holidays vegetarian

The Best Laid Plans

20 April 2008

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[The table tonight, April 2008.]

I had such good intentions — really, I did. But then Friday was lost to a cooking frenzy, and Saturday disappeared in a blur of sleeping late, cleaning the house, going for a blowy run, and then an afternoon out and a windy walk home, so that by the time tonight (and with it, the second night of Passover) rolled around, I was beat.

I had wanted to bake something decadent and flourless — chocolate cake, maybe, or some sort of peanut butter cookies that were flour-free. I looked at my stash of butter, however, and realized it was woefully low (a travesty!) and thus I lacked enough to accomplish either one of these recipes.

So I raided the freezer and came up with leftover home made strawberry ice cream from the dinner party the other night, as well as a few bits of the sorbet duo (meyer lemon, and orange) I’d made to go along with some vegan gingersnaps (recipe soon, because there were no leftovers, the lack of butter not being an issue). I dug deep in the cupboard and found some sort of Italian meringue cookies which, once I waded through the ingredient list, revealed themselves to be perfectly fine for Passover. Thank goodness. Dessert is always imperative, even when one is being observant.

I’d also had grand ambitions for the main meal — in the past for this holiday, for example, I’ve made spinach and cheese souffles (with matzo meal in place of flour), sweet potato latkes with chives and sour cream, beet salads with blue cheese and walnuts, baked salmon layered with fresh lemon slices and basil. But you know how sometimes you have those days when your back hurts from sitting in front of the computer too long, and your brain has turned to mush with all the reading and thinking and writing you’re attempting to do? Yeah. I was feeling it.

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[Unorthodox, vegetarian seder plate, April 2008.]

So instead of more fanciful fare, the dishes for this year’s Passover Seder were by far more plain but, I would argue, no less satisfying. In place of the souffle I made a big pot of lentils laced with bay leaves and the last of a can of crushed tomatoes, with lots of garlic, onion, and mushrooms to round it out. Instead of sweet potato latkes, there was a steaming hot sweet potato mash with the tiniest bit of soy sauce and plenty of sesame oil and salt. And, as always, a fragrant bowl of matzo ball soup began the whole thing.

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Not too bad, really, when all was said and done, especially when there was a Masterpiece Theatre show on about Rudyard Kipling to ease me into the rest of the evening — not to mention, a Monday morning in not too long.

A new week looms, and with it more possibilities for runs, late nights reading, and dinners out. What are your plans?

  • kate. 23 April 2008 at 11:30 pm

    i love passover. we did not have our seder until sunday night. we began with two guests and wound up with seven, plus ourselves.
    you would appreciate the yummy garlicky and oniony caramelization of the little red potatoes and carrots that were baked with our organic range chicken. i also made macaroons. so simple and delicious, why do not make them more often? oh yeah, i would weigh a billion pounds.

  • justrun 21 April 2008 at 7:58 pm

    I had a “blowy” run today myself. Not my favorite, but not the worst way to start a week.

    I am always amazed at people that can make something from [seemingly] nothing. That inspires me.

  • John C Abell 21 April 2008 at 12:00 am

    Well, I doubt I will eat as well as I did Friday.