Midwinter Break-Busting Meatballs

February 26, 2012 § 4 Comments

My children’s school district has invented a week-long holiday called ‘Midwinter Break’.  It falls about three minutes after ‘Winter Break’ and two minutes before ‘Spring Break’.  There are no Christmas presents to play with, and the weather outside is usually awful.  Sometimes I think Midwinter Break exists to derail my daily routine, sometimes I think it is a wonderful chance to spend hours alone with my girls.  It just depends.

Generally, I consider myself very lucky to be a ‘stay at home’ parent (I like that description better than ‘underemployed’).  But at the dawn of Midwinter Break, 6 1/2  days ago, as I watched my husband leave for his desk job I felt raw envy.  Luckily I had a plan.  Phase one: The 2012 Midwinter Break Film Festival, an annual event held in my living room (sometimes there are double features).  Phase two: Cook and eat and cook some more.  And do it with such enthusiasm and verve that my daughters want to do it, too!  Yaaaaaaay!!  A key component to getting the girls revved up about helping me peel and chop vegetables is to promise a favorite dish at the end.  That could be 1) Home-made Potato Chips, 2) anything involving duck fat, or 3) spaghetti with meatballs.  This week called for Spag & Balls.   « Read the rest of this entry »

A Tuber Like No Other

February 10, 2012 § 3 Comments

It’s getting difficult for me to muster enthusiasm about winter food.  Roasted root vegetables were just right in November.  Kale chips thrilled me in December.  January, what would you have been without beets?  But today I want food that is crisp, and bright, and extremely perishable.  Alas, it is February, and Mother Nature says: DENIED.  So, plan B is to  explore winter vegetables that are new to me –  undiscovered treasures that will deliver the excitement of The First Time.  And that’s how I met my new friend, the Jerusalem Artichoke (nickname: ‘sunchoke’).  Not the sexiest piece of produce I’ve ever laid eyes on, but what it lacks in good looks it makes up in rich, nutty flavor.  Sunchokes will keep my love alive until the first snap peas appear. « Read the rest of this entry »

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