Thursday, July 19, 2007

Borrowed Pesto

Borrow, gather, and buy fresh:

2 fat juicy cloves of young garlic. Smush 'em with the broad side of your chef's knife. It's a satisfying crunch and the whole apartment will smell good for hours.

1/2 cup romano, grated from roommate who's in Philly. Promise self to buy her a new tub. Accidentally dump a huge clump of it into your mixture. Swear loudly. Promise self to buy a new tub, and really mean it this time.

1 handful roasted, unsalted almonds from other roomie, who points out their frighteningly passe' "sell by" date but blesses your efforts all the same. (Use in place of pine nuts, because, really, where the fuzz do you find pine nuts and why would you buy them when you can only really use them for pesto and those annoying salads in which all the pine nuts end up in the bottom anyway?)

1 overzealous handful (or two) of the fresh basil that took up 1/3 of your grocery budget, but it was totally worth it. It's the good stuff - kind of pointy and peppery with notes of fennel, so might as well use it before it goes black and sticky.

1/2 to 3/4 cup grocery store olive oil. Not the virgin stuff. Not because you don't have the virgin stuff, but because virgin overpowers the zing and zang of basil and garlic sometimes and makes it taste like every other italian thing anyone has ever made instead of YOUR pesto.

1 smidge of lemon juice. But since you cut up the lemon, throw the rest in your iced tea.

Put it all in the tiny, usually useless Black and Decker MiniPro food processor your dad (er... Santa) got you for Christmas two years ago. Pulse until the acrid smell of burning plastic overcomes the nice basily garlicky goodness you gots goin' on. Stop until the smell floats away. Pulse and repeat.

Add more basil.

And more oil.

Add more basil.

Cook pasta. Immediately put 3/4 of it away in the fridge, slightly melting the cheapo fake tupperware container you put it in.

ERSTWHILE: You have done the following...

Boiled water. Poured it over a 1/2 tsp of saffron. Let it sit overnight. Baked frozen chicken with a little garlic, a little seasoning salt, and the saffron tea.

Ruined abovementioned chicken by essentially boiling it instead of baking.

Get pretty pasta plate (inherited from a dear friend's move), dump remaining pasta on the plate. Spoon out some pesto onto the spagetts and toss it around. Add another spoonful. Aaaaand... another. Put a piece of chewy saffron chicken on the plate, too, not touching the pasta. The whole idea, after all, is to have a little rest from the spiciness of the pesto and force yourself to really taste the subtle saffron flavor. Mmm. That's nice. Even if the chicken is more alike to bubble gum in texture than to any meat you've ever cooked.

Eat it.

Clean dishes. Think to self: maybe I'll share this recipe. At least arahsae will read and enjoy.

Write post. Publish.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


The spaces between my electrons
(if in fact they belong to me)
expand to allow transparency
spreading like a pulled lace
or a ride-the-whip, or sea
foam losing bubbles. We
(my atoms and I) disagree
on this point - they swear
they never liked solidity
but I abhor even more