At Home

Black Bean Soup and Cheese Toasties Please

Around the Christmas holidays, I purchased a few cookbooks.  Last Sunday I finally got around to cracking their spines, or just one spine: the spine of The Essential New York Times Cook Book.  It’s a collection of over a 1000 recipes–some going back 150 years and some by Aunt So-And-So and some by famous people like Jaime and Nigella.

I settled on the black bean soup and a banana bread because I happened to have most of the ingredients for both on hand.  I served the soup with some cheese toasties.  Those are slices of bread smeared with butter, sprinkled with garlic powder and covered with grated orange cheese that are then put under the broiler until the cheese gets bubbly and crispy.  I recommend cheese toasties for soups, to have as a snack, or to serve at a very fancy dinner party.

It was such a perfect dinner that we had the left-overs two nights later.  And the Beast offered to prepare the meal since I had some work to do at home in the evening.

Foodie:  I’m home!  Where are you?

Beast:  I’m upstairs!  Can you be quiet?  I’m trying to record stuff.

Foodie (at the top of the stairs now looking at the Beast in his music room): Well excuse me!  Want to know what just happened?

Beast:  Did you just hear me?

Foodie:  I know, I just have to tell you something really quickly.

Beast: WHAT.


Beast:  (Silence.)

Foodie (Giggling and going nuts):  Can you fucking believe it?  Isn’t it amazing?  And I was trying to be all cool about it and I fumbled about with my license and kept looking back at the people in line to see if they were smiling too but they weren’t. They looked kind of annoyed actually.  But then the lady almost didn’t believe the picture on my ID was me!

Beast:  (Silence)

Foodie: AND the other day Stephanie at work–

Beast:  –Who’s Stephanie?

Foodie: She’s one of the interns. Well she brought in her little sister and later on Stephanie told me that her little sister said I was STYLISH. And then Stephanie asked her, “How old do you think that lady is?” And her sister said…are you ready?  HER SISTER SAID, “I don’t know, 24?” AHHHHHHHH!HHHHAHAAHAHAAH!!!

Beast:  You’re fucking crazy tonight.  What are you doing?

Foodie:  I’m taking off my clothes.  What does it look like I’m doing?  I need to get into my jogging suit and house coat if I’m going to get that work done before dinner. Are you still okay with making the cheese toasties and heating up the soup?

Beast:  I guess so.  It seems like a lot for me to have to do though.

The Beast watches the Foodie suck in her stomach and then stick it out, repeatedly.

Beast:  You know what’s funny?

Foodie:  What? This? (Pointing to her stomach.)

Beast:  That when you have your clothes on I can tell that you’ve lost weight but when you’re naked you just look the same.

Foodie:  That’s so funny because I was just thinking the exact same thing the other day!  It’s so weird!  It’s like I defy physics or something!

Beast:  Okay, can you be quiet now because I have to get some work done too you know.

Foodie:  Do we have wine? I need a glass of wine.  You want one?

Beast:  I’ll have a gin please.

After delivering the Beast his aperitif, I went downstairs to my new office–the dining room–and prepared myself a little snack.

After 90 minutes or so, the Beast came downstairs to get dinner started.  His efforts resulted in this:

And this:

Watching Deadwood in the new dining room (the living room.)

Foodie: Uggh.  I can’t believe I ate more cheese toasties than you did.

Beast: No you didn’t!

Foodie: Oh yes I did!  I ate four!

Beast: I ate six!  And you better be careful what you eat because you’re going to be a fat fuck before you know!

Foodie (laughing and weezing)

Beast: If you ever try and leave me, I’d start calling you fat fuck all the time and trick you into believing that nobody else would love you like I do.

Foodie (laughing and weezing harder)

Beast:  Now shut-up will you? I don’t want to miss too much of this episode.

Foodie: (Very serious all of a sudden.) You know I hate it when you say shut-up.  I absolutely hate it.  And I’ve asked you a thousand times not to say it.  I think it’s so crass, and so rude!  It’s just a terrible, terrible thing to say to me.

Beast:  (Pause) I think it’s interesting that we’ve reached a point in our relationship where it’s acceptable that I call you a fat fuck to your face but unacceptable that I tell you to be quiet.

Foodie: True.  (Pause)  Do you want a piece of that banana bread I made?

Beast:  No thanks.  Don’t take this the wrong way but that’s pretty bad banana bread.

Foodie:  It is, isn’t it.  It’s so dry!  One minute it was all gooey in the middle and four minutes later it was overcooked.  I’m sorry.

Beast: I’m sorry for telling you to shut-up.

Foodie: That’s okay.

Beast: And I’m sorry for telling you that when you’re naked you look the same as you did before you lost all that weight. It was a lie and it wasn’t very nice. But I just don’t want you to get too full of yourself.

Foodie:  Do we have any cookies in this house?

Foodie:  ***

Beast: ***

*Black Bean recipe to follow!

Categories: At Home

3 replies »

  1. Love your blog, Jessica. Thought you might be interested in this article from the New York Times on a new Danish approach to food preparation. Peter.

    • Peter! Thank you so much, although I hope you’ve not drawn all your conclusions of the blog based on this particular post, which happens to be uncharacteristically dark, as commenter “-” has noted.

      I say we make a reservation at Noma now so that by 2014–when they have room for us–we can sample the noteworthy things chef René Redzepi is foraging and fashioning into edible epiphanies. And – can come too, but we’d best make the reservation under my name: I don’t know how Danish people feel about hyphens as monikers.

  2. Oh ya, it’s getting very dark and very real all up in this here blogville. Love the new direction! I also love how cheese toasties have been connected to the arcane concoctions of that Danish cook/warlock, deep-frying fish scales and making flour out of the dried stems of some wildflower that took twenty years to struggle out of the permafrost. Dude, we have half a continent covered with wheat over here! We will mail you some flour.

    Interesting stuff, though. I would love to go to that restaurant.

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