monkeygreens


We Be Foodies/ Part 1
July 1, 2011, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Recipes and Ideas

Yeah I know its a bit of a catch phrase and it even has a certain elitist arrogance to it right??? Foodie. It eludes to a secret society of knowledge and prowess, where those of us included in the very selective group know something YOU don’t. Quite the contrary. In fact I think it has more to do with the fact that there are some of us who consider eating kind of — a hobby. And when cooking is already your hobby, and growing what you eat is practically your religion….well than food is HUGE in your life. At least it is at the MonkeyHouse. Yes I will go so far as to say that to MM and MG food has a spiritual impact on our lives. And I have the gut and the cellulite to prove it!

So last night I, MonkeyGrrrl, had a humidity spawned migraine and the Mr. was sweet enough to turn on the air for me to cool things off. You see, our house turns 100 next year! And its pretty big, especially since its just us and our kids (3 cats, 2 dogs) Its expensive to heat and cool, but more importantly, we enjoy seeing just how far we can go without having to waste energy for our own comfort. Well…. last night we caved.

Anyhoo, so I am upstairs with one of my feline companions, luxuriating in the air conditioning, watching The Big C on dvd, and in wafts (UNDER THE DOOR MIND YOU) the most seductive smell. It smelled like the most delicious exotic dish…I was thinking lamb stuffed grape leaves (even though I don’t eat lamb I still respect its allure) or beef sautteed with onions and collards (which my hubby does make often and I cannot describe how scrumptious it is in all of its simplicty). The scent was growing stronger and beyond description…whatever lay downstairs needed to be in my belly. So I slid on the flip flops and pad pad pad downstairs where the kitchen was empty — and clean! I wandered down to the basement to find out what was happening — had I imagined it all???

MonkeyMan noticed my excitement right away and informed me that alas, he had only been putting up our leeks. You see, this year we are on an all out ONION BINGE (I will definitely describe the onion experience later) and since we are amatuers when it comes to growing leeks, we just now realized we gotta pluck those suckers and start putting them up. If you aren’t familiar with leeks, well, they are like super big green onions, but they have layers which grow vertically like cylinders. They make great soup (especially with potatoes) and they also are terrific in quiche and other egg dishes, but really they can be used in a variety of applications. As a child my mother used them to make Vichyssoise (a French cold potato soup). When mom bought them they were always hoary and thick and tough, and I never saw their appeal. That is probably because the groceries sell them past their ultimate prime, which is in their youth, when they are still tender and a beautiful bright green. We were given two options to preserve, either light blanching and freezing or blanching, a quick sautee in butter sauce and then freezing. Both of us were hesitant to use the butter as we feared rancidity.

So all he was doing was blanching leeks. Where that meat smell came from we have no idea, but even this morning as we rose to prepare for work — there was still the lingering odor of a fabulous carnal feast. It’s so interesting the things that you learn when you grow your own food and preserve it for winter. You always discover new procedures and the experience is never dull. As we dig into those leeks this winter for our piping hot soups and ‘kitchen sink’ stir frys…we will never forget the first time we learned how fabulous they smell…and how they tricked us into thinking they were meat.

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