The joy of oral surgery

I know I promised something about cocktails, but I can’t resist a few words on oral surgery first. I had a tooth extracted today and was reminded of the great pureed and soft foods that we take for granted or overlook.

Being a vegetarian chef type gets you into all kinds of conversations, and I recently learned that my dentists’ two sons are vegetarian. So she expressed interest in trying my food and had some advice for me as a veggie faced with a few days of no chewing. (Dr. Lloyd, if you decided to tune in – hello! You did a magnificent job!)

After she proclaimed that I’d managed very well, especially “for such a small girl” and before she got concerned about my high blood pressure and ghost-pale face, she suggested cauliflower. Mash it up, she told me, and it’s wonderful. Continue reading

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Come to me, my precious!

Perhaps you’ve seen the phenomenon of ceviche.* It might begin with a happy hour group sipping half-priced margaritas at a Mexican restaurant. Around 7:30, they start eying the menu. One person suggests yucca fries to share, another the spinach quesadilla. Then one gets a mischievous look in her eye and places her finger firmly on the name of a dish. She looks meaningfully at the group, eyebrows lifted. “How about… ceviche?” She says.

Inevitably, it must be explained. A few in the group already know and say that eating raw fish in a sushi restaurant is one thing, but in this place? (At this point, someone may point toward the bartender in his tank top, standing in a puddle of spilled Corona and lime pulp). Then one of the cheap drink revelers begins a rapturous defense of ceviche — what a fresh-tasting delicacy it is, and how he used to eat it all the time when he studied abroad in Latin America somewhere. Some are convinced. Most of those who try it are enraptured; ceviche converts who take a tiny forkful at a time and savor it. Continue reading

Table for one — pronto!

Watch out, shallot!The summer after high school graduation, I worked as a cashier in a produce market. (It was Robin’s, for any of you New Paltz-area folks). There, I memorized numeric codes for at least 200 kinds of produce, including about 10 varieties each of apples, onions, and potatoes. Although the precise number that went with the purple potatoes has faded from memory, I distinctly remember one customer. He came in one day when I was bagging and a delightfully truculent co-cashier was ringing people up. This shopper unpacked his basket, revealing a series of goods bought in small quantities.

The co-cashier (let’s call her Lucinda) sized up the package of cherry tomatoes, one lemon, small bag of trail mix, and two pears and said, “Single guy, huh? I could see you a mile away!” She proceeded to tease him good-naturedly and boast about her powers of deduction.

Being the kind of 17-year-old who was only going to comment on an order if the jicama had an enormous worm wriggling out of it, I was embarrassed. But I soon realized Lucinda was very astute. The guy chuckled nervously and nodded. I thanked my lucky stars that I had my family to return to that evening, even if we didn’t always sit down together for a meal.

For the next several years, I cooked and ate with my family, in a student dining co-op, or in a group house. Now I’m cooking just for myself, and I can really feel for that guy. Continue reading

Jumping out of your skin (in a good way)

Kids and grown-ups alike just love to see things grow. If you ever watched, fascinated, as your childhood sea monkeys went through their short jig of a lifespan, you know what I mean. If you feel compelled to put seeds in soil every spring, or even if you enjoy seeing a whole bunch of new messages expanding your email inbox, you’ve experienced the grown-up version.

Sadly, right now, everything seems stagnant. It’s consistently cold and icy outside, with just slight variations between you-may-or-may-not-need-a-hat cold and you’ll-die-without-a-ski mask cold. Just a few miles from me as I write this, Congress looked at a resolution that would have nudged the situation in Iraq with the force of a feather and declared it was too much. Best not to upset the status quo. I also swear that my email traffic has gone down, perhaps giving in to the phenomenon of things getting slower in colder temperatures.

Continue reading

Mole mole!

 

Ok, for once I decided not to tackle making a condiment from scratch. I’ve long heard about mole (for those not down with the Spanish, it’s pronounced “MO-lay”), a Mexican sauce famous for having many, many ingredients. Continue reading

Your first step toward delectability

Welcome to You are Delicious! Stay tuned for your soon-to-be-favorite food musings.

I hope you will enjoy this place to read, experiment, get inspired, and get delicious!

One important note: your feedback on the posts will be extremely helpful. Please comment to your heart’s content.