I've taken my sweet time getting back here. It's not for lack of interesting chit chat, that's for certain. I've just needed a break.
My last month at school was a bit overwhelming to be sure. Honestly, it had little to do with school, which I loved more and more every day. In fact, by the last week I just kept looking around incredulously, thinking that I wouldn't, and more to the point, couldn't come back the following week. I really really loved it there. So, as I was saying, that last month was overwhelming, due in large part to massive sleep-deprivation. Turns out sleeping in a musty unloved home, in a strange bed, away from kitties and husband and all of one's stuff and bff's... turns out that kind of stuff can wear on a person. It can eat away bit by bit at a person until sleep seems the stuff of dreams. So, no. I wasn't writing much. I was in no mood at all. In fact, I wasn't cooking at all either. Those last few months I subsisted (actually, quite happily) on rice, beans, avocados and jalapenos. See, I clearly would have been lousy reading anyway.
School though, school was great fun! I've tried to examine the entire experience in retrospect to help me hone in on what I learned, what I gained from the experience. I've come to a few conclusions.
1. I will never ever willingly move away from Mark and my home again. That was dumb.
2. I gained a much clearer and self-assured sense of self.
3. I've learned to take obsessive compulsive behavior to a whole other level of extreme all in the name of delicious food.
4. My favorite flavors in sweets are butter and salt.
All in all a pretty valuable experience.
I'm home now, and rather than dwelling on the past, let's look ahead, shall we?
Shocking myself and pretty much everyone else, I already got a job. Actually, I got two jobs and I'm over the mother-effing moon. One is a cooking job and one is not. It's the loveliest balance. Well... actually, how balanced it is remains to be seen as the cooking job is at 6:30AM on weekends. I'm feeling a bit misty-eyed about missing out on my weekend evenings; however, I'm planning frequent naps in an effort to allow myself to continue my nightowl ways while still waking up at the crack of dawn. Will it work? It will have to.
While waiting to re-enter the world of working stiffs I'm killing time by, well, let's face it, I'm just sweating. Technically speaking I'm converting my old sewing studio into an office for Mark and I. I'm also eating a great deal of cake. And shortly here I will be heading to the swimming pool, book in hand, to do what I do best. To those of you unfamiliar with my summer tradition of falling asleep at the swimming pool and burning to a brilliant shade of scarlet, well there you have it. That is what I do best. We can't all be as accomplished as myself.
In the meantime I'll leave you with a recipe, one of my favorite recipes in fact. It covers a few very important aspects of central Texas living. It uses up the only things that will grow in most people's gardens this time of year here and it's food you barely cook and aren't too hot and sweaty to eat. It's also one of the finest damn pasta dishes I have ever had. Hands down. The flavors taste mysterious due to the intriguing combination of mint and basil, but it's simple as all get out and I bet you have all of the ingredients right now. As I type.
A note of caution... do not ever ever ever make this with out of season grocery store tomatoes. I would add to that, don't use grocery store tomatoes for this, no matter what the season... but perhaps your store actually sells tomatoes that taste like tomatoes? I've yet to encounter this mythical beast. Further, don't substitute dry herbs. It's not a year round dish, simple as that.
I look forward to blogging much much more regularly... hopefully twice weekly again! I've missed it and am so happy to be home, theresnoplacelikehome, and up to my old tricks again!
Spicy Summer Pasta
Adapted from Design Sponge
4 medium-small tomatoes from a real garden (blanch and peel them if the skins are tough from sun exposure)
1 Tbsp rinsed capers
1/2 Tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dried red pepper (put a little less if you want it less spicy)
2-3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh mint
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 fresh parsley
1/4 olive oil
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano
8 oz. dried penne
Add all the ingredients except for the cheese to a blender or food processor. Slowly add olive oil and blend until smooth. Toss with cooked penne and add pecorino cheese.