Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I’m a practical cook. I can manage the basics, but I get tripped up by artistry. In recent years I’ve also become incredibly lazy, relying on peanut butter sandwiches, pasta, Progresso soup and steamed vegetables for most of my evening nutrition. (I get my main meal at midday in the cafeteria at work.)

Last night, however, my friend Dave came over and put my kitchen to good use. Dave’s been to culinary school, and together we made an incredibly adventurous meal -- well, for me, anyway. We made a chilled cantaloupe soup with pureed cantaloupe, champagne and mint; a veggie pasta in a sauce made of red wine, cream and thyme; and some little puff pastries with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

It was amazing to see these creations emerging from my kitchen -- which is so small it isn’t a kitchen, but a kitchenette. The pastries especially threw me. In the seven years I’ve lived here, I had never used my oven. I’m now happy to report it works beautifully!

Thanks, Dave!

(Photo: Spring on the Lower East Side, April 2009)


  1. Why don't you and Dave come down and cook with me?! Sounds like a deliciously delightful evening to me. I find cooking to be fun and relaxing, a way to be adventurous and creative.

    You'd better be careful -- you might actually have to clean that oven someday if you keep using it...

  2. Steve: after you and Dave have finished your stint at Barbara's you are more than welcome to drop by Graulhet and repeat the program. I have visions of an al fresco meal in the courtyard where that soup is playing a defining role, served with the thinnest slivers of serrano ham. Yyyum.

    (Lovely variation on the shadow and light theme in that photo.)

  3. The soup sounds wonderful. and reminds me that I need to drink some champagne soon.

  4. No wonder you've had occasional problems with your stomach! Home cooked food is always so much more nutritious than anything that comes out of the freezer, a can, or a box (or a cafeteria).

    Maybe Dave can inspire you to cook a little bit more than you have in the past. I find it so relaxing, and satisfying, too.

    Little kitchens are easier to work in than large ones, at least for me.

    Very cool!

  5. cooking! love it.... glad you have a friend who put your kitchen to use and made sure your oven works!

    7 years and you never used your oven! wow...

    my book group recently read 'soul of a chef' - we all loved it, I think you'd enjoy it as well - check it out....unfortunately my copy is passed on and I forgot who I passed it on to, otherwise....

    (p.s. am behind with blogland as I'm still off on a wander, but for now the house I'm staying at is empty, so....)

  6. I wandered through your blog and loved the photos. Great tree...very lush in a concrete jungle!

  7. great menu - i'd love to try the soup.