A Spring Supper

Let's have a spring supper tonight. We'll start with some of those old wintry vegetables lying around in the root cellar (I like to pretend I have a root cellar sometimes).

Let's throw in some homemade pizza crust and top it with oh, let's say, turkey. It's left over from that cordon bleu casserole we made a week or so ago.

Let's finish the evening with a strawberry clafoutis, something you may not have heard of. They're wonderful. And easy. Like a tart, but without all that high-maintenence, tarty hoo-haa that usually goes into them. And it's a great food-bin for all that delicious spring fruit you have lying around (I love the concept of food-bins; quiches, tarts, soups, pizzas...all that stuff you have lying around that's gonna go bad soon? Just throw it in!).

So while we're eating this supper, let's talk about money. Do you ever worry about it?

I do. I worry about if I have enough of it now, whether I spent too much of it yesterday, and if there will be enough of it in the future when baby Max/Soren/Isaac, currently gestating, needs braces.

The other night I had a full-on freakout about it to my husband saying, I DON'T THINK WE CAN AFFORD TO HAVE A BABY RIGHT NOW (I'm about eight months along, for the record).

Ever feel like that? Like, so not ready for life, but somehow totally immersed in it? Like, I-can't-do-this-but-too-late-to-back-out-now, kinda thing?

My theory is this: I don't think it's entirely such a bad feeling. It's like the first time you dove off the high dive. Standing on the end of that long, pebbly board you would probably change your mind if you could, but no way will you be able to push back down that ladder now, past all the slippery wet folk impatiently waiting for you to just GET ON WITH IT.

The only way out is down.

Not entirely a bad thing. I mean, you went off the high dive, didn't you? It was probably even fun.

So I'm thinking, well, so maybe jr's braces will put us in the poor house someday. But right now I have a decent apartment with a usable kitchen full of delicious food. Not even that many spiders get in.

I have warm boots for when it rains.

I didn't even need them today because it was sunny.

I have maternity clothes that fit over my burgeoning belly.

I have a nice husband who will pick up the things I've dropped because bending over is a task I am not currently equipped to face.

I have time to cook, take pictures of it, and put it on a blog.

Life is suddenly looking pretty good.

This is key, I think. Remembering the present. Remind myself to just...breathe. You know. Like that song. But not as sad as that song.

More like that Coldplay song, you know the one, Don't Panic. Yeah, that's it. Let's not panic.

Clafoutis Recipe (can be made with any kind of fruit, maybe not melon)

1 T butter, at room temperature
1.5 lb fruit, dessert-ready (i.e. pitted, de-stoned, washed and hulled, whatever it requires)
3/4 c plus 2 T all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/4 c milk
1 t vanilla
powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350. Butter a shallow oven-proof dish. Spread the fruit in the dish.

Put the flour and sugar in a large bowl, mix together. Make a well in the middle. In another bowl, whisk the eggs; add the milk and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Slowly pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, beating constantly until all the liquid has been added and you have a smooth batter. Pour over the fruit.

Bake for 40 minutes, until the batter is firm to the touch and golden on top. Sift with powdered sugar on top and serve just warm.

Easy Peasy Homemade Pizza

Buy or make a pizza crust (sorry for not having a more specific recipe - they are very easy to come by though). Brush it with olive oil (this is the trick so it doesn't get soggy) and top it with a sauce you like - tomato, ranch, barbecue sauce, whatever you like. Then top it with more things you like. I like tomatoes and jalepenos and onions and turkey slices. Some people like eggs. You put it how you like it, and bake it. And eat it. With your cauliflower soup.

Cream of Cauliflower Soup (adapted from Cuisine Paradise)

1/2 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 medium sized potatoes (I recommend yukon gold), chopped
400ml chicken stock
150ml hot water

Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir occasionally for about 3 minutes or until onion has softened.

Add cauliflower and potato, stir and cook for 3 minutes.

Pour in stock and water. Season with pepper. Cover and bring to the boil.

Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until potato is tender. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Blend the soup in batches until smooth, then return to pan over low heat.

Serve with some freshly ground pepper.


Cakebrain said...

What a nice menu! Everything looks yummy! Enjoy this time in your pregnancy...I recall all sorts of strangers being so helpful and opening doors, carrying things and generally just being kind! I recall money not being as much of a concern so much as sleep!

jeannesioux said...

Oh, you are a darling, "Icy Violet". I love your writing as much as your pics and yummy recipes, I think. :)

Evelyn said...

You know, I never jumped off the diving board, literally....working on trying it figuratively. You are right though. Focusing on now, enjoying the moment, it's a good thing! I'm with Jeannie, I love that your blog is food...and so much more!

a. maren said...

aw thanks you guys! such kind words. i really appreciate you stopping by. haha and cakebrain i will try to enjoy it! i get a kick out of the waddling at least :)