Tuesday, May 30, 2006

a reluctant evolution (revolution?)

This week's challenge: making Shavuot, aka the Great Cheesecake Holiday, without eggs, dairy and wheat. (Or nuts, sesame, beans, etc etc etc - I bore even myself here.)

These are some of the recipes I'm kicking around for the holiday menu:

picadillo with rice (turkey picadillo instead of beef...)
garlicky lime corn salad
spice cookies with barley flour (my partner made a bunch, we inhaled, he baked more...)
curried tofu in coconut milk
persian rice cookies, rose-flavored (my thanks to spicehut for this one)
potato salad with roasted artichokes
and of course, spelt bread!!

Still searching for:

a main course fish dish I can make on the stovetop with a rich flavor. Test-drove a citrus-dill salmon today. Mneh. I'd love one with Indian flavors - I have a great mediterranean bay-olive-tomato-garlicky fish that I make on the stovetop, but I've maxed out on it for the time being.

A good rice and chicken salad, kid-friendly and can be served room temperature. (This would be a good time to admit that I can only manage boil-in-the bag rice. Somehow I burn all other kinds.) I think there's a wild rice, pineapple and chicken recipe out there somewhere...maybe my partner can be persuaded to handle the rice cooking part.

So. Only mild floundering in the mama's culinary world, with some shock at the cost of non-wheat flours. (2.49 for a wee bag of spelt flour? Ya gotta be kidding me. At this rate it'll be wheat-free or pay the kids' tutitions.) And a sinking feeling that, for the next little while, I will indeed become Mrs. Homemaker, as my available topics of conversations narrow down to:

  • my family
  • feeding my family
  • my kids (raising, keeping healthy, loving thereof)
  • gardening (see 'kids, raising' and 'family, feeding')
  • insurance (see 'kids, paying for')
  • my blog (see all of the above)
  • the weather (and possibly how it relates to gardening and feeding)
Sigh. I suspect that at some point most mothers feel locked into their role as parent, even limited by it - and I'm certainly feeling the walls close in a bit right now. Time to refocus away from the limits and more on the neat stuff, like the baby walking by holding on to our hands, or our eldest having written an honest to goodness letter to my grandmother a couple of weeks ago. With punctuation and everything! (And yes of course i helped - he's four and a half, for heaven's sakes.) Or my suddenly fitting into two pairs of pre-baby pants.

The refocussing, though, will only come with time and getting the adjustment to the new regime's demands. Still, I know this pattern: give me a week and I'll be less Eliza Dolittle pre-big party and fabulous dress (think Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman at the races) and more Eliza post-departure, when she tells off her hapless sweetie and stomps around (in perfect upper crust English, mind you). Translation: this will settle down.

In the meantime, anybody got a good recipe to recommend?


magid said...

(a) We're still on for first lunch, yes?

(b) I'm still hoping the wheat will come back after the requisite month is over.

(c) No particular recipes, but maybe barley instead of rice, if it never works right for you? Or green salads with more substantial toppings? (chicken and roasted onions, mangoes, and tomatoes comes to mind).

joy said...

Ian has a fool-proof method for rice. Don't use their directions and follow his and suddenly, perfect rice will happen. Even I can make rice with it. I'll put him on the phone next time we talk.

Other than that, your topics of conversation are all that matter. Nothing like a newborn to remind a person of that. Food, family, health, weather, sleep. In any order. That's the entire world here, and I could get used to it.

Auntie A said...

Having only recently ventured into the world o'cooking, I am certainly not going to proffer advice. The only dish I'm making for the holiday is a big pot of potato-broccoli soup (which tastes better than it sounds, fortunately).

I am sure you will come up with something suitably yummy. Your tentative menu already sounds great.

On that suitably encouraging (I hope) note, let me wish you and yours chag sameach. May your flounderings continue to be mild, and your 'neat stuff' abundant.

mama o' the matrices said...

magid, oh, we were definitely on for lunch! Yum!

joy, tell Ian I am happy to sit at his feet. So is my partner-man, who came home with a huge box of rice and a determined gleam in his eye. He muttered something about the budget, which silenced me immediately.

anutie a, potato-broccoli soup? Care to share a recipe? Although I do have some Jerusalem artichokes, and I am tempted by this idea of soup. Especially since it is cold and rainy here...