Monday, March 20, 2006

Wasn't I just saying

that I haven't had motivation to cook?

Well there I go making a liar out of myself again. Now don't go thinking I made anything of real import or anything that took any talent at all. But I will say that it made me happy to do just a little bit of simple cooking.

It is true that the vegetables at Albertson's hardly inspire the way th
e produce section at Berkeley Bowl can cause absolute gushes and impulsive buys of things I've only read about but never seen in person. However the leeks were thick and rich, the tender white ends looking like they had just had a visit to the dentist for a brightening treatment and the dense green ends, while not exactly lush were not a dusky gray straining at an appearance of green. Potato leek soup, how lovely and simple that would be, if I actually made it unlike the last time where I was inspired but without follow through, leaving the leeks to wilt in the fridge until they were uncermonially dumped in the trash. (Yes, I know I should use the compost, but I really need to move it because it gets in the way of the garage door where it is now.)

While perusing the aisle, The Girl Friend bemoaned that they didn't stock any of the boxed pudding that one had to cook, only the dump and stir. I, of course, said once again that I would make her chocolate pudding from scratch. She was distinctly suspicious, noting that I had said that before and it still hadn't happened. Naturally I found the appropriate box and threw it in the shopping cart despite my silent promise, or was that a threat, that I would damn well make her real pudding. Aloud I debated if I needed cocoa for such a task, thinking of my beloved dutch processed bitter powder that I usually buy from the bulk bin at Berkeley Bowl. The Girl Friend said "don't be silly, of course we have some" she meaning the mass produced dusky powder, sits on the shelf for goddess knows how long box of Hersh*y's which has been sitting on the market shelf, that she uses to spoon into her coffee, only if we don't have chocolate milk, and then only if we are out of chocolate syrup as well. Oh alright.

Sunday late afternoon rolls around and soup it is. I consult my favorite source for this soup, Julie Child's The Way to Cook, for proportions. I do, not surprisely, amend the recipe just a tad, moving from vegan and simple to about two tablespoons of cholesterol to enrich those leeks just a tad.

Once that gets to simmering, I proceed to the pudding without informing The Girl Friend of my intention. Now first I had to consult a number of cook books, a surprising number of which did not have a recipe for chocolate pudding. Can you imagine? My long time favorite failed me as their recipe was exceeding complex and called for eggs - sure to be rich, probably too rich for The Girl Friend. Finally I settled on the recipe from the new Joy of Cooking, deciding to add the additional bit of solid chocolate, culling from my stash one ounce of bittersweet by Scharffen Berger, after deciding the semisweet would be too much. As the pudding thickens a knock is heard at the front door. "It's Candice", I call to TGF. Greetings are exchanged and Candice heads to the kitchen to see me, quickly peering over at the pots, asking what I'm making. Moments later I pour the pudding into some Fiesta teacups. "Mom, can I scrape the pan", Candice whines as if she's six. "Of course you can dear" said I with the exasperation only a tired mother can express, obviously channeling my alternate reality self who is a very exhausted mother who longs for my life. At this point, TGF chimes in with a "Huh? What pot?" "I made you chocolate pudding, dear, just like I said I would." TGF beams appropriately.

Once Candice leaves, we sit down to a simple dinner of soup, salad and some reheated biscuits. The Girl Friend declares the soup delicious and is quite pleased with the simple bowl of potatoes, leeks, water, and just a pat of butter. Later she recalls that there is pudding for dessert. Gleefully she marches to the refrigerator and brings the cup to the couch to enjoy while we watch Crossing Jordan (why
does Jill Hennessy insist on overplucking her brows?!?) I also retrieve a cup. I remark that it's a bit too sweet but seems like a good starting place. "Whatever. I like it just fine", say The Girl Friend. All is right with the Universe.

1 comment:

Wyatt's Mom said...

I just have to say that the soup was delicious, as was the dancing in the kitchen. Yes folks, she actually does dance while cooking. That's my Dharma.