Besides trying to kill my boyfriend with some sketched out salmon, I’ve actually done a lot of cooking lately! Lately, I’ve been wanting to host a dinner party, but pesky things like weekend obligations and Martin’s busy work / school schedule keep coming up.

Martin and I both have polarized thoughts about our dinner parties. He normally prefers to invite only 2 other people, mainly because our dining room table can comfortably seat 4 (and less comfortably and somewhat carefully seat 6). I am a “the more, the merrier!” type of person, especially because it means I can experiment with more dishes and generally have fewer leftovers. Hopefully Martin and I will overcome these obstacles soon and have people over. So if you are looking to be a scapegoat in my quest to try out new foods and are brave and entertaining, hopefully we will see you soon!

The other night, I made the brined chicken I challenged my friends and any willing participants to try out and paired it with some swiss chard I got at the farmer’s market. I tried Penney’s recipe. Now, I’ve never eaten chard before and didn’t quite know what to expect. I don’t even know quite what prompted me to buy it, but I was standing there, staring at the tall green leafy bundles, I thought t myself, “Hello! You look very green and leafy and full of exciting things like vitamins and antioxidants!” I was mostly correct about this.

I thought the chard was tasty but unlike anything I’d ever eaten. I don’t know what chard is supposed to taste like, but mine was a little bit bitter. I generally don’t like bitter tasting vegetables – bad childhood memories of my parents forcing me to try bitter melon because it was “Good for me!” tend to swim up and choke my psyche. But overall, I thought this was pretty good but I’m glad I didn’t do a simple saute and had other flavors to focus on.

Also, a friend of ours is moving away and she bequeathed to me many of the dried goods she didn’t manage to eat through before leaving. Two of them are dried beans. As some of you know, I am incredibly anti-bean. And now I have big jars full of these strange brown beans, which I can’t even identify. So, what do with beans? How do they acquire their edible soft state rather than this weird rock hard one?

P.S. I have just consulted Wikipedia (what does Wikipedia NOT know?) and have determined these to be pinto and kidney beans. I think the fact that I cannot identify these simple and most common of beans reinforces the fact that I am incredibly anti-bean. At least I know I can use the kidney beans for Alex’s tasty chili, which I made and never wrote about. Whoops.