Hello old friends! One more day and this month is history. This little spot of cyberspace has been static during May, but I, my friends, have been on the move. After a fabulous family wedding here in Houston at the beginning of the month, I made two trips to Austin. One trip was to celebrate the 75th birthday of this lovely lady, my rockin’ mom.
You know I’m happy to be wearing those genes! Huzzah!
I flew to St. Louis, where my daughter picked me up at the airport and we pointed her loaded car toward home. I am happy to report that the Dairy Queens and Bar- B Q shacks along Texas Highway 59 appear to be thriving.
I did enjoy five leisurely days at home with both my daughters, and it felt like heaven. They joined me at the gym, in the kitchen, at the table, and even at the pool one decadent afternoon.
Speaking of the kitchen, I have enjoyed some culinary triumphs this month. A friend and I made Smitten Kitchen’s Whole Wheat Cinnamon Bread together, and found it to be a good thing indeed. It was so good that my daughters and I made another batch a week later. I sliced up the loaves and froze them with parchment waved between the slices, and we pulled out slices for toast in the mornings and felt pretty happy about it.
I also made tried a new recipe for chocolate chip cookies. Why, you ask? Because browned butter- that’s why! And flakes of sea salt on top! Pret-ty amazing. Thanks, Joy The Baker! My book club thanked you, too. My hips- not so much.
And finally, can we talk about broccoli for a minute? Because I have found a new way to fix it that is so good, I may never microwave another stalk in my life. I think I heard this on the radio show Splendid Table; I’m not really sure. But whatever its provenance, you will love it. Here’s the drill: slice off good- sized florets and then peel the stalks a little bit before cutting them into planks. Toss them in a bowl with some olive oil. Heat oven and sheet pan to 500. (yeah, that part is kind of a drag in the summer…..) Spread broccoli out on hot pan and roast for 5-8 minutes, until the tips are nice and charred. Then pull them out and add salt and pepper, and if you’re feeling fancy, some shards of parmesan cheese or minced ginger. It’s so good that I make a big pan in order to have leftovers, which, by the way, are delicious on pizza or mixed up with brown rice or another healthy grain. Broccoli: it’s what’s for dinner.
After scrutinizing the master calendar, we managed to come up with 4 days that all five of us could get away together this summer. Last Saturday we flew to Isla Mujeres, Mexico for a quick but therapeutic family vacation. Leaving Houston at 7:30 am, we were able to have lunch on the beach by 1:00. Muy bueno.
While under the beach umbrella I read Elizabeth McCracken’s new collection of short stories, Thunderstruck, which were dark and lonely and wonderful. I also read a new book called Family Life by Akhil Sharma which I highly recommend.
Finally, to end the month, I am off to Virginia tomorrow for my college reunion. I am primed for lots of laughs and cocktails and can’t wait to see my crazy friends again.
June will be enjoyed in Houston and in Austin, and then we are back to Paris! I know there will be a green chair at the Tuileries waiting for me.
I hope your weekend includes a comfy chair, old friends, family, and something with browned butter.