In my kitchen in February we are still mostly in isolation, so I’ve been doing lots of food preparation and cooking. Some of the recipes are new, some old favorites, some improvised. I’ve chosen some quotes from recent reading along with photos of my various food prep steps — reading and cooking are my two main isolation activities, along with an occasional walk around the neighborhood. Next month may be different!
This is simple food, mostly. Take a look —
|Cauliflower cheese in progress: steamed cauliflower, |
cheese sauce, cheese and crumbs for topping.
|In the oven.|
From The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, 1961: “Yes, I cook very conventionally — careful not to invade food with many flavors, even wine.” (Marianne Moore, p. 278)
|A big bowl of vegetarian pasta just about ready to serve —|
it lasted for three dinners! Note the fried mushrooms & cheese on top.
|Slicing mushrooms and other vegetables for a different pasta dish — one without tomato sauce.|
“Mushrooms are an indispensable part of hundreds of the world’s greatest dishes, prized for the delicious flavor, color, and bouquet they impart.” — Beard on Food by James Beard, p. 87.
|Ingredients for a Mexican-flavored omelet: eggs, corn, scallions, |
red peppers, butter, and torn-up tortillas. Lime for garnish.
Quote from Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson: “The versatility of eggs is a constant source of amazement, and it upsets me sometimes when they are just taken for granted. The number of dishes that can be made from eggs, plus their many supporting acts, is, quite simply, magical.” (p. 110)
|Clam chowder made from scratch with potatoes and canned clams.|
A quote from The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, 2014: “Don’t forget potatoes. They got you thorough the forest, through the sea voyage, through the tent on the dock. Now they can be used to make a soup that is surprisingly delicious. Call it what every you like. Call it the Recipe for Life.” (Alice Hoffman, p. 43)
|Getting started on a pot of chili: black beans, corn, onion, herbs, peppers, tomatoes, and spices.|
Quote from Roast Chicken and Other Stories: “How many savory recipes are there that do not use onions? Their harmonious flavor pulls together good stews, rich and satisfying soups; roasted around a joint of meat, they lend their essential flavor to a fine gravy.” (p. 173)
|Adding smoked salmon to a pizza with Len’s homemade crust.|
From The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, 2014: “Like most impoverished twentysomethings we treated pizza as a food group unto itself.” (by Nicky Beer, p. 70) — Len and I are far from being impoverished twentysomethings, but I think this is still a good definition of pizza.
|On the griddle.|
A quote from The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook, 1961: “You don’t cook pancakes. You make them. ... Don’t serve pancakes in any fancy way like putting ice cream on them or fruit, or brandy, or whipped cream. Just put a generous lump of butter on top of each pancake in the stack and then liberally pour either syrup or molasses over them.” (Evan Hunter, p. 263)
|Prep for tuna salad to go with broccoli slaw.|
I cooked one head of broccoli and used it two different ways.
|Tuna salad ingredients ready for mixing with mayo.|
Ingredients: celery, cilantro, water chestnuts.
The Wild Planet brand tuna that I use is pole-and-line
caught to protect dolphins and other by-catch.
"The tuna salads of yore bear a lot of resemblance to those today, made with assorted elements of crunch, piquancy, and moisture: celery, various herbs, pickle relish, grated onion, mustard, and mayonnaise, as well as some ingredients, like beet juice and whipping cream, that have since fallen to the wayside." (from Taste: "A Second Look at the Tuna Sandwich’s All-American History")
|About to make sardine butter for lunch sandwiches.|
|Feeding the sourdough starters, wheat and rye.|
According to "A Mere Man" writing the preface to The Perfect Breakfast, an "accessory dish" for breakfast is "Porridge and its allies, Quaker Oats and other farinaceous foods. These may be eaten at the beginning of breakfast, as a foundation, or at the end, to fill up the cracks." (Cited in The English Breakfast, by Kaori O'Connor, p. 68)
This kitchen blog post to be shared with Sherry and her blog event “In My Kitchen.” All photos were taken in my kitchen, and are copyright, © 2021 mae sander.