“There is a prevailing theory that we need to know much more than we do to feed ourselves well. It isn’t true.” – Tamara Adler
Oh, serendipity, I love you.
I need to gush/share with you all that I just discovered the book The Everlasting Meal by Tamara Adler. It came in the mail on Monday, and from the first pages, her cooking philosophy so sang to me since it feels really close to what is happening in my brain in the kitchen when I cook. So much so that her third chapter ends with a kind of end of the week vegetable curry. I had just made this curry you see in these pictures on the Friday before I read her book, almost exactly according to her recipe, with all the leftover veggies in my fridge, while the kids ate pizza.
If that is not serendipity, I don’t know what is.
It is also serendipitous because I just had my 5,467th conversation with another mom who feels intimidated by cooking. And I try to gently share how it can be made easier with a routine, a way of thinking. I know dinner every night can be a chore, but, there are ways to make it easier. And this is the heart of Adler’s writing. As witnessed by the quote above, she breaks it down and makes cooking as seamless and fluid as getting dressed or tidying your kitchen. Her first chapter is titled “How to Boil Water” and her second, “How to Teach an Egg to Fly”. They are more meditations then recipes, but you will come away knowing how to make delicious food.
Chapter 3 – “How to Strive Ahead” – is about chopping vegetables. She demonstrates her routine in this video which shows how she preps vegetables for the week. If you don’t have the few minutes now, come back when you do and check it. It might change your life. Or at least show you how to make delicious food. Which is really the same thing, isn’t it?
There is something so stick to the ribs about curry, yet this veggie one is so light. I have been dolloping a bit of chutney, greek yogurt or sour cream, some cilantro, and serving it with naan bread.
I hope you try all the things in Tamara’s book. At the very least, this recipe will get you started.
p.s. As I wrote this, my husband called and told me to pack a bag because we are going to Primo for my birthday dinner! I am not sure if that is serendipity or love or both, but he’s a keeper.
End-of-the-Week Vegetable Curry (printer version here):
½ onion cut into a large dice
Peanut oil or olive oil
½ teaspoon, combined, ground turmeric, ground cardamom, and ground cumin
½ teaspoon flaked chile (or whole fresh chile minced)
½ cup cooked chickpeas or black-eye peas, canned or cooked
½ to 1 can coconut milk
1 cup other liquid (chicken stock or water)
2-3 pieces of lemon rind
Optional: 1 t. Fish sauce
2 cups cooked vegetables
½ cup toasted peanuts
Fresh lemon juice
Fresh mint or basil leaves
From Tamara Adler’s The Endless Meal