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number one, with a cold

February 14, 2010

Virginia is for lovers, and so are Sunday nights.  Lovers, that is, of relaxation, jazz, wine, friends and family, a clean set of sheets, contemplation of the week behind and the one to come, 60 Minutes, dogs, movies and, most of all, lovers of deciding what to do for dinner.  Eat in or out?  Pick up, delivery, or cook?  Heavy meal on a day of rest, or light meal after a long weekend of indulgence?  Meat?  Fish?  Chicken?  Vegetarian?  Homemade soup and a simple salad, or Jacques Pepin’s pork and beans?  The possibilities are endless, or at least as infinite as you have allowed your food knowledge to grow.    And there are few things quite as pleasurable (or deserved) as spending the day planning how you’ll end it.

This happened to be a weekend of indulgence, with friends in town and lots to do.  It also happened to be a weekend I was sick with a head cold – nothing major or show-stopping, but enough to make one take a deep breath Sunday morning and exhale the fine words: “Today I will do not much.”  Not much can actually mean quite a bit more than it would at first appear, but following a full weekend of cavorting (drinks and escargot; cooking brunch at home; a walk around town; bowling; long, late dinner; Manhattans on the rocks; comfort brunch), the organizing, relaxing, reading and running that made up my Sunday felt pretty leisurely.

Which leads us, inevitably, to Sunday night and the grand decision of what to do for dinner.  If you are feeling something light, on this night or any other, then do the following:

1. Make your way to the nearest vegetable stand
2. Purchase an eggplant and fresh Mozzarella or Swiss cheese
3. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick pieces, and the cheese about the same (if Mozzarella) or pretty thin (if Swiss)
4. Saute the eggplant in a pan with some olive oil over medium/high heat, two minutes per side
5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
6. Turn the heat on low and lay a piece of cheese on top of each piece of eggplant
7. Let sit for another minute or two

Eat it as a main course with some brown rice or as a side to a piece of chicken or fish.  Enjoy.

No. 323: 2/14/2010


There is nothing wrong with eating sweets, fried foods, pastries,
even drinking soda every now and then, but food manufacturers
have made eating these formerly expensive and hard-to-make treats
so cheap and easy that we’re eating them every day. The french fry
did not become America’s most popular vegetable until industry
took over the jobs of washing, peeling, cutting, and frying the potatoes
— and cleaning up the mess. If you made all the french fries you ate,
you would eat them much less often, if only because they’re so much
work. The same holds true for fried chicken, chips, cakes, pies, and ice
cream. Enjoy these treats as often as you’re willing to prepare them —
chances are good it won’t be every day.

– Michael Pollan, rule #39 from Food Rules

Nos. 324: 2/13/2010


Jim, I don’t care what you do when you grow up. I don’t
care if you drive a truck like I do, or if you become the
president. Just remember that when you go over the
mountain to work in the morning, you’ve got to be singing.

– Author James Patterson recalling words from his grandfather,
as he tagged along on a 4 am delivery truck route in upstate New
York as a young boy


No. 325: 2/12/2010

But the world they were in was not the world he was in.

– Ernest Hemingway, Soldier’s Home

No. 326: 2/11/2010


No. 327: 2/10/2010

Congratulations, Laura, you made it to the Top Five.  Number
five, with a bullet, welcome.

– John Cusack’s character Rob Gordon, High Fidelity

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2010 5:37 pm

    I am a particular fan of the high fidelity quote!

  2. February 16, 2010 7:21 am

    Thanks for the eggplant and cheese idea! Loving the pictures and James Patterson’s quote.

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