Fools For April

Today it was warm. Rainy, yes, but warm. 65 degrees, balmy, no-jacket required warm. The smell of rain and dirt and leaves borne on the breeze (a warm breeze, mind you) was enough to send me into spasms of joy. I did the only logical thing and bought a shitload- that’s the technical measurement- of manure for preparing the garden beds. Milo actually came into the garden with me for a bit wearing his “farmer shirt” and rain boots, but no pants. He was eager to learn how long it would be until he could be outside with “no clothes or shoes, or anything, because the air feels so freshing.”

We picked a couple of Asian cabbages that were bolting; these tough-ass plants are not going to win any beauty contests, but damn if they didn’t soldier on all winter long in their little plastic tunnels. Now that the days are longer, they’re stretching up flowers in celebration. And we’re eating them. There was a fair amount of coconut shrapnel left from The Bludgeoning last night, and a good-looking kabocha squash, and some tomato purée and a bit of canned coconut milk. So using big chicken legs I combined it all with requisite spices into a good creamy curry, keeping it mild for the boy.

Meanwhile, the chopped cabbage got a thorough wilting in oil seasoned with whole caraway, cumin, fennel, mustard, and fenugreek seeds, plus onion and pepper, then simmered low with a little salt and kimchi juice. I forgot to put on a pot of brown rice, so we had it without grain, which was just fine. I found a 2003 Selbach-Oster Zeltinger Schlossberg Riesling Spätlese in the fridge, and was I happy I did- it’s everything you want in a curry companion: lightly sweet, bracingly acidic, tropically perfumed, and honey-peachy going down. Chutney in a bottle. Freshing indeed.

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  1. cook eat FRET
    April 1

    i was just catching up on your last few posts. my god, man! i mean really fine food here. and not that i’m so special – but i rarely say this – you are very very good at this cooking thing…

  2. cookiecrumb
    April 2

    “Chutney in a bottle.” Wow, well put.

    Hey, Claudia, he’s also good at this plating thing. He paints with food.

  3. peter
    April 2

    You are both too kind. Feel like voting for me? Seriously, I NEED the apron. Half the time my wife thinks I’m a homeless guy who has wandered into our kitchen.

  4. Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
    April 2

    Dude. Lay off the kimchi juice. Or at least eat mints after dinner…


    And fenugreek: Never much used the little legume. Hard as diamonds. Now THAT would be a good “secret ingredient” for the joust!

  5. Zoomie
    April 2

    Out of the mouths of babes – freshing! Love your kid!

  6. peter
    April 2

    H: Dude. I can’t get enough of the stuff. Tangy, stanky, crunchy- it’s the perfect counterpart to homemade charcuterie. Plus I get to fiddle with the ingredients every time to try new combinations. Fermentation is my friend.

    Fenugreek and greens have a sympatico, especially collards with a little yogurt. It also matches insanely well with one of my favorite wines.

    Z: His awesomeness and cuteness have to be seen to be believed.

  7. Zoomie
    April 3

    Of course, you do realize that you are spoiling him utterly for anything but gourmet fare…? 😉 Any kid who would cuddle and kiss his fish is my kind of kid!

  8. peter
    April 3

    Yeah, he likes his food. I like to think that although at some point he will doubtless be teased about his lunches at school, in time he’ll forgive me and teach his kids to eat the same way.

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