I love making my weekly grocery list. I exercise great restraint in putting it off until Thursday night, Grocery Shopping Eve. Then, after my work is done, I have the treat of going through cookbooks, cooking magazines, and the "Cook Me!" bookmarks file on my internet browser to select recipes for the coming week. I usually get to plan on two dinners, to cook Monday and Wednesday, along with, usually, a dessert of some kind and a breakfast item -- maybe even two. It may not sound exciting, and this certainly hasn't always been my habit: it still amazes me that I've come so far from just a little over a year ago, when the dinner rotation still consisted of blue box macaroni and cheese (usually with a can of tuna thrown in for protein), store-brand waffles and scrambled eggs, and Maruchan ramen noodles (with an egg and some Tabasco sauce thrown in, and maybe a few mushrooms, if I was feeling like real grad student gourmet). Two (successful) sight exams and 14 months later, I am a reformed eater, and I love the creative outlet that cooking provides.
This week, happily, I have a new cookbook to browse through as I compile my list (and at mealtimes, and before bedtime...): The new Essential New York Times Cookbook, edited by Amanda Hesser, out just last week. It's a big and beautiful book, featuring over 1,000 recipes spread over 932 pages. So far, one interesting entree has made the dinner lineup for this week: Spaghetti with Fried Eggs and Roasted Peppers (p. 339). I'm especially intrigued by the addition of a couple of sunny-side up eggs over the pasta in the final step, which bleed their yolks over the noodles like a butter sauce. I wish I had time to make the Dijon and Cognac Beef Stew (p. 560-61), but that may just have to wait until Christmas break.
It's been a long day here, wrapping up with my two-and-a-half-hour seminar finishing at 9 p.m. Tomorrow morning I'll wake up ready to go, grocery list completed for our evening shopping trip and brain refreshed for an afternoon of joining Augustine in his quest to see Lady Wisdom buck naked (see Soliloquia 1 -- it's really too good to miss).