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Existential Cooking

Getting existential is all in the details. For example, take a rainy summer evening and let the soft patter of raindrops be the comforting backdrop that cocoons you in your kitchen.

Step 2, use your remaining fresh mint to make a mint julep. Apart from the using fresh mint (obviously), the key here is crushing your own ice. There is nothing quite like whacking away at ice cubes in a thick linen bag with a mini baseball bat (i.e. muddler). Next, add a relaxing but focusing activity, say, improvised cooking.  In this case, turning assorted odds and ends veggies – onions, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes – into a big pan of vegetable medley. Then, pick something to listen to while you keep your hands busy in the kitchen. Say, a podcast that pairs with your drink, like WTF with Marc Maron, and specifically episode #278 Craig Ferguson.

Now, chop, stir, taste, and keep sipping that mint julep while you listen to Maron and Ferguson discuss the charge of doing standup, alcoholism, and other important matters. Feel the existential mood take over; life is profound and good. This is mostly due to the mint julep, but give the podcast some credit as well. Don’t forget to turn off the stove before you settle down to enjoy your next drink and whatever you produced for dinner.

Decadent Spring Pasta

One good way to use up the last of your pancetta (antibiotic-free, organic, humanely-raised) and also celebrate the asparagus bounty that is spring is to improvise on pasta cabonara – in this case sans eggs.

You’ll need: about half a box of linguine fini; 2 strips pancetta, a bunch of thin asparagus (green), a splash of sherry, Parmesan, some heavy cream (optional), pepper, and maybe some red pepper flakes. Continue reading