May 6th, 2004

This one's too good not to share...

Red & Blue

Use this like a bread dipper, or use it as a salad dressing with a little balsamic or red wine vinegar. It can be used as a bruschetta topping if you like. We just slather spoonfuls of it on crusty Italian or French bread and eat it like that, but we're white trash that way. I warn you now, this stuff is HIGHLY addictive - and intensely delicious.

In a medium sized bowl, combine:
1 cup of chopped sundried tomatoes*
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic - peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon each of oregano leaves, thyme leaves, & crushed rosemary - more or less, to taste
a few grindings of black pepper and some sea salt to taste.

Allow this mixture to marinate at room temperature for several hours for the fullest flavor to develop.

After at least two hours, add some crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese and stir gently to combine.
You may wish to add more olive oil, it is entirely a matter of preference. We add a generous bit, but that's because it's great to dip chunks of rustic bread in.

Sometimes we tear up a few fresh basil leaves and throw in the mix instead of oregano, so try that and see how it works.
Oh yeah - we add crushed red pepper flakes (preferrably Turkish Marash pepper flakes), but then we add them to everything anyway so that is also entirely up to you.

* Sundried tomatoes are sold either dried or oil packed. The ones I use are the julienne cut ones that are dried. To rehydrate them, put them in a heat proof bowl and cover with an equal amount of boiling water, allow to rest for 5 minutes. Drain and press against the sides of a colander to extract as much water as you can, or press between several layers of paper towels.

Friends?

Things have been going fairly well today. Maggie is making dinner instead of me tonight, so it's kind of nice having someone else cook for me. I made Red & Blue and we're having that alongside some fresh tomatoes with basil I grew, balsamic vinaigrette I made, and some of the extra Gorgonzola cheese sprinkled over as an appetizer. We're going to eat dinner, play with the kids and get them bathed, the watch the last ever episode of Friends - which has both Maggie & myself a little sad and nostalgic, hence the closing tone of this post.

Cole's balloon walk was this morning at school, and having done it with him I am really glad that he chose to participate. Basically every kid in the school was lined up and down every hallway IN the school cheering and clapping for the kids that had balloons, it was great. Maggie, Avery, & I all walked with him.

I'm going to be doing more work on my cookbook website so that I can (hopefully) have it up and running within the next month or so. No promises, but that is the tentative plan.

Since it is weighing heavily on my mind, I feel it is worth mentioning that all of you who are on the outs with friends should really consider the importance of the things you're upset by and the choices you're making. Remember that these are the people who have meant the world to you in one respect or another, and that you've lived for one another when no one else gave a damn if you lived at all. Together you make up something special, at least I think you do. Maybe we put different values on friendship, and that's fine. Maybe we have different views on what is really important and what is petty and we get the real issues confused sometimes. What would happen if these people you've loved and held so dearly were killed tonight in some tragic way that left you wondering for the rest of your life if they knew that you were only angry for that small time and that you really did love them? I know that Shane knew I loved him when he died. I know that Staci and Dawn knew that as well - there is no doubt about that in my mind. What I want you all to do is picture in your mind the friends that you're currently on the outs with. Imagine them in all of their flawed, outrageous humanity, making you smile and making you scream and everything else that friends might do with one another. Being there for you when you cry, defending you when your behavior didn't even merit it, being perfectly content knowing that if anything bad happened that these people had your back...

Now imagine standing over their open coffin looking at their lifeless body.

Sometimes there is no going back. Sometimes it takes more than regret to mend a mistake or right a wrong. maybe you think you were right in every case, in every instance, and you can live with yourself if something terrible happened. And if you can, then that is fine, but if you can't then goddamnit, get off your fucking ass and do something about it. NOW.

There is never a right time or a perfect time, but there is ALWAYS a better time...