Do you remember the first time you stood up to your mother?
Maybe it was “I am not going to vacuum” or
maybe it was “I am not going to lift that pencil and start writing” or
“I am not going to eat the rest of that egg”
and for 30 seconds that felt like somebody poured cement in your shoes and unplugged the television you were unsure
how it was going to turn out.
Without the trauma I said I wasn’t cooking last night. Jonathan laughed and Ferdinand said, “Yes!”
We went out for Vietnamese.
Sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking and it could be because you had no sleep or you’re down to your last can of beans or you just flat out do not want to cook. You want the Glenda the Good to shake up some fresh peas from the Spring earth and fly them up from North Carolina or wherever they are in bloom at the moment and toss them all together with a few snappy string beans and some baby green leaves of one thing or another and on the side sassy spicy potatoes and then some of those black beauty lentils with a citrusy vinaigrette that you can pick at when you feel like it and not have anybody say they hate it or ask why we have to always eat so many vegetables.
The biggest problem when it comes to feeling inspired is that inspiration comes from that feeling of
“YES! WHAT ELSE?! I LOVE IT! GIVE ME MORE! KEEP GOING!
When you have a 10 year old the scales are tipped and they are tipped heavily in the direction of,
“I don’t like it. I don’t need it. I wish you wouldn’t cook that. Why do have to cook that? Why would you do that to me?”
So sometimes I just dream of what I would make if Ferdinand magically loved all things green and zesty.
Yotam Ottolenghi wrote a whole book about it.
What I would pick:
Green bean salad, curried new potatoes and a side of spicy lentils (I changed them up a bit as I was feeling INSPIRED.)
Braise one pound of flageolet in salted simmering water w/a sprig of parsley and spill of olive oil until just tender. Drain. Do the same w/half a pound of fresh or frozen peas and a bunch of pencil thin asparagus (only 2-3 minutes in the water.) Toss everything together with whatever baby leaves you can find along with some cut fresh chive, fresh tarragon and flat leaf parsley. Toss it all with a dressing of a tiny spill of maple syrup, a half teaspoon of dijon, a teaspoon of minced shallot, a squeeze of lemon, a pour of red wine vinegar and double that amount of olive oil, all whisked together with salt and pepper.
Serve it w/a new potato salad with a toasted crushed cardamom, coriander, cumin, clove and turmeric, fresh ginger, shallot all stirred into a bit of melted butter and poured over with another squeeze of lemon and chopped fresh mint leaves.
and another little side of puy lentils marinated w/lemon, garlic, thyme, chile, and olive oil.
I think it would all go really well with a glass of fresh limeade.