There were a few weeks following Kirios’ departure for Europe when I noticed that I was less interested in cooking. I did my best to keep busy during the weekends, including my trip toN ew York, and during the week I generally wanted to rest in the evenings. I made some simple meals – stir-fries and pastas with leftovers to bring to work. And there were a lot of sandwiches; avocado and basil & olive oil asiago cheese on an everything bagel was a popular lunch choice. It was a rather satisfying sandwich, but after two weeks or so, I missed eating more exciting meals and I missed cooking them too.
So in the last week I made a point to get back in the kitchen. On Sunday, I made a cabbage salad with scallions, oranges, and ramen, with a simple oil/red wine vinegar/sugar dressing. It’s a great refreshing summer salad. I knew I needed something heavier, since I’ve learned it’s better to have a side salad than an entrée salad when trying to keep my Crohn’s Diseased tummy happy. So I also made a pot of ravithia, a Greek chick pea stew that Kirios and I first made together with directions from his Mom. This time I left out the celery, because it’s just not a vegetable I would ever pick to eat. And I also added a big potato making the stew even heartier. It may not have been the most seasonal option, but it filled me up for several days and tasted wonderful.
On Monday night I still had plenty of leftovers, so instead of cooking another meal, I baked a pie. I used four apples and two pears for the filling, but it was hard to differentiate a difference in flavor from a regular apple pie. All in all, the pie came out extremely well with a salty and flakey crust and fruit that still had some crunch in the middle.
Tuesday my college friend came over for a dinner bon voyage pizza dinner. He works on a cruise line and is generally only in town for short visits home in between ship contracts, so we developed a tradition of sharing homemade pizza together to celebrate either his return or departure, since it was one of his favorite meals I made in college. Little did he know that in addition to our pizza, topped with red and yellow peppers, scallions, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and fresh parmesan cheese (a filling meal with thick crust on its own) he would also be served an appetizer of cabbage salad and a dessert of pie. My friend brought beer to go with our meal and I must admit I didn’t have any room for pie.
By Wednesday I was ready for a break from all of the cooking and enjoyed my leftovers. On Thursday, I decided it had been too long since I had red meat, so I made a trip to Koshermart. I stocked up on a variety of beef items, but was hungry by the time I made it back from the store so I ate more leftovers. Friday I was invited to have Shabbat dinner with a family, so I actually didn’t do anymore cooking until Saturday. But I still had the cooking bug. I make a spicy Indian cauliflower by roasting the cauliflower with oil and turmeric, and then adding a tomato sauce with garlic powder and large quantities of garam masala. The result was a heavy and potent vegetable dish.
Kirios returned from his travels Saturday evening (and enjoyed some pie when we reunited). So for lunch on Sunday I wanted to share a nice welcome home lunch together. We broiled veal chops with curry powder and variety of other spices, and enjoyed it with roasted pine nut couscous, spicy cauliflower, and homemade challah. The veal was well cooked, but slightly over-spiced. I was thrilled to have meat again. And even more thrilled to have Kirios back!