Here’s the thing. The kitchen is small, the heat is on, and it was easier to sear meat than engage in 4-step meal prep recipes. Like this Hibiscus-Flower Enchilada recipe from Bon Appetit, which me and three other people made at my friend’s L’s house.
And, as I’ve taken to the occasional 3AM pecorino-and-scotch moment here and there, this means very little sleep sometimes and a lot of gratitude for Slice Pizzeria–their food, their friendly staff, and their Wi-Fi. And sometimes I just don’t want to mess up the kitchen. I never thought that would happen to me, but it did.
This summer, I’ve found cold relish-type toppings really helpful when I try to stretch a few ingredients (and prepared dishes) over the course of several days (with Slice Pizzeria filling in the lacunae, of course). I tried rutabaga relish, strawberry-onion, and Andrew Ervin’s watermelon-habanero relish–all very helpful and a shock of fresh to slather over a sopping hot day.
Here’s another winner, from my friend and fellow writer poet teacher (professor) heart brain extraordinare, Jenn Nunes. We knew each other in our MFA school days; she caught my attention with her chocolate rugelach in Moira Crone’s Forms of Fiction class (show and tell was mad libs with me, but with Jenn, dark dark chocolate in an Ashkenazic pastry). But my favorite memories with Jenn are the ones I had in her tiny kitchen and her tiny living room, after she was a Graduated MFA and she cooked for me and we entered friendship through her food and her baking, all for me to share with her while we laughed in the crying-or-laughter way, and we entered an upholstered room that I can’t show you (private) of Female Writer friendship. I was assigned to be her “editor” in James Wilcox’s fiction workshop, and getting to talk like a Magazine Editor Commentator with a Monocle was extraordinary when discussing the females who descend into non-linearity within Jenn’s work.
Read this by her while you eat it. Naked and fresh.
2 carrots, shredded
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped (or to taste)
1/2 lime, juiced (or to taste)
1 tbsp olive oil (approx.)
1. toss the carrots with the garlic, chiles and cilantro.
2. mix in the lime juice and olive oil.
3. salt to taste
this one’s good on/in just about anything – sandwiches, mexican style dishes, spring rolls……and is very forgiving say if you don’t like cilantro try basil or without. leave the chiles out, etc.
Thank you for letting me hassle you out of your own retreat in upstate New York for this recipe, Jenn. I am choosy about who I ask for these things. It was nice of her to contribute, even when she was supposed to be hermiting.
Jenn Marie Nunes is a writer, a nerd and a co-founding editor of the monthly poetry gallery TENDE RLOIN (she’s the one in pirouette). Her work is forthcoming or has recently appeared in Ninth Letter, Bateau, kill author, sporkand Brink Magazine. You can find her echap, STRIP, here at PANK. She is currently reading scifi in New Orleans.