Friday, July 14, 2006


My $800 brake parts won't come in till next week. Till then, I am homebound.

Do manufacturers set out to make the non-warranty parts as crappily as possible to ensure that repairs will still bring in money? Just wondering. I shouldn't complain - I've had 5 years of almost completely uneventful driving. But all of a sudden, it's as if some timer went off and the car said "Quick! She's only got 6 months left on the bumper to bumper coverage!" and now, here I am, hemorraging cash I didn't have in the first place.

If you need me I will be on my verandah this weekend, fanning myself and steeping in gin. I aim to try Hendricks, which I hear is infused with cucumber. Sounds divinely cooling for the anticipated high 90s we're supposed to get.

what are you reading?

I am struggling through John Updike's Terrorist. I think I see where he's going already and I'm only on page 100. It's going to be a slog because, as I tell everyone, I think that reading Updike is a very pleasant experience as long as you don't need to have anything happen. The words drift by, forming beautiful and graceful arabesqes of descriptive prose that occasionally come to a stop and form very long sentences, and you are pulled along, delighted by the interplay of all the syllables and letters and little unforgotten punctuation marks, until you realize that many many pages have gone by and nothing has happened.

On the other hand, I am NOT struggling through Jane and Michael Stern's Two for the Road, the story of how they came to be a travelin' couple in search of good American eats. It's unlike their previous works in that it's more prosy, but good news: there are still recipes accompanying each chapter like a hunk of warm cornbread. Unecessary, but delicious.

Which reminds me - when my car is ready (after $800 worth of brakes) I will depart for Western New York. I have a list of places to re-visit with my niece, who is 7 and does not have such things in Atlanta: Ted's for hot dogs, Schwabl's for a beef on weck, and Anderson's for a frozen custard. Then I will be happy. Then my trip will be complete.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

My Personal Milestone

Welcome to my milestone!

I recently met a fella and was able to recognize that although he is a fine human being, he is not right for me, and I told him I didn't think I was interested before things started getting weird. I think I deserve bonus points because I said we should be friends and meant it. My reward: the fella responded warmly and agreeably.

This may not sound like much, but in the past I would have tried to hang on for dear life to someone who wasn't into me and I would have blamed myself when they rejected me.

Progress. I feel so mature.

Jennifer's Pork Chops

My friend Jennifer devised this approach. I've modified it somewhat to use fresh herbs. Anyway, I like the idea of simmering the meat after it's browned. It maintains some moisture and infuses the flavors a little more than just pan-cooking.

Brown shoulder pork chops (you could also use lamb) in a large skillet over medium heat.

While this is happening process a large bunch fresh parsley and about 2 tablespoons garlic with salt and pepper to taste and about 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Reduce heat to simmer and add about 1/4 cup water (could use wine, too, I suppose) to the pan. Spoon the parsley pesto over the chops and allow to simmer until the liquid is mostly gone.
Serve with applesauce.