Chipping In

Chipping In

I don’t keep potato chips in the apartment. One reason is that they have no nutritional value. The other reason is that I will finish a bag in under a week – by myself.

However, there are times when allowances can be made. Times when your spirit is low and your blood sugar is even lower. Final exam week is one of them. I told myself that I could buy only one bag – which came to 1/2 a bag per final – and then I’d return to a life free of exams and full of nutritional content.

So, since I committed to buying potato chips, I decided that the time for half measures had passed. Any potato chips which could even pretend to a redeeming value – corn chips with flax seed or quinoa – were not going into my shopping cart. It took me a few minutes in front of the chip shelf to pick out what my bag of chips would be. As soon as I saw them, I knew they were the ones: Trader Joe’s Salt & Vinegar chips.

At the register, the cashier was surprised at my selection. Not because the rest of my cart was fruits and vegetables – but because he’d never seen them before. I assured him they were right downstairs on the shelf, available to all patrons. He listed all the chips he knew they carried. I suggested that that perhaps these were new – and congratulated him on his fine memory. We pondered a moment in silence.

“Would you like to try some?” I suggested.

“Oh, well. If you don’t mind…” he said.

“Really, I’ve never had them before. I’d like your opinion,” I insisted.

“Thanks!” he exclaimed.

So while he enjoyed some  chips, I paid for my groceries. And before I left with the bag, he insisted I try some too. We both took a few. We agreed they were top-notch.

Signature Dish: Summer Side Salad

Signature Dish: Summer Side Salad

Everyone has a signature dish, some people just don’t know it yet. Mario Batali has pasta. Ellen has spicy potatoes. I have…well, until recently my signature dish was my dad’s 1-2-3 Rice Salad. Somehow, a signature dish which is someone else’s signature dish doesn’t seem quite right. So, I decided to make a signature dish of my own.

A signature dish is defined as a dish with which everyone associates you. This can happen if you make something frequently, or only ever make one thing. Or your a signature dish could be that one dish you discuss ad naseum. Of course, some people gain their signature dish by making one thing particularly well. I do not aim to cook any one dish to perfection – but I do aim too have a signature dish that pleases. The first step to accomplishing that is to have a signature dish of my own.

It came to me suddenly, inspired by a friend’s recipe.


My Signature Dish: Summer Side Salad

1/2 can chickpeas

1 can black beans

1/2 to 1 lime, squeezed for the juice

1 tsp cumin

kernels, cut from 2 ears of corn

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 2 heavy shake of red pepper flakes

salt, to taste

parsley, for looks

drizzle of olive oil, to hold it all together

Mix and serve.


Winston Churchill on Naps

“You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner, and no half-way measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imagination. You will be able to accomplish more.” – Winston Churchill*


*as quoted in Sleep Thieves by Stanley Coren