Borrowing my mother-in-law’s kitchen has me a little out of sorts. My once strategically organized supplies that allowed me to whip up obscene quantities of cookies, bread or a cake in no time at all are now sitting in boxes in the living room. I know I have baking powder somewhere, ditto with the yeast and the ground cloves, but the precise location alludes me as does the space to put anything once I pull it out of the boxes. Le sigh.
Seriously, we are incredibly lucky (and grateful) to be crashing in Chris’ mom’s house for the next few months and despite the obstacles, its time to get ready for my favorite baking season of the whole year and the last one I’ll have in the States for awhile, which makes it extra-special. The pumpkin-flavored whoopie pies, cinnamon rolls, and ice cream around the internet have me inspired and today I bought not one, but two cans of pumpkin puree that I am determined to use for something delicious by the end of the weekend.
Things are looking up on the non-baking culinary front as well. Chris and I have finally come to grips with the fact that our closest neighbor is no longer the grocery store. It was glorious while it lasted, especially for spontaneous (ok, lazy) people like ourselves. At our old place, we could literally start sauteeing some onions and garlic, run out of garlic, go buy more, and have it in the pan before the onions were even translucent. Those were the days, but we are moving on and ready to start cooking for real again. The fabulous waiters at the Diner won’t know what hit them.
And so we stocked up today on staples from (this is sort of embarrassing) 3 grocery stores and a farmer’s market. Chris was inspired by the amazing pork dish we had at Cork last night and splurged on a tenderloin that he will undoubtedly do something awesome to. I bought a 4lb bag of flour and we restocked our supplies of Sesame oil, black vinegar, and chile oil from Great Wall wayyy out there in suburbia land.
Which means…its dumpling night tonight. When its cold and rainy there’s nothing better and so its sesame oil wishes and dumpling dreams tonight, baby. Dumplings are (one) of the reasons I’m able to make peace with my lack of kitchen, because it means we are really leaving, really going to China-land of dumpling goodness. Its worth noting here that Chinese dumpling-pushers sell their wares by the ounce, not unlike crack dealers I suppose.*
This has been a pretty ridiculously random post today** but what I really wanted to share was something I found over on Noelle’s blog (Noelle is a fabulous DC foodie and much better about taking good pictures in restaurants than I am). After my (somewhat pathetic & romantic) post on writing the other day, this quote she posted really struck me and I thought maybe someone else would like it too:
I can’t really explain what happens when, as an artist, you get that message from the inside that says “time to make another one.” One day you’re sitting around, living off the fat of the land, and then as if from out of nowhere, it taps you on the shoulder. The slate goes shiny and clean. Those colors come back – it all starts as colors – then moods, then settings, then sounds, then words. And churning beneath that the entire time is the doubt; doubt that you’ll find the rhyme, doubt that you’ll ever connect that verse with that chorus, doubt that you have anything left to say that matters.
I live for that streetfight, though. The knock-down drag-out anything-goes battle between what you have in your hands and what you *think* you might possibly have in your mind but have no proof of. But when you win, man… look out. There’s nothing better. Why go back at it so soon? Because I suck at everything else and I hate being reminded of it.
If you think we writers do what we do for anything else than patching up voids, you’re mistaken. It’s all void putty. Take away the guitars and the songs, and my life story becomes completely unremarkable.
– John Mayer
*ok so I don’t actually know a thing about crack but I’m pretty sure all addictive substances (dark chocolate, dumplings, really nice lotion) are sold by the ounce.
**I’m writing this at Bourbon coffee actually. Which isn’t important except that I’ve been wanting to try their individual drip coffee for weeks now and you know what? Its really, really good. Plus, its fair-trade-BIG score. And, the motives, the purpose, and the story behind it makes it an even better local choice for coffee.