It’s Sunday again?! That was a quick week. I am liking The List.
It feels like there is more life in my life.
Here’s an update to the weekly, monthly, or multiple items that didn’t appear on my blog yet.
#21, Try a new restaurant each week, 2/52
On Friday, I met my friend, Nancy Zaslavsky, at Terrine, on Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles.
I met Nancy years ago when I was doing my externship for cooking school and she took me on as a food writing intern. She had written A Cook’s Tour to Mexico and Meatless Mexican, and she had some editing work for me to do.
We hit it off immediately.
Once I found out about her tours, I jumped at the chance of taking a trip to Mexico with her. I took her trip to Oaxaca for Day of the Dead and it remains one of the best trips of my life, it was the most visually exciting place I’ve ever been. I saw men riding down the streets on bicycles piled high with marigolds and cockscomb, I visited folk artists, drank mezcal in a cemetery at night whilst visiting decorative alters, and ate the best cuisine Oaxaca had to offer.
Since that October, I have had the opportunity to travel several times with Nancy, and it is always incredible. We have clinked glasses at The Herbfarm in Seattle, we have been to New York together twice, we’ve driven the streets of Tijuana at midnight after eating the best octopus of our lives, and we have chatted up Jacques Pepin while he stuffed his pockets with free chocolates.
Nancy loves her friends and I am grateful to count myself among them.
She was kind enough to want to celebrate my birthday at a rustic French restaurant that she knew I would like. We began with an assortment of charcuterie. Then we had moules frites for our main course. Terrine kindly brought a slice of lemon tart, as a birthday treat. It was heaven, not too sweet- just the perfect balance of citrus and sugar in a crisp pastry shell.
Then Nancy astonished me with an exciting gift. Can you guess what it was?
A big black truffle and two raw, organic eggs. When the eggs are stored with the truffle they take on the scent of the truffle. So three days later, I can enjoy a truffle scented omelette, and afterwards I can make something delicious with the truffle.
Nancy knows how to put the delight in delightful. It was the perfect afternoon.
#11, Attend ten museum exhibits, 2/10
Before I went to the Joel Sartore lecture at the Annenberg on Thursday night, my friend Erica and I attended the Life exhibit at the museum. Click on that last link to see a one minute video about the exhibit. The photographer, Frans Lanting, worked on this project for several years and the result is an epic achievement. If you visit the exhibit, take the time to watch the documentary film commissioned by the Annenberg Space for Photography and produced by award-winning director Steven Kochones and Arclight Productions.
#103, Try a new bourbon
Last time I visited the Annenberg, my son, Ethan, and I stopped in at the restaurant, Craft, to get some dinner. I noticed that they have a nice selection of bourbons. They serve it the way I like, neat with one gigantic ice cube. That night I tried 12 year old, Elijah Craig, and Thursday night I tried Jefferson’s Reserve, a “very small batch bourbon”.
I liked them both, though truth be told, I have yet to find a bourbon I would refuse.
#119, Try a new recipe each week, 2/52
Tonight is the Golden Globes. I’m not watching it, but I thought it would be a good excuse to finally try the recipe for Morgan Murphy’s Bacon Bourbon Butterscotch Popcorn, that I saw on the Leite’s Culinaria website.
I made the popcorn in my favorite Whirley Pop popcorn maker, I used Blanton’s bourbon, and instead of sea salt, I used Mark Bitterman’s Apple Smoked artisan salt, though I used a bit less than the recipe called for.
It was so good that I immediately sent some down the street to a neighbor. It was far too dangerous to have it sitting on the counter. It would be fabulous to bring to an Academy Awards party. You’ll surely win an award for best guest.
#362 Make Mexican Hot Chocolate
Homer has a hearty appetite at 94-years-old. He had already had eggs and toast for breakfast, he ate the roscon de reyes, drank the Mexican chocolate, and he still wanted to participate in the bacon tasting I’d promised him.
Years ago at a culinary conference, Ari Weinzwieg, of Zingerman’s Deli had orchestrated a bacon tasting. We tried something like nine bacons during the tasting. My favorite of the day was Nueske’s bacon, and I’ve been ordering it online ever since. I told Homer about the event and he asked if I would set up a tasting for him. I stuck with Nueske’s, but I bought him a selection of the different types of bacons they sell.
Thursday morning he tried the pepper bacon. He sputtered a little at the spiciness of it, but he really liked it. The rest of the packages went into the freezer. He eats a few slices of bacon every morning along with a slice of cheese.
Before you get to thinking that bacon is the key to longevity, I should also mention that Homer spent many years running on a treadmill to balance his love of food.
#211, Listen to a weekly podcast, 2/52
I listened to this fun podcast about a woman who struggled with her choice of being an artist. The first 4 minutes, 20 seconds are fundraising, fyi.
#127, Perform a weekly Random Act of Kindness, 2/52
It was cold and rainy Tuesday afternoon and the painter stopped by to pick up a check. I asked him in and made him a hot cup of wassail to go. He said, “Oh, very strong. I like it.”
#14, Watch one Annenberg Iris Series Lecture each week, 2/52
This was a great lecture by Brian Derballa, it was an interesting look into what photography is like in the Instagram age.
#365, Do a Weekly Photo Shoot
This week, my photo shoot, was at the zoo. If you missed the post, you can catch it here.
355 days to go!