So here's a little catch-up from last week. That "mediterranean feast" in my recent/current activities column was a dinner for old friends last Wed. I prepared the Madras Tofu with Curried Vegetables from The Millennium Cookbook (I've said it before and I'll say it again, I feel The Artful Vegan clearly shows a more sophisticated and developed haute vegan cuisine, but there are some great recipes in the Millennium volume, and the recipes are definitely more accessible/realistic for the home cook). Above, the peach-lime chutney cools, and the yellow curried onions await inclusion in a vegetable stir-fry that accompanies a saffron basmati pilaf and tandoori-marinated broiled tofu steaks. Even if you think you don't like vegan food, these cookbooks are totally worth a look. Check your local library if you to try before you buy! (that's my rule of thumb, anyway!)
But as I, myself, am not vegan (it's just the safest cuisine for my sensitive stomach), our dessert came from In Nirmala's Kitchen: a semolina cake topped with thickened honey flavoured with saffron and star anise. The cake looks like a baked custard, but actually, it's quite firm and dense, and not very custard-like at all. It's not sweetened, so you poke holes in it and then pour the honey on top so it sort of oozes down through. It's pretty wonderful, but I had some problems with the milk/semolina ratio - I think there may be a misprint in the book. If you try this easy-as-pie and totally delicious recipe out, try using 1 c. milk and 2 1/3 c. semolina. If you check out Nirmala's cookbook, be sure to try the Yucatan lime soup with lobster and tequila. We make ours with crab and halve the amount of shellfish (and it still seems to be a handsome amount), and it's really wonderful - light, flavourful, amazing. Just make sure you use fish stock and not water. It will make all the difference.
Alright, I'm off! I'm meeting an old friend at a theatre I interned with a few years ago to start up as a script reader again today. I'm excited, but also nervous; I'm being paid! It's not much (I like to joke that I have an allowance rather than a job), but still. It's money. For theatre work.
However, I'm kind of contracted until the end of the year, which means that, on top of all my Ph.D. reading, I'll be reading and churning out reports on six plays a month this fall. eep! I'm going to admit right now, this is going to be a bit of a challenge, and perhaps I ought not to stretch myself like this. HOWEVER, that said, it's going to be excellent to have my fingers on the pulse of new playwriting again (I can't tell you how handy this is when undergrads ask you, "do you know any good monologues I could use?"), and it's pretty fabbity fab to slap that on my resume. One works for free for a long time in theatre.
alright. Expect some fabulous pie pics tomorrow - Saturday (before the collapse into illness) we hiked in the woods with Cass' family and foraged wild berries in the dripping wet of a light rainstorm. To me, this is the quintessential northwest experience and I loved every minute of it, even as my hands went numb with cold and my wool coat got soaked (gee, I wonder why I got sick, eh?).