Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Arabesque: Lesbian Food

Lesbian food. That's what Mark calls everything I've cooked out of Arabesque, whether or not it's even LEBANESE.

Totally bugs me. 

I need a new family or I need a new cookbook. Probably both, but one is easier to replace than the other so I guess these are the death throes of Arabesque.

I'm in a terrible mood.

I made another Claudia Roden/Middle Eastern dinner last night:

-Moroccan chickpeas
-Eggplant pilaf
-Cucumber and yogurt salad
-Sauteed escarole with caramelized onions

Nothing spicy, nothing gross (unless you count eggplant and leafy greens, which you shouldn't), nothing smelly, nothing visceral.

Owen sits down and lets out a wail. He pokes at the microscopic pile of chickpeas I have placed on his plate.
Owen: Chickpeas? You made chickpeas? You know I don't like chickpeas.

Tipsy Baker: You just have to taste one chickpea. Just one. (This is how low my standards have sunk. I, who was forced as a child to eat everything from liver to frozen peas.)
Owen: What?? Chickpeas are bitter. You know I hate chickpeas.

Tipsy Baker: Why are you staring at me, Mark?

Mark waves to the array of food I have placed on the table with a thin smile.

Mark: You've set up some pretty harsh tests, here.

Tipsy Baker: What are you talking about? I asked him to eat a single chickpea.

Mark: I mean, this is challenging food.  I object to that stuff in the rice.

I'm not sure how I maintained my famous madonna-like composure. I'm sure the second goblet of wine helped. 

I know Mark would rather be dining on PastaRoni, upon which he subsisted before we married. And he has often said he wishes that food came in a pill. I can see that for a man of simple tastes, living with my cooking style might be a monumental drag. And I guess I should appreciate his patience, tolerance, sense of humor, willingness to eat Lesbian food when what he really wants is a bag of Fritos, etc. etc. etc. 

Is he a saint, or what?

But I do wish he would restrain  from offering critiques of our meal while Owen is listening, and I wish he would cover me as I fight the battle of the freaking chickpea. And I don't think he should have made Owen toast with jelly as soon as dinner was over.

Anyway, the eggplant pilaf was fabulous, and it was all that "stuff" -- roasted eggplant, pinenuts, currants -- that made it so. Isabel ate a lot of chickpeas, and had seconds of cucumber salad. So that's something.

I'm still in a terrible mood.


  1. Forced to eat liver and frozen peas? You? I think not.

  2. Sorry that you had a tough night.

    How ironic, when I'd pay to eat that food! I never appreciated my mom's cooking until I went off to college - such a cliche, but true. My dad had a vegetable garden that produced amazing, organic produce that he and my mom would pick and eat nightly, and I'd refuse those salads every single night. But do you know the quote from Into the Woods: "Children may not obey, but children will listen"? What do you know, all those years of watching my parents eat organic salads and tahini burgers rubbed off, and now that's what I eat by preference.

    Amy in Berkeley

  3. I love that quote, Amy.
    I've never heard it before.