I spent 3 hours in my mother's apartment this morning attempting, without success, to tidy it and throw out a lifetime's clutter. In the process, I filled a supermarket cart with, among other things,
- well-made hangers that will replace the thin pieces of wire in my closet that become misshapen as soon as I hang heavy cotton sweaters on them.
- dozens of neatly folded shopping bags from elegant stores no longer in business. One of them had a receipt from 1997 at the bottom (it was mine, from Eileen Fisher. What was it doing in my mother's closet??) I have their clones in my garage - what am I saving them for?
- an old wooden drying rack that I suppose I will take to my studio, where I do not have room.
The fridge was empty because on Monday I heard Melissa Clark, the wonderfully inventive NY Times food columnist talking about her new book, Cook This Now. She periodically forages through her refrigerator for food about to rot and spontaneously creates imaginative dishes with them.
one shriveled parsnip, a quarter of a cabbage about 3 months old, something green that used to be lettuce, half an onion, four ends of celery root that were turning blue, a few limp brown former stalks of celery and a few other unidentifiable items. Hmmm... The makings of something.
Meantime, as I cut up the pristine cauliflower to roast tonight I noticed all those leaves that I normally throw away and thought, "what can I do with these?" I sliced them, cut up another half-onion, threw them into a pan with olive oil and a tinch of butter, added salt/pepper/a garlic clove and sautéd them together. It was delicious.