Good afternoon! Happy Friday. I hope your long weekend was extra-long, and that your short work week wasn’t one of those deceptive actually-forever ones. But even if it was, I have good news: you made it, tomorrow’s Saturday, and we’re one weekend closer to spring. Whatever you’re doing with these glorious days, I hope it’s exactly the right thing.
What To Read: The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas
So, first the good news. This book is a banger. It has the multi-generational, multi-family structure that’s common in Victorian and Victorian-ish literature, but with, say, 700% more jailbreaks and buried treasures and duels and kidnappings and vendettas and alter egos and dark family secrets and love affairs and poisonings (real and fake) than usual, and that really only scratches the surface. The Count is essentially a 19th-century superhero—his powers being money, patience, and rage—and Dumas really goes all out in crafting him an elaborate, satisfying story in which to triumph. It’s all about vengeance and mercy and certainty and doubt, and it’s so much fun, and I loved it. It’s not a short book—over 1000 pages in its unabridged form—but I found it went relatively quickly; I’ve spent significantly longer on significantly shorter books in the past. I thought it was worth it. Maybe you will, too.
What To Put In Your Hair: Kirkland Signature Moisture Conditioner
I’ve come to the conclusion lately that my hair lives and dies by conditioner—by which I mean the right conditioner. Not just any conditioner. And sometimes—hypothetically—the right conditioner gets discontinued, or the formula changes, or (horrifyingly) my hair decides the conditioner that used to be the right conditioner isn’t the right conditioner anymore. And when it’s not the right conditioner, it’s really not the right conditioner, and my hair gets all funny, and not ha-ha funny. I don’t care for my hair when it’s funny.
This is why it’s good to have friends who also use various right conditioners, and for one of them (Friend of Heart Eyes Molly!) to say that she’s heard good things about Costco’s Kirkland-brand conditioner, and also to have parents with a Costco membership! Because, for now, I’ve found the right conditioner, and my hair isn’t funny most of the time, and it’s bringing me a lot of joy. Or at least a lack of angst.
According to Google, the consensus is that Costco’s house-brand Kirkland Signature Moisture Conditioner ($7.99 for a 33.8-ounce pump bottle) is rebranded Pureology, a vegan, sulfate-free conditioner that sells on Amazon for $34 per 8 ounces. My hair loves it, and has been shiny and voluminous and embracing its natural wave all the way through my first giant bottle; I’ve recently started on the second, and picked up a bottle of the matching shampoo, as well. Maybe it’s your right conditioner, too.
What To Cook: Roasted Cabbage with Walnuts and Parmesan
I’ve been waiting all winter to make my beloved cabbage and sausage casserole—it’s finally happening; the ingredients are in the fridge, I’ve blocked off three hours of my weekend, and the accompanying sourdough is rising as we speak—but in the meantime, Deb at Smitten Kitchen has come through with an excellent backup option, something that mimics the sweet nuttiness and dark ruffled edges of long-cooked cabbage in a way that doesn’t require blocking off anything. This Roasted Cabbage with Walnuts and Parmesan takes 20 minutes, total, and it makes a surprisingly robust and delicious dinner base—with the lemon and walnuts and garlic and parm and a fried egg, it’s healthy and hearty, tender and zingy, with so many crispy edges, like a giant roasted Brussels sprout (which is, of course, exactly what it is). It’s been a repeat visitor in my cabbage-hungry kitchen this winter, by itself or with other things, and I’m especially loving it as something cozy and wintry but decidedly vegetable-forward. You might, too.