As excited as I am to be — slowly, tentatively — back in the kitchen, I seem to be stuck at the beginning, or at least the beginning of the day. I’m fixated on granola and eggy things, breakfast-y quick breads and this thing I made for the sole purpose of eating with my morning yogurt, and I suspect it has everything to do with us feeling almost constantly like we’ve just woken up. And too early, sigh.
Some of you have asked me to share what kind of cooking I’ve been doing to stash in the freezer and hopefully tide us over for the coming storm (T-minus 22 days, not that anyone is counting). I know it’s common, in a fit of impatient nesting, for soon-to-be mamas to tuck away pans of enchiladas and lasagnas and meatballs and other hearty, freezable fare so that they don’t starve in those early weeks when the baby demands constant surveillance (okay, cooing), but despite understanding the logic behind this, I should confess: I’m prepping nothing.
Friends, I may adore you but I have had just about enough of this cold, windy and snow-free excuse for a New York City winter and I’m leaving you. For a week. Maybe more, I’m not making any promises of a swift return.
There is a notable, sad absence of recipes that involve coconut on this site and it’s like totally my husband’s fault. The boy thinks he doesn’t like coconut and every time I mention something that involves it he says “maybe you can make something chocolate instead?” But he’s wrong, no really, he is. I believe that he does like coconut, he just doesn’t like that shredded, hard to chew stuff people stick to the outside of otherwise-tasty frosting. It’s not the flavor that bugs him. And so I set out to prove him wrong by making these cookies, where the coconut is toasted and then ground and you get all of the flavor but not of the annoyingly papery texture. Alex was adamantly opposed, so I promised to either dip or fill them with chocolate or raspberry or even better, filled with raspberry and dipped in chocolate and do you know what happened?
I can’t believe I haven’t told you yet about this Key Lime Cheesecake; I have some nerve, don’t I? And I suppose I could get into its texture (dreamy), flavor (bright and promising), topping (thin strips of mango tossed in lime juice) but it wouldn’t be honest of me, as I really only made these for one reason last weekend. Take a look at this bottle; could there be a more enticing Wish You Were Here sign? I take one look at it and just want to yell: I’m coming for you!
As if Alex and I weren’t lucky enough to win a trip to Napa Valley for a two-day grilling class on the stunning COPIA campus in August, we also got to meet Elise of Simply Recipes fame. Not only is she as warm, kind and knowledgeable as she comes off on her site, she’s one of those types of people who reach into their bag two minutes after having met you and proffers up a homemade gift, in this case, apple butter made from the early apples grown in her own backyard. “What’s a backyard?” Alex and I asked her, wide-eyed and baffled. Elise smiled politely.
As much as I have said more often in the last couple months than you should ever let me get away with that I am so busy! and no time! the truth is that really, truly having no time for the things I really want to have time for terrifies me. I always wonder: are we really so busy or are we just busy being busy? Are there truly ‘not enough hours in the day’ or are we just not using the ones we have well enough? I feel if I allow myself to sorry can’t, too much going on right now I might fall down a slippery slope wherein I start saying that even before I have considered what I am busy with. Come on, surely you know the type.