Sunday, December 31, 2006

on the eve....we ate

This is pretty classic Jewish behavior. In memory of ancient Judaic ritual...we eat. In celebration of survival against the odds...we eat (latkes, anyone?). In memory of sorrows and destruction....we don't eat, but we're enjoined to think about eating. And don't get me started on the subject of cheesecake, or as they call it in New Jersey, ice cream and waffles.

Happy new year, everybody. May we move from strength to strength, building where we can, nourishing where we are needed, recognizing the gifts we have been given, even when they are miserable with diaper rash and green snot.

Tonight, after the boys are in bed, the Man and I will crack a bottle of bubbly (apple juice, that is), and talk over the year. It's been a full year, as our years tend to be:

*The Eldest learned how to be a big brother (an on-going process, of course)
*the Babes became the Toddles, with all of the accomplishments that entails
* we began and concluded the Great School Debate
* we began and ended and began again learning to use the Eldest's veins.
* the Eldest learned the art of folding paper - and making endless paper planes
* we all went home, at least, and felt smug about being able to handle anything
* the Toddles introduced us to corn allergy, and we learned about being helpless in the face of big industry
* we remembered friends and family, lost to illness and old age
* we welcomed new little people, and learned to love them. (Welcome! Matt, Adira, Ben, Leora, Jessica....)
* I got my first professional writing gig(s)
* I got my first hate mail over one of those gigs
* the mice came
* the mice left. I think.
* we discovered that the neighbors aren't flinging shards of glass into our yard and cackling...the dirt's landfill and useless. Why *are* things growing there, anyhow?
* the Man's blog went on hiatus (where in the world is the Virtual Tourist?)
* I organized something. Anything. Occasionally, too many things.

Today, however, I continued another Imperfect tradition, and experimented with food. Good food, incidentally, courtesy of the wise ladies over at the food lab, a Yahoo group. Two recipes below - but first, a small contribution from the Eldest:
The Eldest's story:

One day, a message came back.
Well, maybe I should someday give you a stilt.

Left it on the computer, and he went and kept shaking hands. He was a very nice man. Until he got very old, and he grew into a five year old and he was very old.

What happened is that he got ready, and died.

Then he went back to his walk, shook hands, went around then died. (dramatic fall)

He jumped up, yay! and was back to being a five year old. But then he was very old. And he fell dead. And he said, why am I getting all of these deads? I don't feelt that I am so very (dramatic fall).

And he was very older - he was a five year old again- and he said, I'm so old. How can I have another baby? And aarrgh, he fell dead. But he was alive - so he was very silly. And he went, blah blah blah blah, which was very unsafe for his body, and he did whaaaaaa, and he died.


Somehow, this narrative seems perfect for the new year, and the cycles - artificial and otherwise - that it celebrates. Happy 2007, all. And now, the food!
Ciao, Liz' Veggie Fritters
makes approximately 15 fritters, a.k.a latkes

2 packed cups grated root veg (I used sweet potato and regular potato, carrot would have been nice)
1 small finely chopped onion
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped mixed herbs
2 cloves of garlic, minced/pressed
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup rice flour
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients but the water together. Once well mixed, add the water, mixing well. Heat a griddle, preferably nonstick. If you don't have a nonstick griddle, then you'll need a small quantity of oil for frying.

Cook spoonfuls on hot griddle, about 3 minutes per side, with the heat turned to medium-low. Cool on paper towels, if you used oil, so as to absorb the extra fat.

Serve with sour cream or applesauce.

now, I made these for lunch, while the fasting Man (today was a fast day) escaped the smells and sights (and sounds!) of people eating. Here's the reception I got:

the Toddles ate, looking suspicious, but was slightly mollified by his favorite pickles (the 365 brand baby dills), and the opportunity to dip the fritter in applesauce. Fairly quickly, he tossed the fritter's remains aside, to focus on the 'sauce.
Verdict: moderate success. Worth retrying.

the Eldest ate briefly, then buried the remains of his first fritter under a hill of applesauce. Eventually, it occurred to him that, to eat the rest of the 'sauce, he'd end up excavating his fritter. He accepted this, and dutifully ate the fritter, and even reached for another.

But before I began quietly celebrating, he told me: It's too celery. There's no celery. It has potato. Now that's not my favorite thing. And it has onion. Almost none. You can believe this - mouth in a stubborn line - it does! How about some spaghetti, instead? Mouth set in an identical stubborn line, I declined.

Eventually, we compromised.
Verdict: neutral. Worth serving again at a meal with other options.

Cathy's Chocolate Cupcakes
makes 12 small cupcakes

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup garfava flour or brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup cocoa (not Dutch) powder
1/2 tsp xantham/guar gum
2 and 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Mix all together in a bowl. Set aside

Wet Ingredients:
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup silken tofu
2 tsp vanilla extract (watch for grain alcohol and other gluten-containing ingredients in vanilla!)
2/3 cup boiling hot coffee or water
cooking spray
In a food processor, blend all but coffee and cooking spray until very, very smooth. Add coffee and mix until blended. Add flour mixture and mix on low until smooth.

Heat oven to 350. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. When oven is hot, spoon batter (it will be thin) into tins. Bake 20-25 minutes, testing with a toothpick for done-ness.

Suggestions: add chocolate chips!
For fluffier cupcakes, use 1/4 cup garfava/brown rice and 1/4 cup quinoa flour


magid said...

What's garfava flour?

mama o' the matrices said...

I believe it is a mixture of flours, garbanzo and fava bean.

Zina said...

Oh I love this cake recipe, but it has SOY - booo hoooo! The silken tofu - oh how to get around that!!!! And soy is one of Owen's highest allergies!

mama o' the matrices said...

Hmm. The silken tofu can be replaced with sour cream (dairy), yoghurt (dairy), or something else of that consistency. You might even try applesauce, or an equivalent amount of mashed banana!