I miss cooking. A lot. I’m on a little “holiday” from work, meaning I’ve got all the time in the world. But I’m not supposed to use my hands. It’s been 4 weeks or so since I started resting, and still no clarity as to what’s going on. I’m still in pain, and it seems to be spreading. Tomorrow I get to see a rheumatologist and start the lovely process of bloodwork. Good times…
In the meantime, I am bored. I’ve even resorted to arguing health care reform on my hometown’s local newspaper’s website. Sad. So tonight I cracked. I wanted food. Home cooked food. Despite my current useless culinary status, the CSA box just keeps on coming, and those veggies aren’t cooking themselves. So I went “comfort food”, to make me feel better about this annoying moment in my life. Creamed corn, caramelized carrots, lemony zucchini fritters, brown lima beans stewed in bacon. Easy stuff mostly. Stuff that doesn’t really need recipes or technique, just some attention. And some bacon of course.
And biscuits. Which was probably not the smartest move, but hey, at this point, what’s one more ibuprofen?
OK, I will officially stop feeling sorry for myself now.
FINALLY. John cooks for me. Granted there was a dinner party, and we were making an appetizer. But still. I love it when he cooks. And there’s no better way to make me happy than with homemade gnocchi.
He started by boiling potatoes and pushing them through a ricer.
Then he mixed in some flour, salt and egg.
And kneaded it into a dough.
Then he rolled out little rods and chopped them into little pillows.
Many many pillows!
And ok, so I had to do SOMETHING. So I made a sauce to toss those little gnocchi in. A cilantro jalepeno pesto, with a little cream. It was perfect, all I had to do was throw it all in the food processor. So no hurting of my delicate little hands…
And we served it with some sauteed sweet corn & zucchini, topped with a bit of pancetta and some parmesan.
And it was awesome.
CILANTRO JALEPENO PESTO:
2 bunches cilantro leaves
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup almonds
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
– Process everything in the food processor until smooth scraping down the sides.
– Through the feed tube as the machine is running, slowly add 1/2 cup olive oil and continue pureeing until smooth.
I should be writing about 4th of july foods. I had PLANS people. BIG PLANS. Plans involving BBQs, homemade sloppy joe sliders on homemade brioche buns, cucumber pickles, baked beans (and I make some mean baked beans), pies, popsicles. But instead I’m on leave of absence from my job. “But Brandi”, you say, “doesn’t that leave you more time for painstakingly tedious kitchen experiments?” Yes, it does. Except I’m on leave because of a nasty flare-up of tendinitis in my left hand, which is the good one. So I’m gonna slow down a tad, let my hand rest a bit. It’s actually strapped into a sinister little sleeve, so I don’t have much choice. I’m banking on making puppy face at my friends until they cook for me, and then I’ll write about that. But until that happens, it’s all takeout and Trader Joes frozen chicken tikka masala meals. I did manage to convince John to chop up our CSA box veggies for a soup, so there’s hope that I don’t die of missing homemade food sadness disease.
Next week I’m heading to Bama for my R&R. Mostly to get out of John’s hair, but also to give my grandma the pleasure of taking care of me. I’ll be gone for 10 days and hoping to return with happy and usable fingers…