Mad Apples

At the farmers market last Friday I asked the farmer about the difference between the three varieties of eggplant that he was selling. He answered that he didn't know -- he grew them but did not eat them. I must have looked incredulous as he then proceeded to name all the vegetables that he sold and did eat. I half listened to this rather long list as I gathered a large bag of only eggplants.

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For whatever reason, this is my favorite vegetable (yes, it is a fruit) of the summer. Probably having a grill has something to do with it. In fact, I have not once cooked eggplant in the apartment all year.

Here is another story about eggplant indifference. While I was living in Paris I went to a birthday party, I arrived 30 minutes late, which was a mistake as the other guests only began to arrive two hours later. At some point, someone explained (probably in English, as I doubt my linguistic capabilities could ever have comprehended this subtlety) that the only good way to eat eggplant was eggplant caviar. Yes, this is a delicious way to eat eggplant, but surely there are other options!

Take for instance my new favorite sandwich, the sabich sandwich. The ingredient list is a bit too long for me these days, but I know where to buy one, and it's terrific. Plus there is hot sauce, which is a topic for another post.

Perhaps really the best way to eat eggplant is to grill a slew of it on a Sunday night and enjoy throughout the week. Eggplant and lemon, yogurt, tahini sauce? Yes. Eggplant and pesto pizza? Definitely. Eggplant eaten straight from the fridge as you contemplate breakfast? To be honest, that is how most of it will be consumed.

At some point many of us wonder why eggplants are named after eggs. Certainly they do not look like eggs (side note, why does the eggplant emoji stand for male genitalia? the purple bulbous shape would suggest some sort of medical emergency). Wikipedia explains, and I didn't bother to confirm, that the name was bestowed upon the kind of eggplants that do look like eggs. 

The etymology gets even more interesting. Eggplants are also called mad apples (mostly by people who are now dead, but mad apples should experience a revival!). There seem to be two intertwined reasons. First, eggplants belong to the nightshade family and were rumored to be poisonous. Secondly, in Italian eggplant is melanzane, which somehow became interpreted by non-native speakers as mela (apple) insana. (insane). 

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Wordplay will always remind me of Charles Dodgson and his portmanteaus. Indeed, if mealnzane was actually originally intended to be about mad apples, it would be a classic portmanteau word. As Humpty Dumpty helpfully explained,

‘Well, “slithy“ means “lithe and slimy.” “Lithe” is the same as “active.” You see it’s like a portmanteau — there are two meanings packed up into one word.’

Further, Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) seemed rather fond of madness. 

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked.
"Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad."
"How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” 

So while eggplant, that is, aubergines, might not appear as the most British of foods. They really are the thing to serve to Professor Dodgson. 

As we ate some afternoon aubergine, Dodgson himself agreed this logic was perfectly syllogistic.

Charles Dodgson appreciates madness.
Eggplants are mad apples.
Therefore Dodgson appreciates eggplants.

For more like this, I recommend the reader to his repertoire. While it might not make for very penetrable conversation, a few syllogisms on the side can make a mighty fine pairing to any meal.

Breakfast with Kepler

There are all sorts of new parent skills that aren't taught in classes or discussed in books. These include how to type with one hand, how to transition from standing to sitting to lying down with the least possible movement, and what breakfasts might be successfully made in advance (and eaten with one hand!). 

The latter point will be addressed here.

There are only so many relatively cool hours in the day in a Los Angeles summer so the walking window is narrow. This has left breakfast by the wayside on occasion (notably coffee takes priority for obvious reasons). Leftovers are always fair game, though they risk a side eye in explaining that one ate Mapo tofu or salad before 9 AM (these leftovers only exist thanks to family support!).

During our first week check up the lactation consultant warned of parsley and mint and extolled virtues of oats. She specifically recommended some instant oatmeal, flaxseed option from Trader Joe's (she also recommended the frozen peas from Trader Joe's for pain relief). At the time, I did not take heed because there was plenty of family around to make sure I was amply fed. Plus, hot oatmeal doesn't seem very appetizing at this time of year.

But oats need not be cooked. Muesli is Swiss (and, according to Wikipedia, consists mostly of apples and includes lemon juice), but the best muesli I've experienced has been in Germany at the Mathematics Institute in Oberwolfach. Breakfasts there are truly stunning (even to someone with morning sickness) with bowls of fruit, carafes of coffee or tea, hard boiled eggs, half a dozen bread options, sliced cheese, ham, butter, and a very large bowl of muesli. I do not know what's in it, but there are enough whole grains to imply that it has benefitted from a thorough soaking.

I came across a nice sounding muesli recipe in the Huckleberry cookbook, but the ingredient list was a bit long and my time browsing grocery stores has been diminished. As  a shortcut, I simply bought the multigrain bulk cereal at the natural grocery store, which is a combination of cracked oats, wheat, rye, corn and several other things. That night I soaked half a cup of this and half a cup of rolled oats in enough milk and water to submerge them with some walnuts and raisins. I'd recommend grating in an apple as well (for deliciousness and authenticity), but pressed for time this did not occur. I also added chia seeds and hemp hearts, the sorts of things that end up in your pantry when you've been living in Los Angeles for two years.

The next morning the mixture had softened to an edible state. This was then topped with a bit of yogurt and much fresh fruit (plums and nectarines these days). It is a homely dish and not worth photographing.

Although I have a hearty appetite in the morning, this is truly enough food for two people. Baby Kepler is too little for such things (though teeth are not required), but his namesake happened to be a worthy breakfast guest.

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Johannes Kepler (1671—1630) described three laws of planetary motion, wrote science fiction, studied conic sections, drew many beautiful figures, and defended his mother from charges of witchcraft. In reading about the history of science he pops up all over the place—I have intentions to peruse his work on snowflakes, on pseudo-diagrams, and on continuity and infinity. He is basically impossible to avoid in my line of work, so it's surprising he hasn't joined us earlier.

Kepler enjoyed our breakfast, though, to be honest it took me about two hours to eat it what with the engaging discussion of hyperbolas and conic sections and the lack of free hands. I used to feel somewhat sorry for Kepler given his enthusiastic letters to Galileo that received only lackluster responses. However, this sympathy seems misplaced in someone who dreamed so big and accomplished so much at a time when pursuing new knowledge could be a precarious occupation (like today).

Kepler had many children (with about a 50% survival rate, which may have been pretty good for the time?), but not much to offer by way of advice. Me neither. I guess I would only recommend having some dance mixes prepared, preferably with songs where the beat is strong and you're happy to sing along. This isn't very useful for 17th century audiences, my apologies.

In closing, Kepler's epitaph (the last line seems to apply equally well to the dead and living):

I measured the skies, now the shadows I measure
Skybound was the mind, earthbound the body rests.

Getting married with Katharine Hepburn

The Philadelphia Story is about a film about a backyard wedding. You know those wedding films…probably there are many little girls out there who aspire to a wedding where reporters and photographers drop in unannounced, the bride realizes she too suffers from human frailty, and the groom switches place at the last minute. No? Well, maybe they’d be interested in 506 guests who send room upon room of wedding gifts (mostly silver omelette pans—or “ommelete” as spelled out loud in the film), the counting of which appears to be the only pre-wedding necessity. Oh, and drinking too much champagne. 

That is pretty much what I was up to in the days leading up to my own backyard wedding for a much smaller crowd. Happily my sister was in support of the whole thing, though sadly she never did sing us a rendition of “Lydia the Tattooed Lady.” 

If you decide you would like to organize and prepare much of the food for your wedding, you’ll soon find that no one else thinks that is a very good idea. Nevertheless, with a great many helping hands here and there, that’s what we did. Who doesn’t want to make giant bowls of brownie and cake batter? Or spend the morning of the wedding receiving generous good wishes from the farmer’s market vendors? Cooking for one’s own small backyard wedding is like opening a restaurant where there is only one seating, everyone eats the same thing, and no one complains to the chef-bride. 

Though the wedding was family only, Katharine Hepburn stopped in for the reception. While Tracy Lord doesn’t seem to put much effort into her own wedding, Hepburn put a hell of a lot of work into The Philadelphia Story. According to Wikipedia, after starring in the play on Broadway Howard Hughes bought her the rights. Hepburn sold these for a deal to MGM in exchange for maintaining control over who produced, directed, wrote and starred in the film. She did rather well on all accounts—the film’s somewhat oligarchic message may be a bit heavy handed, but the acting is superb. Hepburn broke the stigma of being “Hollywood poison” and went on to such films as Adam’s Rib and The African Queen. All of which makes throwing a wedding seem not so difficult after all.

As for the food, a couple of the dishes were a bit too California contemporary to pass muster in the 1940s (Kale Salad hadn’t quite begun its meteoric rise). But as luck would have it, the one dish I seem to have a picture of is also the most lovely. Sitting on the table in the middle of all those beautiful people is a stone fruit caprese salad made with freshly picked peaches, plums and nectarines, fresh mozzarella, white balsamic vinegar, California olive oil, finely sliced basil and crunchy salt flakes. Even the Lords would approve. 

Tea with Jane

Without television I get most of my knowledge of upcoming cinematic attractions through the posters that are plastered on buses and along Sunset Boulevard (also, This Week’s Movies in the New York Times, whose negative reviews assure that I never watch anything). These days there are posters for a man riding on top of another man’s car, the new Coen Brother’s film, and something about ZOMBIES. I write zombies in all capital letters, not because I find them particularly exciting, but because that is how they appear in the poster. So for a while I thought, hum, something probably with Vin Diesel. But in fact, this is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Last Sunday was the first cozy, stay-indoors day in Los Angeles in a while (it's supposed to be mid-eighties tomorrow). Even so I made Bobby walk with me to the grocery store through the rain and wind because (1) we needed eggs and carrots, (2) he needed a walk having eaten four scones and then taken a nap. I did not tell him, so he’s only learning this now, that there was a stick of butter in that recipe, and it made eight scones, so, well, you do the math.

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But even if you are trying to eat healthfully this winter season, these scones are very much worth it. The recipe is here. I’ve made them twice, once with cranberries and whole wheat pastry flour, once with raisins and white whole wheat flour, both times without orange and they were really lovely. So lovely, in fact, that I shared them with a very special guests who has been recently associated with the undead.

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The first time I read Jane Austen was in my parent’s pink minivan. My mother was reading Sense and Sensibility for book group and I picked it up to see what I thought. The most recent time I read Jane Austen was three years ago in Paris when the rental apartment had a copy of Persuasion. I had read Persuasion before, but not since becoming a historian of the early nineteenth century so it seemed very relevant indeed. After spending a great deal of time with French and German mathematicians of that same period, I was delighted in how modern Jane Austen sounded. Yes, it is very romantic, but it is also not at all melodramatic, contrary to what one might expect of a novel set just after the Napoleonic wars.

So it seemed quite right to invite Jane round for scones and tea. If Jane had so requested, I would have been more than happy to make her a cup of coffee, grinding the beans before her eyes with my new hand-held grinder. However, coffee was not requested. She drinks her tea black (Wikipedia suggests Austen may have died from a milk related illness, so it seemed like the prudent choice).

I asked Jane about geometry because, you know, research. While mathematics did not prove the focal point of our conversation, Jane was very interested in learning more about technological advances. She was also happy to hear that getting married wasn’t the be-all-end-all it once was. I have to admit I was fairly gushing about her literary longevity and influence, and we both became a little embarrassed until she changed the subject to English history. Though I once thought Elizabeth I was the best, Jane convinced me that I should give Mary, Queen of Scots, and Jane Grey a second chance.

No one breathed a word of zombies. 

New apartments, comfortable foods, and George Washington Carver

The apartment was not yet put together. In fact, it was very far from being put together. The couch was in three pieces and the bed had no slats. There were bikes in the corner (still are). But it is beautiful. Even the young Russian men moving us in said so. 

It is clean and cool and quiet and open. There are no nooks and crannies. Remember in The Bell Jar when Sylvia Plath sits at a bar and orders a tall glass of vodka? While the real thought of a tall glass of vodka makes my stomach churn, the apartment carries that same sense of transparent elegance imagined in that scene. Basically, if the apartment could order a drink it would order a martini (with no fancy modifications or add-ins, the apartment would go to the right bartender and the bartender would know the right way to make a martini). But at the risk of parading too many alcoholic beverages in too few posts, let's consider something to eat. 

How to say hello to a new kitchen? I was disappointed today to find a dishwasher instead of more cabinet space, but nevertheless there is a lot of cabinet space (and no need to dry dishes on the counter!). I'd appreciate any efficiency experts out there who might tell me where best to put what.

After a long week, there is not much better than something luxurious for dinner. Luxurious, quick to make, with very little clean up and no leftovers to bother putting away. If I was in France that would be duck confit, but my first dinner alone at my new apartment ended up as peanut butter and carrots. 

(not very picturesque food)

I also watched a bit of Planet Earth. The one about the Jungle. All these chimpanzees and monkeys and birds and what-have-you were all eating figs. Apparently, figs are pretty plentiful in the rainforest. It was an amusing juxtaposition with the carrots and the peanut butter and the thousands of figs on television being enjoyed in their perfect raw state. As I found out on Saturday, figs are no longer in season out here.

Luckily, while I was sitting alone at home eating carrots and peanut butter and some hot tea (because I thought I might be catching a cold), the doorbell rang. It's a very solid doorbell, clearly electronic but not too artificial sounding.  I was a bit startled because I wasn't expecting any one and the place wasn't quite in a state for guests. I should have known it wasn't just any guest. 

 

George Washington Carver (1860–1943) was highly accomplished in many areas, but was introduced to me as the inventor of peanut butter. As it turns out, this is false. However, recipes are a tricky thing and I still argue Carver deserves some credit in this endeavor. Look, the earliest so-called "peanut butter recipe" called for sugar and described the result as similar to lard, butter, or ointment. Sweet ointment sounds gross and I never buy peanut butter with sugar in it. When it comes to a very subtle recipe with very few ingredients  we must differentiate something that might have tasted okay from something that is mightily delicious.

Once a former roommate asked me what my comfort food was. Hers was a very sweet form of Japanese curry with soft vegetables and pure white rice. I thought about this question for a long time and eventually arrived at peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I've already written about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so I needn't say more on the subject now, except to mention that it's really the first two consonants that do it for me. I'm also quite comforted by peanut butter and banana or peanut butter and honey, although I have no affinity toward peanut butter and chocolate. I know, weird.

Anyway, as the (sort of) inventor of peanut butter and also a very accomplished agriculturist who called for an end to monoculture and attention to soil health, I owe Mr. Carver a great deal of gratitude. Peanut butter helped cure the homesickness of a first year in college without any budgetary impact whatsoever. The best kind is crunchy and salted.

So how did Carver invent peanut butter? I asked him (after, of course, offering him a snack, which he politely accepted). 

In an effort to promote peanut planting and consumption, Carver included a booklet of one hundred and five peanut recipes. In fact, it's one fewer than stated as there are two nearly identical recipes for roasted salted peanuts (#58 and #105). They're just that good. There are five recipes for peanut chocolate confections, so we may also owe Carver for that somewhat too sweet combination. There are three highly recommended recipes: #12 Oatmeal Peanut Bread (delicious), #20 Peanut Tea Rolls (delicious), #91 Peanut Almond Fudge (very fine). The recipe for peanut butter is also lovely (though without any parenthetical commentary):

Shell the peanuts; roast just enough so that the hulls will slip off easily; remove all the hulls by gently rolling, fanning, and screening; grind very fine in any sort of mill, passing through several times if necessary; pack in cans, bottles, or jars, and seal if not for immediate use. Some manufacturers add a little salt and a small amount of olive oil; others do not, according to taste. For small quantities of butter a good meat grinder will answer the purpose. If the nuts are ground fine enough no additional oil will be necessary.

I note in particular the attention to roasting, the suggestion of salting, and the independence from additional oil. These are all fine qualities in a good peanut butter. There is also a recipe for peanut carrot fudge, something to consider for the future (or not). Might I suggest, to bring the number up to 105 again, some raw sliced carrots slathered with peanut butter and perhaps some sprinkled golden raisins?

If there was such a thing aspeanut butter royalties, Mr. Washington might be running for president (also would help if he was still alive). As it is he did save up $60,000, which upon his death was put toward his foundation. He also offered a few organizational tips for the kitchen and checked on the health of my patio plants (they're okay, the tomato plant was suffering from bud drop and should be kept out of direct sunlight).

So what might have begun as a somewhat sad evening turned into a true celebration of American ingenuity, new living spaces, and the simple things in life. Thank you, George Washington Carver. You really saved the day.

The Raymond Chandler

A dark and stormy is a drink with dark rum. With light rum, which is what happened to be in the freezer, the drink becomes something else. It looks like a day with enough shade to cool a flea.

Let's call it The Raymond Chandler. 

The "the" here is important. Not enough cocktails with articles, if you ask me. 

Side note: Some people think that Raymond Chandler's cocktail is the Gin Gimlet, due to its prevalence and precise recipe in The Long Goodbye. Gimlet is also the name of the media company that produces my new favorite podcast Mystery Show. Anyone who has read The Long Goodbye or listened to Mystery Show knows well that this is no coincidence (not because there seems to be much in common between the two, but because there are no coincidences).

It is difficult for me to believe it ever rains in Los Angeles. Or to imagine what the city would look like should it do so. Despite my own limitations, I have it on good authority that it has rained (at least once) here as there's plenty of it in The Big Sleep. I don't think Mr. Chandler would mess up such a relevant detail as that.

While I read The Big Sleep several years ago, I returned to Raymond Chandler in earnest during a long plane ride to and from Paris via Prague. Depending on how you look at things, the novels either soothed or aggravated my distress over delayed flights and possible missed connections. They didn't not keep me up at night. And I gained a new found appreciation for metaphors.

I don't know if I would recommend The Raymond Chandler (dark rum is probably more delicious), but I would recommend Farewell, My Lovely. It's the only one I read with a female character worth a damn. She ends up with Philip Marlowe in the end. They all do.

Raymond Chandler has a lot of experience drinking drinks and he doesn't seem too picky. So I invited him round for a round of his new namesake. He drank it. 

I spoke to Raymond Chandler about food, since he clearly had an appreciation. Especially for the breakfast staples: coffee, eggs, toast. I noted that sometimes Philip Marlowe drank coffee black and sometimes with milk and sugar. Surprisingly, Raymond Chandler did not comment on my astuteness and suggest I would make a good private eye. Some people aren't too particular about how they take their coffee.

Raymond Chandler and I sat in the breakfast nook, a nook not unlike the one in The Long Goodbye. I didn't tell Raymond Chandler that I had actually enjoyed the end of the movie version with Eli Gould more than the book. Instead we played chess. I know Raymond Chandler isn't Philip Marlowe, but you wouldn't include such precise chess vocabulary without some appreciation of the game. After not too long I lost. 

I thanked Raymond Chandler for stopping by. He thanked me for the drink and welcomed me to my new city. I thanked him for introducing it to me. We were both very cordial.

If you're interested (and I am), there's a Raymond Chandler map of LA. It's almost like having Raymond Chandler over for a drink in your breakfast nook. Almost.


A new-fangled treat and Felix Klein

Felix Klein almost singlehandedly represented all of modern mathematics at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. At about 44 years of age, he was the embodiment of Göttingen mathematics, and Göttingen was the centre of the mathematical universe, at least that's how Klein saw it. 

Klein gave many talks on the past and future of mathematics while in the greater Chicago area that year. However, with all his talking about the interconnectedness of geometries and best teaching practices, Klein might have missed going over to the Palmer House Hotel and witnessing the true star of the show.

If there was a formula for optimizing chocolate cake, the solution would be brownies. Not only are brownies much easier to make (no worrying about sifting flour, separating dry and wet ingredients, or beating eggs until fluffy), they are also far more dense, chewy, chocolatey, and satisfying.

I have made good brownies that were mistaken for "the best chocolate cake" (while in Paris, mind you). And I have made mediocre brownies that were mistaken for "very nice chocolate cake"–so I think that proves the point, anecdotally at least.

To return to Klein, brownies were introduced at the Columbian Exposition at the behest of Bertha Palmer as a dessert suitable for ladies because similar to cake but handheld. The original apparently included apricot jam, which seems like gilding the lily. But this was in fact during the Gilded Age, and hence apropos.

If Klein never got to try a brownie, then he certainly missed out. If he had one in 1893, he's probably been craving another since. In either case (proof by cases), there's no time like the present to eat chocolate, sugar, and butter.

Like myself, Klein wrote on the history of geometry in the early nineteenth century. I owe him a great deal, since he's full of outlandish quotes that are quite delightful to correct and make me sound more knowledgable. In exchange for a brownie, I plied him for the insider scoop on late nineteenth century geometry. Klein was happy to oblige and proved himself as much a gossip in conversation as he is in his books. Unfortunately, I wont be able to include all the juicy details in my future research, as there's no way to properly cite casual conversations with the long deceased.

Klein likes to talk and everyone likes to eat brownies, so it was a rather pleasant afternoon. I sent him home with a few leftovers and the recipe. They travel well and lend themselves to International Congresses, conversions, and conversations.

An Americano with Amerigo

When the weather suggests spring might actually be on its way (and then cruelly snaps back into 35 degree mornings), I am tempted to start my evenings with an apéro (or two). 

At some point when living in Vancouver I learned about Campari. This was either from reading aboutBoulevardiers or from drinking a Negroni (both of these things happened, but I don't recall the order of events). While these drinks are delicious, they're also rather strong and probably not the best recipe for a weeknight evening. By replacing the hard liquor with seltzer, Americanos deliver all the flavor (well, all the bittersweet flavor) with the added bonus of bubbles. Moreover, why bother with buying Campari and Sweet Vermouth, when you can achieve a more or less similar concoction in a single bottle? 

I sometimes cheat even further by buying orange flavored seltzer water.

Apparently, the name Americano refers to the bitter flavor of the drink, and not any national preference. In fact, most Americans I know do not really care for the stuff. But what about the man who started it all (and clearly dyed his hat in some carmine)?

Amerigo Vespucci (1451–1512) is one of the great anomalies of elementary school history. If, as one learns, Columbus was the "first" then why does Mr. Vespucci get his name on both continents, while CC graces only a single country, part of the name of a citya universitya historical time period, and a day in October (in certain states). I guess Columbus has received his fare share of eponymns, but it still leaves a bit of mystery of how America came to be named as such. 

The argument is sometimes presented that Amerigo determined that this was actually a new continent and not the other side of Asia. However the actual naming was not an overt power play, but rather the decision of a German mapmaker, Martin Waldseemüller.

Lesson learned.

Amerigo knows a thing or two about food, being from Florence, a former employee of the Medici's, and the possible organizer of Columbus' beef provisions. He also is an expert at courtly manners. So it's difficult to say how he felt about his Americano, but he certainly drank it up as the sun set on my imaginary porch.

Ruth Asawa and noodle soup

Ruth Asawa made volumes without mass through her woven sculptures made of iron, copper, or brass. She was born almost into the Great Depression, was uprooted through the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, and, after discriminatory practices prevented her from completing her credentials as an art teacher, became a student at Black Mountain College.

There she studied with Joseph Albers, met Albert Lanier with whom she would later have six children, and began her career as an artist. Asawa is often pictured working on or interacting with her pieces (including in this stunning image by Imogen Cunningham). Her creations remind me of organic versions of geometric surfaces. They seem at once intensely crafted and natural.

A bowl is almost a volume without mass, especially a good one, fit for noodle soup. We started eating noodle soup when the weather got cold and I started complaining that our shallow pasta bowls challenged the appropriate broth ratio. 

On Atlantic Avenue there are a few blocks of shops destined to break the bank. Almost everything is well made from places with sustainable working conditions, which usually also means a pause worthy price tag. I have often pestered my parents about wanting their "wedding china"–Italian ceramics with subtle blue flowers and a comforting weight–but the bowls by Mud Australia were even more beautiful and begging to be filled. They were also dangerously fragile and far too costly. 

Then there was a sale.

Someone has probably written a thorough study of the impact of sales on the human mind. No matter how expensive something might be, once it goes on sale it seems like an irresistible good deal.

This noodle soup is different every time, but our favorite version so far is topped with a poached egg. Without the egg, the soup is vegan, but I'm afraid it's the best part.

Ruth Asawa braved the Northeastern winter to try a soup that had strayed far from its Japanese origins. I couldn't help but watch her hands as she ate and think about the many strands of thread and wood and wire that they had shaped. Growing up around San Francisco, I hadn't known that Asawa was the creator of the Andrea Mermaid Fountain in Ghiradelli square. I have distinct memories of dancing as a child near there and afterward worrying that while spinning I had accidentally displayed my underwear. Hearing this story, Ruth Asawa was very understanding and I could tell she was an excellent teacher.

When there was nothing left to eat in our bowls we drank our broth, returning them to their massless states.