Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Rambly Food Post

(an old photo, but reminds me that I think I'll make this recipe tonight)

I'll eat just about anything (not including meat). I like almost every vegetable (although I have reservations about green peppers, okra, and sometimes eggplant. Not so much into the slime texture). I like strange desserts (actually just about any dessert, except frosting. I'm not a fan of frosting). I'm an adventurous cheese eater. I like rye. I like sauerkraut. I like pickled and fermented things. I enjoy miso. I have no problem with mushrooms. You get the picture.

I waffle back and forth between eating widely and moderately, or following some sort of 'healthy' (usually some degree of extreme) diet plan. I used to think that that meant I was inconsistent (which I guess it does, actually) but now I realize that I actually enjoy periods of enforced dietary strictness. I enjoy the ease of only being able to choose this or that, instead of the wide variety of whatever I want. But then, I get tired of that, and I go back to my usual ways. My usual ways aren't bad -- I eat a wide variety of whatever I want, in moderation (usually).

Which brings me to the upcoming holiday season. I have a number of thoughts. Here are a few:
  • I am really trying to cut down the use of flour and sugar in our house. Not because it's terribly bad per se (although the point could be argued), but because Terri really shouldn't be eating it and frankly it's not that great for me either. But I do not like being "good" all the time, it makes me cranky. So what to do? The answer, my friends, is cheese. Unfortunately Terri doesn't like cheese, so I'm not sure what her vice will be, but I enjoy cheese in all its forms, so I foresee an abundance of cheesy goodness coming up in my future.
  • First up will be the pumpkin bake I mentioned in the last post. This is pretty decadent. It's basically a pumpkin filled with dry bread, cheese, and cream, and then baked. It's super-yummy. I am going to get a small single-serving size sugar pie pumpkin and make one for myself.
  • I think there will also be some gratins. I am intrigued by this one, found on Smitten Kitchen. I like sweet potatoes, I like chard, and I like cheese. So chances are, I will like this. I also really like homemade scalloped potatoes, so I think I'll make some of those as well at some point.
  • I also really like soup. I have a thing about soup. Terri hasn't been into soup lately but it's awfully handy for work lunches, so I think I'll make some on Mondays for the week ahead. That also solves the problem of trying take into account two people's opinions about soup: if it's just for my lunch, I can make whatever I want. See? It's really just all about me.
  • I also want to get back into making Indian food. I made a couple of curries during our vacation and they were really yummy, but I had to return the library book (660 Curries, which was really a good cookbook). I don't feel like buying a big cookbook right now and I haven't found a good Indian recipe site, so... I guess I'll check out the book again and maybe make some copies of recipes I want to try.
  • And finally, some thoughts on Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I think it's just us for Thanksgiving this year. (We will be having some friends over for Christmas) Neither of us likes turkey enough to make one (we are mostly vegetarian, with a few turkey sandwiches here and there). We don't eat pork or beef or fish. Contrary to all my food talk above, neither of us have enormous appetites, either. So what do two mostly-vegetarian women do for holiday dinner? I'm searching for an entree that is special and yummy enough that we'll actually want to eat it (as opposed things like stuffed squashes or tofurkeys, no thanks). I'm thinking of making a small batch of homemade rolls, because, well, yum. We like mashed potatoes. There's a special salad we like, too. So that's all good. But it's missing something. Hmm. Thoughts?
Also, a side note. Recently for some reason I have seen lots of recipes for lamb. This always stops me in my tracks because somehow, in my brain, I cannot believe anyone (these nice people who have such nice websites!) would actually eat lamb (or veal, which I think is horrible, horrible, horrible). Have you seen lambs? They are freaking adorable. I literally cannot imagine eating a lamb. Shudder. I won't go on about meat because I am actually very down-to-earth about it (sustainable, humane ranching is understandable; mainstream factory farming is horrific), but I draw the line at lamb or veal. Unthinkable.

Back to the vegetable talk. We will be eating lots of vegetables, punctuated with some dashes of cheese here and there, throughout the upcoming season. I will miss baking, but hopefully the presence of yummy other things will help. I actually love this time of year for cooking, and I love winter veggies, so I'm excited.

However, I reserve the right to make some gingerbread men, a coffeecake, and perhaps some sugar cookies. See aforementioned comment about being too good making me grumpy.


Lara Starr said...

Lemme know how you like the Swiss Pumpkin - def use 1/2 cream and 1/2 chicken broth. I think it tastes better.

Tammie said...

terri is lucky. i wish i didnt like cheese. id be a waif.

i cant do lamb or veal either. i really dont love most meats at all but i just have no desire to eat the "cuter" meats.

i really have no suggestions for your thanksgiving main dish, other than just not have one....there's no law saying you have to have a main dish. frankly the side dishes are always my favorite anyway. (right now im really thinking about creamed spinach...ymmmmm.)

Barefoot_Mommy said...

Have you looked at they have TONS of recipes for EVERYTHING and the cool part is that when you make them, you can give the recipe a rating of 1-5 stars. So when searching, you can search for recipes that have high ratings. A lot of times the recipes also have tons of comments from other people who have made them with advice to tweak the recipe for say, vegetarians!

There is a recipe on there for brocoli and cauliflower gratin that is DELICIOUS! Also, my favorite bread recipe is on there. It's under "Amish White bread" and you can do so much with the dough. You can do rolls, loaf bread, sweet rolls (i know I"m not helping with the cutting back on sugar and flower, but thanksgiving does require at least a few cheats right?)

I don't do veal or lamb either. >.< that's just horrible!!!

Daphne said...

Lara: I will! I can't wait. We will miss you guys at T-Day; Terri just isn't feeling well at all and I'm guessing won't be up for much even by turkey day. :(

Tammie: I know what you mean. I love cheese. The grocery store I go to (Berkeley Bowl) has an amazing cheese section. I avoid it like the plague but sometimes I get sucked in.. usually we DON'T do a main dish. I call it the Carb-Fest Dinner. Nothing wrong with that! And I looooove creamed spinach.

Barefoot: Allrecipes is one of my favorite sites! The gratin sounds amazing. Yum. I have an issue of Gourmet with all kinds of rolls, I might have to also try the Amish recipe!

Nymeth said...

Mmmm, I need to try that pumpkin bake.

I also refuse to eat baby animals. Just....NO, NO, NO.

Stefanie said...

So the 660 curries is a good book? I will have to check it out from my library then too.

James and I have vegan enchiladas for our TG meal. We've had them almost every TG since we went vegan. Enchiladas have tofu and veggie filling and are drowning in enchilada sauce. On the side we have brown rice and refried beans and tortilla chips that work as good scoopers. It's delicious and makes enough for the two of so we get two additional days of leftovers which is just right.

I would have chickpea cutlets and mushroom gravy with those rolls and mashed potatoes along with green salad and/or green beans. Email me if you want the chickpea and gravy recipe.

Rachel Cotterill said...

I've been veggie for about 25 years, I have some favourite Christmas recipes but essentially it's all about making sure you'll enjoy whatever you choose, it doesn't need to be traditional :) I also follow loads of great veggie Indian blogs for recipes.