I’m not a big football fan. It’s just not my thing. But like many others, I honor the American institution and for Super Bowl you’ll often find me stretched out on the couch with the Sunday New York Times scattered around me and a glass of wine on the easy-to-reach end table. I even occasionally glance up to check the score, look at uniforms (which team is which color?), or comment on the commercials. As a cook, my main interest is in the half-time spread and that’s as it should be. As a musician, I often really enjoy the half-time show, and that cook persona gets her work done early so her singer self can enjoy what is surely the best part of the day. I mean, think Blues Brothers, Paul McCartney, and Lady Gaga as earlier favorites. Maroon 5 this year promises to be spectacular!
I married at 20 in 1974, and while I had a basic knowledge of cooking thanks to my food-loving parents, being in total charge of making sure there was food on the table for two people every day came as a bit of a shock.
After all, I had other things to do. There were two part-time jobs (one in a university office and one at a local restaurant–an old school red sauce place, by the way) and I went to school full time. I had a million books I wanted to read (and did) and I sang wherever and whenever I could. There were friends to hang out with, walks to take, dreams to make. And I had to student teach sometime if I wanted to graduate! What a body-blow it was to assume most of the burden for shopping, housework, and laundry because, well, that’s how things were despite my finest efforts to get the Equal Rights Amendment passed. There were more than a few battles over those things, you could rightly assume. Perhaps an issue or two still occasionally floats to the surface because, well, I guess life has to remain interesting and we’re sometimes still working something out. (Who is cleaning out the laundry room this week, by the way?)
I hope you had time between last week and this to make all my salads. Well, maybe you at least printed off a few recipes and are thinking in terms of trying one or two.
— our front yard vaguely winterish
If not, could be you’re freezing cold and ready for a fast hot meal of beans and meat in the Instant Pot (Did you get one for Christmas?), which of course could be done in a Dutch oven, a slow cooker, or in a B-flat pot on the stove top should you so choose.
If you’re not trying to get healthy this month, you might still want to read this week’s post featuring main dish salads. Even if all you managed to accomplish was to clear out your entire cellar’s store of Pinot Noir but skipped every red, green, and silver Hershey’s kiss you encountered (and so didn’t gain an ounce in December), you could drum up interest in hefty, heart-warming and filling whole meal salads–if nothing else but to figure out what to do with leftover steak (leftover steak?!), those couple of lonely pork chops, an oh-so-sad single portion of salmon, one languishing chicken breast with wing attached, or perhaps only a drawer full of vegetables and cheese with little else to recommend them but a poached egg or two and maybe a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.
Every year on January 2, many people around the world wake upknowing they’re just one cookie away from a bigger pants size. Gyms memberships rise, WW (Weight Watchers) Workshop chairs fill up, and dog walkers double their pet’s exercise along with their own. I began WW for the 4th (5th?) time just before the start of December, so while I didn’t wait until after the Christmas fudge tin was empty, I did move into this arena right upon finishing the last piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream.