Tuesday, June 30, 2009

happy memories

Okay, my blog is kind of a nostalgia trip of late. Sorry ‘bout that. I have been making new food, but as I’m only on the second week of a job and am (fortunately) recovering from a nasty flu, my meals have been more along the lines of “foraging” than “cooking”.

But tonight combines nostalgia with, in fact, cooking. Yay!

Greek-Style Green Beans with PotatoesDSCF1369

So okay, here’s some insight into the nostalgia behind this particular recipe. First of all, duh, we miss Greece. Have you noticed? Second of all, my Greek grandmother used to make green beans with tomato sauce all the time. It was always HEAVENLY. And I miss her.

And, yknow, we had a bunch of slightly old green beans (and now we have new, gorgeous green beans from my uncle’s garden).

This recipe kind of originated in a cookbook, but since my mom got it IN Greece, and got it on her previous trip which was a lonnnnng time ago cause she went on the trip with my dad, who she was married to (so a LONG time!), you all are not going to be able to find it.

Furthermore, the recipe contains things like this:


1 and a half teacups of olive oil.


The required amount of water. Very helpful, as ever, Greeks.

So since I came up with quantities for those, and halved the recipe, and added extra tomatoes, I think I’m cool posting this.

2 T olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

10 oz. green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved

3 tomatoes, fresh or canned (I used canned) finely chopped

1 potato, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut into thin slices (like half moons)

1 T parsley

1/2 cup water

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil on medium. Add onions and garlic, and sauté until translucent. Then add your green beans and sauté on medium high for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add tomatoes, potato, parsley, water, and salt and pepper. Stir ingredients to combine, and try to push the potatoes down so they are submerged in the liquid, so they cook. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.



This recipe is astonishingly simple and almost ludicrously delicious. I kept going “Yum… YUM!” as I took bites of it.

The rest of dinner was scrounged together (wow, look at the chip on that plate… they’re beautiful plates and we keep them for nostalgic reasons… Wow, nostalgia again)


My husband Mark Bittman's bean salad, which also got brought to the barbecue I wasn’t allowed to bring my germy self to. I found the recipe and picked the mint in the community garden! We made it with canned butter beans, which Marky would probably think was heresy but it was still DELISH!


The pathetic looking bread heel, toasted, with the last of my hummus.



Now for the last of the nostalgia. As previously stated, my lil sis turned 18 on Saturday. We did not actually have her blow out candles on Saturday, since she decided to have dinner with her gross boyfriend (I mean… I love him so much!)

We didn’t make cake because my sister is adored by like 3 million people and typically they all make her cake. But this year they didn’t!

Soooooooo… this may sound weird, but bear with me and think of the wedding cake tradition…

Last year, back when she was still with us, my grandma made Malindi one of her SIGNATURE birthday cakes (she had several- this is my personal favorite, banana cake with caramel filling and seven minute frosting). We froze it, due to the aforementioned usual cake abundance, and I found it in the basement deep freeze.

So… thawed it, and stuck a candle in it!


And she blew it out, and we ate the cake, and it tasted wonderful, and I missed my grandma.


But man, kind of a powerful thing to have, eh?

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