This past weekend was what we might call my "return to the living." In some ways, I wasn't sure my bronchial tubes and I were up to it--the cough that still plagues me when the night falls makes me sympathetic to werewolves and vampires alike--but it was time to see the sun, to engage in human conversation and, most importantly, to celebrate a friend's birthday with a lovely meal. In the last two weeks I've had more than my share of orange juice and Italian wedding soup (recipe courtesy of TheKitchn, which I liked; it doesn't hold a candle to my mom's, though. It's all about the construction of the perfect meatball and meatballs require onions for moisture). It was time for something heartier.
Tarkhun (Georgian tarragon soda; the first picture of this post), which is a fascinating electric green color. Drinking it felt like sampling a "healing" tonic from a faraway land. It also tastes great with a liberal splash of vodka.
There was also, as there always should be on a chocolate lover's birthday, a pretty chocolate cake, made from one Dorie Greenspan's cookbooks. Dorie is a baking goddess and flourless chocolate cake is a fine way of demonstrating that fact.Vanilla bean ice cream and fresh strawberries only enhance what is already a perfectly good thing.
Returning home that night, I felt both very (but pleasantly) full and glad that I had gone out. Sometimes the healing process needs a little nudge...Progress continued on Sunday, too. The Greek asked me what I wanted for breakfast. I had said these carrot cake pancakes, but, since our carrots were not in the best of shape, we had to come up with a Plan B. Joy the Baker's inspiring pancake recipes are endless--two summers ago, I almost lived on the Single Lady Pancake--so we finally managed to settle on another creation of hers: Cornmeal Molasses Pancakes with a blackberry syrup. Needless to say, between the chocolate cake and the pancakes, I started to feel like my old self. I even started working on my dissertation again! More on that next time when I'll also share my celebratory back-to-health meal with you all....Let's just say, for now, that I was inspired by "A Good Appetite."