Can I have a bite?

Eating. Drinking. Sometimes at home, sometimes on the town.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

lunch, interrupted

so, i'm from the mid-atlantic/northeast corridor. i should know about snow. but, because i was forced to walk to school in the snow, or unhappily driven, i don't really know how to drive in the snow. worse yet, portland's famous "ice storm" a là "the storm of the century" on FOX news, engendered fear in me in 2004 (even though I didn't live here yet).

the day started with a little memory. my friend said she loves butternut squash ravioli. i have that chinook book coupon for $2 off at pastaworks. it's nearing the defunctifying 12/31. oh yes. i called ahead and yes, they would put some triangola di zucca aside for me.

i bought some sage leaves, veggie broth and i just knew my host would be holdin' (earth balance). i put some brussel sprouts in my basket for good measure. you gotta have something green. so, we talked through a quick meal prep (and a smokin', fried-finger stovetop) to end up with a drippy sage butter broth for the pasta and some parm-tossed sprouts on the side. it was going to be legendary. that's not the appropriate word, but it's fun. and then, we looked outside. it was snowing, twirling, and... sticking.

we (i) gulped down my luxurious lunch and headed home on a slow highway. i listened to something intriguing, i'm sure, on NPR (the call it OPB here) on the drive home.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

tuesday night dinner & forgiveness

i have been remiss in my writing. i assure you (dear one reader), that i think about food a lot more than i write about it here. i guess i am still a little shy about my writing. at any rate, last night, just your regular ole tuesday, i pulled together a tasty meal that reminded me that planning isn't the only way to go. every week, my husband and i determine our weeknight commitments and plan our shopping around how many nights we plan to be at home during dinner. still, we don't plan out all the components to every meal.

so yesterday, as i wondered what we'd have for dinner, i remembered the idaho rainbow trout that would need to be consumed soon or tossed. i'm not a fish-cooking expert. i almost always overcook it. it seems i would have made that mistake only once and not again, but somehow i manage to continually overcook fish. i think it's because i try to multi-task and fish requires your undivided attention, if only because it takes about 2-3 minutes to cook a thin filet. last night, i began with some sweet potatoes and onions (about 2-inch pieces), doused them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder (sorry mom, i used powder) and threw them in a preheated oven at 425 for 35 minutes. then, i steamed some broccoli and finished it with earth balance (have you gone out and bought it yet??) and some salt and pepper. finally, i melted some butter, coated the fish with old bay, sea salt, pepper, and a little cayenne, and sauteed it on medium-high heat, 2 minutes on each side. i was careful to remove it from the heat before i thought it was actually done. that's been my trick lately. when in doubt, under cook since it's my tendency to overcook. the dinner was colorful, delicious, and aside from the butter, pretty light. my culinary wizard of a mom always made sure that our meals contained a multi-color palette. i guess that comes from her art history background. and she is right. the orange, white, and green meal last night was gorgeous, but that didn't stop me from devouring it.

to get back to my under cook philosophy, it annoys me from time to time that i can't just learn how to pay attention to what i'm doing. i almost always over-broil everything (burnt garlic bread is a specialty of mine). i will leave the kitchen and come back to a half-empty bubbling pot of water i started and forgot about. i've served brown green beans much to my dismay. to another, less appreciative eater, this might be acceptable, but i simply cannot stand it. so, i have spent years fist-clenching and growling at myself when i fail to learn. the last bit of burnt garlic bread launched me into an unreasonable depression (that lasted a good 20 minutes -- and that's a big commitment for me). lately, instead of getting angry at what i know well to be my patterns, i've just tried accepting them and setting timers, not allowing myself to get distracted, and forgiving (that's the hardest one) my mistakes. it's a whole lot easier than fighting my unchanging patterns.