Eat Me. Drink Me.

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

Tag: potatoes

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.


Cheese Sauce for Everything

by lyzpfister

There is a battle royale being waged for my waistline.  I live on a sixth floor walk up, so every day I walk up and down, up and down, until I think I’d cry if I see just one more step in my life.  But I’ve gotten pretty good at it by now, all the up and downing, so I think I must be getting in shape.  And then I come home and I make things like potatoes with cheese sauce, thereby undoing all the good work I’ve done.

After a long day of translating, I walk up my six flights of stairs and into the apartment I’m calling home.  It’s easy to step inside and hang a quick right to the kitchen, turn on the stove, and throw some olive oil in a pot, since everything I cook seems to start that way.  I turn on the light, there’s only one small light in the kitchen and the large, orange shade around it keeps the ambiance dim.  Which is alright, I guess, since it gives my neighbors in the building across the way less of a reason to look in my window. Although I know their lives well, by now, so I’m sure they know mine too.  And yet it feels a little Hitchcock to do too much looking – besides, living in New York cured me of all my voyeurism anyway.

The kitchen is a small space, not even the most economical. The stove is wedged between the broken washing machine and the shower and across the countertops are splayed half-full boxes of tea bags, postcards, a potted plant, stacks of books, cutting boards, empty cardboard packages, jars of honey and nutella, small stacks of coins, receipts, ticket stubs, and a plastic placemat with a picture of a palm tree.  But it’s a comfortable kitchen.  And I like it here.

I slice potatoes with one of the kitchen’s two knives – a bread knife and a paring knife.  I won’t lie and say I don’t miss my chef’s knife – I do – but these are sharp and haven’t left me cold just yet. I chop onions and sauté them in the olive oil.  I think this is usually also how my recipes proceed.

The potatoes sizzle as they hit the oil and by now there is the wonderful smell of cooking onions which fills up the small kitchen.  I add chopped red pepper and garlic, a few pieces of basil torn from the dying basil plant on the windowsill, salt, pepper.

But my great experiment of the night is this: cheese sauce.  My dear Sylvia, she’d cooked me dinner, done my laundry, told me stories, and sent me home hands full of chocolates and cheese.

I’d never made a cheese sauce, but I figured that all good things in one pot on low heat would turn out alright.  Butter and Luzerner rahmkäse melting into cream. If I’d thought of it then, I would have added just a splash of the Bayreuther organic hefeweissen I was drinking.  Even without, the sauce was decadent, drizzled over my Eintopf of potatoes, pepper, and onion.  I whipped up a quick salad of tomatoes, avocado, onion with rice wine vinegar, and olive oil and after I had eaten dinner, realized I’d have to run a few more errands up and down and up and down those stairs to atone for the cheese sauce sin.  But it was so good.