02 March 2009

Un/fortunately


When I was little, one of my favorite books was Fortunately, a story about a boy who spends a day in which both fortunate and unfortunate things happen to him. Each page starts with "Fortunately..." or "unfortunately...". Here is my version, for 2 March 2009.

Fortunately, I got a call last night at about 9:45, telling me that school would be cancelled today! I did a happy dance.
Unfortunately, school was cancelled because a major snow storm rolled into the area, not only bringing a good five/six inches of snow, but also some WICKED wind and slush onto the streets.

Fortunately, I didn't have too many things to do today, and was able to sleep in a little. Also, Jeff made me coffee.
Unfortunately, I did have to run some errands, including one to the library, who claimed to have a book for me and then didn't, and then out to the UPS outpost which was FAR and COLD and there was much WIND in my face.

Fortunately, when I made it home, there was some delicious, restorative soup from last night to warm me up.
Unfortunately, soup only goes so far, and so I've been kind of hungry on and off all day, not wanting to make more soup.

Fortunately, I had a whole stack of recipes that I intended to make today. These included chocolate biscotti, oven roasted tomatoes, and fried chicken (that would be dinner).
Unfortunately, I forgot after I made them that I don't really like chocolate biscotti. I think the recipe comes from the Ghiridelli Chocolate Cookbook (or another one of those cookbooks that my mother has had forever--this is also the recipe that she loves, I think), but I made a batch on the fly a few years ago, and but since I am a disaster at writing down/remembering anything about my improvisational forays, all I remember was that there was chocolate and a hefty splash of Cointreau. And no cocoa powder. This was not the biscotti I made.

Fortunately, I also had another recipe that I've been longing to make: Molly Wizenberg's Pomodori al Forno, from Bon App├ętit. I made them once this summer, and have been craving them ever since (along with anything fresh and green; ie anything that's out of season).
Unfortunately, tomatoes are dreadfully out of season, and after this article in Gourmet this month, I cannot bear to buy tomatoes at the supermarket out of season. Read the article. Please read it. You won't want to buy tomatoes, either.

Fortunately, the recipe calls for canned tomatoes, in a pinch. So I get those going, stick them in the oven, and start to shuffle around the house.
Unfortunately, while rummaging in the pantry, a brand-spanking-new jar of brown rice syrup full and broke all over the floor, my just-cleaned jeans, and the kitchen rug (sorry, Jeff). Glass shards also ended up suspended in the syrup. What a pain to clean. Seriously, it was gross.

Fortunately, we will be having fried chicken for dinner, which will make up for any and all mishaps* of the day. I LOVE fried chicken, and even more so when it's made at home. I've had the chicken resting in its salt bath all day, and I am SO PSYCHED.
There is nothing unfortunate about that.

Pomodori al Forno

1 cup olive oil, divided
2 28-oz cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano
3/4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh Italian parsley

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pour 1/2 cup oil into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange tomatoes in dish, cut side up. Drizzle with remaining 1/2 cup oil. Sprinkle with herbs, sugar, and salt. Bake 1 hour.
2. Using tongs, turn tomatoes over. Bake 1 hour more.
3. Turn tomatoes over again. Bake until deep red and very tender, transferring tomatoes to a plate when soft, anywhere from 15-45 minutes.
4. Layer tomatoes in a medium bowl, sprinkling garlic and parsley over each layer; reserve oil in a baking dish. Drizzle tomatoes with reserved oil, adding more if necessary to cover. Let stand at room temperature, 2 hours.

Serve with baguette and goat cheese. Imagine that it's summer.

*Do you know what I like? Words that have "sh" or "ph" in the middle but that don't make the sound of that specific syllable. Like "mishaps" or "straphanger."

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