Tuesday, June 14, 2011

potluckkin’ around the grill

Overdue potluck post. Funny: I’ve had multiple separate conversations with people, and apparently everyone’s sick of potluck at the moment. It stands to reason that it was sort of inevitable- we all work together all day every day and then we’re supposed to enjoy ourselves every single week and somehow not talk about and feel an escape from work… Oh, work. So potluck’s been a little weird. Still, I cannot fault the food.

Made kolokithopita for the most recent potluck. Squash pie. Greek thing. You can do the sweet version (eggy custard, farina, and squash) or the savory, which I went for, with dill and things.

Began by slicing up scads of squash with my mandoline.


Achieves beautiful and uniform shreds but, as usual when operating said mandoline, I injured myself. Having a right thumb out of commission really make one’s work difficult, as I’ve learned in the following days.


Sauteed up the base: onions, garlic, celery.


In went tomatoes (not enough so I added some tomato sauce), dill (only had dry so I added some fresh fennel fronds).


Set up a station with phyllo, olive oil for brushing, and the filling.


Layer of phyllo, brush of oil, repeated a few times (though not at all enough because it got super soggy).

All beautiful and colorful, ready for topping.


Gave it a bakesie at 350 til it was brown on top. Got ready well in advance, which was real potluck progress (potluckgress?) for me.

With all the woulda coulda shoulda statements in the description of how I made it, you’ll probably be unsurprised that it was just… fine.

Then boys showed up and wanting to cook food over flames.

And it was a lovely night (well until it rained). So we assembled on the deck. With wine. I’m super into Trader Joes’ super cheap Malbec.


Steve’s a goof and showed up late (he was going to a film screening) but gave his roommate, David, all of his ingredients for me to take to my house.

So, um, I roasted his kohlrabi. True love :D


Fortunately I am super into kohlrabi (and is the whole reason he knows about it). My mom taught me how (she discovered online): just peel off the green outsides, dice it, toss it with olive oil and a ton of minced garlic, and roast til gorgeous at 450 degrees, tossing often.

It was delicious. Well done, “Steve”.

So I then, er, forgot to thaw the brats and bacon (also farmer’s market). Sorry!

We still had a plethora of food, because Ryan made ludicrous quantities of kabobs.


Not included in my kabob was the chicken. It was of unknown provenance, and I’m trying to be good with the meat I eat, with ethical origins ‘n all. Just as well, since people said it was a tad… rare. Yikes.

Dessert was extremely well represented this week. Patricia arrived with strawberry cupcakes and frostings, and we had a cupcake frosting party (put frosting on cupcake, put frosting in mouth, repeat).


You are so welcome, Patricia, for putting this on the Internet. Also, please notice the completely absurd cupcake holders in the foreground. Yes they do have feet. The fact that Patricia’s mother gave her these makes me desperately want to meet Patricia’s mother.

Then Ryan’s friend Bryan (hahaha) brought what he called “Special K Bars”. Um. No. This was like a Rice Krispie treat, except a gazillion times better because it was made with special K and PEANUT BUTTER and had CHOCOLATE ON TOP and was the best thing EVER.


So that was that.

Now for an even OLDER potluck.

This one had a lot of delicious nibbles before the official “meal” began. I made Minted Pea Hummus from Health that is like… the simplest, most delicious thing ever.

Three ingredients: peas (I used frozen and it was awesome), mint, and tahini. You can also substitute as you wish- I didn’t have enough mint so I used a lot of parsley, I subbed ricotta for some of the tahini. It was awesome.

Plus homemade chips!


Also in the carb department, yeastless beer focaccia (in Favorite Recipes!) with olive oil and fresh deck oregano.


We had hilarious berries: teeny tiny mulberries Steve picked by his apartment and MEGA MONDO MASSIVE blueberries from Costco. Both were delicious in their own way.


Erin made totally delicious kale chips.


Annnnnnnd Steve brought like a dead cow’s worth of meat cause he was so excited to get it at the farmer’s market (their farmer’s market has a great deal for the low-incomers—and yes, we in Americorps are definitely low income).


Burgers AND brats and later kabobs too.


Richard made mashed sweet potatoes with chipotle that were so delicious it was just ridiculous. I’d like to believe it was the chipotle and not cause he added tons of butter. Yep, choosing to believe that.


Erin always makes yummy salads. This had hardboiled eggs, tomato, edamame, avocado.


Big plate! Bit o’ everything!


Then my sister went all out on desserts. Lord.

In the back we have my grandmother’s apple cake, with the substitution of whole wheat flour, a reduction in sugar, and applesauce subbed for a bit of the oil. Grandma would be fairly aghast, but it was great.

In the foreground, a creation all Malindi’s own: popcorn, marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts. Wowsa.



Erin Lee said...

how do we spice these potlucks up?!

Maya said...

I'm sorry to hear that your potlucks are getting tedious. I had a great time at the one I went to. Just think about how much you'll miss each other in just a couple months when Americorps is over! Maybe play more namsies in hatsies also?