A Few of My Favorite Things

It would seem that "A Few of My Favorite Things" is a common blog thread. I had not encountered this blogging phenomenon until I went looking for an appropriate photo for this post. Googling AFoMFT produced thousands of exact blog matches. Switching to images, I felt Julie Andrew's on a hilltop did not strike the tone I was seeking. And I couldn't find a really good chocolate manatee. But enough of this overture, in the last three days I have experienced a trifecta of my favorite things.

Upon returning from Las Vegas I indulged myself in two nights of solitary sleep. I was editing a section of my latest book the other day and I see no reason to reinvent the perfect description, so I quote myself:

I was going to sleep until I woke and then slowly turn over and drift off again. Nowhere to go, nowhere to be, no one to bother with and no one to bother me. If there is a heaven, it has cold, crisp mornings and pile of goose down comforters.

The third morning I was already three pages into editing when I glanced at the chronometer to find it was not yet 8 AM. If you linger in bed every morning, it might just be considered sloth. Besides you can't really enjoy the exquisite pleasure of rolling over if you do it every single day. Surely tis the contrast between Carpe Diem and Carpe Supine that makes it so sublime.

Favorite Thing #2 involves books. I can walk from my place to both the Berkeley Public Library and three UC Berkeley collections. Despite the easy access of the internet, there are times when sitting down in front of several shelves of books on a particular topic is the best form of research. Titles and abstracts don't always cover all the tidbits that books contain. Yesterday, I had a particular topic in mind and spend a glorious three hours pawing through forty or so books and literally hundreds of spine titles to get clarity on just one tiny topic. Out of that session I will have a couple of articles by the end of the week leading perhaps to another writing gig. But job or no, the pleasure of the search and research is always there.

Favorite Thing #1 is sleep. Second FT is fodder for the cerebrum, well then number three has got to be.

Yes, of course, food!

Here are the ingredients of a near perfect graze.

A loaf a Acme Bakery olive bread. They use these green olives that somehow remain moist in the loaf without making the bread soggy. Plus there is a high ratio of firm outer crust to tender interior.

For toppings, well first a wedge of Cambozola cheese, if you don't know this variety, it is a blend of gorgonzola and camembert. I recommend removing the rind (which you can save to cut into soup) and then letting the cheese warm to room temperature. Very rich, almost to be used as a spread. Since there are times you want a slice of cheese, something with substance; I recommend supplementing with a second selection. I opted for a firm, strong, white cheddar.

Now in my younger days, I might have gone for a hard Genoa salami here but these days I shy away from nitrated meats and instead add the following:

Avocado, at precisely that moment of ripeness when the texture and flavor reminds one of liquid velvet. I do so remember how as kids we referred to these gems ripening on the kitchen window ledge as green slime. I am sure my mother was heart-broken when she didn't have to share with her horde of carnivores.

I have found a brand of sun-dried tomatoes that are stored not in olive oil but in a lighter combination of oil and balsamic vinegar. Same distributor has roasted red and yellow peppers in a brine. Accompanying beverage of your choice and enjoy.

By the way, on day two the same combinations minus the Cambozola (too soft) and the bread on the side, go perfectly tossed in some spring salad greens, add a few capers use the sun-dried tomato balsamic oil as dressing and you have more bliss for the palate.

I thought of titling this post: "Simple Pleasures" but I realized that Godiva cat probably cost ten bucks.