Today has been a bit of a dick, between one thing and another. I took a sleeping pill last night in the hopes that I'd force myself into actually sleeping. It worked, but then I was like a forlorn jellyfish the rest of the day, somnambulant and dopey and fractious and essentially undoing all the good work I had done by having a good night's sleep. And I currently feel queasy, although I can't tell if it's because of the dinner I just made or something else.
But, as Dave from Happy Endings would say, let's back up. (PS: Max and Jane are my favourites. Also Brad and Alex. And Penny. Just in case you thought Dave was my favourite.)
Yesterday was pretty wonderful. I woke up just before 6am, lightly hungover from a gathering the night before for dear friend Kate's birthday. This early start was for a skype date with Ange, erstwhile flatmate and forever friend, who now lives in London. Also because I can't help waking up hilariously early on the weekend. It all started because Ange and I were emotionally snapchatting about our feelings about Top of the Lake and wanted to discuss them in a less rudimentary fashion, and ended with a "huh, we should probably Skype more often since it's really convenient and stuff."
We had brunch with Kate and Jason, which included an excellently bitter Campari and grapefruit juice. This turned into coffee where we ran into other friends, which turned into record shopping, which turned into ice cream sundaes with fixings leftover from the party the night before, which turned into beers at the pub around the corner. We saw a cute dog, we parted ways, and Tim and I went home to play candy crush and knit (respectively) and watch West Wing. And all I really felt like was eating greens, so I made us this.
Just greens on greens on greens, with some butter and lime juice and sesame seeds to make it more of a meal and less of a pile of stuff that happens to be technically edible. I am a firm believer in just eating what you feel like eating at any given moment, without guiltily focussing on whatever the properties of the food are (admittedly it was only roughly last year that I reached this calm conclusion) and so if I feel like eating a dinner composed largely of bits of plant, then that's what I do. Of course, I could take a hell of a lot better care of myself on a day-to-day basis (my lunch today was basically just coffee and fruit burst lollies, which was down to apathy and stuff rather than actually wanting it) but it's nice when what you feel like, and what you have, and what you're able to make, are all the same thing. In this case, I happened to have a few vegetable-y bits and pieces getting wearily limp in the fridge, and they all benefited from this stirfry-steam-cover-in-butter method.
greens with sesame lime butter
A recipe by myself. This mix of greens is a good one, but use what you have - beans, courgettes, etc - in the quantities of your choosing.
broccoli, about half a head thereof
bok choi or pak choi, a bunch
a large handful of baby spinach leaves, or larger spinach leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon kecap manis or soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup cashew nuts
Wash the broccoli and bok choi leaves. Heat up a teaspoon of the sesame oil in a large pan, then throw in the broccoli and bok choi and stir around for a little bit to coat in the oil, then tip in 1/4 cup water and put a lid on the pan, so the water can bubble up and quickly steam everything. Once the water is evaporated, or thereabouts, and the vegetables have softened a little but are still bright green, remove the lid and stir in the spinach. Then remove all of that to a serving dish. Finally, melt the butter in the same pan, stir in the kecap manis, juice and zest of the lime, sesame seeds and cashew nuts. Allow to bubble away until the sesame seeds have browned slightly, then remove from the heat and tip onto the vegetables. Either stir through or take it to the dining table and make everyone wait while you photograph it, because you're a highly strung food blogger.
Broccoli is already a little nutty and sweet, so adding sesame oil and sweet kecap manis only but embiggens everything good about it already. Astringent pak choi and fast-wilting, metallic spinach are helped by the rich butter and crunchy seeds and cashews, and the lime simply brightens everything up with its citrus intensity. It's very simple and plain, but not to the point of nondescript, where you forget that you've eaten immediately after you put your fork down. Nope, this is delicious stuff. And a terrific end to my Sunday.
And then today happened and undid all the good work of yesterday. But I have high hopes for tomorrow, even if Tuesdays are often the worst. If nothing else, there is more knitting (my current project: a black hooded cape) and reading (have finished NW by Zadie Smith, am halfway through Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, am upping my weights at the gym so I can pick up The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton) and more Orphan Black to watch, and I have a list of recommendations of other sleeping pills that won't make me feel like a baffled sock the next day.
PS...I still have a cookbook! It's still strange and exciting and amazing and a lot to take on! If you like, you can listen to a very fun interview I did with Charlotte Ryan at Kiwi FM, where I got to pick some songs as well. I started off making a consciously careful, everything-rests-on-this list of tunes to play, but luckily ended up going with whatever I felt like at the time. What were the songs? You'll have to listen to the interview! Or just ask me, I'm a total pushover.
Title via: Wuthering Heights, a very important song by Kate Bush. If I had a dollar for every high kick I've done to this song, I wouldn't have to worry about getting a good night's sleep for work tomorrow, that's for sure.
Dear Time's Waste, These Words Stick Me To You. Dreamy.
ASAP Rocky, Problems. Effective, and effectively stuck in my brain.
Had the house to myself for most of Saturday, so naturally played some crowd-unpleasing Broadway and danced out my feelings, or at least some of them. Did some particularly bold pirouettes and leaps to Age of Aquarius from Hair and Heaven Help My Heart from Chess. (musicals with an arbitrary noun for a name, huh?)
Next time: Whatever I feel like, evidently.