Sunday, July 27


Being without a kitchen of my own is putting me in a bad place. I wander past street-side displays of oranges and onions and spontaneously daydream about citrus spring rolls for the next two blocks. I duck into Safeway to buy a lone bulbous eggplant and stare at it, longingly, guiltily, each time I open the refrigerator. I eat vegan chicken nuggets straight from the box, uncooked, piled with mounds of ketchup that drip through my fingers. I buy spices I can't use for the sheer carnal pleasure of inhaling their fragrant-but-inedible fumes, and spend far too much time browsing through thrift stores and kitchen catalogs, examining gadgets I can't yet give a proper home.  Suddenly, I inexplicably find myself in Whole Foods, sampling the watermelon and goat gouda for the third time this week.  I think I actually had an inappropriate dream involving chana masala.  And I almost bought a basil plant yesterday but caught myself before committing the poor flora to my current vagabond life.

So, dear readers, I'm asking for your help. Tell me about your favorite ways to prepare the following foods, and if you're feeling particularly generous choose one to make and tell me all about it. You can post to your own blog or leave me lurid details in the comments section. I look forward to indulging my inner gastronome vicariously through you.

What's your favorite way to use...

_Oranges (Not the only fruit, but a current obsession)
_Tofu (Look for, maybe find, something divine)
_Eggplant (Alone in the kitchen, the agony)
_Onions (Peel first, like my love)
_Basil (Search your mixed-up files)

Bonus points for identifying any or all of the literary references above.


Ariel said...

So I have this really good idea for using up eggplant and basil (do I get extra credit for using two ingredients?) Take the eggplant and slice it thickly and lay it on a grill or on an indoor grill pan. Grill it with plenty of coarse salt and peppy until it’s tender and browned. In the meantime, take some regular, crappy, store-bought balsamic vinegar and put it in a small saucepan (non-stick preferable or you’ll be cleaning the pan for awhile). On medium-high heat cook the vinegar until syrupy and reduced by half. Spoon the reduced vinegar over the eggplant and top with lots of julienned basil. Really good atop some arugula.

penny said...

can you please inform my sister that "crappy" is a poor choice of adjective?

Nancy said...

supremes-style, with seared scallops and homemade mayonnaise. Sounds disgusting, but I took a risk at a great restaurant [] when someone's rich uncle was footing the bill, and I've *almost* overcome my kitchen apathy to make it again this summer.

General Gau's "chinese" style. i.e. crispy, spicy, and bearing as little resemblance as possible to the original product.

Roasted and pulverized into dip with roasted peppers, greek yogurt, fennel and...


muddled in lemonade or, if so inspired, lemonade and vodka

Gina Marie said...

The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweather? Or something similar? I think that's the only one I've got.

Lucy said...

An inappropriate dream about chana masala, eh? I feel for you without a proper kitchen, darls! Really!!

Well, the Oranges - Jeanette Winterson (a favourite) - would go into a salad with fennel and olives.

Tofu, into a miso soup or the silken, wobbly stuff into a lemongrass and coconut milk broth.

Eggplant - it's a series of essays/stories, no? Alone In The Kitchen With (said) Eggplant - grilled over an open flame then mushed into a garlicky babaganoush.

Onions - sounds familiar - sliced and caramelised. By the tonne, for a vegan pizza with rosemary (from the garden) and potato slices.

Basil - yes, it's the beautiful children's novel from the 1960's which I used to sell hand over fist to willing young readers - why, pesto, of course!

Neen said...

I'm with Ariel, Nancy, and Lucy here: at least for the eggplant and the onion, roast/grill them with a little bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil. Oh luscious. Then take a piece of toast, put a piece of fresh basil, top with either a) a piece of yummy cheese (used to be my office's favorite snack!), or b) some of the roasted onion or eggplant. Minimum mess, maximum flavor. When does the vagabond streak end?

Allison said...

I made orange tofu. So nyah! (& thank you for the inspiration - it was delicious)

cmoore said...

That sounds delicious! And makes me long for balsamic vinegar in my cabinet. Ohh, and arugula -- I really love arugula. And, see below.

I think 'crappy' was perfectly appropriate in the example used. I side with Ariel (this time...maybe every time).

Yummm. Especially the basil lemonade. This comment was so very made me miss cooking with you, as well as being in the same state as you. But I'm disappointed you didn't identify the books, since half of them are from your bookshelf!

Gina Marie-
Close! Look for a revealing follow-up post soon :)

Well done! On the literary and culinary ends. Every single one of your selections made my mouth water. Thanks so much for commenting.

I'm homeless until I find a home! Lord, SF is ridiculous when it comes to housing. I'm crashing with a friend in the Mission until the Craigslist gods smile down upon me. Your comment reminded me I really ought to keep cheese around at all times.

And your tofu looked so delicious I may have to link to it in the very near future :)

Anonymous said...

operation performances aggregate imposed guitarist arrow beavis eighty islamic kzir illustrates
lolikneri havaqatsu


blogger templates | Make Money Online