Food Diary, Day Seven.

7.30 – 7.44 am: Grapefruit and hard boiled egg.

9.48 – 11.15 am: Chocolate croissant, and sumo skim latte with sugar-free vanilla from Zing! I started off the morning starving, and now I am irritable. This does not bode well.

3.01 – 3.35 pm: Goat cheese and apple salad from Tavern in the Square, and a lemonade. It’s actually a pretty decent salad, with walnuts and dried cherries sprinkled throughout. More than you’d expect from a place with a deep-fried Snickers bar on the menu.

3.52 pm: Chocolate cherry chip cookie. I can’t believe I forgot that I replenished my stash this morning!

4.16 pm: A really pretty plum who skin blushed both pink and yellow. At first, it was sweet, then the flavor quickly turned tart.

5.16 pm: The second chocolate cherry chip of the day. Why am I eating these, when I have a perfectly lovely pear staring me in the face? In the words of Vince Clarke, before he left Depeche Mode, “I just can’t get enough.”

8.30 – 9.46 pm: Dinner with Darlington at Persephone, the restaurant in The Achilles Project, the newish boutique in Fort Point Channel. We split a side of macaroni and cheese; I had the Roasted Northeast Family Farms Beef Marrow Bone with a really fantastic parsley-caper salad as my meal. (Try saying that three times fast.) Also some red wine whose name escapes me right now, and a super-soft, bittersweet pomegranate-chocolate truffle.

Miscellaneous Thoughts from the Morning Commute.

It was very crowded on the subway this morning, but still I noticed the man seated in front of me reading The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. He was more than halfway through, and because he had stomped on my feet several times not more than a moment before, practically crushing them to the bone, I wanted to lean over and ask him, “Have you gotten to the part where she gets leukemia yet?” or some terrible-sounding lie to make it appear as though I was wrecking the end. Of course, I didn’t say anything at all, spiteful or otherwise. I kept my horrible little thoughts to myself.

The woman standing next to me was amazingly engrossed in her book; when I glanced over, my eyes latched onto the words “throbbing,” “swelled” and “kiss,” so naturally my thoughts started wandering in a certain direction. It made me extremely curious as to the title or at least the author, so much so that I tried using our reflections in the glass in front of us to get a better look at the cover. Instead I got distracted by how very tired I looked. In my defense, those dim tunnels combined with the subway’s overhead lighting and smudged windows do not paint the most flattering portrait.

Later, on another line, I noticed that no one else seemed to be reading, with the exception of a blonde woman flipping through a J.Crew catalog. I don’t think that quite counts. When I observe things like this on the subway, I always wonder, “What are these people thinking?” and “Where are these people going?” Ultimately, I ask myself, “Why aren’t they reading?”

Clearly, I realize that not all people are devourers of books, or even nibblers of books. Still — I get most, if not practically all, of my reading done on public transit. On some days, such as today, I even carry two books in my bag, just in case I finish one earlier than anticipated. (For the record, they are D.V. by Diana Vreeland, loaned to me by my friend Alyssa, and Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver, snatched off my bookshelves this morning at the very last minute. And I did finish D.V.) In my case, reading makes what could be a long, noisy and tedious ride home interesting, exciting and even too short. Sometimes, I recklessly walk and read, which might be why I trip so frequently; on more than one occasion, I’ve been tempted to stay on the train a few stops longer than needed. No catalog could even come close to claiming to be such a pageturner.

Food Diary, Day Six.

9.30 – 10.45 am: Sumo skim latte with a shot of sugar-free vanilla syrup from Zing! in Porter Square Books. The other day, I explained to Melissa that normally I prefer coffee-flavored coffee, but if I want a flavor I generally favor hazelnut. Only at Zing! do I get vanilla, and only at 1369 Coffeehouse do I get almond. Otherwise, it’s a regular coffee with cream and a couple of Equals thrown in.

11.37 am: One of four chocolate cherry chip cookies that I toted into work from the batch I made yesterday.

11.53 am: Chocolate cherry chip number two. Sick or no, these cookies are good.

1.50 pm: I am trying to hold out, believe it or not, but I can’t resist the third cookie. And I wonder why I have no appetite for lunch.

3.37 – 3.53 pm: Oven Roasted Vegetable sandwich (from Hot Off the Press in Central Square) which consists of a whole-wheat wrap loaded with spinach, goat cheese, herb mayonnaise and miscellaneous vegetables that have been (you guessed it) roasted in the oven. It’s flavorful, though the packaging was leaking by the time I got back to my office. Luckily, I had the foresight earlier not to stuff my lunch into my lovely leather bag before getting on the subway, because then I would be in a very bad mood indeed. Instead I’m happily full (though sore-throated), with a still-lovely bag.

4.40 pm: An under-ripe banana, which is actually how I like them. I want something that has a bit of bite to it, literally, not a mushy mess in my mouth.

5.48 pm: Chocolate cherry chip number four, not to be confused with “Strawberry Letter 23.”

10.30 pm: Diet Coke while preparing dinner. I love slicing herbs — the smell, the sound… it’s very satisfying, like ripping cloth. Right now I’m working with the greenest, freshest parsley of all time.

11.01 – 11.42 pm: Chicken with garlic and cumin, corn with paprika butter and one last cookie. I don’t recall where I got this recipe; according to Google, it may be from Woman’s Day, which is not one of my regular reads. Regardless of who printed it first, it’s tasty — which is all that matters.

Chicken with Garlic and Cumin
Makes four portions.

1 pound chicken breast, cleaned of fat
½ teaspoons each salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
16 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1 lemon

  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a large, heavy nonstick skillet until bubbly. Add thighs and brown on one side, about five minutes. Turn, add garlic, cover and cook over medium-low heat twenty to twenty-three minutes, turning throughout until browned evenly on both sides.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with cumin; increase heat to medium-high and cook uncovered three-five minutes, turning once, until drippings and chicken are crisp. Remove chicken to serving plates, and spoon on garlic and drippings. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with lemon wedges.