I seriously feel like starting this post with "oh what a week…!" to the tune of "oh what a night.." At least, just listening to it makes my feet move under my chair. That’s a good thing. I am allowing myself to make room for a giggle and a laugh. It’s been such a week for friends and family, near and far. And us trying to navigate the waves and splashes.
Today my heart is a complete split of heavy and light. I guess I could spend the next couple of paragraphs telling you why. But honestly, I am tired of those funky vibes I have experienced all week. Mine included. These two posts will update you on why I have been quiet and reflective lately. And why today I still can’t put the broken pieces of heart back together. I’ve done my kicking and screaming, even if only in my head but I have also welcome every opportunity to change my mind today. That much funk always drives me up the wall. Or to the kitchen actually!
I cooked a lot over the last few days. Always therapeutic. I’ve made a bunch of good for the soul comforting foods. I also made some pretty aromatic dishes to soothe my bronchitis. I packed a few containers full of good and healthy recipes for Bill while I am gone this week. Stirring soup very effectively took my mind away on vacation for a few minutes. Zesting and juicing lemons filled the space with invigorating energy.
Whisking batters, roasting vegetables, hearing the motor of the food processor happily whirl away. Listening to the sizzle of the oil when my friend Laura and I made lemon fritters one night she came over for dinner. It never gets easier, it just gets different. One thing for sure is that friends and keeping busy are always great ingredients to make things better.
I hate that work is taking me away this week and I won’t be home with the husband and the pups for a good ten days. I also love that my kind of work gives me the chance to do something a bit different than my usual week. See, I am leaving in the morning and heading out to Seattle for a shoot. My friend Clare Barboza is shooting Jeanne Sauvage’s (from The Art Of Gluten Free Baking) first cookbook on gluten free holiday baking and she asked me to come do the styling. As I told them both earlier, I am very much looking forward to rest my photographer’s eyes and put my styling goggles on for a week!
I love Clare and her photography, I love Jeanne’s recipes (and I get to meet her chickens!), the publisher (Chronicles) and it’s Seattle! My last visit was a bit short there so I am looking forward to a longer stay and some fun happenings! Our shooting and baking/prep schedule is packed (just as my suitcase!) but you can bet I’ll do my best to find time for a little fun!
I hate to leave Bill with the pups, that’s a given, but I hate to leave him without something comforting to eat, especially the first night I am gone. When I made a Roasted Cauliflower, Leek and Garlic Soup the other day, he asked that I made another batch to store away while he’d be alone with his books. I am kinda sad I can’t sneak a cup on the plane with me. It’s really good. Don’t let its creamy grey color fool you…there is nothing bland or blah about this soup. Creamy, toasty, garlicky. Silky.
When I wasn’t feeling good this past weekend, I texted Laura that I had absolutely no appetite. She texted me back a very worried "really? nothing?" I know.…worried me too actually. I am never one without an appetite, even sick. I paused for a second and thought "actually…lemon fritters sound really really good right now!". We rarely do fried anything but that fried little pieces of dough were always in my grandmother’s arsenal remedy when we were sick. It worked back then. And it worked again this time!
Good friends, good food, good drinks and tons of good laughs sure made me feel better on all front this past week. I wish mending the world troubles would be as easy as writing a prescription for each but that’s always a start…
Roasted Cauliflower, Leek and Garlic Soup:
Serves 6-8 as an appetizer, 4 as an main dish
1 small head of cauliflower
1 whole head garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 to 1 cup water, or veggie or chicken stock
Preheat oven to 375F (convection) and position a rack in the middle.
Trim the outer leaves from the cauliflower head. Cut in quarters, remove the core, and cut the cauliflower into medium size florets. Place on a large baking sheet.
Cut the garlic head in half, place on the baking sheet with the cauliflower.
Trim the white part from the green stalk of the leeks. Keep the white part and cut into medium sized chunks. Wash well under water and place also on the baking sheet.
Drizzle with the oil, salt and pepper. Roast for about 20-25 minutes.
Let cool slightly. Place in a food processor, start running the machine and add enough water to have a creamy soup. Re-season if necessary with salt and pepper. Serve.
Make about 20 to 30 small fritters
1 -2 cups canola oil
1 cup sugar
zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup millet flour
1 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
Heat oil in medium large cast iron pan until temperature reaches 375F.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, lemon zest, juice and eggs until well blended. Add the millet, rice flour and baking powder, along with the milk. Mix well until the mixture is smooth. Drop by large spoonfuls into the hot oil. Do not over crowd the pan or it will lower the heat too much and you will end up with soggy fritters. Let cook for 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with powdered sugar.