If you’re feeling helpless, may I recommend making a niçoise salad
I’m feeling overwhelmed by the new Kavanaugh evidence today (women’s testimony is evidence FYI) and frankly by how many men, in power or just lusting for it, openly hate women and are indifferent to not only our pain but even seeing us as actual people.
There’s this line in The Realistic Joneses where my character (Pony!) is working as hard as she can to mentally ignore something big and scary and she says
I’m scared I’m going to hyperventilate. So I’m taking these little breaths so no one notices me, so that whoever the god is that makes people hyperventilate, he doesn’t notice me.
I’ve thought of that several times since we rehearsed it last week, times when I catch myself worried and anxious, taking tiny little breaths, like I could prove to myself or god that I need sooooo little oxygen that I might as well dissolve out of corporeal existence for just a sec, catch ya later, life.
I took Larry to the airport today at 5:30 a.m., and after I came home, slept in with the cats and woke up late to the sound of rain. I read the news until I had to stop, at which point I turned my attention to food for the week… at which point I started fantasizing about a picture of a niçoise salad I’d once seen in an issue of Bon Appetit.
This is the first time I’ve ever made a niçoise, but as far as I can tell, the prep is 99% waiting for water to boil. The basic elements are a protein (I used tuna), veggies of your choice (I sliced a cucumber and boiled green beans and fingerling potatoes), salty stuff (capers and olives!!!), and a simple dressing that literally took 30 seconds to whisk together (I broke mine but still used it, don’t tell Molly Baz).
It took me about an hour to prep all the parts, but absolutely nothing about it was difficult. So it’s unsurprising that I latched onto it this morning while breathing my tiny breaths: a recipe with multiple simple steps, constructing a meal for myself, remembering what’s in my control. Something nourishing but rich, oily and crunchy, salty and dreamy. Exchanging short invisible breaths for drippy audacious forkfuls. I FUCKING LOVE FOOD, what a luxury it is!!! And now there’s enough in the fridge for lunches this week, shout out future me, I love you.
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
6 large eggs
1 lb. green beans, trimmed and/or new or baby potatoes, halved if larger
4 cups seedless cucumbers
3 cups oil-packed tuna
Olives, capers, peperoncini, pickles, or other pickled-briny ingredients
Flaky sea salt (I can’t recommend enough that you keep a box of Maldon around!)
How to make it
Whisk oil, lemon juice, mustard, honey, pepper, and 1 tsp. kosher salt in a medium bowl; set dressing aside.
Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Carefully add eggs and cook 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water (keep pot over high heat); chill until cold, about 5 minutes. Peel; set aside.
Meanwhile, add green beans and potatoes to the same pot of boiling water and cook until just tender, 2–4 minutes for green beans, 10–15 minutes for potatoes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl of ice water; let sit until cold, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels; pat dry.
To serve, slice eggs in half and arrange on a platter with cooked and raw vegetables and tuna. Top with pickled-briny ingredient(s), sprinkle with sea salt, and drizzle some reserved dressing over.
Speaking of luxury, LOOK AT THIS!!!
We had a big ol’ party at my parents’ place a couple weeks ago, and Larry and I filled a cooler with Bubly and brought the unopened cans back to our place the next day, and they filled up a whole shelf. What was initially a happy accident is now, or at least for now, a ~lifestyle~.
I don’t even really stan Bubly, but I love a small, reasonably priced extravagance that makes you happy on a daily basis, much like our extremely stocked seltzer shelf with all the smilies facing the same way!! makes me feel.
And thank god we also have really funny, really dumb Jeopardy videos to watch and text our friends about
If you feel emotionally attached to the way you pronounce “genre” now, may I insist writing it down phonetically or perhaps making a voice memo BEFORE watching this? It’s a Men In Black style mind eraser, but only for however you say this one word.
When I sent it to Andrew, he responded that he’d thought I was sending him this other absurdist Jeopardy! content:
And speaking of Andrew, it was he who once told me that Olivia Colman is amazingly charming and indifferent to her own fame in interviews, so it was therefore he who inspired me to watch this (a series that’s usually just Fine to Bad):
That’s all I’ve got for now, but it’s a lot!! I feel lucky for every little delight, I truly do.
I love you,