So, at the start of the month, I got myself a rather nice bottle of wine that I was going to set aside for the day when I finally reached the finish line. A nice bottle of Reisling. A wine I fell in love with while trekking around Europe one summer and which reminds me of open-air cafes on the streets of Prague and nights snuggly nestled away in barns out in the formerly Soviet countryside. It's a white wine. And the best ones are crisp and flavorful. Perfect accompaniments to the kind of spicey, full-bodied food that I prefer. It's got the power to keep up with hearty curry stews or intricately layered stir-fries, to dance on the tongue along with a hunk of meat literally rolled in cracked pepper and lightly seared. But a good example also has a delicate, sophisticated taste profile as well. It works with a lot of things, really.
I had planned to serve it, if only for myself, with a meal fit for, well, the e-king. I had visions of risottos, bruchetta topped with a sauted mushroom puree, and mirin soaked brussel sprouts to go along with this recipe for Chicken thighs that takes hours but results in the most tender, most flavorfully infused shreds of flesh you've ever tasted. It's glazed and sugary and savory and spicy all at the same time. And for desert, as I skimmed over a printed copy of my script for the first time, probably a good glass of tea spiked with Baileys to go along with one of my famous cheesecakes. Or maybe a key lime pie. Maybe even a Baileys milkshake with some gourmet coffee ice cream. Thoughts, visions of a gastronomic feast danced in my head. It was going to be a treat, a reward, for myself for a month of hard work and nights spent slurping cold noodles while trying to jot down an idea or three. Of days tossing something in the microwave on my way out the door because I just didn't have the time. Of letting things go at the margins while I rediscovered my creativity.
If you've been following along you know that I approached the 20k mark early and then decided that I wasn't going to be satisfied with anything less than a finished script. Not a perfect one, not one that didn't need any more editing – you're never done with a piece of art, you're only ever done working on it – but one that went all the way from FADE IN to FINIS (THE END, if you're not a pretentious ass, like myself.). And you'll also know that I didn't quite make it there. But I did manage to turn in something that topped the 20k mark, put on my flight suit, and unfurl the “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” banner. A bit of an empty victory but still, after all the blood, sweat, and tears this month was something to celebrate. Know that bottle of Reisling was calling to me.
But also know that I wore myself out the past few days in a mad scramble to get things done. Tried to retype the entire script from start to finish and I could only make it a little over halfway. Just...ran out of energy. Ran out of clock, really, although I maintain I could have made it if I'd kept up my pace from yesterday. It was just too draining, though.
As tired as I was, I couldn't muster the energy to spend hours in the kitchen. Not just cooking but cleaning afterward. Not just for myself. Not for almost making it. So, I ordered a pizza. Not even the good stuff. Just your average, $5 large pepperoni pizza. The kind you have after a little league game when your coach is handing out the trophies for participation. The ones everyone gets. To go along with my treasured bottle of wine.
That's what I had for dinner. Wine and pizza.
I can't think of a better way of summing up the month than that. But, you know something? It tasted good. Real good.
My brother still didn't manage to talk me into putting ranch dressing on the pizza, though. I have to draw the line somewhere.