Week 9: EAT RICE



Dolmas from the Mediterranean takeout joint on the bottom floor of my office building, at my desk, humid Monday but still no rain.

Every December, my friend Michelle hosts a bountiful holiday party based on the recipes and Midwestern hospitality with which she grew up in Cincinnati.  A platter of dolmas draped in sliced lemons (harvested from a back yard tree) always inhabits the far right end of the buffet that I have helped set up many times over the years.  I agree to prep duty because I adore Michelle and get a kick out of her event logistics precision - but also because I get to scarf down a plate of dolmas in advance of the party.  They are often still warm when Michelle pulls the extra stash out of the fridge.  They are always brilliant with herbs and citrus, and deeply comforting.  We snack on them in between drinking beer, gossiping, slicing baguette on the bias, color-coding crudités, and wrapping shrimp in bacon.

Michelle learned the recipe from her Ohioan mom, Ginny, who learned the recipe from her Egyptian sister- and mother-in-law.  The December celebration pays tribute to Ginny - the original Mansour hostess extraordinaire - who passed away several years ago.  I love this grand, annual memorial gesture, but also how Michelle inspires parental pride on a daily basis as a magnificent community organizer, artist, and friend.



Kimbap from John’s Snack & Deli, at my desk, short exhale of Tuesday.

Financial District lunch adventurers clog the sidewalk in front of John’s, goading their co-workers into taking the Suicide Kimchi Burrito Challenge.  The micro bodega merges John’s adaptable entrepreneurship with his mom’s Korean home cooking.  John is nice-nice-nice to his customers and exacting with the women who prepare food in the cramped, makeshift kitchen behind the register.  In the summer, John occasionally leaves his post for Giants day games.  Decked out in orange and black, I’ll see him walking hastily toward Market, ready to cheer on his team and forget about health inspectors for an afternoon.



Jerk chicken with red beans, rice, plantains, and salad from Caribbean Spices food truck, at a SoMA picnic table with Josh, in the late evening fog.

Talking over dinner with my love is the best salve I know.



Oxtail stew and curry goat, both over rice, from Kingston 11 in Oakland, with Conrad and Willis.

We drank rum punch as the band started up.  Groove locked, the music was loud enough to cut thinking and conversation by half - a welcome honing of activities.  Appetites piqued by salt fish fritters and string beans sautéed in the house habanero sauce, we moved on to bowls of rice heaped with fork-tender oxtail and goat.  Conrad’s smile, warped by Novocaine for most of the evening, righted itself.  Everyone who stopped by our table to check in about how we liked the food or if we needed anything was genuinely inquisitive and kind.  They seemed to know we needed (I needed) extra care just then.



Midnight rice bowls at home.

I arrived home around 10:00 p.m., after bidding farewell forever to the sweeping views and enigmatic stench of Sinbad’s on Embarcadero, to three of my favorite men - my sweetheart, Mike visiting from Los Angeles, and Ian - laying down their predictions for the 2015 baseball season.  Mike, one of Josh’s oldest friends, is beloved the world over for his warmth, wit, and loyalty.  Ian is our British brother.  I love these men both for the connections I have with them individually and for the straightforward, generous friendship they share with Josh.

We discussed a few restaurant options for late-night dinner, but the Mission is a zoo on Friday nights.  I surveyed the fridge and got to work, cooking jasmine rice in homemade chicken stock, braising purple cabbage, zucchini, onions, and garlic in beer and yuzu vinegar, and frying eggs.  I layered bowls with rice, then vegetables, then olive oil-fried eggs and more yuzu vinegar.  We ate them with Sriracha, red wine, and Saturday’s glorious, alarm clock-less dawn in mind.



Osha Thai green curry takeout with my love while he packed for New York.

A few days later, we crossed flight paths in the sky.



Homemade rice pudding with whole milk, vanilla bean, and agave.

A reminder of the normalizing power of cooking.

I can’t believe I am an antagonist to )(is eyes. Ok, t)(at is IT. I am going to take a warm bat)(, (wit)( a pink bat)(bomb OFC!) and )(ead to bed. T)(is is ex)(austing and I need a break from all t)(ese emotional t)(eatrics. BY—-E! 

emoticlysm asked:

1 and 7!

send me a number and i’ll list my ocs in order of:
1 - tallest to shortest

Danny, Violet, Henry, Beatrice.
Danny’s the tallest, Henry and Violet are basically the same height, with Vi being slightly taller, and Beatrice is a shorty.

7 - most intelligent to least intelligent

When it comes to books: Violet, Danny, Henry, Beatrice
Violet and Danny were both raised to be “booky”, but Violet actually read and retained the books. Henry has a natural love for reading, even though he can’t actually afford them most of the time. But when he can, he borrows books and reads them. Beatrice has zero interest in learning at all.

When it comes to survival: Violet, Beatrice, Henry, Danny
It was super hard to choose between Vi and Bea for first. I chose Violet because she did survive on her own for who-knows-how-long until Danny took her in.
Beatrice has the natural ability to scare off prey with her insane ramblings, and she’s the only one of them who doesn’t have the mental restriction of morals before injuring or killing a threat. Also, she’s pretty oblivious to things that make her uncomfortable, so it’s not like she’d worry about sleeping on the ground or anything.
Henry has the common-sense and the brawn to survive, but he’s too empathetic towards everything to really be of any use.
And Danny. Oh, Danny. Danny just… could not do it. Not at all. He might chip a nail.