|"4 cloves of garlic"? that can't be the name of this dish.|
I kept running into it because it was a note on my phone. It had no title. The note named it the first ingredient, which was 4 cloves of garlic. As it happens, I came home from work today a little bit early. Only a little, because I kept talking to people as I kept half-leaving. I think I was basically conducting a small debate with myself: go home and work? Stay at work and work? Go home, then go work out later? Work out, then go home? Etcetera. An endless and tedious set of binaries that, by delaying with a chat here and a chat there, I managed to turn into this tidy agenda:
1. Workout the Second.
This worked out nicely. Then, sweaty and virtuous, I engaged in another set of non-dilemmas:
- because it has been a long week, shall we just go get enchiladas?
- or shall I cook?
I think you see the real crux of the matter here: there is almost nothing better than enchiladas. It has been proven by science. Mexican food science. Enchiladas are the best.
But, however, and sigh, I had also read this article before I even did my first workout this morning, i.e., while I was sitting on the edge of my bed. Or maybe I was even still laying in my bed, which I like to do for fifteen minutes or an hour after the alarm goes off. Anyway: the gist of the article is that when you don't feel like doing something that is your well-established good habit--like working out or cooking dinner at home--you shouldn't just say I don't feel like it, you should investigate your feelings. And figure out the real reason, and then the real real reason, and so forth. That is, I think we can all agree, a lot of thinking to do, a lot of emotional research, when you could just be eating enchiladas and everyone will be happier because: hot cheese, you guys. You know, I know it, America knows it.
STILL. I was home early and virtuous after working out. And there was a cauliflower in my refrigerator, just sitting there, the picture of health.
LET US PAUSE TO REFLECT about vegetables in the refrigerator: there they sit, the pluperfect paragons of health and virtuous living. Steam me! they cry. Season me with herbs and/or nutritional yeast! (which btw: gross.) And yet: all that baby kale hanging out in its Trader Joe's bag like I'm the superfood of the superfoods, yo! and yet when you open the bag that has only been there...what, like a week? it has turned into the swamp of the damned. The stinky swamp of the damned just hanging out in your refrigerator! A little hellish, kale-ish half-acre, and it's only been there a week, or so.
Managing the vegetable rotation is basically a full time job, is all I'm saying.
REVENONS A NOS LEGUMES: And there was a cauliflower in my refrigerator, just sitting there, the picture of health! And lo! light went on in my brains, and that light said, hey! that one recipe! the recipe for 4 cloves of garlic? doesn't it call for a cauliflower?
Why yes, my brains, that recipe does call for a cauliflower, and also smoked paprika and thyme and so on. So I hauled that cauliflower out of the refrigerator--before it met its eventual destiny as a disgusting moldy ruin, I might add, points for me in vegetable wrangling--and made it into this, Whole Roasted Cauliflower, and dang if it wasn't perfectly delicious, along with roasted asparagus and a caprese made with slightly wrinkled cherry tomatoes and some bigger tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and burrata--thus the creamiest caprese ever.
"I roasted a cauliflower and roasted some asparagus and made a caprese for dinner," I told the historian, like NBD, and then said, offhandedly, "do you think we need anything else with that?"
"No, I don't," he said, and he was correct: absolutely correct.