Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Other feet have scuffed these wooden floors

the fallen leaf envies fruit on the branch
old love letter in the drawer
itches with envy at the weight
of newly-penned passion on the table top
always a struggle in the comparison
but two needs one to come before
larger, smaller, brighter, sweeter
forgotten sweater in the closet
(did I forget a sweater in the closet?)
things remembered laugh at Easter
they are, it is, they are
barking up the same tree
retreating to the same brown bed

by Cristina Paul

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Romesco Sauce

because old-hat hummus has worn out its welcome

Serves 3-4 as a sauce for meat or 6-9 as an appetizer with flatbreads, crackers, veggies, and such

1 ounce dried, seeded guajillo pepper (about 1 inch of 1 pepper) or 2 chiles de arbol
4 Roma tomatoes
1/4 cup best-quality olive oil, divided
1/2 cup roasted and salted Marcona almonds
3 water crackers or 1/2 slice of toasted country white bread with crust cut off
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sweet paprika (preferably Spanish)
1 teaspoon of champagne or red wine vinegar (a mix of both is best)

1. Set the oven to broil. Cover the peppers with boiling water and allow to soften for 30 minutes and reserve.

2. While the peppers are softening, halve the tomatoes lengthwise and place them, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil over the tomatoes and broil the tomatoes until the skins begin to darken and crack, about 5 minutes. Cool on their tray and set aside.

4. In a food processor, coarsely chop the nuts, crackers or bread, garlic, and salt. Add the pepper, tomatoes, paprika and vinegar and process to a rough paste. Slowly pour in remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a steady stream and process until just combined. If served as a dip, you may want to drizzle extra olive oil on top and sprinkle on some extra paprika. Add a dash of cayenne pepper if you’d like more kick. Set out flatbreads, crackers, chips, or pita and watch the sauce disappear.

***The food section of The LA Times just ran a recipe for romesco sauce; I like mine better, insofar as all the ingredients are actually available at most markets, it’s less labor intensive, and it tastes divine.
****If you don’t have a brush to brush the olive oil onto the tomatoes, an even better alternative is a sturdy sprig of rosemary.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

Hunting for duplexes, much like searching for a mate, inevitably forces one to compromise. And hunting for property in L.A. really puts the AYYYYY in compromAAAAYse. So while cruising relatively undesirable neighborhoods, with scrawled notes in hand, I noticed something about the places my brother and I had been looking at. Some of the duplexes were like ugly girls with nice clothes on, and these didn't bother me. Other properties were pretty girls with haggard clothing, they had real "potential". Some were just ugly girls with ugly clothes. Now these properties truly had nothing to recommend them. I wondered who resided in them and said a tiny little prayer - for myself - in hopes that I wouldn't suffer from night tremors because of the indelible mark the pooplexes had left upon my consciousness.

When I returned to my own rabbit-hole, I fitfully sharpened all of my knives and felt much better, resolving to look again... next weekend.

Here's just one of the portraits of modern decay. You'd think the realtor would have at least removed the rickety shopping cart or righted the teeter-tottering sign post for the picture.