Laurie Gould: Don


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Recipe Notes 

My whole family loved this dish – even the kids, who are terribly picky, and have avowed never to let a vegetable cross their lips.  They didn’t even notice the onions and the garlic!   Will definitely add this to the rotation.   – Aimee from Wisconsin

My Cuban grandmother made this recipe all the time.  Use long-grain rice instead of basmati if you want real authentic flavor!   Also, use green bell peppers instead of ginger, yellow onions instead of scallions, and salt instead of soy sauce.    Perfect.  – J

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The Rules of Engagement 

This blog post is a plea for guidance.

Like so many people my age, I am swimming in uncharted waters.   Norms have changed.  There are rules of engagement, but I no longer know them.   There is a whole new set of symbols and signifiers, brand new to me at midlife.   I have no choice but to deploy this new language, but I know I do so at my peril, constantly at risk of miscommunication at best, of giving offense at worst.

I am talking, of course, about emojis.

Some time ago, my children patiently explained to…

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The story behind the song 

It is April, and the world is springing into bud and bloom in a way that fills every morning with hope and delight.   Just today, I found that the pea, arugula and broccoli raab seeds that I planted in my garden plot have started to germinate.  The bulbs in the park next door are popping.  

The trees outside my window are the most wonderful shade of brand-new green.  It’s birth. It’s joy. It’s everything good.

But not long ago, it was bleak mid-winter, and I was in a total funk.  I found myself listlessly…

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Yoga, Then and Now 

Spring, 2019

All it takes for me to feel good is to walk in and put down my mat. 

I really like my new yoga studio.  It’s small, a single storefront room, with brick walls and limited HVAC (more precisely:  decent H, questionable V, and no AC whatsoever).   A mural fills the studio’s eastern wall.

This mural offers ample opportunities for contemplation, primarily on the topic of why this boddhisatva has no nipples.   Also whether the cobra-as-neck-wrap is really the right accessory choice, especially when…

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High Security 

Here’s the heist:  the perpetrator watches you (with eyes or camera) as you enter a code to unlock your iPhone.   He/she/they then steals your phone, uses your code to unlock it, and further deploys your code to lock you out of your Apple account (so you can’t wipe the phone remotely), capping off the caper by using the passwords you’ve stored on your phone to empty your bank accounts.   

I read about this emerging crime pattern in the Wall Street Journal, and was duly disconcerted: it’s the New York Times

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Go Fish 

It’s dense where I live, in the middle of Boston.  We can get pretty much anything we need within a 10-minute walk.   The exception is fish:  good seafood is hard to come by in our neighborhood.  So we get a weekly fish delivery from a service called Evergreen, whose employees tool around the city on bicycle-drawn carts.  The urban density is key:  Evergreen has enough customers in a bike-friendly radius to make this a sensible business model. 

We are endlessly grateful for this service, because it is both…

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My Phone Says 

A new song for the new year!   Special thanks to Steve Ansolabehere for camera work; words, music, instrumentals, video and whatnot by yours truly.

We are not alone 

It is late afternoon on a weekend in mid-November and I am savoring the solitude.  It’s been a busy month, with back-to-back trips for work, family events, and fun, followed immediately by houseguests.  Delightful, all of it; but I am yearning for quiet, ready to be completely alone with myself and my thoughts. 

But I am not alone:  out of the corner of my eye, I see a shadow dash across the floor.   On second appearance it turns out to be a little brown mouse, zipping around my kitchen in search of warmth…

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DI Why? 

This will be short:  I have only a few minutes to write, while the lemons I’ve just blanched are still piping hot.     When they’ve cooled enough to handle, I’ll slice them, pack them in salt, and set them aside to ferment.  Preserved lemons are umami magic, adding depth and brightness to just about any savory dish.   But they’re hard to find, and pricey.  So I make my own. 

I’ve been baking my own bread for decades.   It’s a short hop from bread to pizza dough; and once you’re making your own dough…

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Bread Yips 

I have been baking sourdough bread since the last millennium, long before it became the hip COVID lockdown hobby.  Over the past three decades I’ve gotten pretty good at it, if I may say so myself, my weekly loaves both tasty and attractive. 

Until recently, that is.   In the past year my breads have been somewhat uneven – edible, sure; but often flatter and denser than I’d like, not good-looking at all.   This skill I’ve honed for thirty years has become suddenly elusive.   Athletes have a word for this –…

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