Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Odd thoughts about food

Dinner tonight was corn from the Waialua farmers' market, asparagus and diced red bell pepper with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic salt. Also whole wheat spaghetti tossed with homemade pesto and steelhead salmon seasoned with salt made by a friend's church. There are leftovers of the last two.

DH says that was a very good dinner. Our running joke is from Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life, where her father says, "You know, we eat better at home than most people do in restaurants." And, we're not joking. Wizenberg writes the blog, Orangette, well worth a look.

Back to asparagus, I asked DH if he, like me, had grown up eating canned asparagus. Yes, with a dressing of ketchup mixed into Best Foods mayonnaise. The other dressing we knew was shoyu - soy sauce - mixed with mayo. He didn't know anything else until he had dinner at a friend's house, where salad was served with Tropics French dressing. Do the French know "our" French dressing? Highly unlikely. Or French toast.

Do the Russians know our Russian dressing? Don't bet on it!

My favorite homemade dressing is extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, some hot sauce, sea salt and a drop of agave syrup all whisked together. Vary it with freshly ground black pepper and some Dijon mustard or balsamic vinegar.

My thoughts turned to other canned vegetables. Say yes to canned corn. A definite no to canned beets. Fresh beets are wonderful - I bought some from our local city-sponsored open market last week. Peeled and sliced into matchsticks and tossed with lemon, balsamic, sea salt and cracked pepper, they were fresh and vibrant. Yes, I wore gloves. Later, we ate the beet tops sauteed in olive oil, with more salt and pepper - with jaja mein, of all things.

Today, I cleared out my handbag of all those odd things that accumulate - a bill I'd paid, empty envelope, old receipts. One was from one of my favorite new places - well, it's a new branch - Nijiya market. I love this Japanese market, and need to watch out, or overspend. My purchases were 2 kinds of dashi and brown rice shrimp tempura sushi (delicious!) Our son - visiting from Minneapolis - was with me, and his choice was a tray of uni.

Be careful what you feed your children when they are small, for they grow up wanting uni panini from El Quinto Pino and foie gras. I should have guessed this when the first sign he read was, "Foodland". Cooking is not his strong suit. He makes pasta with jarred sauce in his studio. With lots of Parmesan.

Both my guys think cooking is dangerous, and claim to be afraid of knives, the stove and hot oil. Well it IS abunai (dangerous) - said the woman with the current second degree burn on her wrist, a souvenir of eggplant hitting hot oil. What I do for curried ratatouille! I have a big old scar on my index finger - a New Year's Day memento from a dull knife and a pile of vegetables for Portuguese bean soup. The cut wouldn't heal; I went to the clinic.

A bunch of very odd thoughts, indeed!

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