Tag Archives: pasta

Beating the Heat.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but New York is having a bit of a heat wave at the moment. My apartment wasn’t designed for maximum air-flow, and, as a result, it’s so stuffy in there that I’ve been eating most of my meals on a tray in the bedroom, as close to my sole window-unit as possible.

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The kitchen is the hottest room in the place, so I’ve obviously been doing as little cooking as humanly possible. (When that much sweat involved, it’s hard enough to motivate to eat, let alone turn on a couple of burners.) One can only stand so many makeshift meals, though, and a few nights ago I hit the tipping point. I wanted a real dinner, dammit.

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Family Therapy.

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of my father’s death. Part of me can’t believe it’s been five years; the other part of me can’t believe it’s only been five years: It feels like yesterday, and an eternity ago. When my phone rings on Friday afternoons, I still half-expect him to be on the other end of the line, wishing me a happy Friday — as he did every week, pretty much, from when I left for college until he went into the hospital that final time. When I hung pictures in my apartment a few days ago, I heard his voice telling me to measure twice and hammer once; when I found a note on the back of one of those prints, in his inimitable handwriting, with birthday greetings for a year with “a pure silver lining,” I cried as if I’d lost him all over again. The enormous, overwhelming unfairness of it still just floors me.

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I miss him, every day. Not as brutally as I did those first couple of years, and for that I’m grateful, but the ache is constant. I’m usually alone on his yahrzeit — previously, I’ve marked the occasion with too many martinis and/or Manhattans — but this year, my mother and I spent the weekend together at the beach. I hope it’ll be a new tradition.

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Run Reward.

Last Sunday, before I went for my first run in months, I pulled a few cookbooks off of my shelves, determined to finally make good on those damn New Year’s resolutions.

Though I’d acquired Andrew Carmellini’s Urban Italian during my last visit to Portland two years ago (!), I’d barely glanced at it since that first desultory perusal. That day, though, as I flipped through the pages, this rigatoni Pugliese practically demanded to be realized, and from that point on, it was game over.

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Pause.

It’s been one of those weeks.

Lots and lots of work, lunch inhaled in-office, at-desk, usually consisting of some combination of various leftovers; dinners have included a hastily plated hunk of cheese with a  smattering of crackers, takeout sushi, and even more leftovers.

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I’m still working through that massive pot of orzo with herbs from the other night, and, honestly, I’m thisclose to being incapable of facing a plate of the stuff ever again.

The incarnation I came up with today wasn’t half-bad, though.

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Can’t Take the Heat.

Have I mentioned lately that there’s a decided lack of air-conditioning in my apartment? We do have two less-than-effective box fans that, until the heat and humidity rolled in this week, had proven sufficient for this strange summer’s rain and cooler temperatures, but even with those factors working in my favor, I haven’t been able to bring myself to turn on the stove for more than a few minutes at a time.

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I recognize that this hardly resembles a unique position, given that it’s August and all, but Gourmet’s editors seem to be right there with me. The current issue’s last page is devoted to no-cook pasta sauces; I immediately added one based around garbanzo beans to my list of recipes to try. It took about twenty minutes to throw the whole thing together, and, while it wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever eaten, it was good enough that, with a few alterations, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it as a quick and easy summertime meal.

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