Saturday, July 22, 2006

death by chocolate: survival

those of you, dear readers, who wrote with concern about my whereabouts may be relieved to hear that i have survived. the justly world-famous death by chocolate, that is.

obviously i had to try it. thanks goodness i had 3 other people to help!

travelling on business is always difficult -- esp. when it means you have to visit the mainland. luckily i fell into the company of the most charming and sweet people, ones who remind you of everything you like about your fellow americans.

it was really a little refresher in de tocqueville. however it was also a refresher in all the perils of post-9-11 aviation, and why it's better to take amtrak than to fly whenever possible.

i nearly had to return to nyc by way of atlanta, then flint (i kid you not), and finally to laguardia! but in the end good karma prevailed. . .and i tossed my body on a direct flight.

i will confess i took my own coffee with me: in this case, the last of oren's sumatral, which i brewed in the little travel press david dallis gave me.

so today finds me at my usual yoga class, drinking peter g's counterculture cafe san ramon iced, and peeling 4 lbs(!) of fava beans. many cookbooks say that if favas are less than an inch long, you don't have to peel them.

don't believe it. fava bean skin is thick, stiff, and nasty, like the pectin walls of an apple core. who would ever willingly eat an apple core?

worse, if the beans are large, it's quite bitter too.

many authors blithely tell you to slit the top of the bean at the brown mark where it attaches to the pod. then they claim you can just pinch the bottom and the inner bean will slide right out.

dream on. mostly the skin clings fiercely to the bean -- often you end up peeling them almost like an orange.

so i'm spending this hot and muggy afternoon listening to sigur ros and peeling favas. at home.

happily at home on my little island off the coast of the united states, with my husband and my cat.

mr. right was so happy to see me he even whirled up one of my favorite summer dishes: gazpacho! now, that's a gift.

thank you, mr. right. . .

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