Though my year-round Pad Thai addiction has gotten considerably better since the wellness project, the time that my internal takeout monster is most likely to rear its ugly head is right after Thanksgiving.
For starters, I’m so over cooking. And after a few meals of exercising the microwave start button, I am subsequently so over turkey. And gravy. And American homesteading food in general. What I crave is the polar opposite. Exotic things like stir fried pork and green beans, sesame noodles, Vietnamese pho, or chicken tikka masala. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, I participated in holiday hotline twitter chat and was surprised to hear how many people were puzzling over what to serve all the gluten-free problem children at their family table—particularly, what to do for the gravy.
My mother has made our annual apple cider gravy using gluten-free flour for as long as I can remember. The recipe is from the Chuck Williams’ Thanksgiving Cookbook, and with a heaping amount of minced shallots and chopped rosemary, it adds a perfect ratio of sweet and savory to our flavorless table centerpiece: that damn turkey.
Since the holidays seem to be another case of culinary Ground Hog Day, every year my mom makes this gravy on Thanksgiving afternoon she has a least one meltdown about it being too sweet. We taste it together, thought bubbles emerge, and eventually we decide a splash of cider vinegar will do the trick before the pan juices get involved later in the day. Continue reading
Charlie and I have been in a holiday stalemate since we started dating. One that will for the first time be broken next week.
This is the first year we’ll spend Thanksgiving together down at his family’s house in South Carolina. And it’s only the second time in history that I won’t be gathering around the Lapine family table. I’d say it’s a compromise, but Charlie has also made it clear that he will return this favor never.
Charlie is as attached to his family traditions as I am mine, and sadly the jews in Connecticut may never be able to replicate some of these cultural differences. It’s true that our pre-dinner activities do not involve duck hunting. Our turkey usually isn’t shot on the property. And our family punch does not include sweet tea, though the main drink of choice in both families is Jack Daniels.
The main thing that I will miss is the stuffing. Every year, this is my task. And though the bread became a gluten-free loaf five years ago, it only meant I took my job of making it delicious that much more seriously. Continue reading
This sweet potato cauliflower soup has been with me through a lot in the last few days.
It filled my anxious, hopeful stomach on Monday night (covered with an H-shaped hemp seed logo) as Charlie and I made a plan to go to the polls together. It soothed the heartbreak and confusion I felt yesterday, when my nerves couldn’t handle anything more complex or indulgent in celebration of my birthday. And it’s what I ate for lunch this afternoon as I tried to puzzle through what role my voice plays in this national conversation, during my 31st year of life and beyond.
It was the first birthday that I dreaded waking up. But as the day went on, I realized how fortunate I was. It was a dark day for everyone, even for those who were on the other side of the outcome. There is no victory in the feeling of deep division. And I felt grateful that I was on the receiving end of so many notes of love and kindness, when I could have spent the day feeling even more defeated, hopeless and alone.
This gluten-free pumpkin tart recipe is sponsored by Whole Earth Sweetener Co. All opinions are my own (duh). Thank you for supporting the brands that make this site (and my low sugar dessert cravings) possible!
I am a very sensitive person.
And I’m not just talking about what becomes of my tear ducts during the first five minutes of any Pixar movie. Since The Wellness Project, that statement now applies to many parts of my body.
When I use shampoo at hotels, or dry my face with bleached, over-treated towels, my neck sometimes breaks out into a Woogie-level rash. A cup of strong coffee might cause my heart to drop a chest-shaking Tiesto remix. Even a small trace of gluten sends me into an early evening fetal position. And if I don’t get enough sleep, or have a few cocktails with dinner, it makes even simple, mindless tasks like online shopping feel like I’m studying for the GRE (sizing charts can be complicated!). Continue reading
After the last week (er, month?) of Halloween candy, I’m guessing we could all use a marinated kale salad recipe right about now.
I was the Demogorgon who stole Halloween this year, and am embarrassed to say that I didn’t even manage to secure the Pantone chips for a lame last minute 50 shades of grey costume. My Violette Beauregarde and Marsha Brady ideas will have to wait until next year (yes, I got the last one from Taylor Swift’s instagram…don’t judge me).
I did, however, deeply enjoy being a voyeur, especially now that I actually live in a building big and bougie enough to support trick or treating. When Charlie and I moved into our new apartment in February, the doorman said his nickname for our residence was “kids and dogs.” And while most of the time that combination just leads to a lot of congestion below knee-level in our elevator, it becomes an ideal setting on Halloween. Those dogs and kids did not disappoint! Continue reading
You can’t change people.
It’s one of the life lessons I need to relearn in every new relationship. For the most part, I agree that we have to “accept our loved ones for who they are.” But there are certain things I think you can tinker with without having to rewire the motherboard.
Punctuality, card writing, and general expression of emotion were among the areas I sought to improve after the honeymoon period ended with Charlie. I’ve been astounded and at times brought to tears by the progress on all these fronts, specifically when #2 and #3 have collided. But perhaps the biggest leaps and bounds I’ve seen have been on the food front.
I know that might seem obvious; how could Charlie not at least eat slightly better with someone waiting at home for him with a bowl of kale. But Charlie’s eating habits did not improve via osmosis alone. If fact, rather than my raising him up, for the first part of our relationship, I feared that he would drag me down. Continue reading
I didn’t think it was possible to feel full from half a dozen oysters, but that was before I went down to The Big Easy.
It was only my second visit to New Orleans. The first was right after Katrina, and much of the city was still recovering. So needless to say, this trip really felt like the true taste of all the city had to offer.
Our first stop was at Peche, a modern seafood joint that was raved about by nearly every friend I pestered for food recommendations. By 6pm, there was already a 2 hour wait for a table. So Charlie and I posted up at the bar and did what we usually do: we ordered oysters.
When the big baddies from the Gulf showed up, we were equal parts impressed and terrified. One was as hefty and long as my palm. It looked more like a cow’s tongue than a shellfish—an ideal body mass for deep-frying and stuffing inside a po’boy, but not for taking down in one slurp. Continue reading
The first sign of trouble was the bowl of chocolates on the dinner table.
The appetizer course hadn’t arrived yet. And even though I’d hit up the raw bar multiple times, that did little to absorb the dirty martini sloshing around somewhere beneath my black dress. So because I was hungry, and it was a celebration, and empire waists should be cherished, things proceeded to get a little out of hand.
I ate the chocolates. I drank the wine. And an hour later when I went to the bathroom, encountering the bride’s mother on the way, I saw a puffy fuchsia face, a neck covered in hives, and a body that was giving me the middle finger for eating all the things.
It’s not that often these days that I experience the type of unbridled binge that used to be a staple of my pre-wellness project days. When it does happen, it’s usually at a wedding. And as was the case a few weekends ago in Philly, the experience usually requires many bowls of greens and garlicky avgolemono soup to get my immune system back on track. Continue reading