Friday, February 19, 2016

first DATEs and HONEYmoon phase

Can my job be to plan Top Chef challenges?
[This post is me undeservedly unwinding and procrastinating.]

Top Chef inspiration from season 13, which is very appropriately in California.
Specifically the episode where they were joined by my other recent inspiration - Chrissy Teigan.
"I heart that char."
"I'm a chicken skin girl."
My sentiments exactly.

So from...
medjool date sauce, heat vs sweet
stuffed medjool with chorizo, almond, cheese
pinenut and zahadi date froth
pork tenderloin with chilies and medjool
date vinaigrette
braised dates on cheese plate
roasted deglet nour date with carrot, pine nuts, browned butter
dates in fish curry
blue cheese stuffed 
date milkshake
spicy date salad
peach and zahidi sauce

I decided to make more roasted chickpeas.
And toss them with some pan-roasted carrots and dates because I brought half a bag of Medjool dates with me from home.
In lots of butter. And some cardamom and cumin.
With sunflower seeds. Although it really would've benefited from those pine nuts.
Because it was a couple months-ish of maximizing experiences, and I really wouldn't have had it any other way. Maybe sans distance. And maybe sans the uncertainty that is grad school. Just maybe.
I'm going to count our first date as the time we had dinner at around 9pm at Ike's. And that's probably the third date I've had in my life. I, of course, had the burger. He had a rack of ribs.
Which was a perfect excuse to make these ribs again. This time to share. It's been awhile since I've cooked for more than myself (that wasn't a potluck situation), and it felt good to feed another person. This time also with 6-8 ounces of dates and 1/4 c sugar instead of the full cup of brown sugar. They were so amazing that I had a photographer come in to document them.
Just kidding. It was part of a recipe publication requirement. It was dark, so I walked in on Emma holding up a desk lamp over the ribs that were not quiet ready to eat. It was quickly devoured when it was ready to eat a couple hours later.
Not that they happened in the same night (I'm just giving away all my behind the scene secrets here), but nothing goes better with my favorite meat than a side from my favorite family of vegetables. Bacon fat roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic, honey balsamic dressing, and two poached eggs on top.
By the way, have you ever gotten bacon slices straight from the slab of cured pork belly. Specifically, from Underground Butcher. Oh my lawd, so beautiful, so thick, so smokey, just so real. I would add vacuum packed, grocery store bacon to my "Do Not Buy" list... but perhaps once I have a real income. And someone to feed.
 Quick flashback to that poached egg that added another layer of dressing. Mmmmyummy.

I'm not the kind of person who purges things, and I hope you aren't either. Trying to cope and reconcile and remind and convince and resist. Mostly just remembering. The memories that I forgot you were a part of from way back when I couldn't have foreseen this coming. All the ones that I doubt you'd remember too because they were otherwise so insignificant. And then the memories that we quickly created in such a short time. That now permeate even the unexpected parts of my days. And hurt all over again when I realize I can't share them.
And repeating my seesawing mantra. I miss you I'll be fine I miss you I'll be fine I miss you I miss you I miss you.
I need someone to tell me how long this loneliness is supposed to last, so I can plan around it.

Bonus: banana date bread for dessert.
[Do you like that alternating alliteration?]

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