Picture a celebrity chef — someone you always saw on your television screen growing up. You might think of a competition show host or the head chef at your city’s fanciest restaurant. Do you have them in your mind? Ready? Are they a man?
As the semester draws to a close and finals loom in the near future, many of us might be more concerned about our precarious grades than what we’re fueling our bodies with. However, it’s more important than ever to make sure we provide ourselves with proper nutrition during academically stressful times. Throughout Quarantine 2.0 — a.k.a, the gap between the in-person portions of the school year — I have spent quality time trying new foods and cooking up a storm in my parents’ kitchen. The result of all of this hard work? I’ve put together a day in the life of eating entirely from scratch (as a vegetarian).
Normally, I’ll cook one stand-alone recipe or two dishes that go together every week. But this week I was feeling very productive and made two completely separate dishes — one sweet and one savory. For my sweet dinner, I made Cottage Cheese Apple Pancakes, and for my savory dinner, I made Spanish Couscous Paella. Please do not eat these together. I am a proud card-carrying member of the Breakfast Club.
While exploring some local nature trails along Fall Creek in early September, I found an oddly-shaped cast iron pan in the water. I had been noticing a large amount of litter in the creek and was attempting to carry out as much as I could when I stumbled upon the strange, rusty object. I was confused at first by its form, which prompted me to hold onto it and do some research. Some investigation informed me that the pan was used to make a dessert called æbleskiver. Æbleskiver are Danish spherical pancakes, traditionally eaten around Advent, that require this very type of pan to cook them.
I want to love Thanksgiving ー family, friends and an abundance of food ー but I have never really been a Thanksgiving person. Thanksgiving has the classic foods that everyone looks forward to, but I just don’t get what’s so special. Turkeys kind of freak me out because they’re so big, sure cranberry sauce is good but it’s over-hyped and I don’t understand why mashed potatoes are typified as a Thanksgiving food. For all the whining I do about Thanksgiving, it’s hard to not get caught up in the spirit of it. Fall is my favorite season ー the leaves change colors, everything is so crisp and it finally starts to get cold.
For the first time in almost four years, many Americans feel tentatively proud of their country. Tireless encouragement to vote has helped prove that community support can unite a country divided and reestablish American values of truth, integrity and respect. As such, it seemed appropriate to take a look at the new meanings Thanksgiving may hold this year; Samai Navas, a recent Salvadoran-American immigrant and close family friend, shares what her All (Salvadoran) American Thanksgiving has come to represent over the years.
It’s worth noting that the typical modern Thanksgiving symbolizes and commemorates an ideal that only existed for a very short time. While there is some truth behind the story of a peaceful feast between European settlers and the Wampanoag people in 1621, this calm did not last. Between the years of 1630 and 1642, plague tore through Native communities, resulting in the death of more than half of all Native Americans living at the time.
Growing up, I was an incredibly picky eater. When we would go out for dinner, my brother would order some sort of fancy beef dish no one could pronounce… and I would get a grilled chicken breast. When I went vegetarian at the beginning of my freshman year, I had to completely reevaluate the way I approached food. I had to abandon the brisket and meat bourekas of my Eastern European ancestors and find a new cuisine to fall in love with. To my family’s surprise (and my father’s chagrin), this was Indian food.
After my brother and I were sent home from college in March, my mom quickly realized that she now had five mouths to feed, including a vegetarian (me) and a teenage boy (not me).
For the first installment of a Moosewood Mess, I started out with dessert because it seemed like a relatively easy first step — something very much within my comfort zone. I invited my friends for the inaugural Moosewood Meal, which only ramped up the pressure. I felt like I couldn’t disappoint them, but I also didn’t want to make something overly complicated and ruin everything before it even started. That brought me to Chocolate Cranberry Crunch bars and chocolate sugar cookies.
When I first looked at the recipes, they seemed to be idiot-proof. However, it appears I’m an idiot.
$147 and a big shopping cart were basically my Saturday afternoon in a nutshell. Five large, packed grocery bags wobbled back and forth inside the cart as I meandered my way to the bus stop. The bus came before I was there, so I had to run uphill and unload my cargo onto the decently occupied vehicle. I left the cart on the road; if you found one stranded around the Ithaca Mall, it could have been me. I apologize.
I’m a mess in the kitchen, both literally and figuratively — just ask my roommate. When I moved to Collegetown my sophomore year, my roommate and I figured out a solid routine: I cook and she cleans. This works for us because I would like to think of myself as a relatively decent chef, but I am a HORRIBLE dishwasher. My kitchen techniques definitely leave much to be desired (more on that later), but I enjoy cooking and sharing it with others. I don’t like recipes.