Eat Me. Drink Me.

Why We Eat. Why We Drink. Why We Write.

Tag: eggplant

Anger Cooking/Comfort Eating

by lyzpfister

Don’t even ask me how my day was. Don’t do it.

My roommates asked – and twenty minutes of ranting later they said, “Well, look how… peeled those potatoes are.

And it’s true. They were quite thoroughly peeled and then quite thoroughly chopped. And the onion made me cry. And the eggplant never saw it coming. And I beat the yogurt and lemon juice until it never knew it had been two separate things.

I threw the pan in the oven and sat down. We talked about not me. I took a breath.

My vegetables took an hour to roast (in the way things never really go exactly like you had in mind), but my roommates and I sat in the kitchen. We talked it out. And the aroma of roasting vegetables crept into the kitchen. Soothing.

I heaped the vegetables onto my plate because being angry makes you hungry and sat down to eat, even though I wasn’t even very angry anymore. Just a little bit exhausted.

It took one bit to realize I’d confused the paprika for chili. My mouth burned. A just on the cusp of too much burning, there with the sweetness of onions and rich eggplant, the homey, comforting potatoes. Like the residue of my anger, not overwhelming, not too much for me to bear – just present, just persistent.

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Thunder and Sweat

by lyzpfister

In Brooklyn, sweat.  And rain.  At first, just heat lightning flaring between clouds.  Flashes wrinkling through the undulating branches of the tree against the window.  Anette and I sit on the couch drinking red wine out of real wine glasses for once.  The fan makes the sweat prickle on our skin.  On the stove, eggplant simmers with cut tomatoes, garlic, onion, chorizo, basil, oregano.  I am insane to have even lit the stove, to want more heat in the apartment without air conditioning.  My shirt is damp and stuck to my skin, sweat mats my hair across my forehead, mascara dripping on my cheekbones.  Still, I can’t help but hold my face over the steam and scoop up a bite of tomato and eggplant, soft with hints of wine, balsamic, and sugar.

This has been a long month.  The stultifying heat of July reaches record highs, the heat smothers my brain.  I don’t write.  Instead I lie on the floor and watch Nip/Tuck, my laptop propped on my legs, drinking water to quench some insatiable thirst.  My throat still dry.  I make involved to do lists I can’t begin to address, call landlords, pay bills, paint my toenails.  I lose myself in this heat.

I feel it here, I say, and sweep my hand across my collarbones.  My stress, like a prolonged caress, an ache of inactivity, of stuff.

Let’s take a walk and buy another bottle of wine, Anette says.  We hope the air is cooler outside.  The sky flashes.  It’s just heat lighting.  It’s fine, it’s fine, my heart beats.  I am so afraid of lighting.  Outside the breeze is like a bigger fan, but the air is already wet.  By the time we get to the edge of the building, thunder grumbles loudly, close.  Just to the bodega on the corner, Anette says, but already I’m turning back, I can’t, I can’t, I reach for her hand to make her turn around with me, but I grope air.  She says, It’s just to the corner, there. She’s right, I’m being ridiculous, but we walk fast.  Inside the bodega, a roll of thunder smashes over us, car alarms set off by the vibrations siren along the street.  The newest batch of subway riders quickly marches around the corner; they are afraid.  I don’t want to be outside.  We can wait it out, Anette says, but I don’t want to be in the bodega either.  We have to run, I have to run.  I sprint out the door, fat raindrops staining my shirt, mixing with sweat, each thunderclap and my feet fly faster.  I feel light, I almost want to keep running.  With the wind against my wet face, I am cool, finally.  Cool, light, mobile.  At the door, I duck inside.  I pant.  The rain has become solid.  Anette was right behind me.  I didn’t notice.

The apartment is still hot.  I boil noodles, pour another glass of wine, slow my breathing down.  It’s still storming outside, so I unplug the lights, burn candles.  The muggy indoor air perfumed with onions and garlic sautéed in oil smothers the outdoor smell of electricity and rain.  Eggplant is perfect – astringent flavor subdued by salt and oil into suppleness.  I feel a little like eggplant myself; stubborn, awkward, incomplete, in need of both a push and a gentle hand.

Before the rain, the thunder, the running, I had thought I wanted to be alone, to think about sadness and heat, but it is nicer still to feel loved, to sit with a friend and talk quietly together about joy and trouble.  Wine and rain.  We set out plates, sit down to eat.  I toast to thunder.  She toasts to sweat.