Oh, hey. It's been a minute, reader. The reason for my absence is about what you'd think. Work, travel, work, work, lots of good and much-needed visits from family and friends, more work, etc. But here's something else true. Writing, after a long period of not writing, is like catching up with a friend you haven't seen in ten years—where do you even begin? Every day I don't write, the rift opens a little wider.
Lately I've been coming home from nine-or-so hours in the office (and hopefully one good hour of barre), grabbing a hot shower, and laying on my couch for a precious couple of hours. Ignoring my lonely, untidy kitchen and the impulse to write for fear that my prose will devolve into something truly horrible and mundane. Folding fitted sheets, deep conditioning my hair... you get the picture.
The same has been true of cooking. I find myself a stranger in my own kitchen these days, casually passing through to make coffee, fulfill various snacking impulses, and unpack the takeout from our usual line up of Thai, Chinese, and Indian. I'm now regularly surprised by what I find in the fridge—which, if you know how stringent I usually am about fridge order, tells you the gravity of the situation.
When I do cook, I seek out the grand, complicated recipes. It's been so long, I tell myself. Why not go big? Last Sunday, for instance, I attempted an elegant roast chicken recipe I've been eyeing in Melissa Clark's magnificent new cookbook, which had herbs and sherry and smoked grapes. Who in their right mind—I am really asking you, reader—who uses the oven in the middle of a record-breaking heat wave in Los Angeles? The stakes were too high, the conditions too unfavorable. I fully cried. Twice.
But writing and cooking poorly, sloppily even, is probably better than not writing and cooking at all. Maybe it's better to dive right in, make a real mess of things if you have to. And so I will see you back here soon, reader. If all goes according to plan.