Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Perfect Day for Nothing at All

It was nearly eight when we got up. As all parents with a small child know, this is like NOON. It felt pretty good. Still I was happy to get up. We were on our way to the farmers market despite the bitter cold. I had visions of fresh greens and herbs.

Well, the visions will have to wait a week. The market won't be open until then. So, here we are, no market, in the cold. It had all the makings of being an off day. But, I don't operate that way. We made the best of it. We still made our traditional trip to the bread bakery. A croissant to share and a latte for me, a fresh loaf of sourdough tucked under an arm, we headed off to the spice store for some fun smelling all the test jars. It's heaven. We both love it. When the kiddo nearly dived into the fenugreek jar, I figured it was a keeper. I would use it on the roast chicken that night.

When we got home, we played more in the spice cabinet. Kiddo pulled out an empty jar I needed to refill. Thyme. Suddenly, Jim Croche was in my head and I sang, "If I could save 'thyme' in a bottle, the first thing that I'd like to do ..." I can't sing at all. And even in her tender young years, my child knows this. She starts giggling. "No, Mommy, no sing!" Giggle. I sing louder and more off key. "Is save every day until eternity passes, and then I would spend them with yoooouuuuu!" We're both laughing by then.

We put on music, played, danced, and just existed for a while. At one point, Kiddo reached up for a hug and gave me one of her special bear hugs, and just stayed there, head against my neck. I thought, if I could just save one moment, and spend it for eternity, this is it. All I can do to save it is to just realize what it's worth. And be in it.

So, no fresh greens or sexy spring vegetable recipes. But I managed to pull together the Lemon Herb Roast Chicken, a quick pasta salad, and Sweet Potato Parmesan "Fries." These are not complicated dishes, but good ones you can make when you have more important things to do than cooking, like nothing at all.

Sweet Potato Parmesan "Fries"
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book co-authored with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.

You can also find more potato recipes at the Crazy Hip Blog Mama's Recipe Rally.


Mike & Misty said...

Thanks! I've started buying a few sweet potatoes here and there to use for myself, but I never thought about putting parmesean on them!

Whenever I've tried to peel sweet potatoes, it doesn't work all that well. I hit a fibrous layer that just resists peeling. Is there a trick to it?

Also, have you read the cookbook More-with-Less? (Amazon link) You inspired me to re-read this--I think it would be right up your alley.

Susan said...

I would eat sweet potato parmesan fries any day of the week no matter how fancy. Mmmmm...delicious!

The Expatriate Chef said...

Misty, I select the large potatoes, less peeling to do! And a good peeler, like OXO's Good Grips, helps. You can replace the blade, so it saves materials over time. Some cooks prefer the t-shape one for peeling, that might help. Thanks for the book recommendation! I will check it out.

The Expatriate Chef said...

Susan, the fries are easy, and good. I am working on ways to make them crisper, I think it is just oven time and temp. This recipe is the closest I have gotten yet. Thanks for stopping by.