Hello, comet consumers, and welcome back to your monthly food horoscope outpost, where we’re thinking about the current season of Scorpio. Scorpios have formidable reputations. (After all, their namesake, Scorpius, killed Orion after he bragged that he could and would hunt every animal on the planet to extinction.) But high drama can be a good thing, too. In this time of year, it’ll do you well to either embrace chaos or try and thwart it, depending on your sign. Let’s figure out what to eat about all this mess‚ though, to be on the safe side, we’re probably not going to play it strictly carnivorous, like Orion. We’re on Scorpio’s time, and we’ve got to behave accordingly.
This season, engulf yourself in your own intensity. Though it can sometimes be an Achilles heel for you, right now, it’s important to get all the way down deep inside yourself in order to pull out the best possible benefits with you when you emerge back to sea level. The charming New York City chef and restaurateur Frank Prizinsano makes 40-slide Instagram-Story epic dramas of his pasta techniques—complete with complex narrative arcs. I don’t know his sign, but in his emotion-flecked rigor and perfectionism, he strikes me as a Scorpio. (Scorpio’s, like, the most Italian-feeling sign. It’s the Zodiac equivalent of seven-hour ragùs, speaking with your whole body to express a single point, dark wine, and Sophia Loren glaring at Jayne Mansfield’s cleavage.) What long, long meal can you undertake? What dinner can you treat as though the world’s fate hangs in its ultimate quality? Make that. Take it as seriously as you want—the more intense, the better. Also, steer a little clearer of sensible Virgos and persnickety Capricorns this season. Happy birthday, dramatist.
Archer, you have NOT been yourself lately—you feel stultified, I know, because I’m you, too. Stop trying to travel via time spent with other people; these strangers are not actually vacations, are not actually conduits. You have to travel on your own for a second, into yourself and your work, in order to observe new parts of the wider world. You need your body to change a little, too: All these dinner dates and drinks and coffees have become a little exhausting, which is so opposite how you normally feel about social calls. You can remedy this, blazing arrow. What’s your relationship to water right now? No, not the foxy Aquarius you met at that party last week, but actual hydration? Start by making sure that’s where it should be. Then: What’s good with fruits and vegetables right now? Is there a farmer’s market, fruit stand, or CSA you can reorient your meals around? I did that after a wearing week at the start of Scorpio season, and I found myself cooking golden beets (?), purple mizuna (?!), and something called a Seminole pumpkin (!!!). I felt a lot better about everything as I cooked and ate all this new-to-me produce, and even if that fulsome feeling was, like, a placebo, I don’t believe in placebos when it comes to emotions: Either you feel well and happy or you don’t. Or, as one of my favorite artists on this planet put it once: Feelings are the only facts. Forget other people’s for a second—go on a fact-finding mission inside yourself this season.
Having felt slighted lately, you’re hurting other people “back.” They don’t know you’re feeling hurt, though, Capricorn, and so you’re being perceived as cruel—and kind of behaving that way, too. If you belonged to any other sign, I’d say to use a dinner party as a kind of social palliative, but since dinner parties are something of a petri dish for political conversations and other kinds of blazing arguments and you’re already feeling prickly, I suggest bringing groceries to a friend’s house—the ultimate graceful move—in order to make them dinner, and make peace. If you hand-assemble dumplings, you can essentially be forgiven anything, and that also holds true as enacted with pound cake, fennel salad, fra diavolo sauce, or, really, just about anything you ferry over and prepare in the spirit of mending fences. You don’t even really have to talk about it, if you don’t want to, which I know you will find to be kind of a blessing—most of your people know that your feelings are spelled out in what you do. So do the right thing and make some dinner.
You spend all this time being kind to others, don’t you? That’s great, particularly because you don’t take so much notice of it—it’s just your default mode. But I think it would be cool if, right now, you examined the sweetness in your life and made it somehow new, alone in your kitchen, for the sake of orchestrating it for yourself. Replenish your dessert-recipe Rolodex. Aletria is a Portuguese recipe I learned about from the unreal-beyond-worldshaking Meg Wolitzer, by way of the forthcoming novel The Female Persuasion, which you should preorder now. I think, as you close your solar year with mad Post-It notes jutting out thickly against one another to mark the places where you have delighted, been there for, or otherwise prioritized others in the past months, you could stand to make yourself a baklava, gaz, or hot fudge sundae. It’s a cliché at this point, but as RuPaul knows: If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else? Look: Clichés become well-worn for a reason, like a good book or a generous spirit or dessert—you can depend on ’em to make you feel better. Extend an edible panacea to yourself, honey.
Alterity is the name of the game for you this season—your friendship, romantic, and family goings-on will become less prominent as your career and personal ventures flourish (...or otherwise become actionable). It might feel nice to make subtle segues in what you eat, too: barely perceptible in execution, but entirely new-feeling in the end. I’m thinking of Ina Garten’s pasta alla vecchia bettola, which looks like normal-ass pasta in tomato sauce, but isn’t, in that it’s exceptional-ass pasta in tomato sauce, because of how you roast the latter component in the oven. Or what if you endeavored to put together this maple-curry chicken with kale and bulgur? It’s like every “sheet pan chicken and rice!!!!” meal plan, and about that easy, but it’s its own species. Think of what you might personally be used to, and sniff around for ways to taste it differently.
Don’t be dismissive of things because you’re writing them off as boring before you know whether or not that’s actually true. The honest fact of the matter is that, as an Aries, you have the capacity to render fantastic even the things that seem most suspiciously dull, so it’s moot anyway. You know what I’m about to say: It’s time to make some soup, which doesn’t have to mean grim, thin, yellow-clear broth-unguents meant to re-strengthen sniffling unfortunates. It can mean the vibrant that is Turkish lentil soup with baby spinach, caldo verde, red pepper and cauliflower chowder, peanut chicken and date stew, and so many other captivating things. Sometimes the most invigorating decision you can make is to commit, in your jazzed-up way, to the aspects of life that seem plainest before you actually look at or try them earnestly.
As the “earthy Northern Californian beatnik aunt/uncle” of the Zodiac, feeling consciously connected (to use your parlance) to your food can mean, for you, growing it, or at least delighting in eating things that grow. But what about the tail end of foods’ lives? I think that might be just as important for you to consider, as you enter the possibly colder months when natural abundance (to borrow your vocabulary again) might be a less immediately pressing occupation where you live. Recently, I’ve been thinking more about food waste, which isn’t actual refuse at all, but the edible or otherwise usable things that are thrown out, especially in America, despite their viability as an aspect of dinner or some other meal. Think slightly relaxed bananas, rinds of all kinds (oranges and Parmesan alike!), stale bread, and so on. Here’s a movie, WASTED, where you can learn more about what this is—if you’d like to watch it, it’s included if you already have one of the most common cable packages, and cheap to stream otherwise. There are also plenty of current stories on the supremely excellent website Civil Eats about why this is worthy of consideration and action—chiefly, think of how many people don’t have access to food, and how it can be recycled broadly! In your own home, here is what you can do to be wantonly woke (I think I’m losing the plot a little bit, Taurean diction–wise, but bear with me) in thinking about this issue.
Gemini, you Chex Mix of a human person, I want you to be able to have your everything-at-onceness in what you eat as well as what you are this haywire season. This is a time for embodying the all-over feeling you so often have in turducken (is it even good? Find out for me!), those internet-y brownie-cookies, and chicken cordon bleu, a "trashy" food (I can say this, as a person hailing, impoverished back then, from the grimy heartland of NJ) that is named after a culinary school. Vegetable medleys, Long Island iced teas, you know: the kinds of foods that are many-things-in-one-thing, like you. In the name of Scorpio, get really into what you are, which, luckily, is so many things, and even, potentially, all things.
You’re all over the place lately. Call in some help, eating-wise—this shouldn’t be a big cooking month for you, so either drastically simplify the amount of time you have to spend in the kitchen in order to eat well, or figure out whether you can afford to rely on delivery a little more this month. If not, that’s cool—I relate! I’ve been making heaps of bulgur (I’m so fixated on this particular grain lately), vegan chili, stock, and roasted vegetables to throw in a bowl whenever. Make it easy for yourself, however you can—either by hitting up your best local Indian spot for the prix-fixe special or remembering: "Beans are what won’t be ready for dinner, lentils are what will,” and putting together an insane pot of them with roasted tomatoes and horseradish cream. Yow.
Some possible food-based vignettes you’ll live through this month, or at least encounter in psychically familiar ways:
Nothing soothes you more than mastering a meticulous new project, Virgo. I’d like to give you one that can’t last long, and so will satisfy that urge-to-create/urge-to-destroy look you sometimes get around your jaw. (Relax, dear, you’re clenching again.) What I’ve got in mind this season: No matter how many times you perfectly plate your food, it’ll still get eaten—and if you’re lucky, all mixed up together and destroyed on your china in the process. You will have to start over next time, and you will, and you’ll make something beautiful again, and you’ll wreck it again, da capo al fine. (We’re not entirely talking about setting the table anymore.) You will always find this process to be worth the effort. This season, keep in mind that you sincerely love to start over, even when it feels you’re doing that every time you wake up and center your omelet just-so on your plate.
You’re fascinated and compelled by the concept of what makes a home this season, and the answer, friend, is that you do. In the name of balance, aka the thing that forms you, be equitably galvanized by the world-class and bizarro new TV comedy At Home With Amy Sedaris—oh my god, does it ever rule—and more comely modes of beautifying a home and thoughtfully planning a party in it for the sake of other people’s enjoyment. What I’m getting at is, have people by, and be somewhat intentional about it, but you don’t have to be perfect within the shapes you sketch out for how you’ll execute on your theme. I’ll draw an example from my own life to illustrate: Once upon a time last year, I had a Yom Kippur break-fast–themed party. The idea is, you eat hella food with those you love in order to mark the end of a somber, foodless religious occasion. I invited like 75 people to my grand, decaying apartment, a mob-front fake business in Brooklyn with an awning falsely advertising it as CRUSADERS LLC. There, they were to eat brisket and, I hoped, eventually kiss another stranger in my home office. Removing the second brisket from the oven after the lusty masses made out with the first, if not one another, I fumbled the juice-filled pan and wound up with MEAT JEANS. Drenched, I tried to wear my MJs through it, but lasted 32 seconds before I had to take a shower in the middle of my own party. It was the best f---ing night ever. That’s entertainment, Libra. Have a great time.