French Pizza? Don’t knock it till you try it…and other stuff.

French Pizza? At the neighborhood garage sale last weekend, I snagged a new-to-me cookbook (Sundays at Moosewood, from the famous Ithica, NY cooperatively run restaurant) from my neighbor for $0.25. A sweet deal, especially because, since then, it has made me cry twice. Yes, a cookbook made me cry. Get over it. The first incidence of water works happened on Sunday morning. I was sitting out on the patio, drinking coffee, eating a cheese omelet; Fischer was rolling contentedly in the grass. Flipping to the section on Italy, I read this:

Italian food is the best food in the world. I was only half conscious of my good fortune while I was growing up; then, Italian food was just food to me. Little did I realize that along with all those inspired dishes…I was also partaking of the habits and lore of Italian culture.

And started crying. Into my coffee. Onto my omelet. I didn’t write that, of course, but I COULD have. I could have. And that’s what made me cry. That this book–this cookbook–was speaking to me, speaking for me, even.

The second time the floodgates opened was last night about 30 minutes after I pushed a giant French Pizza–called a Pissaladiere–into the over and the smell of fresh baked dough, warm caramelized onions, earthy thyme, and olives started wafting throughout the kitchen. Oh. My. God. The smell was only topped by the taste. Fantastic. Amazing. Sweet and salty and savory all at the same time. Okay, I didn’t really cry, but it was that good, that I could have. I was too busy stuffing my face for tears. Every time I walked by, I was cutting off another ever-so-slender slice. Just one more taste. I can also verify that it is equally epic cold–tonight’s leftovers.

One Month, One Car.  For the month of June, we’ve decided to keep one of our two cars “off limits.” A kind of eco-financial experiment. We’ve discussed this idea before, but only since moving have we really been able to contemplate this with any seriousness. Before, we were both commuting, and there was no way around having one car each. Now, though, my office is only a couple of miles away and I’m mostly riding my bike to and from and his office is just down the hall. There are days when we don’t drive at all. So, as of Saturday, the Civic is parked and the Subaru is our only set of wheels.

So far so good. I was “stranded” at home on Sunday morning (with my tear-soaked omelet and aphid infestation–more on that later) when T took the car to meet a friend for a hike. We both got stuck in a brief thunder storm on the way back from my office one afternoon and had to hole up under a bridge for a bit, while it passed. He had to take the shuttle to the airport. That’s about it. I think he misses driving his car. Misses the idea of the car even more, perhaps. That Civic is the first new car he ever bought and, only a 2-door, is the totally unpractical, purely for the driving pleasure of it, last bastion of bachelorhood that he has. Poor man.

Holy Hailstorm, Batman. Last night around 11:00, the gentle rain that had been falling since 8:00 decided to get nasty. Never a fan of thunderstorms, Fischer had already melted into a quivering brown pile of fur and giant eyes. I let him get up on the bed (honey, if you’re reading…um, sorry?) ’cause it was just the two of us and I just felt so bad for him. We spooned. It helped. I was a little scared too. Scared that the bathroom skylight was going to come crashing out of the roof, completely freaking out the dog and making quite the mess that I’D have to clean up because he has no thumbs. Scared for my plants and hoping that they were being shredded in the prime of their seedlinghood. There was thunder. There was lightening. There was crashing and clashing and it sounded to me like those hailstones just kept getting bigger and BIGGER. Rather apocalyptic.

Eventually we fell asleep. Later Fisch got off the my bed and went back to his. Much later, the room brightened slightly, the dog stretched audibly, and NPR started humming in my ear. We went outside to assess the damage. The little pink flowers that border my front walk were peaking out from under an icy blanket. There were piles of partially melted hail on the front walk and the back porch. New leaves, still attached to their fragile twigs blanketed the yard and my car. No real damage that I could see. Most of the garden, growing ever-so-slowly situated in the shade, were spared since the trees took most of the hit. The grapefruit sized hail of my late-night imagination must not really have gotten that big, because the car was fine too. Fischer was chipper and happy to be alive, as usual, having probably forgotten the perils of the previous night. I wish I could wake up like that every morning, just happy to be alive, happy to eat the same food over and over again.

As it is, I am rather happy to be alive. Happy, too, though, that I don’t have to eat the same food over and over again. Unless it’s that French Pizza.

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