Julie/Julia

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It is perfectly okay to have an off day…even an off week. It happens to everyone.  I am writing at 620am because I have been awake since 5am.  I was completely laid out (not completely, I am hyperbolic) yesterday with a headache that made it self known immediately the night before.  I have taken to sleeping next to Sean as he plays his new video game. I  have come to realize that unless it  is 2pm or a circumstance outside of my control, I cannot sleep without him next to me.  I heart him. It is a little better for me to sleep while he’s awake because then I’m not awoken by his snoring.  😦  I was unable to sleep after an hour of trying so I got up, had some cereal, and finally did the ironing that I’ve been collecting since Monday (when my endeavors in laundry began).

I am finished with the laundry, trying to drink water (it probably doesn’t help I don’t drink much water), and finishing watching “Julie/Julia”.  I read this book in 2007 when I was having a horrible time with food.  Its ironic watching the fight scene when the husband calls her out for being self absorbed and asks “what will happen when you stop being the center of the universe?”  I answer, “she will have an affair” which is what she did after her book was published.  I’m not spoiling anything.  Its the premise of her second book, Cleaving: a Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession.  I read the first chapter on Amazon and I was so disappointed in her.  The first chapter sets up the whole premise of her affair, its effect on her marriage and her new obsession with being a butcher’s intern.  All in the first chapter.  I am not one to judge the complexities of ones marriage/relationships.  Who can be?  Its none of my business. People are more complex and more a like then we realize, so I will not judge.  I am at a better place about it now because I’m married!  Seriously, it’s because I’m married that I am no longer disgusted with her (as if I have the right to be).   When I read that first chapter, it was months before my own wedding and I was not interested in reading/watching anything that had to do with marriage or parenting (which killed my desire to watch “Couple’s Retreat” even though Sean went out of his way to get me a copy on dvd). I was devastated.  She’d put her husband on a pedestal in the first book (he came off as the ultimate cheerleader, without flaws) which is a sign of…well, something uneven in one’s self.  “You are so much better than I that you are untouchable…and I am un…something.”  Not healthy, but not unusual.  I am in a different place now, so I am not going to judge.  We are all human.  And I love non-fiction food books (books about food, not cookbooks), so I love the introspection and narcissism of others with a story.   I also love food.  I am starting to love like cooking.  I am still in love with Time for Dinner because of its simplicity and deliciousness.  I am making notes on post-its and leaving them in the book as I make my way through each recipe with ideas for adaptations and suggestions from Sean.  I ask him to rank each meal from a scale of 1-10.  What I love the most is the combination of spices that take the littlest things to the next level.  Last night I made Breaded Chicken Sandwiches, which is simply breaded chicken baked and served between a sliced french baguette (cut to individual sandwich size) atop oven dried tomatoes (I did not do this…it is a 6 hour hands-off slow roasting process at 250 degrees that I had no interest in, though I’m sure it tastes amazing) and arugula.  I adapted this to recipe to use a sourdough baguette (the french baguette was a bit smaller in width) and spinach (Sean doesn’t like arugula, and we already had spinach at home).  Instead of standard condiments (the recipe didn’t call for condiments but definitely left the door open for them- its a sandwich), I decided that we could use the delicious salad dressings that we have.  I used Paul Newman’s Own Lite Italian Salad dressing, and it was delicious.  Anyway, I’ve breaded chicken and really loved it.  This recipe topped anything I’ve ever made simply because of these following ingredients: grated Parmesan cheese, lemon zest and thyme. It made the kitchen smell so amazing.  SO AMAZING.  I am glad that I cook.  I am really glad.   Every time I’ve been tempted to go out and get food, I’ve opened my fridge and pulled out something I cooked and was more satisfied then if I’d spent the money on something else. My next endeavor is to move towards recipes that do not involve bread or pasta for the sake of my tummy.  Wish me luck.

Here’s the recipe for the delicious breading:

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1 teaspoon of thyme (i used dried seasoning, though the original recipe called for 2 teaspoons of fresh finely chopped rosemary.  I used thyme  instead because, well you know, “parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme”.  Oh scarbarough fair and 7th grade choir class, thank you for the inspiration.)

zest of 1/2 lemon (i used the grating plate of my mandolin because I don’t have one of these or one of these.  It worked just fine so I do not plan on spending the money on something “specific”.)

2 tablespoons of grated parmaesan cheese

salt and pepper (I used ground sea salt and ground cracked pepper)

3 tablespoons olive oil

Mix together, coat your meat, bake or fry your meat (we’re baking these days to watch our waste lines).  Que magnifique !

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