Thursday, August 09, 2007

cooking

As long as I'm getting back on the horse, I may as well dig in a bit with two posts in one day. Besides, with the random collection of thoughts that I posted a little while ago, I just couldn't resist continuing the trend :-)

We're in the Dormition Fast, of course. I'm feeling a bit intimidated by the three-month gap between now and the Nativity Fast. I've really been struggling to control how much I eat when I'm not fasting. Maybe now that I've read John Cassian twice on gluttony, I'll be a little better armed this time. Anyway, I'm preparing my own food as usual during a fast, and I've tried a few new things.

While I was home, Julie got this cooking show from the library--it's called Oliver's Twist, although I can't remember the guy's full name. He's a young Brit, who does manly things like "bashing" all his spices with a mortar and pestle and using chili peppers in pretty much everything. It's more entertaining than most cooking shows I've been subjected to, and I picked up a few ideas. Mostly it's just made me more adventurous about experimenting with spices.

I've been a big fan of hummus since I started fasting, but never tried making it myself until now. My first attempt wasn't great, but good enough that I don't plan to waste money on store-bought stuff anymore. I figured I'd start simple, with chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic. It came out kind of thick--next time I might try adding back in some of the water from the chickpea can. The flavor didn't seem quite right either. The tahini taste was stronger than most hummus I've had, and the garlic weaker. I'll have to play with the proportions a bit. I also want to try some other spices to give it more kick.

Speaking of kick, we've had this Anchor Bar Buffalo wing sauce hanging around for a few years. A while back, someone was moving and giving away a Fry Daddy. I decided to take it so I could make my own chicken wings. It worked well enough, but I couldn't bring myself to throw out the oil every time, so it got pretty rancid. Julie didn't like it stinking up the house, so I eventually gave up. For as often as I eat wings, I can just buy them pre-made. But Julie had got me this sauce, and it's just been hanging around. I tried it on fish last weekend and liked the result. I'll probably do that kind of thing more often. I might even try putting it in a future batch of hummus :-)

The other day, I was browsing through some old posts on my Godmother's blog. (She expresses reservations about calling her sponsor, who's only five years older, her Godmother; but I have no such qualms, as long as she can turn a pumpkin into a car when I need it.) She mentioned some bean enchiladas that looked interesting but too much like work. More useful for my taste was the Frito pie tip--heat up some beans, diced tomatoes, and salsa, pour over Fritos. A dish worthy of my cooking skills! We're still getting meals trickling in from the whole giving birth thing, and someone brought over tacos the other day. I figured it was a good opportunity to try concocting something, so I looked through what we had in the cupboard--a can of black beans, a can of diced tomatoes with green chili peppers, and some plain corn tortilla chips. I threw in some taco seasoning and made a pretty tasty dip, if a bit watery. (Julie told me I should have drained the tomatoes first. Oh, well--maybe I'll have the rest as soup tonight.)

Oh, and I almost forgot--we had some bananas that were getting old. Normally, I'd make banana bread, I don't know of a vegan recipe. So instead I made a dessert dip. I mashed them up, mixed in honey and peanut butter, and dipped graham crackers in the result. It looked pretty ugly, but tasted great. I might have to make some for a fasting potluck one of these days. (Credit goes to Julie for thinking of graham crackers--I was just going to use tortilla chips.)

5 comments:

Jim Nee said...

The banana things sounds nearly palatable!

We've discovered that mixing humus with salsa makes for this creamy-like-thing that is very easy on the taste buds. :)

Anonymous said...

I have Vegan banana bread recipes if you want them...

The not so fairy Godmother...

Trevor said...

Of course, I'm interested! (Now I just need to keep anyone from touching those bananas until they turn brown :-)

magda said...

No doubt you already got a vegan banana bread recipe from your Godmother, but I thought I'd add my hint. From the monastery cookbook "Simply Heavenly," you can make a fake egg (they call it a "N'Egg") which is useful in baking:

2 Tbsps flour
1 1/2 tsps oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsps water

I use this with Duncan Hines brownie mix (no dairy products listed), but have to add a little less oil. They last longer without getting stale, and my husband likes them better than the regular kind made with eggs.

Trevor said...

Thanks for the tip! That should come in handy for several things :-) (Though I'm guessing it doesn't work if you just want to eat an egg.)