You know that hideous feeling where you've let something go so long, you're too mortified to know how to address it? Well, that's me, somehow finding the gumption to write this.
I've just had lunch with a beloved friend, in which we discussed this very quandary. Well, actually, not this very quandary, but yet another thing that I've let get hideously awry. Anyway, I'll attack the other thing in a minute after I've gotten this post taken care of, but I thought her solution was ingenious and I don't know why I didn't think of it before: just tell the truth.
So here goes, I apologize for not having written in so long--since October in fact. The thing is, I've been extremely well, happy and perhaps, um, a bit distracted. I've been on a couple of stupendous trips--to Italy to cooking school, away for a fabulous Thanksgiving with friends, had lovely holidays both here and away, and a lovely, frivolous time hanging about with Felix over his long break from school. I've even been cooking like mad too--things Italian, things French, things southern and things I've been making up on the spot. I've made everything from cookies to foie gras and everything in between. I've eaten tons of cool things that I didn't cook too, everywhere from Venice and Rome and Puglia, to New York and D.C. and right here in Richmond. Good old familiar things with great old friends, and new, intriguing things with people I've just had the good fortune to meet. It's been a blast.
Sadly, what I haven't done is keep up with my photography, nor this blog.
As regards the photography, I don't feel too bad about it, because I did live in the precious minute of each incredible bite, and each lovely meal with those around me. No I didn't reach for my camera, but stayed fully in the the moment . Oh my goodness, that mushroom risotto in Venice where the waiter brought the pan out into the very glamorous dining room, just to make sure I got every little bit. And cooking by candlelight in the kitchen at the castle...well, that's something else that lives in my heart, and leaps into my mind every evening as I reach for my trusty colander, as I glance at an almond, as I taste that grassy green olive oil at the very back of my throat. Well, I could go on and on.
And since that's the very purpose of ClareFare, I intend to do just that in the upcoming months.
In the meantime, my inspirational lunch occurred over a very sad and disappointing spinach salad. Now I dearly love a good spinach salad and really, for some reason, it seems to me that this is just the time of year to be eating them: the spinach is good, mushrooms are crisp and cool, and what's not discernibly better with good chunks of bacon, slathered with bacon dressing? They're kind of retro, (or at least I think they are because I seem to remember my mother and all of her friends having a mania for them) which is sort of comforting for the new year, and they're incredibly easy (especially now that we can get those boxes of pre-washed baby spinach everywhere). For some reason, I guess because it leaves me with that funny squeaky raw spinach feeling on my teeth, I even feel like they're good for me.
Whether or not they're really good for one, it appears that I fortuitously took a photograph of one I made before I fell off the blogging wagon. Wouldn't you know it, I just stumbled upon the photo all ready to go, when I opened the file with the vague thought that it might be time to blog again. I guess spinach salad is proving to be good for me after all, or maybe it's just telling the truth.
Easy Spinach Salad
2 eggs, hard boiled, peeled and sliced
5 ounces fresh baby spinach, washed and dried with any tough stems removed
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 slices thick center-back bacon, cut into 1-inch dice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Put spinach, sliced eggs and mushrooms in a large salad bowl.
Fry bacon until crumbly. Remove it from the pan and allow it to briefly drain on a paper towel, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet. With the pan on medium, add the vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper to the fat in the skillet and heat through, whisking to combine.
Sprinkle the bacon onto the salad, and, once the dressing is heated through, pour it on top of the salad and toss so that the spinach gently wilts a bit.