I think my meals are getting increasingly boring. What was the factor that kept things experimental and edgy for so long? Oh yeah, my husband used to cook more! He always wanted to make Indian food. Hey I remember before I even met him, I used to make crazily elaborate ethnic menus from Sundays at Moosewood and other cookbooks. Now it feels like I have nothing worth blogging about, even though the food is still pretty tasty.
This week we had a potluck on Friday night and I made a dish from the Millenium Cookbook called Tamale Torte with Black Bean Chili. I had made it once before, but didn't have the right kind of corn meal. The recipe calls for Masa Harina, so I bought a whole huge bag of it. (Supposedly it is a simple matter to learn to make one's own corn tortillas. Ah yes, Ashkenazi Jewish women from the midwestern United States can learn to slap together tortillas in a good 15-20 minutes. Can you spell cultural appropriation, I knew you could.) Anyway I made the torte recalling the famous MFK Fisher story in The Gastronomical Me in which a tamale pie made her cry for several hours.
...the tamale pie was very good indeed. It was probably one of the best that has ever been made, anywhere in the world where anyone would bother to make one, and I hope it was the only one I shall ever eat. Of course it was not the concoction itself that broke my spiritual back. I know that well. But a little while after I finished ieating it (I should say well within the four-hour period of a more or less normal digestion), I began to cry. It was the first time Al had even seen a tear in either of my eyes. Now there were thousands. They fell down my cheeks without a sound or a sign from me...
I thought "Ah, that's why they called it a torte, not a pie." My friend who is vegan who was eating at the potluck was delighted by the torte--both by its lack of dairy products and by its taste.
But I was nevertheless quite sick to my stomach for the next day. I think not from the torte, maybe something I caught from the baby who was sick last week. But even so, I don't think I can eat any of the leftover torte. I barely ate anything from the whole menu of stand-bys that I made for Saturday lunch:
Lentil Soup with a Hint of Fruit from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven
Spinach salad with organic blood oranges and cucumbers
Broccoli, Carrot and Cauliflower Kugel with wheat germ crust
Baked tempeh in sesame-ginger marinade
I was trying to create a vegetarian menu that is high in accessible iron. The lentil soup is made with dried apricots. I did it in the crockpot so it was no work at all. I had some this evening and it is pretty good.
I made the kugel by combining three or four recipes. (Should there be a word for that?) It was mayonaise + 3 eggs+6 tablespoons of flour+baking powder to bind together the grated raw carrot and the cooked, mashed up cauliflower and broccoli, plus tamari and black pepper, plus the wheat germ.
The most exciting (and not nauseating) thing on the menu was the salad, which was a reflection of my husband's procurement abilities.
I'm going to scheme and plot this week and I'll let you know if I come up with anything more exciting.