Finally, a topic worthy of poetry

Oh man, I know we're all nursing those day-after-National-Coffee-Day hangovers right now, and really the best advice I can give you is 1) hair of the dog, and 2) remember the good times.

Our good times started around 6:30 with this mocha monstrosity from The Book Lover's Cookbook:

This recipe was associated with the Ogden Nash poem "Coffee With The Meal." Normally I wouldn't bother typing out burden your early-morning intellect with an entire poem in this space, but the protagonist of the piece really spoke to me and the ending is quite heart-wrenching:

A gentlemanly gentleman, as mild as May,
Entered a restaurant famed and gay.
A waiter sat him in a droughty seat
And laughingly inquired what he'd like to eat.
"Oh I don't want venison, I don't want veal,
But I do insist on coffee with the meal.
Bring me clams in a chilly group,
And a large tureen of vegetable soup,
Steak as tender as a maiden's dream,
With lots of potatoes hashed in cream,
And a lettuce and tomato salad, please,
And crackers and a bit of Roquefort cheese,
But waiter, the gist of my appeal,
Is coffee with, coffee with, coffee with the meal."
The waiter groaned and he wrung his hands;
"Perhaps the headwaiter understands."
Said the sleek headwaiter, like a snobbish seal,
"What, monsieur? Coffee with the meal?"
His lip drew up in scornful laughter;
"Monsieur desires a demitasse after!"
The gentleman's eyes grew hard as steel,
He said, "I'm ordering coffee with the meal.
Hot black coffee in a great big cup,
Fuming, steaming, filled right up.
I don't want coffee iced in a glass,
And I don't want a miserable demitasse,
But what I'll have, come woe, come weal,
Is coffee with, coffee with, coffee with the meal."
The headwaiter bowed like a poppy in the breeze;
"Monsieur desires coffee with the salad or the cheese?"
Monsieur said, "Now you're getting warmer;
Coffee with the latter, coffee with the former;
Coffee with the steak, coffee with the soup,
Coffee with the clams in a chilly group;
Yes, and with a cocktail I could do,
So bring me coffee with the cocktail, too.
I'll fight to the death for my bright ideal,
Which is coffee with, coffee with, coffee with the meal."
The headwaiter swiveled on a graceful heel;
"Certainly, certainly, coffee with the meal!"
Oh, what a glow did Monsieur feel
At the warming vision of coffee with the meal,
One hour later Monsieur, alas!
Got his coffee in a demitasse.

It's okay if you need to take a moment.

Next up was a loaf of Espresso Banana Bread, based on the same coffee drink as the Jumpin' Monkey Smoothie that disappointed me by not containing peanut butter around this time last year. Turns out I do not expect to taste peanut butter in my banana bread, so I prefer this version of things.
I mean, wouldn't object to adding peanut butter to a slice of it or anything, and actually, you know what, I'll be right back.

I let the girls have a piece of this in the afternoon, but it did not have any appreciable effect on bedtime.

Last but not least, a little Martha Month warm-up in the form of Oven-Glazed Coffee Brisket.

Too spicy for the kids = more for me, more for me.

I've been saying for a while now that at this age Ivy is basically just a puppy with slightly more verbal acuity, but what do I know.

(P.S. Today is my 8th anniversary and Dan gave me fancy salt and that is why I love him.)


I've been meaning to inspect my beehives anyway

Big announcement! There is a new magazine in my life right now, and her name is Martha Stewart Living October 2014. We met at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, next to the chocolates and the pens that look like unidentified-crustacean claws. I think we're going to be very happy together.

I've actually never purchased a Martha Stewart magazine (or book? or anything?) before, but I've also never been a thirty-four-year-old lady with time to kill in an airport before. Life can lead you down some surprising paths, kids! You just gotta keep saying yes. I appreciate that this issue includes a recipe pull-out containing "Money-Saving Meals" that are in fact appealing and cost-effective, although I kind of doubt Martha ever personally demands to be brought a meal of rice and ground beef.

Some people wouldn't even bother with an "insert for the poors," is all I'm saying.

Braised chicken with sauerkraut is hearty and autumnal!

Plus my children love sauerkraut because they are beautiful little weirdos!

I couldn't find escarole for this soup, although I admit I did not try very hard.

I only looked in the "kale" section.

Anyway, I'm so inspired that I think I'm going to make October the Month of Martha. Look, I can follow her very own calendar! I mean, I'm going to have to get a dog and a cider press and a gig at the New York Food and Wine Festival and, ugh, do Pilates, but it should be a lot of fun!

Yeah, Month of Martha, what do you think? I mean, would the wordplay work better if I waited until March to do this? Probably! But who can resist this loony bird for that long?

Not this gal.

Anyway, whatever, it doesn't start until next week, everyone back to work.


Super Social Food League INVESTIGATES

Okay. Look. It's not really my style to throw out accusations or subscribe to conspiracy theories or publicly call people out on things, but here are some facts: 1) I have now been to Seattle twice, for a total of seven-ish days; 2) I have not experienced a single drop of rain or overcast skies beyond early-morning; 3) the residents of the Pacific Northwest are clearly manufacturing an image of gloom and sasquatches to frighten people away from the magical fairyland of delicious wonder that is their home. Wake up sheeple! Look at the evidence!

B. This giant, hipster-leaning dollhouse we used as home base.

C. Crumble and Flake.



Close up on the purple guy.

D. Availability of an absurd amount of free healthy stuff. Just…handed to us. All free-like.

Green juice.

Beets and quinoa salad.

Massages from a cute guy named Karl, what up Karl!


Don't know what the Sentient Yogurt was whispering to Regan, but it pleased her.

Oh don't worry, that one is healthy too, this thing on the wall told me so.

E. Trees, tilts.

F. The quality/quantity of the calories for purchase.

Rachel's Ginger Beer

Ba Bar

F. 1) Hawaiian food.

F. 2) Iced creams.

Wild Honey at Molly Moon's

Balsamic Strawberry at Molly Moon's

Chocolate Pudding and Peanut Butter with Marionberry at Bluebird

Hazelnut at D'Ambrosion Gelato. As this was our third ice cream stop in about forty minutes, I no longer had the heart or the stomach to photograph Regan's order too, but please know that she went for a cone like a truly deranged person.

G. A bifurcated mermaid is actually pretty interesting, when you think about it.

 H. This run through the woods, full of Nutella and birthday cake and anti-encouragement and, okay, maybe they weren't making up the Sasquatch thing.

I. Sweet, sweet nectar of the gods. Everywhere.

I have to tell you, it took a great deal of bravery to overcome years of popular culture lies ranging from the angst of grunge to the way the characters were always coming in from a "rainstorm" on Frasier, but sometimes intrepid explorers are rewarded for their daring.


I'm certain the pictures will turn out better, if nothing else

This week I decided to go back to doing that thing where I grab a random cookbook from the library and put it through its paces, although I maaaaaay have tiredly foregone randomness in favor of known-quantity-ness this round. I have to say, as much as I have loved me some Pioneer Woman in the past, flipping through the actual book was kind of uninspiring right up until the page where she says I can serve a bowl of beans and describe it as "dinner."

She was right!

I live in Austin, I have eaten a lot of migas, most of them taste the same to me, that is not a bad thing.

Migas are migas. Migas are good.

This Potato-Leek Pizza was delicious. Don't know if it was the potatoes or the leeks or the eight chunks of bacon per bite or…?

Food chemistry is mysterious.

From what I can tell, Anna's kindergarten class has been celebrating Constitution Day for two full days in a row now.

As someone who made a B+ that was bordering right on an A- in Con Law, I approve.

Anyway, I have to go pack, Regan and I are headed up to Seattle for Super Social Food League Weekend Roadtrip Extravaganza tonight. We're actually so committed to taking in all the beautiful calories of the Pacific Northwest that we signed up to run a half marathon while we're there, just to ensure peak appetite-revving. Of course, between the two of us in the past couple of weeks, we have managed to:

  • aggravate a hip injury
  • aggravate a foot injury
  • vomit a little bit
  • infect a sinus
  • eat somewhere on the order of five dozen cookies, that I know of

So unfortunately it seems that the likelihood that this run will be a more enjoyable experience than our last adventure together has been reduced to 99.7, maybe 99.8%. Wish us luck!