April 19, 2011

Oh hello there, fresh green vegetable!  I HAVE MISSED YOU.

Hospitals are terrible places for people who love food—hospitals can also be terrible places, generally.  At the same time, they are also miracle houses, temples of possibility, monuments to what the body and the brain can do.

If you’re feeling a little discouraged or frustrated in your life, I recommend you go spend some time in the surgery waiting area of a nearby hospital.  Strike up a conversation with the people sitting nearby, share your Kleenex and your snacks.  Watch as parents receive instructions about how to care for their infant daughter’s bandages, practicing on a doll the case manager has brought.  Listen (because you can’t help but overhear) bad news being relayed over the phone.  Marvel at the possible range of human experience.

If I say “I’ve learned things over the last few days” it’s really that “I am dead certain now of things I had suspected before.”  Like—most things we spend our time worrying about don’t matter.  Attempting to plan every detail of every day is overrated.  I’m stronger than I give myself credit for.  My friends are extraordinary.  Jill is tough as freaking nails.  And I don’t need a piece of paper to tell me that this is a marriage.

Jill’s got a big, bad scar running down her chest, a will of iron, and a long but hopefully smooth road to recovery ahead.  We’ve received nothing but the most excellent care from every hospital employee, and more love and good wishes than I can really wrap my mind around.

We’ll celebrate our anniversary on Thursday, back home from the hospital, and full of gratitude.  And hopefully with some green vegetables.


I can’t even really call this a recipe—hardly original, it’s just what there is to do with lovely little zucchini this time of year.  Infinite variations are, of course, possible.


2-3 small zucchini
2 lemons
olive oil
salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese
fresh basil (optional)
¼ cup toasted nuts (I’ve used Marcona almonds here, but I think pistachios would be delicious)

Cut the ends off of the zucchini and shave it very thin with a mandoline (or slice carefully with a sharp knife!)  Toss the zucchini with the zest of one lemon, the juice of both, olive oil, salt, & pepper.  Shave Parmesan cheese on top of the salad, and garnish with basil and/or nuts, if using.  Serve immediately.



  1. Mountains of love for you both. Seriously. Mountains. I am so so so glad to hear that Jill came through ok. And that you did too, not that I doubted it.
    Cookies are coming – I didn’t want to tempt you during lent. Hugs.

    Comment by Joh — April 19, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  2. Aw, Nishta. Admittedly, I have been in a different universe lately, but please know that you and Jill are in my thoughts and prayers. Always. Lots of love and strength to you both.

    Comment by Heather — April 19, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  3. Nishta (and Jill) Thanks for continuing to keep the food ideas going through this time in your lives. Nishta, I hope to meet you someday as I have a deep love for India (and the food). Jill, you are so much in my thoughts and prayers. Do take care.


    Comment by Elaine — April 19, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  4. Beautifully expressed – and what more hopeful symbol than a bowl full of bright green, crunchy veggies! The time of spring, rebirth and all things new and good. Love to you both. Carolyn

    Comment by carolyn truedell — April 19, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  5. Amazing. You, Jill, everything just amazing. Thoughts and prayers to you both.

    Comment by Alyssa — April 19, 2011 @ 3:19 pm

  6. sending more love and good wishes your way! xoxo

    Comment by Lauren — April 19, 2011 @ 4:07 pm

  7. thank you all so much for your love & kindness; it is truly stunning. xo

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — April 28, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

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