Monday, November 30, 2015

Dirt Drunk

Indulge me in a two sentence pity-party. Life has been pretty shitty as of late. After a series of rather unfortunate events, my Fall has sucked eggs and I’ve spent a lot of time crying.

But then! Then! I remembered the movie/book Julie and Julia. Julie was having a shit time, too. And cooking her way through Julia Childs’ famous tome healed her. In Julie’s own words (zoom in if you like):

I cannot imagine how many blogging/personal experiments Julie’s project spawned. And I can’t bear to google that. It seems to be on trend for self-help-writing-experiments: do something hard, write about it and you'll be transformed. See Cheryl Strayed's Wild for this as well.

My heart told me: for the month of December, cook your way through a special cookbook and it is going to heal you, too, damnit.  Programmed kitsch, luck and love to soothe the sore bits.

But what cookbook would I cook my way through? Something with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients, like Williams and Sonoma 365 Days of Soup (or whatever it is called)? Or The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook? That would feel like cheating on all the seasonal recipes in the books in my dissertation.  Not a fabulous move.

A book that makes me dive into the roots of our country and make me think about the changes and love we’ve put into our food since blueberry catsup? Like Molly O’Neill’s American Food Writing? NO! That will just make me mad and get fired up about republican/democrat division. 

Then, like a beer can upside the head, I was hit with the idea of cooking my way through Hannah Hart’s My Drunk Kitchen: a guide to eating, drinking & going with your gut. Yes. Hannah Hart dedicates My Drunk Kitchen, “To Reckless Optimists, and all who believe we can do more and better.”

For those of you that don’t know Hannah, well, that’s about to change. She is what awesomesauce was meant to be served on:

Those of you that know me know that I love cooking. I love love it. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. I pickle raspberries and freeze hazelnut pestos. This would be an experiment that pushes me to my limits. To gain self-actualization and to heal my gut-voice I would de-learn my cooking!

 I made a plan. I made rules (such as "I will modify recipes to be both gluten and poultry-free." I have my reasons). I’d post weekly updates! I'd deal enlist my family, and do the holiday menus as suggested! Hartwiches and Can Bakes! BRING IT ON.

As I looked at the shopping lists, meal plans, and overarching philosophy more closely, the adult thought came to me. I WILL FEEL LIKE SHIT, AND WANT TO DIE IF I EAT AND DRINK LIKE THIS FOR A MONTH.

Hart makes it clear that this book is not a good idea to base a real diet around (which is why I wanted to do it, damnit!). It is a brilliant book, and I think any cuspian-millenial-adult should buy a copy. #holidaygifts! #thankyoudrunkkitchenIamhappyyouexist

Now that I've abandoned this project, I'm waiting to see if another one drops itself in my lap. Like writing out all my text messages by hand for a month--shit, I already did that once. Or maybe, as a wise man once suggested, I need to make a Not-To Do List, and stick to it. 

And if I do, I will make a gf-pizza cake. And eat it all at once. By myself. Come on. That just looks amazing.

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