Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cooking up a storm

Natchitoches meat pies and tabbouleh
            A friend wrote me today that she spent Sunday morning planting. She knew, she said, she should have been in church, but she wanted to get these plants in and mulched before she left town. I told her she planted, I cooked, and we both worshipped in our own ways. And cook I up a storm I did.

I was cooking for a celebration dinner—oldest daughter, Megan, and her youngest son, Ford, arrived tonight for a week. When I said to Ford we were expecting special company, he asked who, and I said, “You?” Earned me a big grin.

Ford and Jacob will go to TCU baseball camp for four days, the girls and I will work during the day, each of us at our own jobs (Megan is a lawyer and Jordan a travel agent—me? I write!) but we’re looking forward to a lot of good meals and visiting time. Tonight’s menu was homemade hummus for appetizer, cheeses and vegetables.

Notes from the gourmet on a hot plate: I spent the whole morning making the hummus and tabbouleh, both better than what we buy in the store. Hummus was a problem until Jordan discovered I have a large pot that will work on my hot plate. I soaked the garbanzos overnight, refrigerated them for a day, and cooked them for forty-five minutes this morning. The hummus is really easy—you put everything in the food processor with a saved half cup or more of cooking water (I say more because the hummus was a bit stiff). Put spices, oil, and all in and blend. You could easily do this with canned garbanzos—I don’t know if it would be better or not.
homemade hummus

Tabbouleh was more work. You soak bulgur wheat in boiling water. Add spices and let it sit, while you make a lemon/oil dressing, whisking the oil into the lemon. Separately chop four cups parsley, a cup mint, a large tomato. Fluff wheat with a fork, add to dressing, and fold in veggie mix. Chill. Really good—six of us ate the whole thing tonight, and I promise I’m not doing all that chopping again soon.

I asked Ford if he eats tabbouleh, and he said, “I don’t know what it is, but I’ll eat it.” He loved it, had two or three helpings. Such a delight to have a child be such an enthusiastic eater.

Assembly line: me rolling out biscuits, Megan filling them
Main dish: Natchitoches meat pies, a recipe I remember from years ago when I taught a creative writing class that really bonded, to use a trendy, trite word. For the last session, I invited them to my house for a pot-luck supper, and one man brought these pies. I thought I’d lost the recipe during the great downsize, but it surfaced. They are, quite frankly, a pain to make, but we cheated and used refrigerator biscuits that I split in half and rolled out into thin larger circles. The girls filled each circle with meat, folded and crimped the edges. The recipe said deep-fat fry, but we brushed them with an egg wash and put them in the oven. We ate thirteen of them.

Tonight I am tired but happy. Love having more of my “chickens” under my roof.

No comments: