Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I Guess I Love to Cook

The first summer session of Chestnut Hill College began today. Our usual morning routine began about a half hour later this morning because class starts at 8:30 instead of 8:00 a.m.

I had left a lot of dishes undone yesterday. I bought a large kosher turkey while we were in the Northeast and we smoked it on the kettle grill putting some sliced garlic along with a few leaves from that one single pineapple sage plant I found under the skin. Along with the hardwood charcoal, Saul puts dried cuttings from last summer's herb plants to smoke. We also grilled 4 eggplants and 6 bulbs of garlic from a bag of garlic I bought at Produce Junction. I wish there was a Produce Junction closer to where I live. The prices are unbelievably cheap, but the gas to get there is making the trip economical only when we are on the way to somewhere else. I made a stock with the neck and after the bird's juices had cooled in the fridge for a while, I made gravy with them. This morning, the bird was waiting to be sliced and packed away for future meals. Both girls really like turkey!

I made baba ganooj with the eggplant. It wasn't quite as good as Alex's stellar variety, but definitely better than the best store-bought brand. Alex had given me an idea of how he makes his, but as usual, he never uses a recipe. I also had a large quantity of raw spinach left over from the huge Costco bags which I made into a non-bacon warm spinach salad which we had for both lunch and dinner. Beth joined us for dinner as her kitchen is being redone right now with new cabinets and granite countertops. I made a large Israeli salad which will be part of the menu on Friday. I have been buying 3 lb. blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese at Costco and what was left was getting a little old, so I made a beautiful cheesecake. I figure I will take that to the Swan's party on Sunday.

The glazed mandelbrot I made I arranged in a large apothecary jar that Larry gave me many years ago. I have not filled it with anything for a long time and so it had been relegated to the shelves in the garage. It used to belong to Larry's father's tiny luncheonette across the street from the Betsy Ross House. It looks so beautiful filled that we took a photograph (above) and are hesitant to reach in and eat any. That is probably a good thing!

Saul had a frustrating first day because the net was down for the whole college and is still not up this evening, but he spent a little pastoral time planting New Guinea impatiens outside my office door after dinner. The weather today went from beautifully clear, cool and sunny to intermittent thundershowers at various times. Each time I tried to get my work done on the computer, I had to shut down because of lightning. Ari, who is on the phone with Saul and me as I am writing this, had a very productive time in Seattle and is due to return home first thing tomorrow morning.

All my creative work today was in the kitchen and will eventually get eaten, but that is okay with me. I am beginning to question whether creating a painting that will hang on the wall is really a more valuable endeavor and use of my time than creating familial and communal harmony with food and ambience. There is just so much unnecessary stuff in the world.


Ari said...

So I read the Shofar today....why Crisco in the salad recipe? That was surprising.

sabasenders said...

That was Crisco Oil.(for Ari) The Email server is still out at CHC. It is causing major problems all around the college.

The New Ginea Impatiance look just marvelous.

The cookies look and taste fantastic. I am looking forwards to tomorrow.

Ari said...

OK, I hate to call you out on EVERY spelling error, but I had to read that middle line a few times just to figure out what you were talking about....

You meant New Guinea impatiens, right?