The Archaic Burns is the name of my madrigal cover band

I know mid-January can seem like a drag for a lot of people, just post-holiday, gray-skied blur, so today we're going to DOUBLE DOWN on that feeling by staging a Battle of The Swiss Chards.

Who Charded It Best? Martha or Bon Appétit?

This one should have been a slam dunk, what with the mushy lentils and that glorious yolky pillow of protein and all, but I only found it to be okay. It's possible that I was annoyed that they expected me to make this two-bowl, three-pot monstrosity for breakfast. I cannot wash three pots before 9 am, Bon Appétit. I feel like you know this already.

This sounds terrible, and is delicious. I am glad there are leftovers.

Winner: Martha, in a shocking, egg-defying upset.

I also attempted some Brown Rice with Salmon, Avocado, and Toasted Nori, a combination which I had to actually start eating to realize was an inside-out salmon roll. Maybe because I had replaced the avocado with potatoes, for things-I-had-on-hand reasons.

I say "attempted" because I had never toasted sheets of nori over an open flame before. I toast tortillas on my gas stove all the time, so I was not remotely concerned about this step.

It turns out nori is a lot thinner and, uh, more excitable than tortillas are. After that first sheet, I turned the heat way down and turned my podcast off and monitored the situation more carefully.

Anyway, we ended up eating sheets of raw nori, which is very chewy. I'm thinking about handing over the culinary reins for a while.

With Anna helming dinner, I'll have WAY more time to focus on Middlemarch. I've read several chapters now!

Character Whose Probable Fate Most Distresses Me: The Maltese puppy presented by a suitor to Dorothea, who is so utterly disgusted by the offering that a servant is asked to take it away and "was thus got rid of." We never hear of this puppy again.

Most Archaic Burn: "As to his blood, I suppose the family quarterings are three cuttle-fish sable, and a commentator rampant."

Point At Which I Started To Ruminate About The Fact That I Am Closer To 45-Year-Old Casaubon Than 19-Year-Old Dorothea: "What business has an old bachelor like that to marry?…He has one foot in the grave."

Sentiment With Which I Most Empathize So Far: "He did not usually find it easy to give his reasons: it seemed to him strange that people should not know them without being told, since he only felt what was reasonable." I HEAR THAT, SIR JAMES.