Saturday, January 17, 2009

Various Rants and Raves About Food

I'm not sure if I've told you yet that it's been really cold here? No? Well, it is. It is winter (January, to be precise) after all.

So I, being of a cold-intolerant nature, have only been able to engage in activities that involve the woodstove or the oven. Reading and baking, respectively.

On the reading front, I've been enjoying Cold Comfort Farm, on high recommendation of the CDW. It's.... interesting. Not as hysterical as it was made out to be, but still plenty of fun, British, understated humor. I started it on Thursday afternoon and almost finished it while supper was in the oven tonight (see? Woodstove, oven, woodstove...) but didn't quite make it. A couple pages before I got to bed tonight and I'll be on to less fun, but more educational books, of which I happily have a small stack awaiting my attention (woodstove...).

In the line of baking, I've been duly frustrated. I love to bake when it's cold. I love to make yummy, sweet things to eat. But I am also a firm believer in the Evils of Sugar and White Flour, so these things are rare. Sure, I can do healthy baked things, and I have quite a repertoire (like the sprouted wheat blueberry muffins, sweetened with Sucanat that I made earlier this week... yum!), but sometimes I like to indulge, and when I do, it had better be good.

So as an added frustration, people have been giving us all kinds of sweets (not of the "healthy" variety) lately. I am helpless in the face of cookies in the winter, and we just polished off two gifts of them. Here again, it's all winters fault for trapping me in the house, Seasonal Affective Disorder and all, with sugar within my reach. So not only is my sugar addiction back with a vengance, but I really want to bake, because it's cold, but we already have too much junk in the house, but I caaaan't heeelp myseeeelf... It's tooooo beeeaaauutiffuuuuulll...

And I go ahead and go for the light.

Today I tackled a very ambitious baking project (oven). Cherry-Cheese Strudel from the Martha Stewart Baking Handbook. Yeah.

It was fantastically fussy. It involved stretching a huge sheet of dough on a bedsheet on my kitchen peninsula until it was completely transparent (the dough, not the sheet). Not something to whip up for afternoon tea, by any means.

But can I just say? I think my husband's eyes rolled back in his head upon his first forkful.

It's... amazing. Truly. I mean, if I do say so myself.

Then I went back to my book (woodstove).

Then I figured supper needed to be made as we could not live on decadent strudel alone, and I made a quiche (oven). And while it was in the oven, I read my book (woodstove ... seeing the pattern?).

Now, I L O V E quiche. Seriously. I think I even liked the quiche my Mom and I bought at a little stand in Switzerland. That particular quiche smelled like a wet-dog (it was the cheese), but it was delicious.

I made quiche a lot when Nathan and I were first married. I guess I was testing the bounds of Nathan's willingness to eat anything I made (I still haven't found any boundaries to this day. I am a blessed woman). I tried all sorts of variations, which were all yummy, the most infamous of which was one that featured leftover sweet potatoes. I thought it was great, and sure, Nathan ate it and said it was "just fine", but he has ever-after referred to it teasingly as "squash quiche." I have not repeated the exercise. He has since informed me that "men, in general, do not like quiche." Duly noted.

So I really enjoyed the quiche I made tonight, which I filled with pork sausage and garlic and onions and sage. It was really yummy. Nathan did rave (he is a Man Who Likes Quiche). Poor Jonah, on the other hand... well, he was valiant in his efforts. On about his third bite, I looked at him and saw him studiously chewing, with that slightly open-cheeked chew you use when you're trying not to taste anything, and I saw him close his eyes and retch slightly several times. Now, I'm usually pretty hard-nosed about ensuring that he eats what he's given, but I had to have pity this time. I praised him for trying to eat his food so politely and then told him to go get a pancake out of the fridge. That is a first. I have never, EVER let him have something else if he didn't eat what I made for supper. But he really was trying and he hasn't quite learned the trick of manipulation about supper. He pretty much always likes everything, with the exception of onions and anything that is "mixed together" like stew (which he still has to eat). I just hope this didn't teach him that gagging at the supper-table gets him a peanut butter and jelly pancake.

But how could I have produced progeny that doesn't like quiche? It's deplorable, I tell you.

I don't want to raise a quiche-hater. I want him to grow up into a Man Who Love Quiche. But I can just see him saying someday, "Oh, yuck. My Mom always used to force me to eat that stuff and I nearly Shouted at John every time." and I just can't have that.

So I guess quiche will have to be a Special Treat for Mommy from now on. Perhaps he will grow into it...


  1. When I was younger, I hated the stuff (I'll be referring to it as "the stuff" in this comment so I don't have to try to type the stupid word) as well. Mom always made me eat it, and I hated it. It was the texture or something, and I recall not really liking eggs, other than scrambled. (This stemmed back to seeing a baby chicken in a frying pan from a slightly developed egg at one point when I was a kid). Anyway, I love the stuff now, and jump at the chance to eat some well prepared stuff. Especially mom's and Sarah Bachmann's. Both excellent. But now I rarely eat it here. Not a huge Latin dish.
    Anyway, maybe Jonah will grow into Man Who Love the Stuff.

  2. Interesting to hear Kristin's take.
    Little boys here currently aren't crazy about quiche either. The rest of us LOVE it, especially leftover for breakfast.
    At the cafe where I worked, they put quiche on the breakfast menu because I suggested it. Then I ended up making "hundreds" and came up with lots of variations depending on what was in the frig (more than the usual in a cafe). Now my neighbor, Karen L., has a soup business but she occasionally makes quiche for her customers. First she'll call me for ideas, then she'll call me to find out how. Then I'll hear about how the customers raved.
    I do think Jonah will grow into it. But I love the mental pic of him going "HOI"

  3. ...and the strudel looks amazing! Can you make us some that is gluten-free?

  4. Um. No.

    See the gluten is what makes it able to be stretched until you can see through it.