Well that last experiment--way back in January, was it?--went nowhere. And yet--blog, I can't quite quit you.
In recent weeks I've been thinking a lot about writing in this space again, but the truth is, feeding a two-year-old isn't always that much fun to write about. At least not my two-year-old. My monkey is a child who can spend two days mooning about how she "loooooves pizza," but, confronted with an actual piece of pizza, declares, "You don't want it." (This is also a child who hasn't quite got her personal pronouns straight.) And a child who will absolutely devour a burrito from Taco Bell (yes, Taco Bell--there, I said it), but greets a burrito made at home with a sniff and "You don't like the beans."
Very well then. Let her eat Kraft dinner.
Or carpet lint. Or some invisible nourishment drawn from the many kinds of pretend food that she mimes eating with great gusto. Whatever it is that sustains her. Because with a cute little roll of chub above each knee and extensive vocabulary and climbing abilities, she must be doing reasonably okay, right? Give her a multivitamin and let's call it even.
So I still want to write about what she likes to eat, and what we cook together (pumpkin waffles, apple muffins), but I also have a project of my own in mind. Lately when I cook for the grownups in the house I feel caught between two competing objectives. One is simply to cook--to make something with my own hands, that is, rather than heating up yet another frozen pizza--in a way that's compatible with the limited amount of time and energy I have on hand. (As I typed that last sentence it occurred to me that I've been writing this post in the evening hour that I might otherwise spend cooking--I can do this instead because we're having leftover takeout for dinner. Nothing like a little irony to whet the appetite.) And the other is to cook with seasonal ingredients--because, well, yes, I'm a stereotypical earnest coastal urbanite, but also because that's really what I like to eat best.
The first goal lends itself to the kind of weekly menu rotation that many of us grew up with--tacos on Monday, lasagna on Tuesday, and so on. The second goal lends itself to hours spent poring over the latest farmers' market cookbook and fussing over sublime preparations of lovingly hand-raised produce. What I need is some combination of the two--a kind of loose seasonal menu rotation. So I want to try to master a few fantastic recipes for a variety of seasonal vegetables--recipes that are reasonably quick, uncomplicated, and delicious enough to eat every couple of weeks.
Basically, in other words, I'm looking for some really freaking awesome things to do with spaghetti squash. Is anybody with me?