101 in 1001 {II}: 038 cook with 12 ingredients I’ve never used before [ongoing]

01: jicama. no contemporary record remains of the jicama salad i made a few months ago, which is just as well. i found a tweet in which i hoped i'd be as good at cooking with jicama as i am at eating jicama, but that's it (and, as it happens, i wasn't). i first ate it, sliced into sticks and punched up with lime juice, at a fancy dinner party at our eating club in college; i think i prefer that mandoline-free iteration to the one i prepared a month or two ago, for i was in constant fear of losing knuckles and/or maiming one of the cats with that wicked blade. this slaw was tasty - it just wasn't worth the peril, know what i mean?

02: honewort. it breaks my heart that central park might not yield honewort and wild onions again until next spring; the delicately zingy risotto i made with them back in may still haunts me. i might have to take another foraging tour this fall for more dinner inspiration; fresh mystery greens (especially these, which were light and seasonal and just a bit mysterious - i guess that's the taste of the park) are good stuff.

03: kale. while i sometimes wish i had a few more years to be pre-thirty,* i think i hit the sweet spot, agewise, vis-a-vis the internet: it was pokey enough when i was a high school model UN nerd that we weren't expected to have up-to-the-minute information in security council (blech, we'd never have slept), but the whole online recipe gold rush happened just in time for me to get out of college and start cooking on my own. how did people know what to do with kale in the nineties? me, i saw rachel's post on pasta with kale, lentils & caramelized onions and was set. the lentils and onions give the kale a sweet, deep flavor, and the kale's texture balances out the squoosh of the other ingredients. i've used both flat leaf and dinosaur kale and prefer the flatter stuff, i think, though both are tasty (and how often does the word dinosaur come up in non-chicken-nugget-related food conversations? not often enough, obviously); i recommend a sharp parmesan and a bit of lemon juice at the end, if you've got it.

on tap this evening or tomorrow, from the farmer's market at my office: jerusalem artichokes. i think i've eaten them a grand total of once in my life (at a potluck thanksgiving a few years ago); any pointers or favorite recipes, o internets?

*though i don't want to be a twentysomething again, god. i'm still working on the math, is what i'm saying.


it is a truth universally acknowledged, that an antsy woman in possession of a large pile of sunbrella fabric sample-scraps, must be in want of an upcycling project. my head has been full of rachel's delicate fabric flowers (and the real ones that pop up on her blog on fridays), so i adapted a ribbon rosette video tutorial and made these guys.

recycled fabric roses

(please excuse the questionable craft photography; it needs work, i know.)

fun, no? each one has a reasonably realistic stem as well: i created a bud with wrapped florist tape and then spiraled on down to a length of wrapped wire for each. i've been destroying my fingers on them over the past few days, as i think they'd be interesting decorations for an apartmentwarming party (still unscheduled - we're still trying to set a date to close on the apartment purchase - but inspirational anyway). the mysterious black octagon beneath them is the van amburgh stool* we spirited home from brooklyn (and the excellent warehouse sale at the future perfect) yesterday; it's the first piece of outdoor furniture we've ever owned. i think the roses femme up the stool's lion tamer vibe a bit (and since they're made of formidable fabric, i don't have to worry about fading). it feels good to make things, internets.

*athletically discounted, mind you.


it's hard to transition from talking about our little cat to talking about, well, anything else; many other things have happened in the past week, but i can't say that i care much about them right now. we finally interviewed with the co-op board on wednesday and on friday they let us know that we were approved, so we're circling in on our new apartment; the best thing about that, at present, is that the logistics of closing the deal and of populating our new space with things are very distracting. i've developed weird but probably harmless fixations on spray painting picture frames and hoarding old pendleton blankets. i spin sofa sections around like tetris blocks in my head. i hatch plots to lure birds up to our windows on the eighteenth floor - but that's for the little cat again.

joe and i are more alike than i'd realized, and in the first few days after jude died we behaved a bit like one person. i hate that our family shrank, but i admit that it was comforting to feel thrown together in the contraction. chuck wedges himself between us as he always has. we move together.

09.10.09: jude, 2001-2009

set the warp drive for FUZZY FEET

i loved him so much.