Carrot Rice Pilaf (from Claudia Roden's New Book of Middle Eastern Food)
Spinach with Chickpeas (Claudia Roden)
Baby artichoke pie with crumb crust
Roasted Zucchini with Lemon
Beets in orange sauce
sorbet and Tofutti Cuties
leftovers of all of the above plus
fruit salad (mango, orange, apple, yellow raisins)
salad and cold cereal with raisins
My two year old son loves to prepare baby artichokes, we did them together for the first time during Passover. When we were in the store on Wednesday I mentioned that we would buy them and he became quite enthusiastic! I know he is bolder about actually taking off enough leaves than I am. You have to break off so many leaves that the remaining leaves are yellow at the bottom and all the same length, then you slice off the tops of the leaves so that the artichoke looks squared off and yellow. So there I had my nicely trimmed flowers--I like to leave on some of the stem, because it's tasty, and that makes them look even more floral. I thought, how about a quiche? I improvised a crust based on one of the ones in Mollie Katzen's Enchanted Broccoli Forest. (I see that I have linked to the New Enchanted Broccoli Forest, and my tattered copy is the old edition. I learned a lot of cooking skills from the old book and haven't seen the new one.)
Anyway, my pie. It was just okay, not very special. Plain, unmarinated artichokes discolor the custard in a quiche, at least if you make the custard with rice milk they do. I also included a hard boiled egg at the last minute, and the chemicals in the egg yolk and the artichoke did not like each other and made some weird bright green streaks. Everyone who ate the pie liked it, but it was in my estimation not a successful experiment.
Also, you shouldn't make Persian rice with brown basmati if you have never successfully made it with white basmati rice. Everyone thought the carrot rice was great because it was sweet, but I am not sure that I did that right! If only I had an Iranian grandmother stashed away somewhere that I could call. I bet one of my readers does. I have an Iraqi-Jewish grandma (a friend's mom) but she can't really cook at all. I went to interview her for a class I was teaching on Jewish food and we wound up talking about the history of Zionism and how she learned to shoot pool in the Zionist youth movement in India in the 1940s. But I digress, big time.
The beets were mind-bogglingly delicious. Try that recipe, it's good. I used raspberry vinegar, too.
Apparently authentic guacamole is made with fruit, at least according to Diana Kennedy. I did not make authentic guacamole. I made midwestern Ashkenazi Jewish guacamole. I finely chopped a shallot because I knew that the last time we had guac, the red onion was way too strong, and I added that to three mashed avocados and the juice of two lemons. Then I finely chopped a very wintery tomato and mixed it in. It was good. I guess tomatoes are fruit. Why am I self-conscious about cultural appropriation with Mexican food and not at all worried about chickpeas and spinach?
We had Friday night guests, two exhausted friends. One is doing finals--in school and also working-- and one is pregnant (and working). I found pregnancy hormones like a 40 week soporific. My son has been increasingly interested in social interaction with adults in his life, and was very happy to have our friends there. For Saturday lunch, we had our very close friend and a new person from schul, but my son napped through the whole meal.
My husband encouraged me to blow off schul on Saturday morning because we got a late start and he was worried that I wouldn't get the baby home on time for his nap. Usually he does the nap but this week wanted to read Torah for the anniversary of his bar-mitzvah. My son and I took a walk around the neighborhood and went to the playground. Does it count if you hear the leyning practiced around the house? My son has decided that he wants to know more about the tikkun (the book from which one practices cantillation of the Torah portion.) There is something very sweet about this. My friends' child has begun to say "Torah! Torah!" when the scroll is removed from the ark. I know at two my son is below the official age of education in Judaism, but I want him to have many strong and positive impressions under his belt.