Hi there! As you’ve noticed, I have not been posting lately. I’ve been busy with my new friend, Writing a Dissertation.
Maybe you’re here to find cookie recipes.
As I go along, with this little internet salon of mine, I fluctuate between thinking that I should stop writing recipes, or stop writing book reviews. (Sometimes I think I should stop writing both but I kind of like it and I’ve gotten this far so hey, let’s just keep doing this thing…) I’ve decided to try compiling both. I spend my life cooking and reading and writing. That is what I do. (I also go on long walks and take in the odd concert and knit with friends and drink varyingly copious amounts of tea, coffee, wine… I promise to write about those if I have anything interesting to say…)
I’ve noticed, of late, that there is not exactly a dearth of recipes, and sites devoted to them, here on the internet. This has led me to the conclusion that, frankly, there is zero point in coming up with my own. I’d rather write a few silly things, tell you what I’m up to (’cause my loved ones live very far away and I like to think they check in every once in a while), and steer you toward some of the other folks out there in the world. I’m not an inventor of food. I don’t create cuisine. I am a frazzled dissertator who scours the internet for the perfect combination of pie recipes because it is distracting, and then takes great pleasure in kneading the perfect ball of dough because it is relaxing.
I do not love photography. I take pictures because no one reads anything without an attached image anymore. It is necessity, and not love that creates these images. (I’m being very honest today.) I have friends whose love for digital imagery drives hours’ worth of sweat-spewing work. I don’t have that. I will, however, sweat for words. I have spent most of my life sweating for words. And I will sweat for pie. So that is what you have here…
Sweat and pie… Delicious…
In the meantime, I want to say a word about butternut squash. That word is: Squash, you are starting to smother me. I know, it’s still freezing outside and it’s still wintry mixing and I’m still wearing sweaters and boots. And you have been doing such a good job of keeping me warm, with your cuddly soups and comforting casseroles. But this beautiful thing we had going in the fall and winter is just not working for me anymore and I think it’s time we say goodbye. It was fun while it lasted and maybe if get chilly and I miss you we can do this again some time. It’s not you, it’s me. I have too much on my plate right now to spend ten minutes peeling you and half an hour baking you.
So actually, it is you…
As a last hurrah, I made this butternut squash salad with farro and chick peas. It was incredible. It was totally worth one last nightmare peel session. Do…not…leave out…the pepitas…this is important. TEXTURE. It’s all about the texture. You have the gummy barley (I made it with barley because what the heck is farro anyway?) and the squashy…squash…and the creamy feta mixing with the oils and then bam! crunch! pepita!
To go with the salad (on Day 2) I sauteed some tofu and smothered it with MY NEW FAVORITE DRESSING IN THE WORLD. This gal has taken my favorite lazy/busy (luzy?) culinary concept (lentils and rice with whatever the heck veggies you have lying around covered in some kind of sauce) and done wonders. My hat is off to her for the use of graceful simplicity and ginger.
Finally, I scrambled up the usual curried cauliflower-potato combo. I have been making this in the wonderful cast iron that
I we got for a wedding gift. Cast iron is incredible. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It is the coolest thing in my our house. My aunt and uncle gave us a few pieces and every time I use them, I get sort of temporally flabbergasted by the fact that they will remain in working order for the rest of my life and pretty far beyond that. There is no better symbolism in a wedding present.
I’ve made this many times and it has been amazing many times. Smother in yogurt if it’s too spicy. Or even if its not. Basically any time you have to pour some water into the pan and scrape the bottom of it, you’re going to have a lot of flavor. (It’s called deglazing and it’s the bomb. French people do it. They call it déglaçage…honh honh honhhh…)