I love to cook. I hate to clean up. I have watched my amazing professional chef friend, Doug Scott (Boulder, Colorado), cook genius meals, and keep the kitchen as clean as when he started, dancing around the kitchen like the pro he is – like some amazing ballerina! Or whatever you call guy ballerinas! He once whipped up some Grande Marnier crepes for us, just on a whim, and they were sooooo fine . . . and it was like he didn’t even use a pan! The kitchen was clean before he finished!!! How does he do that?!
I watch Rocco’s Dinner Party and Top Chef on Bravo, and even the sloppiest chefs keep their kitchens cleaner than I do as they cook. I have not mastered this art. (BTW, I am now Tweeting every Wednesday night during my watching of that show – follow RoccosDinnerParty on Twitter!) Which might explain why my kitchen is not clean yet . . .
I’m still cleaning up from last night’s venture. Or, rather, procrastinating thinking about cleaning. Which IS an art I’ve mastered.
Okay, about the food: I live in a rural area, and the fresh veggies available are awesome – especially when your neighbors drop them off on your porch. My bud Alisa dropped off a huge bag of fresh-picked (you know ‘cuz the dirt was still on ’em) veggies, and it was the perfect makins’ for calabacitas. There was fresh eggplant (saved that for later), summer squash, zucchini, jalapeños, tomatoes, and some bigass ears of corn. I added cheese and cumin near the end – which made it über-yummy, to use a technical foodie term.
I actually wore gloves to handle the jalapeños for roasting and peeling – but of course, I then handled the knife handle with bare hands, so my hands stung a little anyway. I made it the whole evening without touching my eyeballs!! A minor (read: major) victory for me! I usually forget, rub my eyes with my peppery hands, and spend the evening looking like I’m weeping at previews for The Real Housewives of New Jersey.
Last time I made my two-day mole, I didn’t wear gloves. My hands were red and burning for three days. I touched my eyeballs many times, to wipe away the tears from touching my eyeballs the last time. I was a mess.
Anyway, mijo Andrew made Navajo fry bread to go with the calabacitas, and it was awesome! This meal was kinda inspired by my visit to the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian with some of my art students (thanks to a Target grant, and am I being too tangential and parenthetical?). More specifically, and less parenthetically, our visit to the CAFETERIA of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. Awesome Native American foods, and I spent part of the time salivating (not literally, because that grosses out middle-schoolers) over some of the kids’ choices: fiddle fern salad, fry bread tacos, and the exotic delicacy known as “chicken fingers.” Okay, so I didn’t salivate over that. But only one kid opted for the typical fast-food fare – all the others went experimental – and they LOVED it!
Anyway, we had an awesome meal last night. Calabacitas, fry bread, no eyeball touching . . . what’s not to love?
peace and good food, y’all,