05 July, 2009

baby beets

Sometimes I get the urge to cook. Not often enough to cause a problem in my schedule or my leisure time. Or my work time for that matter. It's actually rare, perhaps every 6 weeks, but definitely more frequent than the urge to clean the house. I stop by my neighborhood farmer's market on Sunday morning and I am inspired by the fresh produce or the artisan cheese and it hits me. So I buy something irresistible, nutrient dense, without really knowing who will be eating it. But knowing it won't be just me. I knew I had olive bread from "Rustica" at home, so I picked up a wedge of artisan goat cheese to compliment the Thai-style beet soup I was planning to prepare with the beautiful beets I had purchased. I decided to steam them instead of roasting. I sauteed sweet onions in unsalted butter, whooshed it in the blender with chicken stock and added a little sea salt, rosemary, cinnamon and coconut cream. The flavor was rich and intense. If it would have been a hot summer day, I would have served it cold with yogurt garnish. But eating it steaming hot was perfect. Followed by a melt-in-your-mouth rhubarb cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream. It was a wicked ending to the festive 4th of July weekend. In the past I have been a meticulous cook, devoting my full attention to the creation of a meal. Recently I have been more easily distracted by food preparation. For me this results in burnt pans, sometimes destroyed as I forget that I have put something on a burner, using high heat, and then forgotten about it. Distracted by a writing idea, or a phone call, or a business appointment, I don't even notice what is occurring until my nose reminds me of the forgotten pan. Today was a huge success in that, knowing my tendency, I kept everything on low, slow heat. I still forgot about the steaming beets, but the damage was minimal and easily remedied. The soup was unique, the company charming, and the dishes quickly in the dishwasher. In time to relax over a cup of jasmine tea before bed. 

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