Friday, May 16, 2008

Weighing The Dog

It is awkward for me and bewildering for him
as I hold him in my arms in the small bathroom,
balancing our weight on the shaky blue scale,

but this is the way to weigh a dog and easier
than training him to sit obediently on one spot
with his tongue out, waiting for the cookie.

With pencil and paper I subtract my weight
from our total to find out the remainder that is his,
and I start to wonder if there is an analogy here.

It could not have to do with my leaving you
though I never figured out what you amounted to
until I subtracted myself from our combination.

You held me in your arms more than I held you
through all those awkward and bewildering months
and now we are both lost in strange and distant

by Billy Collins

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Spinach, Almond, Raisin Frittata

Serves 3 to 4

12 oz baby spinach
Extra-virgin olive oil (preferably first cold-pressed)
1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch dice
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or more to taste
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup toasted, crushed, and salted almonds
5 large eggs plus 1 egg white
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon each salt and fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Asiago or Pecorino-Romano cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Chop the spinach. Film a 10-inch skillet (with an ovenproof handle) with oil, and heat over medium high. Add the onions and a little salt and pepper. Sauté them to golden brown.
2. Stir in the garlic and then stir in the spinach in 2 batches. As the first batch wilts, add the second. Stir over medium high until all the leaves wilt. Stir in the thyme, raisins, and nuts, and remove the pan from the heat.
3. Beat together the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and 2/3 of each of the cheeses. Pour the mixture over the cooked spinach. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 12 minutes more, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out with only a few bits of creamy egg and cheese clinging to it.
4. Let the frittata stand 5 to 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges. You may also serve this cold (leftovers!) or at room temperature which makes it a great dish for a party. Make two and you can eat when you and your friends wish – not when the dish is at a particular temperature.

****(Perhaps Obvious) Tips - be careful when setting the skillet out, it’s easy to forget that the handle’s hot. To make the work easy, use a large serrated knife to chop/crush the almonds.

****Frittatas are Italian omelets (they probably preceded the French omelette) that are partially cooked on the stovetop and then transferred to the oven. "Frittata" is more fun to say than omelette and requires no fancy flipping or obsessive-compulsive folding. That means you needn't suffer from any of the stress related to turning out a perfect dish or angst when it looks like a preschooler had a party on your plate.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

Globalization At Its Best
South Korean 3 Year Old, Ha Youngwoong, Rocks

It's Mother's Day today and if this lovely little crooner doesn't make you want to procreate, nothing will. By the way, Mother's Day in the U.S. was initially intended to unite women against war. Julia Ward Howe was a social activist who wrote a Mother's Day Proclamation in 1870 to promote peace and disarmament. President Woodrow Wilson made the holiday official in 1914.