All posts filed under: vegetables

truffled baked pearl onions / a raisin and a porpoise

greyed expectations

We had, or at least we aimed for, a modest Thanksgiving feast.  “Modest,” like most terms, is relative.  In our case, that meant scaling back to an absurd overabundance of food, instead of the usual preposterous superabundance.  The Thanksgiving menu is a hard one to narrow, if you are fortunate enough to be only meaningfully limited by the number of waking hours you are willing to stand in the kitchen.  As the holiday nears, I bookmark this recipe and pin that one, thinking of branching out here or there, but the fact remains that there are absolute non-negotiables on the menu, so you can’t really kick up your heels without edging into superfluous territory.  You may not, for instance, replace the regular mashed potato with some alternate rendition.  You may supply an additional starch, yes.  But if you fail to provide the basics, be prepared to hear about it. Our modest goals this year were informed by many relativities (as is always the case with relatives), and one absolute, this being the first Thanksgiving since …

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chickpea salad with zatar

back in the salad again

I don’t have anything adorable to say about this salad, aside from the fact that (provided all ingredients are in the same building as you are) you can go from the 6pm announcement “Mama, I know I told you the potluck started at 6:30 but I just checked and she meant to say come around 4” to “Everybody in the car!” in about 15 minutes.  If you have only half the ingredients, provided they are the right half, you can cut your time down considerably and still have a tasty offering for the communal table, if not a good photograph of the salad itself.  It was actually quite a purty salad, though you would not necessarily know that from mug shot above. Continuing last week’s theme of why it is good to live near a Middle Eastern market, or to stock up in one when the chance presents itself, here is a little love poem for the spice mix known as zatar.  Also known as za’atar, zahtar, and zahatar.  To compound the confusion, however you …

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carrots with honey & preserved lemon

roots of light

Years and years ago, my oldest sister gave me a little dog.  On the one hand, it was excellent timing: I had just dealt the final, severing blow to a longtime, fraught relationship and was living alone in a big city.  It was nice to enjoy the company of a furry little non-judgmental mammal who worshiped me.  On the other hand, I was living alone in a not-very-capacious apartment, teaching part-time and going to graduate school full-time.  The dependence of a not-housebroken pack animal on my limited time was not ideal.  In order to keep her anguished, lonely yowling to a minimum, before I left each day I would take her to the handball court a few doors down from my building, which functioned as a dog park for the neighborhood in the morning and evening. My little dog, whom I named after a favorite musician, was of the breed I have come to call Jack Rascal Terrorist.  She was the only fancy dog of my muttcentric adult dog career (I confess I come from …

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