Saturday, March 12, 2011

in a pickle

Am trying to formulate coherent thoughts on my current state of mind related to food/exercise/body image/insecurity/life stress. Progress is unremarkable at said formulating.

Let’s talk pickling.


I have what I call “Cavewoman moments”. Insane accumulation of unrealistic quantities of not particularly desirable foods. It must be evolutionarily driven: there is a giant dead mastadon and who knows when the tribe will have enough to eat again, it is time for a FRENZY.

These moments happen primarily on two occasions:

1. When food is free.

2. When food is about to be thrown away.

So, work, broccoli stems, it happened.


Fortunately, once sliced and diced, I know what to do with those woody guys: it’s broccoli stem relish, and it hails from Fast Food My Way, my love Jacques Pepin’s ode to the quick, simple, and delicious.

But quelle horreur Jacques! (Jacques is probably feeling the horreur at my French spelling).

THE essential ingredient to said relish is fresh mint. Fresh mint is a HUGE PAIN to procure, particularly this time of year.

However, my pantry saved the day:


A (seriously antique) bottle of mint sauce promised to deliver what the recipe asked for: mintiness! Vinegary tang! Sweetness! Salt! Success.

Two big containers of broccoli stem pickles currently hang in my fridge.

For one batch:


1 lb. broccoli stems, cut into little bitlets
2 tsp. mint sauce
2 tsp. chili-garlic paste
1 clove garlic, minced (I don’t mess around on the garlic)
sprinkling of salt, to taste

Let ‘em all hang out.

It was around lunchtime, but I felt like being productive, and I was due for a massive batch of…


No, not cookies, but don’t they adorably resemble them when stacked?!

Lentil Burgers!

Seriously, I cannot believe I made up this recipe. It is so delicious! I am so extraordinarily pleased with myself for having done so!

Griddle cooking is essential. So fun watching them go from raw and beany to golden and burgery!


It is Lent again, so I’m seeking out veggie proteinaceous goodness now that meat is off the table. Not that it’s usually on it, but I am trying to sort of oomph up my protein content. Hot and Sexy and March seems to be causing rather alarming things to happen to my hamstrings. They deserve some coddling.


So, one of my favorite Saturday activities (precooking) completed, I then sat down to one of my other favorite Saturday activities: the leisurely lunch. I enjoyed the following enjoyable, colorful, varied, multi-temperature dishes! I did not eat in 15 minutes! Lunch was not harried meeting, preparing some insane craft project while calculating how long it would take me to cut up 40 oranges in the tiny interval of time before the children arrived!

It was, hilariously, I just realized, the colors of the Irish flag!


Lunch included an always nice Plate of Green Things, in the form of my fresh picklies and some lovely green grapes.


My morning farmer’s market trip, taken with my mother’s recommendation for “some kind of fun soup”, netted this beauty:


The white beans sold me.

The exquisite pumpkiny goodness caused me to lick the bowl. SO SWEET! SO VELVETY! SO LOVELY! I’d like approximately 500 more bowls, please.


That speckled white goodness? A moment of brilliance!


Flavored yogurts are: nonlocal, nonorganic, either packed full of high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweetener, individually packaged. And delicious.

Farmer’s market plain yogurt is none of those things (except delicious) but sometimes, dang it, I want sweet desserty yogurt in my lunch.

THUS. Plain yogurt, instant coffee crystals (!) and liquid stevia (for easy blending)


PERFECTION! The yogurt was actually liquidy enough to dissolve the coffee! It had none of the weird cloyingness of artificially sweetened coffee yogurt! It was PERFECTION! This is a triumph that will be frequently repeated.

So, today’s victory. Enough for now. Still feeling contemplative.


Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun said...

I like the instant coffee trick. That's a good one. I always loved coffee yogurt back when I would buy the flavored yoplaits and such.

Steven Alexander Heathcliff Basil Bert said...

Your broccoli stems look to-die-for. David always gives me his stems after he's eaten the florets, so I'm extremely stoked for this new way to schnarf.

katecooks said...

i love your enthusiastic cooking spirit. it's so nice when you realize other people in the world understand extreme joy and excitement when it comes to food :)