Friday, August 04, 2006

Bulgur Pilaf with Pine Nuts, Raisins, and Orange Zest (Page 262)

  • Date: Tuesday, August 1, 2006 - 8pm
  • Location: Cambridge, MA
  • Kitchen: Peter's Apartment
  • Fellow Chefs: Peter, Craig, and Ana
  • Recipe Rating: B

Peter and I picked this one because he had never made bulgur, which seemed so sad to me! I like bulgur a lot in general, but I wasn't a huge fan of this recipe. Everyone else liked it more than I did though. I spent a long time (and several helpings!) trying to pinpoint what I didn't like about the bulgur. In the end I decided it was the orange zest and raisins. They contributed a sweetness that just didn't go with the other flavors in the dish. I think without those two ingredients I would have liked the dish much better. It was ok though -- and it went pretty well with the fish we had as a main course.

Whenever I am single, I find that this fact confuses some people. There is this quizzical look that they give, which after several years I have identified as the "How are you single when more than 80% of the people you work with are men?" look. If I don't volunteer an explanation when I receive this look, these people tend to stumble on one of their own. They will say something to the effect of, "Well, I suppose the men you work with are probably pretty weird." Usually at that point I just nod, or quote the motto I heard when I entered the MIT math department: "The odds are good, but the goods are odd." That usually gets a laugh. In truth, mathematicians may be a little weird in some ways, but as a whole the math guys are some of the best, most solid, caring people I have ever met. Dating other mathematicians is complicated though. I have struggled many times with trying to make choices that are right for me both in terms of relationships and in terms of my career.

For a long time I believed that men could either see a woman as a sex object or as an academic peer, but not both. I no longer think this is strictly true -- I know some men who seem capable of holding both thoughts in their head at the same time. It's rare though, and I feel sometimes that chosing to date in the math department is chosing for people to not think of me as a mathematician. I certainly have done it though, and probably will do it again at some point in the future. I just have mixed feelings...

I got an email today that got me thinking about how the politics of the math community affects possible relationships. It always seems sad to me when things that seem promising can't work out for stupid, political reasons...

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