Monday, March 22, 2010

Out of chaos comes...

Thankfully in my case tonight it was a good meal. Sometimes with all of this food business, plus maintaining my role as a wife and mother, its like I have to catch up with myself. I will add that to my eternal list of things to do. But all in all cooking is a blessing. There are still moments where I find myself excited about the possible outcome of a new meal experiment, how a new spice will go with an old favorite, how excited the children may be to see there favorite meal on the menu.

Over and over I keep hearing that in the food service business one has to get use to doing the same things over and over again. A client likes something, they want it and they want it the way they had it when they fell in love with it (wow its sounds like a relationship). I mean Mc Donalds, its the Big Mac, Burger King, the Whopper, me its the vegan cookies at Whole Foods (lol). I must say that I am still trying to adjust to this concept. See the joy for me in cooking is the creative challenge, venturing into new ground, new cultures, new tastes, new textures. Its the new colors and smells. Its "my thing". Having a bad day, stressed out...I'm running towards the kitchen, to work it out and voila!!! we have a really good meal. For instance, today was a hectic one. I headed to the kitchen, turned the radio on real loud (Corrine Bailey Rae and Raheem Devaughn's new cds) and I just went all in. I've have been really feeling some Ethiopian inspiration. So I made lentils with berbere spices and peppers, baby bok choy fresh from the garden, brown rice and guacamole with seaweed. Yum!!! It was perfect and I felt 10...well 8 times better afterwards.

So the challenge. Food wise, I have been in a rut of sorts. Most people want the same thing. I swear I can make falafel in my sleep, lentil patties in a tornado, and pasta and potatoes, well the baby can make pasta and potatoes. The conflict is I appreciate that the food is cherished and well liked and some days I am in need of something new.

Something that babies probably wont like, because children for the most part, like it real simple when it comes to their food. For instance, last week we had a power outage on our block. We have an electric stove so there was no way we were cooking. I had to make sandwiches for the children. When I walked into one of the schools, one of the 4 years old, said "Mama JoVonna, thank you for bringing us bread." LOL!!! How should I have felt about that? LOL!!! The rest of the gang was "YAY!!!! Sandwiches!!!"

Or another mystery. They love, what I feel are my mistakes. So, I have this thing where besides lentil patties, I have the strangest experiences with making patties/burgers. I mean they never come out the way I (keyword being I) want them to. I take all the well known steps from breadcrumbs, energy egg replacer, flax seed, flour...somehow they just never come out the way I envisioned them in my head. And still the people love them. Like my chick pea pancakes which were suppose to be chick pea patties. I'm really not quite sure what happened (will post recipe below, open to suggestions), but they ended up being like these strange pancake things, that of course the children loved. Well I suppose what am I complaining about, at the end of the day, its about the people being excited about the food.

I will just have to learn how to experiment on my own time and pray that my brain doesnt explode.

Chick Pea Patties/Pancakes (tips would be helpful)

  • 1 pot of cooked Garbanzos/chickpeas
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Berbere seasonings.
  • Ener-G egg replacer (the equivalant of, heck I lost count, maybe 6-8 eggs/lol)
  • breadcrumbs and flour to thicken and help stick together
  • salt to taste
  • a small amout of h2o
  • about 1 cup of oil.
So I didnt measure anything...I blended everything together by hand. Lightly oiled a skillet. Spooned large clumps of pattie mix into a skillet browned one side of the patty and then flattened it. Flipped it over and browned the opposite side. And the end result was Chickpea Pancakes (thanks Ananse Kurom for the Love

My Kitchen Sounds like: Corrine Bailey Rae "The Sea" and Raheem Devaughn "Love and War: The Masterpeace.