Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Bliss for Now

We woke up to snow. The really swirly, blustery kind.

This can be a good or bad thing. Today? Way, way good. We had nowhere to be. We require at least one Home Day per week. This was it, baby.

Ruby spent the morning in her gymnastics leotard. I spent mine in all fleece, all the time.

 Before long, we were in a state of utter disarray.

And there was nuttin' good for lunch.

About lunch: I'm getting pickier and pickier about it. I can roll with the punches, but I really prefer not to. I'm good with a turkey sandwich. Left-overs. Etc... We had none of the above. The kids were going to have chicken nuggets with a sickening amount of ketchup. I just couldn't bear it.


So I fed them, then put some soup on for Mama while Silas finger-painted with his yogurt.

As the soup simmered, I decided that a grilled Muenster and avocado sandwich would be the perfect companion. But I was afraid that the kids might somehow know that grilled Muenster and avocado trumps frozen nuggets. It was a risk I wasn't willing to take. So I waited.

It was all rather accidental.

But the closer we got to nap-time, the more badly I needed to take myself out to lunch.

I used proper dishes and sat at the table. Not the desk. Not the couch. The plastic fold-up table. Because I'm worth it. (said in my best L'Oreal spokesmodel voice-over) I ignored the unfolded laundry and the books strewn across the floor and the hanging upside-down doll.

On a lark, I grabbed My Father's Daughter off the library pile and settled in.

I have a strange fascination with Gwyneth. She somehow comes across as both friend-next-door and snob-o-rama. Won't the real Gwynnie P. please stand up? Please stand up?

I'm intrigued by her past relationships. I remember when I was in college and she had her cool-as-snot short hair and Brad Pitt proclaimed her his "angel". That seems like it could be a little intimidating for any/all following suitors. Hold on, I'll ask Cory.

FPFG: Honey, would you be intimidated if Brad Pitt once called me "his angel" in a magazine interview?
CMB: (laughs)
FPFG: Ferreal.
CMB: Nope.
FPFG: Nope?
CMB: Why would he say that?
FPFG: IF I DATED HIM BACK IN THE DAY AND HE SAID THAT. WOULD IT BE WEIRD?
CMB: Ohhhh!
FPFG: So?
CMB: I would expect him to say that if he dated you.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried, people. Not the weird confused part or the really sweet part.

I still think it would be weird though. I'm sticking to it. What say you, Ben Affleck? (I'm not ashamed to say it: I own Bounce on dvd.) Luke Wilson? (I like the guy. I just do. He's down-homey.)

Remember the pink Ralph Lauren Oscar gown that she rocked sans unnecessary uh... padding. I gotta tell you, I was endeared.

But then there was the whole BFF with Madonna thing. And the fake British accent thing. And the Shallow Hal thing.

I was torn.

Am torn.

Until round about 1:10 today.

I liked her book. She loves food and she's passionate about feeding her family well. She seemed really normal and mostly relatable and I liked all of her white shirts and yes, she's got very toned arms and now, I'm happy to report to her and you and the rest of the world that I am her new secret, pretend BFF!

Step off, Madonna.

I did have one concern, and it's important. She never, ever, not a single time, mentioned her husband, Chris. This is not good, Gwynnie. Not good at all. Why can't he be a "heart of your artichoke", along with Apple and Mosey? There's room for one more. Right? Hasn't he written songs for you? Didn't he rap about your boobs when you were pregnant??

(They are still together - right? Have I somehow missed an important link on the chain of her love life? Yes, I could Google it. But I trust you more.)

Anyway, Gwyn. We can discuss this further the next time you have me over for your warm tuna nicoise salad.

Mario Batali writes in the forward of her book:
And when the food, and its preparation, becomes so much more than mere nourishment, when it becomes entertainment and folly and libidinal pleasure all rolled into one thing? At that point every meal, every snack, every shared moment of sustenance can be a celebration.

Sitting there clanking my spoon against the bowl in the relative peace and quiet of that solitary hour, I couldn't have possibly agreed more. Except about the libidinal pleasure part, because that's just taking the food thing too far.

 :: :: :: ::


FPFG's Quick-Lunch Soup
Saute garlic and chopped onion in a little warm olive oil.
Add some chicken stock or broth and one can of Italian diced tomatoes.
Throw in some dried basil and oregano and black pepper.
Bring to a boil and add some pasta. The bow-ties are prettier, I'm not gonna lie.
Cook until pasta is soft (I overdid it a bit today) then add a can of rinsed Canellini beans.
Top with grated parm.

I prefer to throw in something green like fresh spinach, zucchini, kale, etc... But desperate times call for desperate quick-lunch soup. It was still very good.