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an act of creation

January 27, 2009

I know there are legions of people, men and women alike who cook out of necessity and may not have developed any other connection to it. but for me, i’ve come to be drawn to it as an act of creation. one of the few that i am able to fit into my lifestyle. i guess that is my honest truth.

today on the creation block–after a dreary work day–i did two dishes. Both of them involved the ease of tossing several ingredients in a bowl and then baking. The first was a brussel sprouts dish from (yet again) American Masala. Now don’t get me wrong, I have my own fave brussel sprouts recipe, sent to me by my dear friend Anne-Marie. But I’ve made it many times before and it really wouldn’t feel as much like creating as making something new, now would it? This one was pretty simple—mixing sprouts, apples, red onions and currants (i used a mix of cranberries and raisins) with flavors such as red pepper, black pepper, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt–and baking it with some butter for about an hour. You can add slivered almonds in it too. You know it was similar to some Thanksgiving sides or stuffings I have made. It was delicious, like he said it would be, though i would cut down on the number of shakes on the red pepper flakes. I am excited to have it in the fridge to accompany lunches and dinners this week. I have to do the math on this but for rough approximation I think this will turn out to be between 50 cents and a dollar a serving.

The second act of creation is pumpkin custard. I have been craving this for a long time. and i am physically miserable today and wanting to give in to my sweet tooth. it was beautiful, and simple (recipe here). It simply took about 15 minutes to mix the ingredients, mostly spices with a can of organic pumpkin mix, milk, cream and sugar. I then poured them into various baking dishes and voila, a beautiful custard i could cut with a knife. it was a surprisingly pleasing, subtle custard, mildly sweet and not over powering. would definitely do well in a crust, like a profiterole or something.

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