Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meadowlark Lemon and the Case of the Tuscan Ragout ...

A curious thing happened this week: Twice I found recipes I wanted to try, and twice Chuck ended up taking the baton and making the meals for us. Usually I don't include foods he makes in my super-strict compilations of "FOODS I MAKE." This is because 1) When he cooks, it is like a show-offy basketball player, tossing ingredients willy-nilly over his shoulder, blind folded and between his legs into a steaming pan or wok. He's the freaking West Duluth Globetrotter. Saying: "I wonder if this would taste good with a touch of peanut butter ..." And wham. Delicious. So A) There is no recipe; B) Give me a break.

Also: I went in public twice this past weekend. Once for JCrew's birthday drizzle, then for a big ass bonfire in an area that cannot possibly still be considered Duluth City Limits.

So, here is the rest of my nonsense:

Sweet Potato Sheppard's Pie: This one is good because it has all my favorite root vegetables topped with a layer of sweet potato and Parmesan. It's super hearty winter food.

Tuscan Vegetable Ragout: This one wasn't so much "cooking" as opening a lot of cans. I'm not sure why we don't eat these flavors more often: capers, kalamata olives and artichokes ... Another victory from Vegetarian Times.

Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky: As I was reading "Infinite Jest," I was simultaneously reading "Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace," a straight up five-day dialogue between the author David Lipsky and DFW, taken from tapes made while D Lips was interviewing DF-Dubs for a piece in Rolling Stone that was eventually killed.

What a treat, this chance to eavesdrop on these two dudes as they kick it at DF-Dubs' pad, at airports, diners, long car rides, and a book signing at The Hungry Mind bookstore in St. Paul. It is smart, it is funny, it is silly, and at times uncomfortable. And there is a part in the afterword where anyone with a duct will shed real-live tears and re-mourn the loss.

Full review will be here.

An Object of Beauty: A Novelby Steve Martin: The weirdest thing about reading a novel by Steve Martin is hearing his Steve Martin voice narrating. It's that kind of friend's smart dad voice, a guy with his own library and couture reading glasses who can also bust out a head band that makes it look like he was shot through the skull with an arrow. That kind of voice. And it is not an unpleasant way to spend nearly 300 pages.

"An Object of Beauty" is a kind of simple, smoothly written easy reader, the story of Lacey, a sassy young go-getter in the New York City art scene starting in the 1990s -- as told by her somewhat mysterious arts writer friend Daniel. There was a brief something between them that eased into a friendship. He starts her story with Lacey stuck in his craw, unable to write anything else until he writes about this irreverent, smart, enigma.

Full review here.

1 comment:

chuck said...

Confession: I'm kind of embarrassed to eat things with the word "Tuscan" in the name.