contrary to public opinion, i am indeed capable of coaxing life from a pile of dirt: (and see, this time i didn't even have to draw in circles and arrows. i think that's the cilantro in the foreground, tarragon in the back. exciting, no? next project: sea monkeys.) gratin, take two: yes, i braved the mandoline again. i noticed this time, towel grasped firmly over vegetable in hand, that imprinted into the benriner's plastic is the cheery kindergarten-teacher warning, "watch your fingers!" i was watching them, dammit, when i nearly lost my thumb last time. no worries though. this go-round went off without a hitch, and i layered my potato slices with healthy doses of parm and grana padano, salt and pepper, and thyme leaves. then doused the whole thing with cream and milk. a little too much dairy: you can see the results are a little on the soggy side, but i've still got a beautiful little crust.


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