People who love plays to tend to also love food and when people gather to eat food. If when people gather to eat food there is also a play, EVEN BETTER. This lovely genius girl in Brooklyn, Jessica Giannone, hosts a reading series at a bar in which she pairs plays with PIES THAT SHE BAKES. Tonight they’re reading my play, Le Fou, about a bunch of women writing love letters in the first ever department store in Paris. I could not possibly be more delighted. WHAT IS IN THE PIE? IS IT FULL OF FLOWERS AND FRANCE? IF I’M THERE IN SPIRIT IS IT POSSIBLE TO ALSO EAT PIE? CAN SPIRITS EAT?
As previously noted I have an intense online relationship with Jeni’s ice cream, by which I mean she emails me about her new flavors and I STOP WHATEVER I’M DOING AND GO THERE TO EAT THEM. The newest, Supermoon:
Blue violet and vanilla marshmallow swirled together like easter friends. I don’t know if I want to eat it smear it on the walls of the bedrooms of my unborn children but either way I want it in my hands.
Being that I have a play that’s about Cake, watching the Great British Baking Show is actually NOT procrastination or distraction, it is in fact research. Thank God Netflix just added two seasons of it so I can continue this important work. I’m only one episode in, but I must go ahead and declare my favorite, Frances:
Frances designs children’s clothes for a living, and likes to make cake ‘fun.’ For the ‘sandwich cake’ challenge she made a cake that actually looks like a giant jam sandwich, complete with sugar wrapper that you peel off the sandwich before eating.
For the show stopper chocolate cake challenge, she made a SECRET SQUIRREL CAKE THAT HAS A SECRET CHOCOLATE SQUIRREL HIDING INSIDE OF IT.
FRANCES YOU SEE INTO MY HEART
Morrison and I in fact live just down the road from Thaitown, Los Angeles, which features a Thai Plaza filled with restaurants and bakeries and everything you might want to suspend your disbelief and convince yourself that you are not in your life, but actually still on your honeymoon. In said plaza, newlyweds can order deep fried whole fishes and those weird little pancakes with marshmallow and corn and Chang declare to no one, ‘this is almost as good as when we were in Thailand but slightly not as good because right now we are not in Thailand but actually just in a strip mall’ and also ‘PS WE WENT TO THAILAND.’
Today on what is right with America, Pizza Hut has released a pair of shoes called pie tops. They sync to your phone, you know, like shoes do, and when you press the tongue of said shoe, it connects to your phone and orders you a pizza, because it’s way too simple to just order a pizza from your phone and it’s just way more fun to lean down and press upon your shoe and make pizza happen and just know for the rest of the day that your foot summoned food. I’d really like to tell you more about them but I really must away and find said shoes in GIANT HUSBAND SIZE.
I had dinner with another Rebecca last night, and what are two Rebecca’s to discuss other than the intricacies of their own names? At some point during the 3 hour linguistic breakdown of the seven letters:
Me: I changed to B-e-k-a-h cause I just didn’t like the way B-e-c-c-a looked.
Other Rebecca: Yeah, it looks like pasta.
Me: That is exactly what it looks like!!!!
Other Rebecca: Right?
Me: YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND, I HAVE NEVER HEARD ANYTHING MORE FULLY TRUE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.
At some point, I decided to stick these words at the end of the The Cake script:
END OF PLAY.
NOTE: This is the end of the play part of the play. Ideally, upon exiting the theater, the audience is surprised with an actual CAKE, waiting for them. The wonderfully terrible grocery store cake that you never let yourself eat. Ideally, everyone then stands around together, eating cake.
And I will NEVER. REGRET IT.
I spent most of yesterday grinning like an overjoyed idiot. It was one of the best days in recent memory, and lets remember that I have both BEEN MARRIED AND BEEN ON A HONEYMOON AND ALSO TO GOLDEN GLOBES recently, so that’s saying a whole lot. (Also, obviously, all of those things were also pretty great.) First, I got to meet and hold my brand new perfect beautiful niece Ruby, and be her mattress for a while:
And also spend some time hanging with Blaine and Jason, learning the bitter truth about what happens to ones lady parts when one gives birth, which in its own way, was quite joyous, as nobody describes crazy things better than Blaine Barbee. As if that wasn’t enough, I then hit the road with Julien to Kinston, NC, and dined at Chef and the Farmer, Chef Vivian Howard’s farm to table restaurant that I have been clinically obsessed with for months:
We stuffed ourselves silly with grits and turnip greens and collards and pork rinds and country ham and dirty peanut rice and guinea pot pie and rutabagas and apple moonshine cocktails and other things I can’t remember, as we ordered EIGHT THINGS. PS JULIEN ALSO BROKE HER FACE.
SEEKING TWO FACE CASTS / PLS CONTACT WITH DETAILS.
I’ve been abandoning all extra-curricular creative responsibilities the last few days, and spending every waking non-work moment reading this dear lady’s book:
It’s part memoir, part cookbook, which is my new favorite kind of book. Vivian grew up in Deep Run, a one stoplight town in Eastern NC. Rejecting her country upbringing, she high-tailed it to NYC, started working in restaurants, and eventually moved back down south to open a restaurant (the now award-winning Chef and the Farmer in Kinston, NC / JULIEN AND I HAVE RESERVATIONS FOR JANUARY / OMG / oh PS also she has her own TV show A Chef’s Life, Peabody award winning, so maybe check that out too end of sentence no really, she’s great.) Once back home, she went through this beautiful transformation, embracing her and homeland and its foods. It’s a beautiful story that I hope it emulate with my own life and writing. You often don’t appreciate what formed you until you’re older. I just want to write NC plays and pair them with her regional bread puddings forever. Chapter by chapter, local food by local food (sweet corn, summer squash, butter beans, etc.) She takes us through her family’s rich history of farming, and shares family recipes. Here’s my favorite, Hoarded corn:
Hard to read, but the first ingredient is an afternoon. She recalls her family harvesting sweet corn together in their tiny kitchen, working together and quickly to get it off the stalk and into bags in the freezer before it spoiled, saving both the kernels and the sweet corn milk. This corn would them feed them throughout the year in a zillion different forms. She really hits this point home: families used to have to prepare their food together. They were forced to gather, to be together, out of necessity, but then, as Vivian also points out — this is the time when families used to talk to each other. Hands busy with activity, then talking, sharing to fill the air. I’m not saying anything that hasn’t been said 100 times before, but isn’t it sad that because our food became simpler, easier to access, we talk to each other less? That makes me sad. And Hungry. And sad. But flip side: because we spend less time preparing food, our hands and brains are free for innovations that save lives and expand the universe and invent customer care robots that will eventually dominate us A LA SPOILER ALERT SEASON FINALE OF WESTWORLD BUT NO EVERYTHING’S FINE OKAY BYE OFF TO PRETEND IT’S STILL 1943 / SHUCK SOME SWEET CORNS.