Not much time for lunch today and not much food in the fridge either. Though I was craving for some fresh healthy food so I had to dig into the emergency reserve . The only canned goods I store are:
– Albacore tuna in water and with not preservatives.
– Sardines in water with no salt and preferably the small ones.
– Organic tomatoes crushed, puréed or whole (I buy a can or two of whatever is on sale )
– Organic chick peas.
I debated whether to make a tuna salad or some hummus. Chick peas sounded a better choice, Pierre is coming to town this weekend and animal protein will be plentiful.
Another thing I always have in my fridge are carrots and onions. It took me 15 little minutes to make
Petit lunch rapide:
Hummus (with my can of chick peas),
Julienned carrot & turnip salad,
Toasted rye bread
Hummus: I made it “a visto de nas” as we say in Gascon or “off the cuff” & without consulting any recipe. I rinced the garbanzos (chick peas) & dumped the entire can into the food processor with 1 teaspoon of sesame oil ( I didn’t have any tahini), 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 lemon juice, salt, 1 teaspoon of cumin. I think that’s it.
Carrot & Turnip Salad: I am not trying to show off my knife skills, I just don’t have a mandoline here in Bay Ridge but I must admit that I also enjoy cutting veggies this size and shape. I used 3 small carrots and 1 turnip ( it had gotten lost in the fridge, I forgot to put it into the Pot of Feu last week). I dressed them with rice vinegar, olive oil, grated ginger, salt & pepper and wished I had parsley, but I didn’t.
Serve with spicy olives and some good bread -toasted or not. If you have to leave the house, make yourself a sandwich: hummus on the bottom, veggies on top. Voilà! This is my idea of fast food. It is filling, satisfying, cheap & healthy!
Originally Pot au Feu meant an earthenware or a metal cooking pot. Today, it is a common French dish and to me the ultimate winter comfort food. It is very easy to prepare and economical, low cost cuts can be used. It can be prepared in 15 minutes, then simmers all afternoon long filling the house with a marvelous aroma. Several cuts of meat can be used but preferably cartilaginous cuts such as oxtail and marrowbone (I got a beautiful beef shank marbled with cartilage). My mother always combines veal & beef cuts.
Equivalent dishes are: the New England boiled dinner, consisting of corned beef or a ham shoulder, & the Irish corn beef and cabbage.
There are many variations and they are all good, the only one rule is too cook it long enough. What I really like about the French version is the cleanness of the taste. Unless it is homemade, I don’t eat much corn beef, the prepared ones at the store are usually too salty, full of m.s.g and other preservatives. I have added Jerusalem Artichokes in this version, it is unusual and it was a test —the main reason being that I had some in the fridge but I didn’t have any potatoes at hand. No regrets! It added a subtle layer of flavor, I will do it again!
I was curious to price my Pot of Feu –which lasted for three meals. I did the shopping at the Park Slope Food Coop.
1 (1.42lb) Grass fed Beef Shank bone $6.13
3 small organic carrots carrots $0.55
1 organic turnip $0.31
2 organic leeks $1.37
3 Jerusalem Artichokes $1.85
already in my pantry:
3 ribs of Celery
3 cloves ( stick them onto the peeled onion)
4 peppers grains 1 teaspon of corse sea salt
Whole grain mustard (moutarde à l’ancienne)
Put the meat, the vegetables (except the potatoes &/or the Jerusalem artichoke) & the spices into the pot and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil and let simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours. The meat as to be really tender. 1/2 hour before the end of the cooking add the potatoes and/or the Jerusalem artichokes.
Strain the broth onto a soup tureen and have the soup as a first course. If you wish you can add vermicelli or small pasta onto the broth.
Don’t forget to eat the marrow! blow out the marrow from the bone onto a piece of bread, sprinkle with sea salt. YUMMY!
Serve meat, veggies & condiments & Bon Appetit!
[ Pierre’s addendum: & don’t forget to tell your readers that when you have slurped your way through the soup & there is just a little left at the bottom of your plate, you add a good rasade — shot — of red wine, mix it with the soup, put down your spoon, raise the plate with two hands & slurp the mixture down with audible slurping satisfaction noises. It’s called “faire chabrot” which means etymologically “to drink like a goat.” It’s a total pleasure.]
As planned, Pierre Joris, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte and I spent January 1st at the St Mark’s Poetry Project‘s 35th Annual New Year’s Day Poetry Marathon. We got there at about 1:30 p.m. to set up my “Crêpes station” in the Parish Hall. I flipped crêpes until I run out of batter at about 6 p.m. That gave me time to catch some poetry. Ron Padgett had kicked off the event at around 2:30 p.m. I left my set up to listen to Pierre, he read two poems from “Turbulence” (Saint Lazaire Press, 1991). Shortly after, Miles accompanied me on “Things Fall Where they Lie” a piece (recorded on La Garbure Transcontinentale/The Bi-Continental Chowder CD) dedicated to the Venus of Lespugue, and written as a companion piece to a series of paintings on the Venus de Lespugue.
Performing with Miles was certainly my highlight of the day, and we made it on to the radio the next day! Lisa Chow, a reporter from WNYC –and excellent French speaker– had stopped by the crêpes station, and interviewed me. You can read the short printed interview here. Although we didn’t hear the broadcast of the snippet of our performance on early Friday morning, it was great to hear from friends who did and for you there is the full live recording (by Pierre Joris) below:
When I finally ran out of batter, I could sit down, listen to and watch some great performances. I’ll just report “en vrac” some of the impressions as my memory runs them:
I laughed at the witty and hilarious Swallow’s family band
I keep thinking of Erica Hunt’s pigs’ knuckles poem
I need to talk to Anne Tardos about her idea of Spinoza
I still feel Sally Silver’s dance on Bruce Andrews’ words in my body
I look up to John Giorno’s elegance and performing style
I thought Patty’s Smith performance was better than last year’s
Avram Fefer’s solo was soulful
Anne Waldman’s performance with Devin Waldman on saxophone electrified and inspired me
I was looking forward to Douglas’ outfit and was not disappointed
Ismael, Sylvie, Lucas watched their parental poets, thinking : we are next!
Stacy Szymaszek, and the Poetry Project crew of volunteers energized me. & throughout the event everybody was thinking of Susan, Charles, Felix and Emma:
Emma Bernstein’s recent passing permeated the atmosphere, and several readers dedicated their performance to her memory. Emma’s beautiful and soulful funeral service was held on January 31st. She was the daughter of our friends, poet Charles Bernstein & painter Susan Bee & the sister of young singer Felix Bernstein. She was a very accomplished photographer and writer who at her young age leaves a significant body of work (click here for links for Emma). There will be an memorial event on February 17th when Emma had been scheduled to host one of the Belladonna* Celebrates the Elders events. I will announce the details as we get closer to the date.
To end this year here is “December,” a drawing/collage from my Calendar series with a poem by Nicole Brossard. This song will be part of my new CD to be released in spring 2009:
“Whisk, don’t Churn!” A Live Recording
Nicole Peyrafitte with Michael Bisio
Remember, if you are in NYC on New Year’s Day do come to see us at the St Mark’s Poetry Poetry Project 35th Annual New Year’s Day Poetry Marathon. Pierre Joris, Miles Joris-Peyrafitte & myself –and about an other 140 poets, musicians & dancers– will perform from 2pm into the euphoric early morning. We are scheduled to appear in the early afternoon (between 2 & 3PM) and I also will be flipping crepes in the Parish Hall until I run out of my gallon of bater. Voilà for now! & Thank you for reading my blog and some of you since I have started back in March. The readership is seriously increasing but I would love to get more feed back.
Until next post: Bona Anada, Bonne Année, Happy New Year!