Wednesday, June 16, 2010

ladies who only lunch

Truth be told, I hope to one day have many FROM 3906 readers. But for now, I'm happy with you occasional few.
I write but it's not for readership. It's about The Quiet. It's about being alone with my thoughts, some of which make their way to this blog. It's cathartic.
I've always needed time alone. I've always enjoyed time alone. The best place? A table for one.
I'm not talking lunch, when you might grab a cup of soup or a salad before rushing off. I'm talking a meal.
Sitting with a glass of wine, time, void of conversation, slows down. You can work out any cobwebs currently spinning, and the people-watching is always great.
So why am I the lone diner? If there is another, they've stuck their nose in a book. Why? Okay, maybe they're at that really juicy part and can't put it down, but I don't think so....
Don't get me wrong. Dining with Kevin can't be beat. We may get all gussied-up for Stephan Pyles or be out and spontaneously stop for our favorite Thai rice. I love all of our meals together.
But still, The Quiet matters. It's what really feeds me.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 bunches asparagus, washed, lower stalks peeled, cut into chunks
1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into chunks
salt & pepper
a few grinds of fresh nutmeg
7 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
In a large stockpot, saute the onion in the olive oil until it's soft and blonde. Add the asparagus and potato, season with salt and pepper, (don't be shy) and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. If it should, just moisten with a little more oil. Add several grinds of fresh nutmeg and stir.
Cover the vegetables with the stock and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
Ladle a few cupfuls at a time, into a blender and process until smooth. Transfer each to a new, smaller pot. Reheat, tasting for seasoning.
Serve on top of a scoop of cooked rice, with a dollop of creme fraiche, or plain.
romaine lettuce
a jar of hearts of palm
green peas, fresh or frozen
oilve oil
one lemon
salt and pepper
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. You'll need just enough water to cover the peas. Drop the peas, about a half cup, into the water, stir a bit and then remove the pan from the heat. Allow to sit for five minutes, then drain.
Rinse and pat dry, one or two hearts of palm. Slice lengthwise into quarters, then chop across the width, into pieces about the size of the peas. Set aside.
In a salad bowl, tear a serving of romaine lettuce into bite size pieces. Add the hearts of palm and the peas. Drizzle with olive oil and gently toss to coat all of the ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the lemon in half and give it a good squeeze over the salad. Once again, toss to coat.
{If you prefer, you can make a dressing of three parts olive oil to one part lemon juice, to pour over the salad.}

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