Many small-apartment dwellers dream of a spacious, well-appointed kitchen. But what happens when you get it? Well, if you're like Laurie Colwin, sometimes you find yourself reminiscing about washing arugula in the bathtub and bizzare eggplant concoctions.
The "Food Fantasies" episode of PRI's Selected Shorts is such a treat. It's a rebroadcast that includes Colwin's "Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant" and the story of perhaps the most outrageous recipe ever imagined.
The first story is "Country Cooking from Central France: Roast Boned Rolled Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb (Farce Double)." It's a hilarious, rambling account of a truly ridiculous recipe.
On the other end of the culinary spectrum, Colwin's story recalls the one-room apartment in Greenwich Village where she lived for eight years. The "kitchen" consisted of a small refrigerator, a hot plate and a toaster oven, but she managed to cook and entertain regularly.
She describes the misadventures of a fondue party that resulted in going out for burgers at a nearby bar, and attempting to finish spaghetti carbonara in a drafty bathroom with a collapsed ceiling.
Her favorite thing to cook for herself was eggplant, and she discovered countless ways to prepare it on her two electric burners – a simple pleasure she recalled fondly years later.
Eggplant season is a little ways off, but we can't wait to get our hands on one at the farmers market and then wander back to our imperfect apartment kitchen and see what we can create.
Download the episode, "Food Fantasies" hosted by Ruth Reichl, at Symphony Space - Selected Shorts.