Talking about Flammkuchen Part Deux and Some of Life’s Thorny Moments and Green Bean Salad w. Pine Nuts & Goat Chs. AND…Frankie & Grace (or Grace and Frankie)

Last night I learned some very difficult news. Like I can’t even betray the difficulty of that moment by uttering that there even was a difficult moment. So, there it is. And there it was. And my heart hurts for that person. It has been with these thoughts, all day, that I “enjoyed” my Friday, which I always enjoy, but today I enjoyed it a little less.

I was supposed to be painting widow trim this afternoon–a job planned for 2013 that never was accomplished, and since we had our windows replaced last February, the trim has looked even worse in the past year. And the weather! A characteristically gorgeous April day beckoned (and they say the month brings showers! Heh! We showed them!). So it was with great surprise that my husband arrived home through an open screen door, the sun glistening in the living room, the fresh air permeating the house, to find me on the sofa watching Private Practice.

And the afternoon went pretty-much like that as he tried to “motivate” me to do the painting. Having been asked what HE would like to do with the whole afternoon if he could do anything, he mentioned the old standard, Well, I have a list…” THAT is precisely why NEITHER of us did ANYTHING the rest of the afternoon…except watch Frankie & Grace (or Grace and Frankie).

I have come to a decision. This is the most beautiful ensemble of mature adults portraying incredibly compex issues with emotions on their sleeves. Would we all love to be *this* honest? But loving and caring at the same time. It’s like, you know that no matter what they say to one another, they love each other with the type of complex love that has endured decades of lies, contempt and damage to the spirit, but they have done it with a layer of friendship that runs deeply under the ice. The current flows even though the surface belies its speed and intensity. Frankie and Grace (or Grace and Frankie) are a perfect blend of Seinfeld and Gold Girls and Parenthood all wrapped up into one. We all loved Seinfeld because those characters said what we all are thinking but never say; the Golden Girls showed us that maturity does not mean complacency of spirit; and parenthood throws the thorniness of living an everyday life at us and shows us that we can love each other on the other side. That we do love one another, that we are bonded together, that we are connected with those we think we despise, in ways that we don’t fully understand until we need to pull together…until we need to be there for one another.

So more flammkuchen? Yes, please!!! And a new side…Green bean salad because those green beans simply had to be used:

Green Bean Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Pine Nuts & Goat Cheese

1 lb. fresh green beens, trimmed and halved
1 sweet potato peeled, quartered and then “chunky” sliced (not thinly)
1/4 an onion, quartered then sliced
1/4-1/2 c. pine nuts sautéed
1/4 c. finely-chopped parsley
1/2 c. goat cheese
more…Rosemary-infused Olive Oil
Lemon-thyme sea salt
Emeril’s Essence
Fresh lemon juice
Red pepper flakes
Freshly-cracked, black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

  1. Oven to 375.
  2. Blanch green beans, drain & cool.
  3. Toss sweet potato slices in olive oil, season with Lemon-thyme sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast until firm-tender. Cool.
  4. Sauté pine nuts in olive oil and cool.
  5. Sauté sliced onion in a little olive oil, too.
  6. Add green beans, potatoes & onions to a bowl with parsley, juice of one lemon, olive oil, 1/2 tsp. Essence, 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes and toss. Toss in half of the pine nuts. Taste, then adjust and add salt & cracked pepper as desired.
  7. Top with the goat cheese and the rest of the pine nuts.
  8. Serve at room temperature.
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