Spring has sprung, and so has my appetite, so I'm back with a new approach to the Louisville Lady Gourmet. This is still a continuation of my love affair of food, but instead of making you all endure my already minimalist approach to recipe writing, I'm just going to document my experiences with food, the way it was or I think it should be made, and then we're going to see if it flies.
There is something special about people's relationship to food. It is the primary activity we all share, aside from birth and death. Everyone likes their food to taste good, to come from the earth instead of a tin, and to provide nourishment enough to make it to the next meal. Beyond all of that, we find ourselves seeking out meal companions to share these moments with, when we can all sit down for a little break and enjoy the same activity no matter who we are.
We are lucky enough to have a great neighbor across the hall, who is willing to try out my food experiments, and offer an equal (and often greater) exchange of goods. So, one day I had some okra in the fridge, as I do now in fact, and I decided to whip up some fresh okra and corn fritters with a little red onion and garlic. I think fried okra is my favorite food, but these fritters hit the spot and stayed true to the delicious Southern tradition. I guess as long as corn meal and okra are paired, you can't go wrong. Not long thereafter, I shot a call across the hall to see if there were appetites to be assuaged, and what do you know? There were! So we trucked on over with our plate of fritters and soon we were eating them and drinking cold beers, with some pork cutlets and garlic rice thrown on the fire for our second course.
|Post-thanksgiving turkey croquetas|
This continued on my journeys in Spain, arguably the place where my most intense and rewarding adventures in food were. I have a dear friend, whom I am sure I've mentioned before, who also liked the idea of sharing food resources. I have a penchant for cooking whatever I have left in the pantry at the end of the week, and making a few courses of interesting combinations with nothing left to waste. She has the gift of blissful conversation, engaging rhetoric, and great friendship. This served us well on adventures with frushi (strawberries from Huelva rolled in sushi rice), grilled romaine hearts with dressing, beans and rice, fish, salads, omelets, basically anything that could be created from our laughable leftovers.
These experiences have made me into the person I am. I make food everyday that transports me back to these moments in time. I guess this slice of the virtual world is used to immortalize those moments and to remind me that they never really go away.
Today, with the language classes I teach, I am bringing my students into the kitchen and inviting the real world application of preparing food and kitchen conversation into foreign language acquisition. I've had some great response to it, both from my students' satisfaction and their progress. I don't know why I didn't act on it sooner. Most recently, I gave a Spanish class in which we prepared chiles en nogada, a traditional Mexican dish. A few weeks before that I prepared cactus, which is a staple to many people, but rarely eaten here. And of course I had to go back to my roots by whipping up some sopa de garbanzos, patatas bravas, and ensalada con queso cabrales.
|Chiles en nogada with Mexican rice|