snow day, part ii.

this is the second snow day this year, which is seemingly insane, considering that last year we got the first one in many, many years. it came at the end of the worst work week ever, consisting of the expulsion of a favorite student, others found cheating, few listening, and the necessity to write progress reports for more than 2/3 of my students. the worst week since i have had this job. i am tired. so, thank you, mother nature, for this snow and the day off. i really needed it.

mid-morning snowed-in meal, accompanied by a devastating episode of this american life: a slice of toasted ciabatta with fresh ricotta, pepper, sea salt, and tomato; orange bell pepper; small red and yellow potatoes with garlic in olive oil and butter (so decadent), fried egg. and intelligentsia coffee. yes.


cacio e pepe plus.

i made cacio e pepe the other night, with aged pecorino from caputo's. (i have no idea as to why i chose not to photograph it.) i really love pecorino: salty, savory, delicious.

for tonight's meal, i roasted garlic in the toaster oven(!) with fresh thyme and black pepper. also, i sauteed the onions and peas in unfiltered olive oil with a bit of sea salt and pepper. then, i mixed it all together with the pasta and the pecorino and some more thyme, as well as some freshly cut tomatoes. pretty good, if i say so myself.

also planned: stop eating so much pasta. convinced my belly is getting rounder. boo.

all carbohydrated.

i have been so tired and busy. and all i want to eat is pasta. probably because i don't want to think too hard. i also didn't grocery shop enough last week, so it's about using what i've got. like bowtie pasta with rainbow chard, onions, garlic, and chickpeas.

and then, a million things happened.

  • i said it; NPR confirms it: the macaron is set to surpass the cupcake in popularity. it's the next fashionable dessert. america, do not ruin this pastry.
  • if we wanted, we could make it so that the animals don't feel pain when they are killed. apparently, this will make the humans feel less bad about factory farming. wait. what? and why must we factory farm? nytimes op/ed here.
  • i plan for my government class to participate in this contest, sponsored by GOOD. they seem to think that taking the junk food out of school cafeterias is like taking away one's civil rights. we know that kids eat better when the options are better.
  • "The Bulgarian Parliamentary Committee on the Environment has agreed that GMOs will not be allowed within 7 kms of organic farmland, and 10 kms away from permanent, registered beehive clusters. They also adopted a five-year ban on the cultivation of GMOs for commercial and scientific research in the field." way to go, bulgaria. rock it. full article here.
  • new, REAL rules for organic dairy. such an improvement. says the nytimes, "The new regulations, which go into effect in June, are much more specific. They say that animals must graze on pasture for the full length of the local grazing season. The season will be determined by local conditions and agriculture authorities, like organic certifiers or county conservation officials, not by the dairy alone. While the grazing season must last at least 120 days, in many areas it will be much longer. The rules also say that animals must get at least 30 percent of their food from pasture during the grazing season." yes.
  • some of my students are reading my twitter. and maybe this blog. oh god. maybe they will learn something from me in some format. even an unconventional one.
  • manhattan borough president scott stringer continues to amaze me. you can read his "blueprint for a sustainable food system" here. marty markowitz, what are YOU doing to change the way we eat? at least for the kids?


arbitrary, maybe.

i returned home from photoshopping with yelena later than i had planned. sleepy already, i prepared a meal that did not require much work.
  • the smashed potatoes, of course. (you would not believe how much is still left.)
  • spicy tomato soup
  • sauteed rainbow chard
  • salad of watermelon radish, avocado, and some sort of fancy, raw goat cheese.
pretty sure the entire meal was organic. which is pretty awesome.

grrr. those growler potatoes.

i continue to work my way through the growler of potatoes. on saturday morning, i ate them with my breakfast: fried egg and tomato on seven grain with steamed broccoli and mushrooms.

good night, mai's.

we spent many, many late, late nights at mai's in college. i cannot count the number of plates of salt-toasted tofu i consumed, or the number of spring rolls.

and today, it burnt down. the end of an era of greasy vietnamese houstonian excellence.

photoshop cookshop

Adobe Photoshop Cook from Lait Noir on Vimeo.

yelena taught me how to use photoshop this weekend. i have been wanting to learn forever. it's really fun and challenging and now we have this website to post our creations.

BUT chester sent me the video above. it's clever and silly and, theoretically, one can use these photoshop skills to make butter cookies. it's wonderful.


snowed in.

mayor bloomberg prematurely called a snow day for today. piles of snow covered washington dc and pennsylvania and virginia and everything in between over the weekend and i guess that was reason to be nervous. i was, truthfully, convinced that there would be no snow. but, the clouds did not disappoint.

breakfast: seven grain toast with tomato and a fried egg. bosc pear. carrots. mushrooms. and more than one cup of coffee. definitely not a school day.

keith and i laid around (well, he worked from home) and watched movies, including ratatouille, which made me think of au revoir to all that. we ate popcorn, and, later, i made spring rolls and we watched his girl friday. a lot of couch eating. in my pajamas.

it's still snowing. but i have to work tomorrow. boo.


growler. of potatoes.

brett gave me a growler full of smashed potatoes for my birthday. that's 64 oz of potatoes, people!

i spent much of tonight trying to extract the potatoes from the growler. i ended up making a sort of double boiler to soften them so that they could be removed. above is an unfortunate photo of what was left after i ate a healthy serving, taken with my computer. silly.

a truly incredible gift. hard to beat.


teener beener

it's tina's birthday. i hope that her breakfast is as good as mine.

the blackberries were purchased at the natural food store for $1. i am unsure as to where they came from, how they could be so cheap, what kind of farming methods were used. it can't be right. it was a moment of weakness; i couldn't help myself.

and the avocado is organic, but can't be local. there was no sticker, but everything in the other, bigger natural food store is organic. for real.

everything else came from the farmers' market. caraway rye toast with ronnybrook basil-laden cheese and a fried egg. a delight.

and! just like i am attempting in my advanced economics class, the kids at the automotive high school in williamsburg are taking a class in slow food: learning its origins, about farming and gardening, subsidies, and industrialization. i wish i could get my principal to implement a class like this one. every kid should learn this stuff. i have to sneak it into the curriculum. such a renegade.

and, happy birthday, tina. you are pretty awesome.

and then, more pasta.

pasta is the meal of the food rut. it's what i eat when i can't think of anything better. and it's cold and snowy and i want comfort food all of the time. so, wednesday night: homemade not-spicy-enough tomato sauce with chard and mushrooms and onion and garlic.


this is not a wafel.

there are few photographs from my vacation to belgium; my then-boyfriend ludo insisted upon the fact that we use a "real" camera. unfortunately, with all of the rain and hail and grey skies and lack of flash, there are only a handful of captured moments of those 2 weeks of magritte, weird musical instruments, the mannequin pis, and numerous paper envelopes full of frites.

it was 2005 and i am a luddite and so i did not own a digital camera yet. ludo did. but that's neither here nor there. he photographed my entire life for many years.

and belgian snacks are heavenly. let's make a list.
1. fries. i really don't think it's necessary to describe my love for them in this post, because there are not enough words in the english language to attempt that feat.
2. chocolate. beautiful and perfect.
3. speculoos. belgian gingerbread that is served with every coffee ordered, often with a shot of brandy. belgian coffee is inadequate overall, so there are treats alongside it.
4. beer. those monks really get it. in a way that no one else in the word does. it must be all of that free time. but seriously, the beligan beers continue to be my favorites.
5. waffles. the ultimate street food. sugary and chewy and covered in nutella or any other sort of wonderment you might imagine. but also mind-blowing plain. yes. they're THAT good.

there's a belgian waffle truck in new york. wafels and dinges. it moves to a new location each day, twittering its whereabouts. the dinges are the toppings--everything from strawberries to whipped cream to nutella to a speculoos cream. and more. yes. it was parked near school the other afternoon so i dragged michelle the 7 blocks out of her way for one. scrumdiddlyumptious.

and then i learned that bobby flay threwdown with the truck! tracy and i just watched the episode, and now i want one. it's midnight. impossible. ergh.

on another note, i am ready to return to europe. it's been SO long already. and i'm hungry.


michelle encouraged me to watch this week's parks and recreation. it's funny and interesting and subversive AND this week's episode was all about high fructose corn syrup. and regular corn syrup. and corn. and the potential for corporations to lie about what is in our food.

and this quote: "the whole point of this country is that if you wanna eat garbage, balloon up to 600 pounds and die of a heart attack at 43, you can. you are free to do so. to me, that's beautiful."

lollipops and sugar rushes (and crashes) and parks. oh my!

watch it. thanks, michelle.



i have switched to drinking my coffee with raw honey in it. it's incredible. it's not refined sugar, and is so sugary and ambrosial i could eat it with a spoon.

in love. don't know why i didn't do this before.


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