It’s been months since I borrowed Lucy Knisley’s book, Relish, from a friend. Maybe five. And another two, at least, since I read it. But it’s still on my bedside table. And my daughter still whips out the copies of the recipe pages she made after she read it. We’ve eaten a lot of huevos rancheros.
Knisley’s down-to-earth narrative has kept me circling back, and it’s had an effect on the way I narrate my own life. Do you ever do that? Re-live an experience by speaking it to yourself, silently? I do sometimes, and it’s a light feeling to think about my life as a series of panels. Knisley’s experiences are so everyday; funny in the way that my own life is funny, revelatory on a small scale. She presents her bigger accomplishments to the reader, too, but they grow from a great backstory. The clarity of her storytelling lets us know how she got there and I love her for it.
Her book has prompted me not only to cook some new things but to start drawing self-portraits. They aren’t so advanced but drawing myself in the middle of a blank page in my journal and filling in the edges with the details of my day is a good combination. Here I am and here is a log of what I did. That’s all. No crushing self-analysis, often my rabbit trail of choice.
I wrote down, for instance, that I’m learning to appreciate runny yolks, a culinary sticking point for me since I could eat solid foods. Celebrity chefs rave about them. Food writers devote whole essays to them. There’s even a dedicated cookbook. But I have trouble with the oozy texture. Maybe it’s connected to my dislike of filled pastries (except creampuffs). And yet, I do enjoy what egg yolk adds to a broth, when it’s all mixed in.
Maybe the okay-ness of yolk + broth prepared me for what I found after my daughter made a shopping list and spent an evening cooking for us: runny yolk mixing with sour cream and salsa verde on huevos rancheros is good.
I tried getting some other people around here to interested in new things, too. But calling something “gazpacho” only gave them a story to tell, once they found out the true green ingredient. It’s okay. Their palates will keep evolving, too.
Find Marissa McClellan’s Asparagus Soup recipe here.