, made from a spice blend from the Portuguese markets and lentil soup (a recipe I’m working on). Here’s what else I’m cooking and reading this week:
This was one of the better books I’ve read in 2016. I’m seeing it pop up on a lot of end-of-year book lists, and it really warrants the attention. I liked her depiction of glazed motherhood, bundling love and loss of productivity and identity, her representation of the creeping isolation weaponized by domestic abusers, her sense of time and urgency (or not) in unfolding the story. And, it’s a book I simply enjoyed the process of reading. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
“Because the other way wasn’t working. The waking up just to get the day over with until it was time for bed. The grinding it out was a disgrace, an affront to the honor and long shot of being alive at all. The ghost-walking, the short-tempered distraction the hurried fog.”
“I wake up in a sweat, ditched, a monster gutted of both softness and strength, of every good quality I ever possessed. The next morning I return to my daily life, which is just a mock-up of daily life because of my secret shame: I’ve been reduced to a thing that misses Ivy.”
“My husband. As soon as he wakes up, he jumps right out of bed, showers, and gets fully dressed. Tucks in his shirt, puts on a belt. He never steps out of a cab until the driver has finished telling his story. We still sleep in a queen-size bed because our first night in a new king he said he felt too far away, and we sent it back. He does the Friday and Saturday crosswords in pen. He’s my answer man. How many cups in a quart? How long would it take to drive to Yellowstone? What’s Zaire called now, or is it called Zaire now but used to be something else? Even better? He puts up with my crap without seeing it as crap.”
This last one I found amusing because I see so much of David in this description, too.
Here’s what I’m cooking this week:
Sunday: Saffron rice with chicken
Monday: Lentil-bacon soup with Brussels sprouts
Wednesday: Red wine-braised chicken with chorizo and chickpeas
Thursday: Rigatoni with Brussels sprouts, lemon, leek, and shrimp
Friday: Sweet potato Thai coconut soup with garlic bread (make sure you season the soup with salt & pepper)