Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Homebody Weekend

It must have been a sign that I'd been overdoing it lately. On Wednesday, I woke up with a slight headache and a sore throat. By the time I managed to contact my three on-site managers, talk to the temp covering for my co-worker, and email my manager who works remotely to see if I could go home early, my head felt like it was splitting in two and my throat hurt more than it had since I'd had mono. I must have found the slowest cab driver on the East Side because, by the time I arrived at my apartment, my mental stopwatch figured out that it might actually have been quicker to take the subway home.

This signaled that I was destined to have a Homebody Weekend. You know what this is; when you: buy every magazine that you can, make sure the remote is working, pull out the delivery menus, check out pay-per-view or free movie downloads, and hunker inside for a couple of days. Fortunately, the weather cooperated for this. We are still in the middle of a grey, unseasonably chilly and rainy cycle. No offense to my friends across the Atlantic, but this feels like an English spring to me, which is completely unfair as I don't live there anymore.

It was really raining in this photo.



I did have to show up at work on Friday, due to a shortage of staff. This guaranteed that I wasn't going to get any better in a hurry. On my way home, I decided to stop by Borders and try to use up some of a gift card I was given for my birthday. You can see from the pile in the photo below that I managed to find almost all the ones I wanted to read. I even found some unfamiliar ones that I thought I'd try out for size. Anyone who has followed this blog has realized that I'm a big fan of getting recipes from magazines and that I tend to read quite a few of them, in addition to several blogs that I follow.

I will make it through all of these over the course of the weekend.


Mad! is a Danish publication that my brother sent to me from his recent trip to Copenhagen. I liked the food photography and think I might try to translate a few of the recipes in here with one of the on-line services. Their strawberry tart looks gorgeous, and it is peak season here in the New York area. BBC Good Food and Olive (link to via BBC Good Food) are my monthly standbys, but, even in the city, it can sometimes be a challenge to find copies before they are all sold out.

BBC Good Food used to publish a monthly vegetarian version when I lived in the UK many years ago. I guess they decided that, although there wasn't enough demand for it at that frequency, they could put a collection together several times a year. I was glad to find the summer edition on the magazine rack just in time for this weekend. Several of the recipes I recognize from early editions of the main magazine like the tomato tart below, which I wrote about a couple of years ago:

Tomato Tart with Cheddar Crust

Once the season's multi-colored gems come to market, I will be pulling out this recipe to pack some thing extra-special for my lunches. Another summertime treat that I also tried the first time I saw it printed was Crunchy Raspberry Ripple Terrine. Yum. I need to get through the strawberries first, before moving on to raspberries, but my tastebuds are already anticipating being able to keep this frozen delight on hand for when the temperature finally manages to climb into the tropical realm for any length of time.

The two completely new magazines that I picked up in my binge purchasing on Friday, were also UK publications: TasteItalia and Jamie Magazine. I was drawn to the cover of the Courgette and Tomato Tart on the cover of the former. The Greenmarket had a pile of new zucchini (i.e., courgettes) out yesterday so all I need are the new, juicy cherry tomatoes to make this. After flipping through it, I decided that this isn't a publication that I'd pick up all the time, but if something looks particularly interesting, I'll buy it. I already subscribe to La Cucina Italiana, the American version, so I'm taken care of in the Italian cooking magazine department.

I've always liked Jamie Oliver's approach to food and cooking in general. I have his first two cookbooks and, aside from the jumpy camera angles in the first series, also enjoyed his cooking shows. Given those inputs and, as for the same price as the others, this was the fattest of the magazines I picked up during my shopping spree, I was really looking forward to diving into it. There are plenty of recipes from which to choose so that makes it useful, but I found it to be very confusing to read. It seemed to bounce around culturally, so much so that it doesn't appear to have been edited at all for coherence. Italian, French-Spanish, English, Lebanese, back to Italian, more Middle Eastern (by way of Australia), more Italian, Syrian, and then Catalan - I wasn't sure where the thread was, and I was pretty sure that it wasn't just the cold medicine that was making me dizzy. The massive typo in the title of one of the articles didn't help to win me over to this magazine either. I don't think I'll be picking up another copy of it.

As the weekend draws to a close, I also realized I have this month's Bon Appetit and Food and Wine to make it through. It also looks like we might get a few glimmers of sunshine to give us a break from all the gloomy weather. I wish I could say I feel completely better as well, but I'm still coughing away. I wonder if I should see if there's a good chicken soup recipe among all these printed pages.

Buon appetito!

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