Today’s post was meant to be (because I do have a sort of plan I follow – not a strict plan, but a general plan) the review of two wonderful books, Ron McClurty’s The Memory of Running and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking. I don’t know if you are like me or not, but I find if I don’t do book reviews immediately upon reading completion I lose my enthusiasm to do so. So, suffice it to say I highly recommend both of these books – McClurty’s if you are looking for a nice book – an enjoyable read with a hero you come to love. This is also a good book to fulfill any sort of “traveling through America” jones you may have. I am especially impressed because McClurty is an actor and a playwright, and this was his first novel. People involved in more than one art, doing them well – they are my inspiration. Didion’s book has been posted on and reviewed ad nauseum, so I’ll just put myself firmly in the “loved it, completely in awe of it” category. Now I’m in the midst of Reynold Price’s Noble Norfleet and it’s another great read. I have a huge fondness in my heart for Price.
By the way, I’m beginning to think reading blogs is ruining my taste for the critics. I tried reading the NY Times review of books Sunday and half the time couldn’t even tell if the review was positive or negative. I just kept thinking “Oh, get ON with it, already.”
Anyway, the rules of the food meme are very basic. List five food things about yourself. So, without further ado, on this raining Wednesday morning, are five food facts about everythinginbetween:
1. Ever since I moved to Pittsburgh, I’ve been going through periods where I crave very particular foods – almost as though I’m missing some sort of mineral or vitamin or something. My first week here, I ate nothing but eggs, avocado, grapefruit and spinach. Last week, I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge for peanut butter. I bought a jar, every day when I come home from work, before going to the gym, I dip a few pretzels into it. I’ve had overwhelming urges for steak and salmon. And fruit…I went to the grocery store in dire need of fruit and came home with grapefruit, bananas, rasberries (out of season, gasp! Almost as bad as the processed whiteness of the pretzels…) and melon. These desires have honestly felt like “needs” over “wants” although the rational part of my brain tells me that can’t possibly be true.
2. This morning for breakfast I will eat oatmeal with half a banana, maple syrup, and crushed pecans.
3. My “favorite” meal used to be caesar salad, steak and garlic bread, all made by my mom, with German chocolate cake for dessert. I’m now a bit too grown up to just have one favorite meal, but one near the top would be mussels and pomme frites.
4. I had the most amazing dinner at my brother’s restaurant last Saturday. The food there is always exceptional, but Saturday’s dinner topped even its usual greatness – I don’t remember exactly how it was prepared but it had shrimp, ravioli, red pepper, spinach, garlic and white wine. That, along with the shrimp special, are two dishes I’ve asked him to call me about whenever they are featured.
5. I’m much less of a carnivore than I used to be, and am in the process of figuring out how I feel about meat in general. That said, I could never be a vegetarian, but for environmental and health purposes I try to stick to eating beef/lamb/pork/chicken with skin no MORE than twice a week, and always the recommended three ounces. More will be posted on this during the summer, I suspect, as I try to continue working out my relationship with meat.
As a special added Wednesday bonus, I’d like to point you all in the direction of a new food blog – Mediterrasian Cooking. The creators believe in a healthful, beautiful approach to food. I am working to eventually have my diet be mostly Mediterranean in nature, and sites like this only help the cause!