It does not matter how much I say it – or how often I think there is no way Tom Skerritt will show up in something, he always does! Overdosing on the mediocre TV show, White Collar, who shows up but Tom Skerritt! Goddamn, that man is everywhere! In this, he is “staring like a creepy doll” according to the character who is the son-in-law. Really, though, what could I have expected? The man is in his 70s and accepted a role in the Pacific Northwest Ballet‘s production of Don Quijote. BALLET! You should expect a man like that to turn up anywhere – and therefore always be on the lookout.
Normally I don’t eat what I make – but I thought I would test this ricotta mascarpone cheese pie out. It’s pleasant – the pie is actually not too sweet (that’s a good thing). I topped it with some cherry sauce – and here we are. It will be even nicer when the pie has chilled for a few more hours.
Loads of stuff in the fridge and cupboards to get rid of (leftovers, sort of, yet again – oh, the kinship!). With the ricotta and mascarpone cheeses I bought for a recipe I did not end up making, I threw together a ricotta-mascarpone pie with a gingersnap crust. I don’t know why.
The pie makes me think of my dear Italian friend in Iceland and the impossibility and rarity of finding ricotta and mascarpone in that far-flung island nation. When she visited me, she wanted to buy ricotta to take back – and of course that was the one time it could not be found. But then, although Iceland has some great dairy products of its own (skyr and Icelandic butter being the best!), some of the cheeses leave much to be desired.
Ricotta-mascarpone pie recipe
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 ounces/115 grams mascarpone cheese
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350F/175C
Crust: About one cup of crushed graham crackers or gingersnaps, melted butter – press into a pan, bake at 350F for about 5 minutes. Remove from oven before pouring in the ricotta mascarpone filling
Filling: Mix ricotta, mascarpone, eggs, vanilla and sugar. Beat until smooth. Pour into pie crust.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Chill for at least a few hours, if not overnight. Should be cold and firm when serving.
Sometimes you write headlines and titles more for shock value than for any relation to reality. Tonight, considering the downhill trajectory of this entire year, I can only imagine and hope that I am at the bottom of the hill. Not that I want the challenge of climbing uphill. But at least its complications are activity, working toward something – climbing, ascending. Going up is better than going down or remaining stagnant at the bottom of a hill.
“Now this man down at the used car lot
Tried to sell me four wheels and a trunk,
I said, ‘But man there ain’t no engine!’
He said, ‘The engine’s just a bunch of junk,
you don’t need no engine to go downhill
and I can plainly see
that’s the direction you’re headed in’
and he handed me the keys.”
“No Deal” – Townes van Zandt
The most unlikely activities – things that would happen when hell freezes over – are more likely than having a happy Christmas this year. Not that it will be an unhappy Christmas. It’s just going to be nothingness. All the television shows – swinging between the extremes of depressing, serious documentaries on abortion to TV comedies – gotta balance it all out somehow.
Striving for balance.
Balanced, measured behavior makes the most sense but there are always the temptations to quit one’s job, citing the need to go play with baby tigers as the reason, or attending management seminars, and responding quite soberly, “Sex dog” when asked (possibly in thick French accent), “What is your inner animal?” Haha.
Perhaps if I decided it was time to throw in the corporate towel and, for example, run away to Detroit to become a full-time writer (and take on home ownership in a slum-ghetto), I would feel comfortable saying whatever came to mind. I push to the edges with my writing but still color within the lines. Unleashing creativity might be an uphill push, actually, because I am so deeply conditioned by corporate life. Going into the coming year, the best way to make the climb will also be to go out on a limb.