Cauliflower, Silent Reading, and wise words from Daniel Handler


My friend Jeanne said in an email to me today, “I’m a huge Lemony Snicket fan – In Horseradish: Bittier Truths You Can’t Avoid he says, “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”   So true!  What if everyone you are with goes to the bathroom at the same time?

Second, I’m going to try the Cauliflower with anchovy sauce from Marcella Hazan as recommended by K.  Have the cauliflower, must get anchovies and good cheese, and plan for something else for everyone else to each.  Actually, they have asked for risotto (aka “cheesy rice with peas”) so I think we’ll do that.

Penne col Sugo di Cavolfiore


A 1 1/2-pound head cauliflower
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
6 flat anchovy fillets, chopped
1/4 tsp chopped hot red pepper
1-pound package penne or other macaroni


  • Strip the cauliflower of all its leaves except for a few on the very tender inner ones.  Rinse it cold water, and cut it in two.
  • Bring 4 to 5 quarts water to a boil, then put in the cauliflower.  Cook until tender, but compact-about 25 to 30 minutes.  Test it with a fork to know when it is done.  Drain and set aside.
  • Put the oil,  garlic and chopped anchovies into a medium-size sauté pan.  Turn on the heat to medium, and sauté until the garlic becomes colored a golden brown.  Stir from time to time with a wooden spoon, mashing the anchovies with it.
  • Put in the boiled cauliflower, and break it up quickly with a fork, crumbling it into pieces no bigger than a peanut.  Turn it thoroughly in the oil, mashing part of it to a pulp.
  • Add the hot pepper and liberal amount of salt.  Turn up the heat, and cook for a few minutes more, stirring frequently.  Then turn off the heat.
  • bring 4 to 5 quarts water to a boil, add a liberal mount of salt, and as soon as the water returns to a boil, put in the pasta.  When cooked al dente (Note to Langston:  That means tender, but firm to the bite), drain  it well and transfer it to a warm serving bowl.
  • Very briefly reheat the cauliflower, an pour all the contents of the pan over the pasta.  Toss thoroughly.  Add the chopped parsley.  Toss again and serve at once.

Third, I’m sitting across from Jim at Starbucks where we are writing and reading and working.  He’s awfully cute.

Fourth, my attention has been caught by the idea of Silent Reading parties.  I want one!  I have emailed with the Brunswick Inn and they are on board.  We’d have access to the porch overlooking Park Row and the green, the terrace and the back room with the bar.  Once I have some possible dates, I’ll email everyone.  Here are the articles if anyone wants to read them.

In San Francisco (as planned by Daniel Handler and Dan Stone)

In New York (Fancy, from The New Yorker)

In New York (In a bar in Brooklyn!, from USA Today)

How to host a Silent Reading Party (Bookriot)



Some books being read in our house right now:

That’s it.


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