A combination of work, a new cookbook, a video game and good weather have conspired to drag my attention from posting, a Perfect Storm of distraction.
To begin with, a friend and I are doing a consulting for a caffe north of Atlanta. The owners are very nice and the business is good, but it could be better and we're fine tuning the menu and operation. Its difficult to do business long-distance so I'll have to head down there some time at the end of the month, but in the meantime there are recipes to test, drawings to pore over and paint chips litter my desk.
The weather was uncommonly good at the beginning of the week and I spent an entire day collecting fallen branches and pulling weeds in the garden. The Winter has been unusually warm (I get the feeling this is the new normal). The Lake hasn't frozen over and there are already goslings on some of the ponds. It felt nice to get out and do some work on the garden, despite the muddy lawn and I'm having a hard time accepting that the garden will probably lie fallow this year unless someone in the family wants to maintain it.
I'm looking for a place to do my gardening in Georgia, but I don't think I'll be gardening on the same scale for a season; however there is no way in hell I'm going without home-grown tomatoes and herbs, fear not!
I've also been in the kitchen a lot, trying out pizza recipes which seems like a win/win situation, but as I get older I'm getting more lactose intolerant. The Gelato Binge of 2007 in Rome was probably my last hurrah as a dairy eater. This sucks because I love cheese and gelato. Lots of chewing pizza and spitting it out going on in my kitchen this week.
I've also got a new cookbook that I'm dying to get into. 1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega, a bruiser of a book that covers most of Spain's cuisine. I guess the best way to describe it is that its Spain's Joy of Cooking, like it's Italian cousin, The Silver Spoon. The reviews I've read have been mixed, but its a handsome book with beautiful illustrations and color photographs. I have one complaint: The photographs are stitched into the book on much smaller pages and I don't see them surviving the level of abuse I dish out to my books.
The biggest distraction lately is Tiger Woods 2008. I couldn't find this game for months and after looking in three different cities at many many stores I finally scored it. I guess everyone that got a Wii around Christmas was my competition. I don't even LIKE golf, but I'm hooked on this game. There's worse ways to spend the long, dark nights in Winter I suppose, but my video golf game is ruining my video tennis game. I'm a dork, right?