Archive for May, 2011

Published by PaintingChef on 16 May 2011

The things we aren’t talking about today.

Books? Again? More? Oh sure, why the hell not?

It’s not like we’re going to talk about painting… oh no. That would just remind me that I’m NOT painting and that I actually have a couple of paintings that I really need to do but all the NOT painting I’m doing to avoid attempting those paintings I’m supposed to be doing is going to be oh so very loud. As always, they are in my head. I know exactly what I want to paint. That’s never been the problem. I’m just too… scared to try and translate it. My artistic abilities are raw, at best. I can’t draw, I can’t manipulate the paint once its on the canvas. I don’t know how. So I end up covering and covering and getting frustrated and throwing a temper tantrum and then I just start drinking.

But I want to paint something for my new niece’s (NEW! NIECE! GORGEOUS AND PERFECT IN EVERY WAY!!!) nursery. I have a friend opening a restaurant and he’s reserved a spot on a wall for me and I. HAVE. NOTHING. My grandfather is turning 90 this summer and we are all going up to the Vineyard for a whole weekend of festivities and I know EXACTLY what I want to paint for him but I’m thinking my dad would love it even more but his birthday is in two days and we all know that THAT isn’t going to happen… but maybe it could? Maybe it’s in my head enough? Maybe… just maybe… he would certainly like it better than a golf shirt, right?

Hmmmm… I think I shall sketch this afternoon and just SEE how it goes…

And chef-ing. Let’s not talk about that either. I actually would love to talk about that. I would love to talk about the delicious beer onion and barbecue chicken grilled pizza I made for dinner this weekend. And how good it still smelled when Patrick heated it up for lunch a few minutes ago. Or my current obsession with fish tacos but how I always kind of say that quietly because it sounds oddly dirty to me. I can’t talk about the big three-layer cake I’m making for my mother’s retirement party (RETIREMENT!!) next week because I have no idea what it is going to look like.

I would actually kind of love to talk about ALL of that. But can I? Is this a food blog? Can you have a food blog if you had weight loss surgery? There are so many gorgeous food blogs and so many people who stun me speechless with their baking and cooking and talents. I? Made mint julep cake truffles and didn’t even remember to take a picture of them until I was holding one half eaten in my fist last week and only had my Blackberry camera on me. It was, to say the least, a tragic picture of chocolate gore. Tasty, tasty chocolate murder.

How when I stand in the kitchen, my thoughts slow down and become more mellow. Whether I am baking or grilling or braising or roasting, it all makes me calm. How just the right amount of thyme can make squash and zucchini melt in your mouth like butter. And if I close my eyes, I swear that I sense my grandmother sitting right there, sipping coffee and smiling at me, telling me to just trust my instincts.

Or about the Easter meal I cooked for a group of friends and family. Beautiful barbecue chicken, perfectly grilled and sweet and smoky and oh so moist and tender that I ate it cold out of the fridge two days later. Summer vegetable succotash served cold and loaded with fresh basil. And my favorite summer salad with strawberries, goat cheese, praline pecans and crisp spinach leaves. We all sat down and someone said it looked like a magazine spread. I? Was two (four) glasses of wine deep and probably would have dropped my camera had I even tried to pick it up. Not that it ever occurred to me any damn way.

(Oh look… we’re back to drinking. What a shock.)

What was the point? Oh yeah. I read books this weekend. “The Hunger Games” trilogy. All of them. Couldn’t put them down. Can’t stop thinking about them. But I’m still not reading those damn vampire books. I tried and I hated every single second.

Published by PaintingChef on 02 May 2011

The Stack(s).

I’m a stacker. I stack mail, to do lists, catalog but most of all, I stack books. Because I am usually reading two or three at once, I have a very scientific method to my book-stacking madness. Already read, reading (a migrating stack) and next in line.

Here are the current contents of those stacks…

Mermaids on the Moon by Elizabeth Stuckey-French

Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson

The Room-Mating Season by Rona Jaffe

The Final Testament of the Holy Bible by James Frey
Yes. THAT James Frey. I was mesmerized by A Million Little Pieces and even though it turned out to be mostly in his head, it was a very good story. And when he wrote Bright Shiny Morning, a book that WAS fiction, I was equally captivated. So when I heard about this one… I couldn’t resist.

The Bone Yard by Jefferson Bass

The Third Angel by Alice Hoffman

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

The New Yorkers by Cathleen Schine

What’s in your stack?