At some point in your life you decide you have everything you could possibly need and most of what you want. At this point you are able to understand ideas of simplicity. You stop buying every brand of detergent to see which is best, staying at home becomes the free-time choice, you enjoy sparsely clad, tidy closets and food becomes almost boring. You find the most satisfying dishes are homey and primitive: a pot of soup, a loaf of bread or a simple steamed vegetable. And who wants to read about that on a blog?

Of course I have been cooking and eating, keeping to my mantra of healthy, and doing my best to feed everybody from sustainable sources, but it all just seems so simple and unappealing that I haven’t wanted to bother you with particulars, but I know you miss me.

Even though the food has been simple, I have been experimenting a bit. The polenta above was an attempt to make a beautiful layered dish – not so beautiful, but delicious. In another attempt at layers, I whipped up this vegetable lasagna made with sweet potatoes, butternut squash and eggplant. I loved it, but the boys wanted it mashed and pureed. They’re not that into big chunks of these particular vegetables!

Another idea was to pickle rhubarb with fennel bulb, red onion and radishes. I wanted it to be a sweet and tangy pink little pickle, but it just tasted funny. I think the radish set it off in the wrong direction.

So, as you can see, we’ve been eating simply as I wait impatiently for Foxtail Farm’s first CSA delivery. Once that box arrives, I hope my inspirations and successes in the kitchen will return!

3 thoughts on “Simplicity

  1. Kris,

    The polenta is very easy. Saute some diced onions and garlic in a pot. When the onions are translucent add six cup of water and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling add two cups of course-ground cornmeal, turn it down to a simmer and cook it until it becomes very thick. You will need to stir it often. It cooks up pretty quickly – maybe ten minutes or so.

    Once the polenta is cooked, you can put it into any kind of mold and it will turn fairly hard when cooled. If you spread it out onto an oiled baking pan, you can cut it later to be fried or grilled. In this case, I layered it in a round spring-form pan. First I spread a layer of the polenta, then a layer of red peppers with cilantro, a layer of salted black beans, some Greek yogurt with minced garlic topped that, and the whole thing was covered with a final layer of polenta. Bake it at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. It’s best to let it cool before you slice it or the whole thing will fall apart. It’s a great leftover meal. Make this one after dinner one night to eat the next with a salad.

    Let me know if you try it. Once you get the hang of polenta, it’s fun to experiment.


  2. Thanks for sharing, Sarah! I have made polenta before although last time I followed the recipe to a T and still I narrowly avoided a disaster, having to cook it for much, much longer (post-molding) than indicated. Since then I’ve been very wary. I’m pretty sure there must have been something wrong with recipe as the directions were straightforward (and when user error is a possibility I’m the first one to admit it). I’l have to give yours a try.

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