Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Pardon the clip-art-rific picture. Dramatic (comedic) effect.

A little more than a year from now, I fully expect to have Amy Adams playing me in a movie (the long-haired Amy Adams, if you please). The ever-adaptable Meryl Streep can play Crescent Dragonwagon, the Julia Child of the vegetarian cooking world. Dragonwagon’s 2002 tome “Passionate Vegetarian” has all the delicious memoir and instructional detail of Child’s own masterful French cooking volumes, if you couple them with “My Life in France,” the book she published a few years before her 2004 death.

In promos of this blockbuster fantasy, screenwriting superstar Nora Ephron will talk about how she just couldn’t resist adapting my blog into a movie. We shall sit side-by-side on The View’s semi-circular banana-colored couch. I shall cajole her, telling her, hey, “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” too.

Just as Julie Powell of “The Julie/Julia Project” turned to cooking to escape the ennui of her bureaucratic existence, I turn to my kitchen for solace from the stress of being a journalist. Even at this moment, I sit in court awaiting a jury’s verdict on a 25-year-old bush-ax triple murder case. A pregnant wife and her two children slaughtered in their home in 1985. A birthday present lay unassuming on the kitchen table, ready to be whisked off to a Burger King bash the four-year-old girl was to attend that evening.
The gory crime scene photos should leave a normal person nauseated with no appetite. Not me. I’m no monster, but I have to hope for my next meal, the ripe tomatoes and peppery basil kicking their feet up in my fridge right now. When I’m not nourishing the public with information, I just want to nourish myself and others with food. I wish I could bake “A Small Good Thing” for the victims’ family as in Raymond Carver’s story about loss. I should love to break open a crusty loaf of whole grain bread and hand it to the elderly parents of the woman killed, hand a portion to the family of the accused, break off a bit for the judge and the exhausted jury members.
My fantasy does turn into reality, but you’d never know it. I can’t be bothered to blog when I return home from work, when all I want to do is bruschetta-up those tomatoes and that basil. Indeed, I’ve been too much of a glutton for my own consumption that many a fine meal has gone undocumented, long digested before I remember that, oh no, I should have written about those crispy-baked zucchini fritters.
The brilliance of Powell’s brainchild was that it provided a structure that many other self-indulgent blogs lack, my own included. But with the force of Dragonwagon’s abundance behind me, I hope I can wade in her vegetarian-vaguely-veganese prose, further testing the waters of a food lifestyle I am swiftly adopting anyway (for more on that, read Jelly Side Down).
Powell committed herself to 524 recipes in 365 days. How she didn’t bankrupt herself is somewhat of a mystery, though her readers allegedly chipped in on the grocery bill. On top of that, Dragonwagon’s cookbook boasts more than 1,000 robust recipes. At that rate, I should get well over 700 days to complete the task before me. At least. Or any multiple thereof. And I might make my sister be a guest blogger. (She has already sampled many "Passionate Vegetarian" offerings and got me hooked on the book in the first place). The best part of being a half-assed copycat? No aspics. I repeat: No aspics. Sorry, Jules.
Stay tuned. Coming to a theater near you.


  1. Alison! I just happened on this bc I was "ego-surfing" for links to blogs where folks had tried my recipes, to put on Deep Feast: Writing the World Through Food, a blog I launched --- GET THIS! --- the same day you did this one! Well, I am tickled, flattered, and surprised.

    Another strange cross-hatching of coincidence: I too was a juror on a murder trial, must've been, oh 20 years ago. But I still shudder when I think of the photographs.

    Keep me informed, my dear, and good luck! I'm also going to post a link to this on Facebook. P.S. There IS one aspic (made with agar) in PV. No, maybe two... Anyway...

  2. I love that I have your blessing! I remember reading (and seeing in the movie) that Julia Child didn't like Julie Powell's blog too much. Do I have your permission to use the F-word freely? Only kidding.

    As for the aspics, thank goodness yours are made with fruit and don't rely on animal bones/bone marrow to gel them. Can't wait to try the Tofu Creme.

    Thanks for the plug on Facebook! I hope to join your Writer's Colony one day, when I'm not in the throes of daily reporting...

    Feel free to chime in anytime!