Life is constantly changing. It's been a week of snow and that forced us to modify the way we do things around here. There have been a few snow days and I'm struggling with this cold/flu thing that's been going around. Long driveways seem like a great idea until it's time to dig them out in order to make your home accessible to the world. Instead of shopping every couple of days, we've been cooking from our pantry. It's been an interesting experience.
There are things in the refrigerator that we tend to ignore, depending upon the season and where our heads are at. Teaching workshops means that we buy whatever looks great in the market but sometimes we can't get through everything in a day or four, as the case may be, and they end up in the refrigerator for us to be inspired by. That doesn't always work out as well as we might like. I read a quote by Elena Brower today: "Preferences limit what's possible." It completely resonated with where my head is right now. Sometimes I look at ingredients and think that I'd prefer not to cook with them, and every time I do that I'm missing an opportunity.
Sometimes it's sheer laziness. There were two whole celeriac in the fridge that I'd been avoiding simply because I didn't feel like wrestling with them. Even with years of experience, shaving off that skin can be a deal-breaker. Yesterday I got tired of looking at them and made up my mind to use the celery root for dinner. My preferred method for cleaning them is to slice off the top and bottom, after washing of course, and then stand up the root up on my cutting board and use a large serrated knife to pare away the skins, the same way I do it for large melons. It did take a bit of effort, the flesh is dense when raw, but not that much time at all. Then I cut it into 3-4 inch long batons, tossed them in olive oil, salt, and a touch of curry powder, and roasted them at 425°F for about an hour. They tasted so good and were so easy to make that I wondered what I had been waiting for. Sometimes you just have to get out of your own way.
February 4, 2005