Food, Books, Ballet… oh, and a puppy

Hampton and I are both back into rehearsals* so weekends are for bigger meals, and tonight may have been our best schnitzel yet.

We toasted and ground up leftover soft pretzel from Strudelteig’s last visit to Lesser Known, the fantastic Eastern European-inspired brewery a mile and change from our house, for the crust on this recipe from FOOD & WINE. We also whisked the wee bit of Strudelteig’s mustard into the egg wash.

This recipe is extra fun to me because it recommends grüner veltliner — our house white, $6.99 Trader Joe’s fave — as the wine pairing.

Sauce King Hampton adapted the F&W brussels sprout slaw for our anti-mayo preferences, and we also did Food 52’s pickle brine-butter mushrooms on the side. We keep a jar of pickle/olive/etc. leftover juice on hand and it was perfect here, especially with the last of Strudelteig’s beer cheese melted in for some extra creamy, umami goodness.

I LOVE the idea of fried lean meat and a bitter salad, be it brussels, arugula, etc. However — frying usually freaks me out. I am trying to lean into desensitization therapy and this was 100% our most successful variation, both in taste, crunch, and amount of swearing [sorry, Ma]. Part of the success was due to a tip from Michael Voltaggio earlier in the day: use a thin layer of oil to start and when you flip, add butter then so it doesn’t get too dark. Game changer!

Also in successes today, I finished BLEED MORE, BODYMORE. I really wanted to knock it out last night, but my beloved trazodone was stronger than my bad choices, and so instead it was a lovely way to start my day. This is a strange and unusual start to a horror series set in Baltimore that pays great homage to Edgar Allan Poe — after whom the city named their football team.

I finished this book with a lot of questions, but it was also a wonderfully complete story. The lead, Joey, is trying her best to survive all the punches life throws at her — figuratively *and* literally — and there are really great mythological references and psychological insights on generational trauma and the working class. Thanks to Voracious Readers Only for the intro!

Between the book and the food — I went to ballet class! After doing a few drop-ins at a school downtown over the summer, I am fully embracing my new UNCSA staff discount for a regular Saturday morning class through the community school and prep dance .

I don’t properly have the words to explain how great a teacher we have in Mr. Blanco. He does such an excellent job teaching us the why’s of technique, when we all have such disparate backgrounds… even if neither childhood ballerina Ann nor I understand how my hips could possibly turn out more. I’ve already signed up for the next session AND a summer intensive and I HATE spending money to work out, but he’s just that good.

Welp, I’ve covered food, drink, books, and theatre…. so, clearly, we need a gratuitous puppy pic.

*Hampton, getting to live his best Michael-Caine-in-NOISES-OFF life

Me, singing backup and belting my face — two of my favorite things — while being way outside of my comfort zone.

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