Tuesday, October 28, 2014

I had no idea she loved sweet potatoes



Last night I put the honey-roasted carrots from Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty More on the table and before I even returned with the rest of the meal (bockwurst), Isabel had started eating them.

I said: “Like the carrots?”
Isabel: “That’s what’s wrong with them! I thought they were sweet potatoes. Really bad sweet potatoes.”
Jennifer: “Carrots.”
Mark: “That happens to me all the time in this house. I see some chocolate chip cookies, pick one up, take a bite, and, ugh, raisins.”
Isabel: “I know, right? I see a beautiful cake on the counter and I go over to cut it, but instead of chocolate it’s. . . .”
Mark: “Cardamom!”

Ha ha ha. We all laughed. It dawned on me that while I’ve failed to provide my family with meals they loved, I’ve provided them with spontaneous comedy routines. 

A family needs lore and we are all set. 

The Plenty More carrots were good and, after complaining, Isabel continued to eat them. They’re roasted in a mixture of honey, olive oil, crushed coriander, and cumin, and you dip them in a yogurt-tahini sauce. I could eat anything dipped in yogurt-tahini sauce, but I would have eaten these carrots on their own. 

Ottolenghi says to serve them warm or at room temperature. I say: warm. The recipe calls for twelve carrots, which seemed like a lot, but they shrank and we finished almost the whole batch. I wouldn’t request these on my deathbed, but they're certainly tasty. Recipe here

26 comments:

  1. The carrot dish sounds great. I love his Spicy Carrot Salad with arugula and pilpelchuma from "Jerusalem." The pilpelchuma is a condiment I hadn't known about before, and now I'm obsessed by it and keep some in my fridge or freezer at all times and put it in everything. It's like harissa but even more delicious. http://www.dylancooks.com/recipes/pilpelchuma-recipe/

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    Replies
    1. I have all the ingredients -- I could make pilpelchuma right now. Have you tracked down kashk? That's one of the ingredients he uses in Plenty More. I found it yesterday at the Persian market, but wasn't going straight home to the refrigerator so couldn't buy it. I did get dried limes and halvah.

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  2. Oh, I will have to try these. I absolutely love carrots in all their permutations. Isn't lore just the opposite of harsh reality? If so, then you should be very pleased that you have lore. I think it implies great affection and your family appears to have it.

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    Replies
    1. I suddenly realized that Isabel and Owen will tell stories about my weird cooking at my funeral. It made me happy. If I'd just cooked spaghetti and plain chicken and the boring things they liked, they'd have no material.

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  3. But what would you request on your deathbed? I'm really looking forward to cooking from Plenty More myself.

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    Replies
    1. Good question, Joy. Off the top of my head, maybe the pork with lychees and coconut from Bon Appetit and a princess cake.

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  4. I love this. I often feel indignant for you when your peeps don't love all the wonderful meals you make for them, but this is a new angle. What will my girls say at my funeral? "She made awful gnocchi." "She made me stir polenta for an hour." "She sure loved those chickens." Everyone's a critic....

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    Replies
    1. It changed everything when I started thinking about it this way. Do you make awful gnocchi Hard to believe!

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    2. "Gnyucky," they called them.

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  5. I need a cookbook recommendation. I have a friend whose daughter (high school senior) is interested in learning to cook vegetarian dishes. My friend cooks not at all (and is actually not even interested in food), and she knows that I love to cook and cook a lot of vegetarian dishes for my daughter. I have lots of wonderful cookbooks but, they all seem to big, complicated, or overwhelming for a novice cook. Any ideas?

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    Replies
    1. How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman is very solid. Straightforward, not too fussy. It would be a good book for a beginner, I would think. The other book that springs to mind is Deborah Madison's big vegetarian tome. I know she's updated it recently. That was really good and not too daunting.

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    2. Thanks! Mark Bittman is a cookbook author I haven't warmed to, so I'll have another go. Deborah Madison is a longtime favorite.

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    3. It's hard to warm to Bittman -- for many reasons -- and I never have. But his streamlined approach might be right for a beginner.

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    4. Jeanne Lemlin's Quick Vegetarian Pleasures is still out there. (I just checked Amazon to be sure.) My battered old copy is still a go-to. I've handed out quite a few as gifts and everybody's been happy to have it; several are nearly as beat-up as my copy. I take that as a good sign.

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    5. Amanda,
      I have every cookbook Jeanne Lemlin has ever written. She is great!

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