Friday, January 15, 2010

Rosemary and Meyer Lemons

After spending three winters in Ithaca, I have yet to find January in New York City unbearably cold. Still, the return to New York from my Christmas holiday in California coincided with a frigid, wintry blast not unlike those that used to sweep down from the Arctic, across Cayuga Lake and straight into my face as I walked home from campus to Fall Creek. I haven't cut back on any of my outside time (in other words, I can still be found running the trails of Central Park in the morning and walking home from work in the evenings), but I have noticed some reluctance on my part to leave my building unless absolutely necessary. I've also sensed, in the past couple of weeks, a desire for something savory-sweet, something that could both cut the richness of holiday food and hint at the eventual return of spring and warmer weather. Enter my beloved Sunset magazine.
I came across this recipe in Sunset's December issue, and so it was the first culinary possibility I considered when I saw a mound of gorgeous Meyer lemons for sale at Fairway. After rummaging for a bundle of pungent rosemary in the produce section, I returned home, diced a stick of cold butter, and rolled out a crumbly shortbread dough. One hour and a drinking glass rim-cum cookie cutter later, I was spooning puddles of lemon sugar glaze onto each button and dotting them with rosemary sprigs. Upon eating the "test" cookies, I discovered the following two things: first, I like the bracing strength of the rosemary alongside the lemon sugar base (it prevents the buttons from being too sweet); second, I had found the perfect January dessert. And the perfect occasional early morning, pre-run breakfast. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An Interview with Larkin Callaghan

Siblings, Stick-Eaters, and BFFs
Picture this: it is a foggy and cold June night in San Francisco. The year is 1983, and in the Inner Richmond District a bright-eyed two year-old is playing with her godmother. Although most toddlers would be in bed at this hour, this particular child never goes to sleep before 11:00 pm. Tonight, however, she is awake--and still playing--for a different reason. In a few minutes, she will be summoned to her parents' bedroom to meet someone very important, and this person will change the course of her life forever. She is about to meet someone who will not only be her closest friend and ally, but also her mind melder and occasional proxy. She is about to meet Larkin Callaghan
CGC: What was your best experience as a party tart proxy?

LRC: This was obviously a plug for me to mention the time you left me in charge socially while you went off to read in your room. However, there have been a lot, and I would also mention either bursting open the pinata in front of the 3rd Ave flat on your birthday, or leading the troop of ribboned, nicely coordinated and well-dressed in pink 8 year-olds through Fairyland in Oakland.

CGC: Describe the perfect New York City day, and how it differs from the perfect San Francisco day.

LRC: The perfect San Francisco day is anything within the borders of SF, Marin, Alameda, or San Mateo Counties. Specifically, a morning run in GG Park, a walk through Muir Woods ending at the Tourist Club, a dip in the Bay and lay in the sun on Crissy Field, dinner on Union or Chestnut or in Mill Valley, and a show at the Warfield. It would be tightly scheduled. The perfect New York City day is anything within the borders of New York County. Specifically, a morning run in Central Park, a trip to the Boat Basin for brunch, a walk up in the Cloisters, a Broadway show, dinner at a ridiculously overpriced West Village restaurant, and watching the movie projected on Chelsea Piers while hanging out at the Frying Pan.

CGC: Why are you not as excited by the Tour de France as me and CSC?

LRC: This feels like character assassination. I like the Tour. You are just borderline fanatic.

CGC: True or false: luna bars are superior to olives.

LRC: Absolutely false. Are you on crack?

CGC: How would you defuse a fight between hipsters from the Mission and hipsters from Williamsburg (and what would the fight be about)?

LRC: The fight would likely be about which coast's hipsters were more true to the movement's themes of trust funders slumming with no sense of irony, political correctness without actual political understanding, and general perversity and disregard for societal norms that have evolved over the decades out of respect for things like hygiene and grooming. I would choose to not defuse the fight in hopes that they would wipe one another out in a furious explosion of fedoras, felt vests, and chuck taylors dirty from dumpster diving. Let 'em riot.

Quotes of the Week

As my devoted readers have no doubt noticed, I took a hiatus from The Freckle in December. A sad by-product of this break has been a dearth of bloggable quotes, not only because I haven't had my ear cocked for quoteworthy utterables, but also because I was traveling and swimming in typical holiday chaos. My return to work last week, however, resulted in some great tidbits with which to kick off the New Year. Enjoy!
CGC: If I were an animal what animal would I be?
LP: Fox.
CGC: What?
MJL: What would JL be?
LP: Rabbit.
CGC/MJL: A rabbit?
LP: Because of his limitless libido.

LP: I got fined $100 in the subway.
CGC: You got fined $100? Why?
LP: I didn't pay.

While discussing a popular book on linguistics that JL is currently reading.
CGC: Do you like that book?
JL: Kind of. It's light. It's like the wet dream of an NPR segment producer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Yorkshire Gold, I Salute You.

Because you help me greet each day with a kick and a smile. Because your rich, malty taste fortifies me for both frigid winter mornings and humid summer dawns, and because a splash of milk only deepens your malty richness. Because you emerge from both the flowering fields of Assam and the edenic highlands of East Africa, and because you are blended on the bracing Yorkshire moors, and because I can find you at both Fairway and Wegman's. Because I've carried you in baggies over the Alps, and driven you across the United States, and stored you in emergency stashes in every single one of my apartments. Because you are world harmony in a tea cup. Yorkshire Gold, I salute you!