Sunday, September 12, 2010

I love the smell of fresh basil in the morning.

Yesterday we bought a metric ton of vegetables and fruit--mostly vegetables--at the farmer's market. This matches the metric ton of vegetables and fruit we bought last week. I could not help myself. The historian likes to get sacksful of grapes from this one family, and I like to buy piles of basil and arugula and eggs and bread and peaches and corn. Hence the tonnage. All this food made me feel pensive.

Me: I'm going to cook a whole bunch of things tomorrow, and then we can just eat it all week. Like, corn salad . . . and pesto . . . and quinoa salad . . . and that one sausage casserole for singing son and his family [note: a baby is arriving at their house soon, so the sausage thingie is to put in the freezer for a rainy day, aka a day when there is fussing and diapers and no time to cook.] . . . and gazpacho and ratatouille and vegetable curry!

The historian: [noncommital but encouraging remark. He's heard me in this enthusiastic fantasy before. Still, everyone acknowledges that this would be a good thing, all this cooking and putting the food in a state where we could actually eat it, as opposed to watching it become slowly, slowly less edible by the day in the refrigerator.]

Me: . . . and caprese salad!

Little did any of us know, least of all me, that I would wake up in a state of being moved in fact, as opposed to "in theory," by the Spirit of Cooking. I got up and made myself both toast and a list:
  • pesto
  • sausage thing for singing son
  • corn salad
  • quinoa salad
  • vegetable curry
  • caprese salad
  • ratatouille
  • gazpacho
  • red beans
The list also comprised a pile of other stuff, non-cooking stuff, almost none of which I've done. It turns out that cooking motivates me more intrinsically than grading. Huh, who knew.

I actually ended up cooking only about half of the things on the list. But I think I can make two or three more of them tomorrow. And that means, the people, that at our house we can just about do no cooking all week, which, in a week with a pile of upcoming meetings and less spare time than is actually desirable for an activity I like to call "living my life," a lot of food ready to eat with no more effort than opening the refrigerator door, a spoon in hand, is a good thing.


  1. Thank you for the sausage casserole meals! That will most definitely be a lifesaver. You're the best!

  2. I am swimming in your sea of vegetables. I love this list. I have yet to make quinoa (I've had it out in the world but haven't made it at home). I'd love to hear the recipe.

  3. Sounds wonderful.

    I made a caprese salad yesterday for a family gathering. Didn't have quite enough basil, but it was still v. satisfying.

  4. Just reading this makes me hungry/tired.
    Sounds delicious.

  5. I do love this time of year and the bounty at farmer's markets. My weakness is shell beans which are so beautiful red and white both pod and bean inside. And real tomatoes which only ripen now here but are worth the wait.



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