In case you're wondering what I've been up to lately instead of posting to my blog, let me explain. We just got a new mattress.
Maybe you didn't hear me correctly: WE GOT A NEW MATTRESS!!!!
Why is everyone shrugging and acting like this is no big deal when my entire life has changed??
First off, for any new readers who may have wandered in, I am a champion sleeper. If there were an Olympic event for sleep, I would have won every gold medal that was available since 1973. I can sleep anywhere, anytime, instantly and without reservation. I'm one small step away from narcolepsy. I'm a step-and-a-half away from actually being dead.
Several months ago, Husband started having back problems. This was probably due to sleeping in the rut that had developed on his side of the bed over the years. When it became clear that his complaining wasn't going to stop unless drastic measures were taken, I rotated the mattress like a dutiful wife for probably the first time ever. His back got a little better while mine took a turn for the worse. Now I was sleeping in the rut. I'm never one for springing out of bed in the morning, but even less so when it involves a steep uphill climb and a Hail Mary as I try to fling myself over edge.
We finally bit the bullet and lugged our stiff, sleepy selves down to Jordan's Furniture. We asked their expert "sleep technicians" to show us their finest mattresses in the $500 range. After a long period of laughter, they proceeded to show us what they had in triple that figure. But first they had us each lay down on some kind of sleep sensor that showed how our bodies interact with a flat surface. I was pretty sure I already understood the physics of sleeping based on my four decades of experience, but perhaps this new technology had some greater insights. I laid myself down on my back, front, and side. The areas that exerted the most pressure on the sensor, like my hips for example, showed up on the big screen in blobs of bright red and yellow. Conversely, the areas that didn't make contact with the sensor, like the arch of my back, didn't show up at all. I'm not sure what the point was supposed to be—concave areas need more support, convex areas need less? Unless you're fitting me for a molded full-body sleep orthotic, what's the difference? All the mattresses are flat. As far as I could see, all that sensor did was provide a large display of boob and ass prints for everyone in the whole showroom to see. A little T&A to help the salespeople get through the day. I hope they enjoyed the show!
Luckily, I have my own low-tech way of selecting a mattress. I sit down on it and if it sinks even a little, I move on to the next one. We like very firm mattresses around here. Very firm. I was almost fooled by a Tempur-Pedic, which seems really firm at first, but you have to wait a full ten seconds for the slow sink to finally come to completion. Nope! No sinking. We tried out a whole bunch of other options until we arrived at the most expensive rock slab they had available: solid granite topped with a thin layer of memory slate. We laid down and immediately fell asleep. Well, I did at least. Husband has a modicum of pride. I woke up two hours later all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. I believe my exact words were: We'll take it, I don't care how much it costs.
Now that we have it home, I can honestly say that this mattress is a modern miracle. I would write poetry about it if I could write poetry. Lying in bed that first night, Husband and I were talking about the mattress the way we used to talk about each other. If anyone even thought about making a move, the other would say: Don't touch me, you'll ruin the moment!
The night before last, I slept for 12 hours. Twelve! I would have slept longer except Husband couldn't take it anymore and practically dragged me out of bed and set me down in front of the breakfast table. But the joke was on him because it was already time for lunch!
Toast the croutons and hard-boil the eggs ahead of time so you can whip this up in a flash.
1 head Chioggia radicchio, quartered through the core, sliced thinly crosswise
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons walnut oil
Combine the shallot, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl and let stand for 10 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.
To make croutons, cut a few slices of baguette into small cubes. Toast them in a sauté pan with a little olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, tossing frequently, until crisp and browned.
Finish the vinaigrette by whisking in the mustard and walnut oil until thick and emulsified. If the flavor is too sharp for your taste, whisk in a little more oil. Toss the radicchio, parsley, and vinaigrette together and arrange the salad on two plates. Top with the egg, walnuts, and croutons. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Source: Adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetable Literacy