Perhaps not the best thing for those of us trying to minimize mouseclicks, but so irresistible… Barack Obama wanted you to have some cupcakes.

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Via email from Kat Velour’s hubby (I was gonna call him Mr. Kat Velour but that seemed a little too out of context, even for me): the Oriental Selectric ball. On this beleaguered earth is there no typographical nook or cranny untouched by the racist scourge of the Evil Chinky Font?

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A big THANK YOU to Linda Burnham for her excellent Obama & Clinton: the Tightrope & the Needle.

Must say, I’ve been a bit taken aback by how many white women assume I will agree with them that supporting Hillary is somehow obvious because she is a woman. Um… did you forget that I am a woman of color who thinks race is kinda important? Never mind that I have a degree in it. Never mind that an awful lot of my work is about it… but hmm, I guess in some folks’ brains, the Obsessed With Chinese Restaurants Department isn’t necessarily next door to the Excited About a Black President Department. Well, Burnham’s article explains it.

Thanks to Lani for forwarding!

Oh, & by the way? Most of the white women I know are all about Obama.

You thought I wasn’t gonna say anything about this election, huh? Don’t worry, back to salads next time.

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The strawberries have arrived! Mind you, they’re not prime specimens of throbbing strawberryhood, but I think we are safely past those first crunchy, tough, no-flavor, wannabe strawberries. These actually have a bit of strawberry scent to them, & flavor too!

What to do with early strawberries? After the first delirious few, they’re not really that great for just popping in your mouth. These are the strawberries you put in things: in your breakfast granola, in smoothies, & of course, in salads. (Shocking!)

Herewith, Friend of a Friend Salad. (Folklorists abbreviate this ever-elusive “primary source” as FOAF, which is pronounced exactly how it looks—rhymes with loaf.) Spinach is friends with bacon. Spinach is also friends with strawberries. Bacon, meet Strawberries. Strawberries brought along their good friend, balsamic vinegar. Kettle Krinkle chips (lightly salted) are friends with everybody they ever met, apparently, although maybe not in quite the same way as those other friendships I just mentioned.

Wash & dry about equal amounts of baby spinach & assorted young chicories (enough to fill the salad spinner, is how I measured the total quantity), & throw them in a large salad bowl.

Sauté a sliced red onion in olive oil with a little bit of salt & pepper (bacon will bring more of both, since we had a kind that was quite encrusted with pepper); after some progress add about 4 slices of bacon, snipped into little pieces. When everything is nicely caramelized, add a handful of pinenuts & some more olive oil. Stir & integrate; then dribble in some balsamic vinegar & dump the whole shebang on top of your greens. Toss with abandon.

Then slice a few strawberries & crumble some of the chips on top. It’s spring!

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Big news in my world: Jennifer 8 Lee’s Chinese restaurant book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles is out!

So are the crabapple blossoms, tulip magnolias & every variation of daffodil. But the food has not caught up with the weather. Produce-wise, around here we are still in the long, long season I call Waiting For the Strawberries. I’ve had it with kale, I can’t make any more soup, & that fridge full of citrus seriously needs help, because eating a plain, unadorned orange has become downright boring—strong words coming from a citrus ho like me!

Fortunately, I reached back in the depths of my memory for this simple concept:

6 small oranges, peeled & sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
dressing: olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt & pepper

Nice how just a little extra effort helps so much. You can work your way through a lot of oranges this way. A very long time ago, when the Triathlete married Ice Cream Man, I made a more elaborate version of this, with tangelos, grapefruit, blood oranges, basically every kind of citrus I could get my hands on. An appreciative wedding guest called it “C Monster Salad”.

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This lemon meringue pie looks really good, doesn’t it?

Until you give it a little nudge & see the middle move, as if—exactly as if—the lemon layer were completely, irredeemably liquid. Sigh. I knew I was taking a risk by trying my first lemon meringue with the idea of bringing it to PVC’s surprise birthday party. I also knew I was taking a risk by using tapioca starch instead of corn starch. We even tried sticking it in the freezer to see if it would turn into, um, an innovative frozen dessert. Ha. In the end, the best we could manage was desperate conceptual rationalization: “deconstructed” lemon meringue pie, with the lemon liquid as “sauce” over the crust (I proudly stand by my crust) & meringue (not bad at all for a first meringue).

Fortunately, PVC hangs out in a very supportive crowd, & we had much helpful discussion about What Went Wrong & Ideas For Next Time. It was also a good thing that Mr. PVC & family had gone all out for the occasion & followed their scrumptious dinner spread with a stunning polkadot Katrina Rozelle cake, so nobody had to eat my odd little experiment. Anyway, the most important part was that PVC seemed happy to be surprised, despite the antisocial curmudgeon rep she cultivates so carefully. Happy Birthday PVC!



It’s spring! Today I planted sweetpeas.

Next, the lovely lettuces. Plus I have to figure out where to put the rest of the sweetpeas. Of course there’s always more than can fit in the designated sweetpea location. Of course they would fit if I could ever restrain myself to just one 6-pack. Of course I am totally incapable of such restraint—how could I choose between Black Knight & Purple Streamers, especially when they would look so excellent together?

This planting activity was quite the accomplishment for my long-suffering body. I’m quite proud of myself, even if I am icing my hand right now. (How, you may ask, do I do that while blogging? Let’s just say I have developed some special talents…)

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