I realize this might not look like much. It probably looks suspiciously like a salad, which means it’s probably going to be the last kid picked for your holiday cooking olympics. It doesn’t taste like ginger, linzer or crushed candy canes. It smacks of January Food, the stuff of resolutions and repentance, and there’s no time for that now. But I need to tell you about it anyway, urgently, because the preoccupation with this salad has hit me so intensely, so wholly, it’s basically the only thing I want to eat, and since I’m ostensibly the grownup here, this is exactly what I’m going to do.
Meet my new favorite potato dish. Oh, those mustard-roasted potatoes were wonderful, weren’t they? And who doesn’t love baked pommes frites? And latkes, they were a force to be reckoned with. But they’re dead to me, or they would be, if in some cruel parallel universe I was to choose only one way to eat potatoes from this day forth.
First off, this dish is not called “spinach and chickpeas”, it is espinacas con garbanzos. Don’t you agree? “Spinach and chickpeas” is something you eat because you should — it is healthy and you aspire to be. Espinacas con garbanzos is something you eat because it sounds sexy, and doesn’t taste half bad either. It’s hearty and smoky with a little kick, you eat it on little fried bread toasts at a tapas bar in Spain.
I have been thinking a lot in the last couple of weeks about what it means to cook when you’re pressed for time. I’ve always had the luxury of time. Even when I juggled a full-time job and a site, the sum of my evening tasks were still only to make whatever I felt like making for dinner, and if dinner was done at 10 p.m. instead of 7:30 p.m., we just shrugged it off.
Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes eating “healthy” or at the very least, in a manner that diametrically opposes the Thanksgiving through New Years gluttony. Some people eschew meat, for others its just red meat, some give up cheese or bread or fat or potatoes — I mean, you name it, there’s a diet out there that promises that swearing it off is the answer to Thin Thighs in Thirty Days or You in a White Bikini in the Bahamas in 56 Days. …You know, just to throw out a totally arbitrary example.
A small miracle happened in our apartment this week: we paid someone to clean it, and seriously, you could lick the floors [but of course, really shouldn’t for a reason that rhymes with Shmatatouille, not that I really want to get into it].
I have spent too much of my adult life trapped in this faux-Buddhist state of thou shalt clean thy own messes; it’s good for you, I reasoned. Cleaning should be a Zen experience. Please, stop laughing. Quit it.
I’ve already admitted that I’ve been a bit of a slack-ass with the whole cooking dinner on a weekday night, or pretty much any night, thing lately. Since I would hate to deprive you of all of the whiny reasons I’ve been inundating my husband with for not even making half an effort, I’ve decided to translate a few into bytes for you: I’m tiiiiired. I’ve been working soooooo much lately. Traaaaveling too! If I start now, we won’t eat until tomoooooorow. Also: I’m sooooo tiiiiiiired. Charming, right? Bet you wish you were here.