I just finished The Violent Land, by Jorge Amado, on the way home from a recent residency interview. It was Halloween and cold and I had stuff to carry, so I treated myself to a cab ride home from Penn Station, and the cabbie serendipitously turned out to be from Brazil. It also turns out he's an exceptionally well-read person who recommended some lesser-known Amado works, and the author Clarice Lispector. We also discussed Chagas disease. This, ladies and germs, is why I'm having a hard time envisioning a life outside NYC at the moment.
Winter is actually upon us*. I have pathetically little experience making tomato sauce, but what I do know is that winter tomatoes are generally gross. Canned tomatoes are anywhere from good to completely unpalatable. Unfortunately, having neglected to spend the warmer months actually learning to jar fresh tomato sauce made from quality summertime goods, I have to figure out how to bolster the best-quality canned ones I can get**. Solution: a little red wine.
This is penne alla vodka, with red wine in the tomato sauce as mentioned. Yes, it's basically booze sauce with extra booze. Yes, it was rich and delicious.
Time to wrap up the Great Apple Tasting of 2013:
Golden Russet: Kind of grassy, with a thick, slightly bitter skin. Very rustic-tasting!
Snow: Just say no. The sign at the apple stand called this variety "crisp with beautiful pure white flesh." The aesthetically pleasing innards could not overcome the mealy, watery texture.
York: This one tasted sort of like a cider apple, not too sweet, and again very rustic. Just my style, but I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone.
*Stupid short days. All I want to do is stare morosely at the pitch-black sky at 5 p.m. and binge-eat everything in the house.
**Which, as it turns out, come from Trader Joe's.