Sunday, September 26, 2010

Joe's Coffee

Jittery Jittery Jittery.

I had a small coffee 2 hours ago for the first time in 3 + weeks because of my Mono. I am not better and probably shouldn't have - but I gave in.

coffee in the park


I slept a lot last night, woke up feeling refreshed and thought: Oh! Maybe I am better! I should get coffee!

I got coffee on the only morning when I did not need it at all. Of course.

Stolen Pic of the Great Menu


And now I feel like I'm on some serious drugs. I should have probably had HALF of the small. Or I should have started out with decaf.

This is a feeling I had forgotten existed. Its the reason I used to say: Oh no, coffee is not for me. It makes me feel horrible.

HA! That was before I wasn't desensitized. Maybe I can use this as a good reason to have a more balanced coffee relationship.

Yea right.

But I must say, the coffee was delicious. I got the house blend instead of their "single origin" coffee. (I guess that means its...not a blend).

On another note I loved seeing this old white haired man twirling a football in his had and having a pep talk with his grandson on the lawn in front of me.

They were far away. I tried to zoom my phone camera

Happy, Jittery Sunday in the Park with Caroline

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Rump

One year ago my friend Hanna and I decided to throw a dinner party. We were both inexperienced except for a vegetarian party we had thrown on our summer in Dublin, but she had given me Nigella Express the year before for my birthday so we decided to use a recipe.

Nigella Express: Good Food, Fast 

We chose Steak Slice with Lemon and Thyme thinking it was simple and filling enough.



The ingredients included:
  • 1 rump steak "1 inch thick weighing approx. 1 1/4 lbs"
We are not fervent meat cookers, but we went to Whole Foods with high hopes, "Oh how responsible of us".

We looked through the meat glass case for "Rump". ..Rump, rump, rump.... rummmppp.

No rump.

Knowing what "Rump" means, and NOT seeing it, we were obviously embarrassed to ask the guy behind the counter for... Rump.

"Can I help you girls?"
Me: "Ummmm...." I couldn't.
Hanna: "Yes, umm... do you have" she looked down at our scribbled list one more time just to make sure, "...Rump?"

He laughed. He laughed at us. He didn't even care enough or, maybe, know enough to say: In America we call it "Round Steak". Or "Bottom Round Steak". Which was apparently the problem.

Instead he laughed at us. So, once he pulled himself together, the three of us together decided which American name sounded most like Rump. Or rather, he informed us which cut was from the cow's rump.

Ugh! Nigella! This was even the book's American version! With ounces and Farenheit and pounds!! Whyyyyy did you have to have us embarrass ourselves like that?

Of course, it wasn't a big deeaalll, but it confirmed some more hidden fears I have of food vendors judging me. And, in the end, rump was the toughest meat I have ever tasted in my entire life. Fail Fail Fail.

Mission: Cook Meat

So... I realized that I have not bought meat to cook myself since then.  Just precooked meat, or Organic lunchmeat, or eggs. I eat it out all the time. I was traumatized by the butcher, I guess.

But now that I have left college and real life is upon me- I need to cook meat, apparently.

So at Whole Foods, I avoided human contact/the meat case/butcher, and  I bought the cheapest organic steak that was prewrapped. It was only back at home that I realized it was in fact... bottom round. The Rump had returned.

Tonight I decided to beat it with the bottom of a glass bottle and then marinate it in Apple Cider Vinegar.

I read to do that online.


Then added mustard and put it into a buttered pan over medium heat that already had onions in it. 

Don't know what I'm doing.


My Rump.

My Dinner.

And the meat was still tough.

Learn this lesson, Caroline: Next time, No Rump.

I miss you, Coffee


I am starting to dream of coffee.

I don't know when I am going to be mono-less, so for now I can only have coffee in my dreams.

Cafe Ost

I used to look forward to my coffee when I went to bed at night.

I miss the comfort and the ritual. And I am sorry, but stupid tea does not cut it.

I walk past coffee shops and longingly look in, catching a little whiff.

When I go into a cute place to get food, it takes all my effort to not order a coffee, too.

71 Irving



I miss coffee more than I miss wine.

(some random stock photo)

and that is saying something.

(via http://mymelange.typepad.com)

Ps. If anyone happens to know for a fact that I CAN in fact drink coffee and won't crack my liver, let me know.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Padre Pio

Oof.

I don't know whether it was my first (shaky) whole-chicken-cooking experience, a virus, or something else, but I spent the better part of 4 am - 7 am sitting up holding my stomach believing I was going to throw up everything I ate yesterday.

I was stressing because I already have mono and don't need another taxing thing on my immune system.

And, worrying about what it could be, because I have also had salmonella before. It is NOT a pretty sight or a quick fix.

Not only that, but I had a fever that started around 11 pm last night that continued through the night.

Padre Pio

In my delirious, fevered, nauseous state I started praying randomly to Padre Pio (!?). Where have I heard of Padre Pio? My mother, yes.

I am an ex-religious who still actually does enjoy a little Saint action now and again.

But, it was truly a delirious prayer session. I was lying in my bed with my face in a big plastic mixing bowl in case I threw up- and starting praying.





"Oh Padre Pio. I don't even know why I thought of you at all. But, that must mean that you are coming to me in my time of nauseous need. You are apparently such a magical man. I know if anyone can help me be as non-sick as possible, it is you and your wounded hands. Thank you so much for helping me if you help me. Thank you Padre. Are you Spanish? Why are you helping here helping me? Thanks"

Then I fell asleep as some modern day hallucination of Padre Pio came to me with glasses and then disappeared.

I did, however, wake up tired- but not nauseous.

I wondered if old Pio really did help me. I also drank Kombucha in the middle of the night too... it may have helped.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Lazy Sunday

I decided to do absolutely nothing today in my comfy apartment.



I'm allowed because:

a. It is a Sunday

b. I still have Mono

c. I'm just allowed. Its my life.

d. I did too much for my poor mono-body yesterday

Here is how I spent the day:

Power Breakfast

To fuel a day of sitting on my couch.

Vacuum

I vacuumed my couch so I could sit on a clean couch.

Attempted Nap

didn't work.


Lunch!



Another Attempted Nap


again, no success

(Snack Instead)

Then, Granola Project


I made it. And I ate it.

Now look how fancy I am going to pretend to be:

Decided to take the Lazy Sunday to the next level and made myself tea, even though tea is Dumb. I repeat: TEA IS DUMB.

"Tazo Honeybush": tea that doesn't have caffeine. Even more pointless. But pointless is the point, right? 

Back of the tea:


And so contemplate I did. I decided to change my blog design.


fancy and dumb



As I got my pointless tea and granola ready, Pandora played this song for me, and then I cried. So I am going to share it with you.




Also, I am now cooking a chicken, but I forgot to defrost it so a story will most likely follow. (edited 3 years later: I threw up from bad chicken)

I plan on doing light yoga but I'll probably fall asleep first.

Happy, Lazy Sunday bitches.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Two Fat Ladies

Excuse me while I take way too long to get to the point.

Cafe Orlin

My favorite restaurant is really far from me, now that I live on the UWS where all the old people and babies live.


And tonight I traveled far and wide to eat at my favorite restaurant only to have obnoxious, high junkies sit down at the table behind me and my friend, and yell the N word to passing cabbies, and bang the table demanding their food to the waitress.

It was a junkie date between a high man and woman. Druggies in Love, if you will. Could be an Oscar Winner.

He was actually a nice and accommodating junkie, and he tried to calm her down, but she was just a racist bitch.

In any event, my Middle Eastern Lamb sandwich was served with a little stress on the side. And I have no pictures.


Bad Travel Decisions

I am not comfortable yet with how deserted it is at night on the Upper West Side. Even on a Saturday night. All the families asleep in their beds, or drinking pointless tea. The deserted sidewalks are unnerving after living in the East Village for 4 years, where it truly never sleeps.

I considered taking a cab, because I still have Mono, but that would truly be about $ 20 + and I want to wait until I have had one too many wine glasses and its 2 pm - when my cab inhibitions will be down, which unfortunately is bound to happen often enough.

So I responsibly hopped on an express A train thinking deliriously "Oh it will take me to 96th". No. No it took me to 125th, which is fine, but I was honestly too tired and delirious and scared of Harlem to deal with it. Or do deal with it rationally, at least.

Get a new hat
 
Some youngish man that I frantically asked to tell me where the train was going was smiling at me and trying to chat me up after I yelled "Shiiittt!" in the subway. Maybe he was being totally normal and I just can't deal with humans, but at that point I was deliriously about to cry through my half-closed, exhausted mono-eyes. This was not the time for subway love-connections.

But you know what else? He was wearing some weird baby-blue hiking hat on the subway at night, so I don't feel bad being skittish/cold/exasperated.

Something like this:
MiraCool Ranger Cooling Hat

Buy it if you want, I don't care.

So then I got on an A express going back downtown, like an idiot, which passed my stop again. And then waited with my eyes closed, clutching onto my bag, for a local going up to 86th.

Living Alone

I live in a very nice area so I need to just shut up. But I still envision the karate kicks I could give to someone's jaw if they dared to ask me for directions. I have never tried out any of my moves, but I am frighteningly confident about them as I powerwalk down deserted UWS sidewalks.

The Point:

This post, however, is not about subways or druggies or dinner or hiking hats. It is about Two Fat Ladies.

I got home after all this thinking I would fall into bed, but instead I grabbed my Coconut Oil Popcorn that I made earlier, sat on the couch, turned the TV on to the Cooking Channel, and started to stress eat.

But then a magical thing happened: The weirdest show I have ever seen revealed itself to me.

The Two Fat Ladies



Has ANYONE seen this before? It is truly the most amazing thing. I can't tell if they realize how funny they are. They must. Right?

The smaller of the two was cooking quails and kept calling them "Creatures".

I love them.

Because I am such a thorough researcher I have learned from Wikipedia that :

"The recipes were gleaned from an older time and tradition when ingredients like rendered fat and drippings were used as well as raw eggs and unpasteurised milk products. They emphasised the importance of using fresh ingredients of the very best quality, eschewing supermarkets for farms and roadside markets."

I love them.

If only I could get over my fear of farmers markets.

So "Goodnight". Enjoy your freaking Saturday night, everyone. I will sit here procrastinating bed even though I need it more than ever, sitting here in a hunched position writing about "food" and "fat ladies" as I become one myself sitting on my couch, sick, and depressed on a Saturday night.

Goodnight Popcorn. Goodnight slow mush. Goodnight Two Fat Ladies whispering hush.

Friday, September 17, 2010

HomeMade Gibson Granola

Tonight I saw Easy A with my friend Danielle. I keep her as a friend because she is one of my only 10 blog readers. Also, she is nice.

I got a warning text before we met up that I would be "flabbergasted when I saw the quality snacks [she] brought for [us]". Yessssssss.

She brought Organic Whole Foods Popcorn in a ziploc, a chocolatey snack bar for herself, mini peppermint patties (to cleanse the palate I guess), and homemade granola. She even gave me my own little tupperware container.



Homemade Gibson Granola Recipe



Oats
Wheat Germ
Sunflower Seeds
Walnuts
Peanuts
Almonds
Unsweetened Coconut
Cinnamon
Honey
vanilla

Mix it up, put it in the oven, eat it.

If I said any of this wrong, forgive and correct me Danielle.

Ps. Danielle's Granola is delicious. I love every ingredient and it has the perfect hint of sweetness. And not only because Danielle is going to read this.

Pps. Easy A was extremely entertaining and Emma Stone is awesome. I think she is talented and excellent. Wahoo!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fromage Chevre- The Most Exciting Part of My Whole Trip

I am not even kidding when I say that this cheese stand was the most exciting part of my whole France trip.

His name was Andre and he had amazing goat cheese. And he was living my life dream. (And also.)

We asked him the difference between all the ages and varieties, doing research on my future career.

Frais (Fresh): the cheese was made that morning. Milk 5 days old. Fluffy and creamy
Mi-Frais ("mid"-fresh) : 1 week old. Almost the same consistency
Cremieux (creamy): 2 weeks old.
Mi-Sec ("mid"-dry) : 1 month old. Small and hard and covered in some black/green
Sec (dry) : 2 months old. Smaller, harder and covered in more black/green

The more aged the cheese gets, the more tangy it gets. The moisture leaves it as it cultures and an edible "rind" forms. The outside is the driest and the middle remains more cheesy. Fresh was like a goat-ricotta consistency and taste. Sec was like an semi-hard cheese.


The four of us only had one day off of biking smack in the middle of the week. Our day off was in Aix en Provence, however it was on a Sunday when every store is closed. Even the lunch places. Thankfully there was a wine tasting festival going on outdoors with a few vendors of food or we would have starved. We got a baguette at a Boulangerie before it closed at 12 pm for Sunday, and bought some cheese.


I got the Sec cheese.

I will dream about this cheese forever.

La Cure Gourmande

I barely wrote about anything from my week long trip to Provence, because that week was such a shitshow. There was no way for me to write while I was there biking 8 hours a day like a maniac, and once I got back I needed serious rest - and then I wanted to block all of that exercise out of my mind.

One day I'll write about the flight attendant who confirmed all my worst fears when she yelled at me for trying to speak French, or the day it took 4 hours to bike over the first mountain of the day, only to find that on the other side in the village below there was no lunch and nothing open because it was Monday (duh! Stupid Americans), or the time when the French manboy hit on me by saying "We arrre both beautiful people, you and I....". Which was non-enticing.

For now, I will post pictures of: La Cure Gourmande.



It was like stepping straight into Willy Wonka. It was absolutely beautiful, and if I was a kid I would have exploded.


We had been biking for a week straight, with no "snacks"or late night snacking.

No food stores are open past.... like 6 pm... all we did was wake up, eat breakfast, bike for 8 hours, shower, change, eat dinner and go to bed- sometimes starving. So I wanted to eat everything in this entire store.

Hanna's glee...


It was a real cure for starving, exhausted gourmandes.

And I bought a tin that I now keep band-aids in:



Friday, September 10, 2010

Midnight Mono Snacks and Meat Plans

So, I was just lying in bed, exhausted, but instead of sleeping I start thinking about how want to be independently rich and in love and how I need to get a nice fruit bowl and how I wish I had some fruit but its a good thing I don't because I didn't have a fruit bowl yet and start worrying that I'll never make enough money to pay off my cable installation let alone get a nice fruit bowl.

So, I hopped out of bed to pee and then got myself... a weird snack (brownie/almondbutter/greekyogurt parfait of sorts )


My heart has kind of been racing since this whole mono thing, so now that I am healing and happier and getting excited about things like fruit bowls, it has been racing extra- and its frightening. I am having trouble sleeping though I am exhausted. You knowww, the classic case of (mono) insomnia.

**

So on the other note, because my stove knobs don't allow me to turn the gas heat off of High, I am not going to be able to cook the only thing I know how to cook: eggs.

I am going to have to learn how to cook meat once and for all. Like a woman. In the oven. The stove, I guess can only be used for boiling water and... steaming vegetables... yum.

So, I will be learning to cook meat which should give me a topic other than shoddy pictures of half eaten food at dimly lit restaurants.

Maybe some comics too....

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Coffee in Cereal?

This is my 87 year old grandfather. Grambo. He is a little kid at heart. I mean... he insisted on us calling him 'Grambo' for lord's sake (as in Rambo).

I didn't even know that wasn't a normal grandfather name till I was...10? ...12?

Anyway, my mother texted me the other day that Grandmom told her that Grambo has, "this last month, been pouring coffee in his cereal.... on purpose".

I laughed just trying to imagine whyyy he is doing that? I mean he is slightly losing it these days. But I can't tell whether its his little kid-ness. Whether he always wanted to do it, and now or never? Or whether, as my mother suggested, he wants to save money on milk, because he often forgets we are not in the Great depression anymore.


(I don't know why I imagine it as lucky charms, but I do)

This is how I feel about Coconut Oil These days

I have been eating plain, hard coconut oil with a spoon these days because it is supposed to be an alternative "cure" for mono.

Coconut oil IS supposed to have fantastic health benefits blah blah blah.

I should have gotten the more expensive capsules, because taking those tablespoons plain is so gag- inducing.