"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities." So said the magical Maya Angelou

Friday, August 28, 2015


I'm painfully aware of the summer wane, and with it that elusive inspiration to bring forth "nature's bounty on a plate".  Summer where we go, a loose but earnest group of us celebrates Thursday's Farmers Market with a dinner, every Thursday night.  It's pot luck, so (as we say) if everyone brings kale, we eat kale for dinner.  Amazingly, the concept hasn't failed us in the 6 years since inception.  The dinners get more delicious and the company more dedicated.  

It's Friday and I missed Farmers Market Dinner last night, because I'm not on Pleasant Street.  But I brought home Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook,  "It's All Good".  It's great for virtuous recipes heavy on the bounty, it's one I use a lot on Pleasant Street.  

(About Gwyneth. I think it is that she's someone who has brought a pretty good idea to life.  Yes, with fame and fortune, but she's sharing it with all of us, in her most perfect way.  There are people like her everywhere, folks.  I'm not a hater, and in fact, she eats a lot like I eat, so I appreciate her attention. That's it on Gwyneth.) 

But today, over coffee, I have everyone home and only for a few minutes more.  I've leafed through every page of Gwyneth's gorgeous cookbook and the only recipe I can see fooling with tonight is the Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas (pg 173). 
Elusive, elusive, elusive...

So, what inspires, what transports, when life is changing and children are leaving and the only thing that stays the same is that in the evening, we eat dinner?  There are a few places I like to go for less elusive help.  One is 101 Cookbooks, a stunning "journal" by Heidi Swanson (who's cookbook, "Near & Far", came out a few days ago).  She too is pretty virtuous, but does food in a way that sounds like art and looks like art and doesn't slay you in the making.  Here's the recipe that's perked me up today.  

Broiled Saffron Dates
Because:  I love dates, I love saffron and I love Morocco. 

So, for dinner this Friday night, it's Gwyneth's Roasted Cauliflower + Chickpeas with shredded rotisserie chicken, 101 Cookbook's broiled saffron dates, some arugula drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice.  Maybe a glass of Moroccan wine.  More on that after I find one.

"The past is buried deep within the ground..., although the ancient walls in the old city are still standing, painted in electrifying variations of royal blue that make the winding roads look like streamlets or shallow ocean water."  
- Raquel Cepeda, "Bird of Paradise"

Pleasant Dreaming.

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