“Where are you?” “Brooklyn.” [silence…]Yeah, they’re not coming to meet you.
“Know anyone who needs a roommate?”Whether you have a friend of a friend who is maybe possibly thinking about moving to New York, or your landlord just hiked your rent up a gajillion percent, someone is ALWAYS looking for an apartment. Usually this is a mass text.
ISTJ: The Age of Innocence by Edith WhartonWith interest in traditions and loyalty, and an ability to make a huge impact despite being quiet, ISTJs will appreciate Wharton’s masterpiece of manners.
Novelist Breena Clarke — whose book River, Cross My Heart was an Oprah book club pick! — recently interviewed me for the Hobart Festival of Women Writers blog.
Clarke: I’m of the generation that kind of took our counter-culture marching orders from the Beats. You’re a couple of thousand years younger than me. How did you fall under the spell of Jack Kerouac and the Beats?
You can read my answer that question and her others here.
I’m super excited to be participating in the Festival of Women Writers again this year!
I’ll be reading from Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” with Festival participants at WORD bookstore in Jersey City (123 Newark Ave.) on August 18 at 7:30pm.
Then September 11-13, I’ll be returning to the Catskills to teach a writing class at the Hobart Festival of Women Writers.
I might be the only person on the planet who likes humidity. It reminds me of being a child. Growing up in New Jersey, instead of blasting air conditioning, we’d cool off by swimming at night. The sky would be so dark you could see the Big Dipper as you floated on your back in the pool. The lights in the pool would attract moths that would flutter and hover above the surface of the water, occasionally taking a dip of their own. I can still hear the sound of my father’s repetitive splash as he swam back and forth, back and forth.
These days I don’t have ready access to a swimming pool, and in New York City the lights of skyscrapers are so bright that seeing even a single star is rare. Still, muggy nights bring back all the memories of childhood summers for me. Instead of cooling off with the rattling air conditioner by my bed, I drink a beverage that brings me back to my roots.
Behind our pool ran a small brook, and alongside the brook grew wild mint. This refreshing herb is perfect for jazzing up one of earth’s most precious resources, water. It’s easy to grow, but you can also purchase it at almost any grocery store. Here are a few super simple variations:::
- Simply wash the mint, put it in your glass of water (with or without ice), and enjoy immediately
- Muddle the cleaned mint in your glass of water and enjoy
- Store a large batch of water with fresh, washed mint in your fridge
- Freeze the mint in ice cubes and plunk into your water whenever you want — as the ice melts the mint flavor will become stronger
- Try pairing the mint with other flavors such as fresh squeezed lime
It’s so important to stay hydrated, but water sometimes gets boring. Infusing water with mint is a great way to drink more water.
Starving artist might enjoy these other summer food posts:::
BBQs can be the pits when you’re a vegetarian. Everyone scarfs down hot dogs and hamburgers, while you’re left with an ear of corn on the cob which you can’t possibly eat in a civilized manner in public and a heap of potato salad that’s been dangerously sitting out in the sun for too many hours.
When my friends at Christ Resurrection Church invited me to a BBQ, I decided to step up my game. Inspired by the buffalo cauliflower recipes I’d seen on pinterest, I came up with my own finger-lickin’ recipe: Sriracha BBQed Cauliflower.
I literally overheard someone refer to my sriracha bbqed cauliflower as “insane.”
Yeahhhhhh, it had quite a kick to it thanks to the sriracha sauce.
If you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a mini lesson on what sriracha is: The legend is so mysterious that no one knows its exact origins, but the hot sauce takes its name from a city by the sea of eastern Thailand called Si Racha, where it is believed to have been concocted in the 1930s. A thick red paste, sriracha is made from chili peppers, garlic, distilled vinegar, as well as sugar and salt. Here in the states, it’s sometimes referred to as “cock sauce” because of the rooster on the bottle distributed by Huy Fong Foods.
My quick-and-easy recipe is essentially a whole lot of sriracha dumped all over a head of cauliflower:
- wash the head of cauliflower
- chop off the leaves and stem of the cauliflower
- chop up the cauliflower into “florets,” those little tree-like nubs you often see on crudite platters
- dump the cauliflower florets into a large bowl (if you don’t have a large bowl a large pot will also work)
- next, chop up an entire onion and put the diced onion into the large bowl with the cauliflower
- open a can of garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drain the water, put the garbanzo beans/chickpeas into the bowl with the cauliflower and onions
- now comes the fun part: drench the contents of the bowl with sriracha and add soy sauce and garlic powder. I cook a bit like Jackson Pollock paints; I toss the ingredients together til I’m satisfied. I don’t have exact measurements for any of these, but you want the main ingredient to be the sriracha, and you want to make sure the food is evenly coated. It would’ve made sense to stir the sriracha, soy sauce, and garlic powder in a bowl ahead of time so they become a unified mixture, but I don’t have a dishwasher and didn’t want to wash another dish so I just made sure to mix and roll everything around real good in the bowl.
- next, place a long sheet of tin foil horizontally over a plate or bowl (press it down to the bottom) and then a long sheet of tin foil vertically over the first piece of tin foil so it creates a cross shape (this is so that you have a tough and secure grill packet that you can move onto the bbq)
- once the cauliflower, onions, and garbanzo beans/chickpeas are evenly coated, pour it onto the tinfoil and wrap it up. i let it marinade in the fridge overnight
- when it comes time to bbq, put the entire tinfoil packet of food onto the grill. keeping an eye on it, let it grill to your desired level
- you can serve it right out of the tinfoil packet!
The prep time for this under half an hour; the grilling is also under half an hour. The ingredients can all be eaten raw so don’t worry about having to cook it for any certain length of time.
This is a super budget-friendly BBQ recipe for starving artists. To get more bang for your buck, buy the garbanzo beans/chickpeas dried and soak them overnight instead of buying the canned version.
The Sriracha BBQed Cauliflower works as a main course or as a side. It goes great with black bean burgers.
“Every day is an experience. Every day is an adventure.”
“Pay attention to anybody and everybody, and you’ll be amazed at what you can learn.”