Post-rewards with Pasta Carbonara

What is it about going to the doctors office that makes you want to have a treat afterwards? I think perhaps it is a result of a childhood spent getting a lollipop after every horrid shot. Yesterday I had an early afternoon appointment which coincided nicely with the last hour of the Union Square farmer's market. I bought spring garlic (which I have never cooked with before), a scallion cheddar scone (instant reward) and then happened upon a women giving free samples of bacon.

Now as an off and on again, pescatarian, I am currently very, very off. And bacon has always been my downfall. The bacon was cooked very minimally, floating in its fragrant grease. I had a sample, speared on a toothpick, and suddenly was in bacon heaven. It really was the best bacon I have ever had. Chewy, meaty, sweet and smokey. After a walk around the park, we had to go back and buy some even though for bacon it was pricey ($11 a pound!).

Now what do to with the best bacon in the world? I instantly thought of Carbonara. A favorite childhood dish of mine, I thought it would highlight the bacon and be an excellent post doctors visit comfort food. As there are many variations on Carbonara, I stuck with the one my mother made with the addition of fresh oregano. I cooked the bacon a little more then the woman at the market did and this was a mistake. Really, it is best minimally cooked. This is something that I have often had disagreements about (ahem certain college friends), but this recipe especially would be ruined by the charred taste of crisp bacon.

Pasta Carbonara
1 box of pasta (you can use a little less for more flavorful pasta)
1 lb. bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 gloves garlic
3 eggs, beaten
3 tbp. chopped fresh oregano
fresh pepper

Boil salted water and add pasta to cook. Dice bacon and saute for a few minutes until very slightly browned. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl. Add diced onions to bacon grease, cook for two minutes, and then add garlic. Cook for an additional minute, then add to bacon.

Meanwhile, when pasta is al dente, drain it and return to pot. Add in the bacon mixture and then the eggs and fresh oregano. Toss the pasta, the heat from the pasta and the bacon will cook the eggs. Add lots of freshly ground black pepper.


B & G

A few weeks ago, my friends Brandy and Greg were married. I met Brandy in grad school and we bonded working together on a formidable assignment that involved reading the New York Times everyday for months, clipping articles on information policy, long nights typing and editing and one particularly delirious day spent running around Williamsburg trying to find a coffee shop with the rare combination of wireless internet, ready electrical outlets and the benevolence to allow bleary eyed graduate students sit for hours. (Hint... Atlas Cafe and Eat Records always fit this bill.)

Brandy had just met Greg at the beginning of the project and it's been a pleasure watching their relationship grow and bloom. They are both amazingly fun and creative individuals with generous, open hearts. Their wedding represented this, held in a loft in Greenpoint and with a DIY attitude that allowed friends and family to contribute. I made a couple of dishes for the dinner and fittingly enough, used a recipe culled from the New York Times.

This feta torte is surprisingly easy to make, rich and delicious. It involves folding sheets of paper thin phyllo dough into a bundt pan and then filling the torte with a rich filling of feta, romano, eggs and herbs. Then you just tuck the edges over to make the bottom of the torte and pour melted butter over the whole shebang, letting it trickle down the sides and coating the dough. As the torte is traditionally made for Greek Orthodox Easter, it seemed fitting to be made for another, special new beginning. Congratulations Brandy and Greg!


Maps inspired by maps

Here are three maps that my friends made last night. I love seeing what parts people remember and highlight and what gets forgotten. Across the board, everyone knows the east coast very, very well.


Amateur Cartography

This is a picture that Adam and I drew of the United States. From memory! It's pretty hard! We forgot Wyoming and Minnesota and definitely made the east coast larger then life, but it was a fun project and all-in-all I think we did okay... though perhaps a fifth grader could have done better? More recent geography lessons? Next we're going to try South America or Europe.PS.... I'm baaaack. New computer, new scanner and ready for business.