Wednesday, January 17, 2007

six oddities + one apple glory

sow's ear baked apple pancake

I’m not a huge fan of memes, but Marce is simply too adorable to resist responding to. That said, limiting my food weirdness to six bulleted points was no small feat. I have innumerable food opinions and culinary soap-boxes, as anyone who has ever been stuck in a conversation with me that I have, yet again, segued to food can attest as their eyes glaze over and feet shifting toward the door. I believe that my husband has legitimate concern that I will one day shoot the television the next time one of the Food Network’s “healthy eating” episodes that suggest you make cheesecake with fat-free ricotta but still eat a wedge the size of your head as portion comes on, or when Michael Chiarello seasons his pasta water with a fistful of grey salt.

Come, step into my great tangle of food hang-ups and see if you still like me when you’ve made it to the end:

1. After being a vegetarian for more than 15 years, the thing I took most quickly to was bacon, followed by any sort of pork, mussels and then beefy stews in butter-enriched sauces. Perhaps I wasn’t so much a “vegetarian” all those years but “rebelling against Jewish food.” Meanwhile, I have no love for typically easy-to-love non-vegetarian items such as chicken, turkey and shrimp. I’d pretty much rather eat a beet than a grilled chicken cutlet, which I will insist to my dying day tastes closer to cardboard than something edible.

2. As the above should suggest I’m really quite the curmudgeon about food; cooking allows me to hide this: I hate beets, green peppers on anything but pizza and even then not really, find cilantro (the green, not the powdered spice or seed) distasteful, as well as most teas, broccoli rabe and kale,all chais, cardamom, caviar, cheese-stuffed or coated items, dolma, minestrone, coconut curries, mustard that looks like yellow paint, the vast majority of fruit juices, nectars and smoothies and the vast majority of California cabernets and chardonnays I have tried. Another wildly popular thing that bores me: molecular gastronomy. Please, don’t make me eat foam.

3. Discussing dieting makes me want to stick pins under my fingernails.

4. I will make bread, pasta, sauces, candy, you name it, from scratch but I find soaking my own beans too tedious to be worthwhile. That said, I used to feel this way about homemade pasta, and considering how currently enamored I am with it, I am eager to be bean-soaking converted, like if someone could convince me the flavor really is vastly superior.

5. I will defend Rachael Ray until the bitter end.

6. I am really, really not in the mood to cook tonight and hope this doesn’t mean I am broken.

But wait, there’s more: It took me a whole 24-hours to break down and make the Sow’s Ear Baked Apple Pancake Luisa posted about this weekend and truly, I shouldn’t have even waited that long. Oh puffy, buttery, apple-y gloriousness, I have such plans for more formats for you: Strawberries! Blueberries! Bananas! Pears! This is not hugely different from the German Pancake/Dutch Baby I made a couple months ago, albeit with fewer eggs, more milk, slightly less flour, a little more butter and of course those sauteed apples, and, sigh, I just don’t know how I ever liked it without them. Go. Make this and convert yourself, too.


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