I could ask all my fellow jurors what they are planning to have for dinner tonight, but I’m too shy. Maybe tomorrow. If you sit next to someone for long enough, you get the courage to talk.
I have ample time, since there must be three hundred of us here, to plan a menu for you. They wouldn’t let me bring in any electronic equipment though, so no pictures. Can you believe they have computers for us? It’s just like the airport now. They put all your stuff through a scanner, there are police everywhere, and they have plenty of snacks for sale and the internet.
It’s also very much like the pre dinner hour. Everyone is trying to get out of their responsibility. “I can’t do it because I have a job” is said with great ernesty over and over again.
My first husband used to use that line, and I could have used the court officer in my kitchen at the time; her answer is incredibly effective. She looks them straight in the eye and very calmy says, “are you kidding me”?
I like that line, and I’m going to use it. You never know who is going to gift you life knowledge.
Jonathan has taken dinner on when the spirit moves him, and last night it was from the last bit of basil going crazy in the backyard, acting like it’s August in the middle of October and putting out more leaves than we had all summer. A mortar and pestle transforms the garlic and basil and olive oil into the shimmering nectar that you expect pesto to be, but will never achieve with the the cold blade of a knife.
Use two cups of torn leaves, one clove of raw garlic, salt to taste, and a quarter cup of pignoli or fresh bread crumbs and the better the olive oil, the better your pesto. When your pasta is al dente, reserve a bit of the cooking water. Toss the noodles with the pesto (6-9 ounces) and drop in a little water to smooth it out. Try Grana Padana for the cheese, and add it last.
For your main course, if you’re looking for one, sear off a top round on all sides, getting it beautifuly brown. Add a few cloves of garlic, a few fresh sage leaves, and a rosemary sprig, a two inch wide piece of lemon zest with the pith removed, and about a cup and a half of white wine that you would be interested in drinking. Let this simmer with the top of the pot askew and a few minutes before the meat is done (check after half an hour for a pound and a half piece. It should feel like the fleshy part of your hand between the base of your thumb and your index finger, or 130 degrees. Remove the meat and let it rest for fifteen minutes. Add about a half a cup of milk to the pan and simmer for about two minutes. Taste for salt, and use for the sauce.
Thanks for the tip about using bread crumbs instead of pignoli; I recently discovered that nuts give me migraines and have been deleting nuts from my pesto since.
This summer I made a lot of pesto trapanese. The difference is that you can use mint as well as basil, the use of almonds instead of pine nuts (didn’t use at all!), the addition of red chile flakes, and you throw a whole fresh tomato into the mix.