Thursday, January 1, 2015

Seeking Symbiosis in the Kitchen

It’s either a brand new year, or just another day in the long string of days between Dec 23 (last day of school) and Jan 5 (when school resumes).  I have lost track of what day of the week it is, because no one in the household has to be any place on any particular day. 

Today I decided to use the lull to plan some menus for the next week.  I asked my husband what new dish I should learn to prepare in 2015, and he said, “Lentil loaf.”  Sigh. I know that if I make lentil loaf no one will like it, not even him.  And yet I am compelled to try.

While I am researching lentil loaf recipes, I invite you to go back in time to hear what the Common Household was talking about one year ago today (food, of course). 

For Christmas (2013) I received a gift of a box of polenta, a grain we had not tried before.  I served it on New Year’s Day (2014) for dinner.

Kids:  What is this stuff?

Me:  It’s polenta.

Younger Daughter:  Po-what?

Husband:  It’s po-etical!  I think it will be good with butter and salt on it.  (says the heart patient who is supposed to be avoiding fat and salt).

Me:  I’m having mine with the sauce from the peanut chicken.

Son:  It looks kind of like Styrofoam.

YD (after tasting):  But it tastes really good with butter and salt!

Me:  Maybe you would like it with some cranberry sauce, Son.  By the way, why does cranberry go so well with chicken, not to mention turkey?

Son:  It’s a symbiotic relationship.

Husband:  Cranberry is a fowl condiment.

YD:  You can’t have a symbiotic relationship between two foods!  They aren’t living things! 

Son:  This stuff is good with butter on it.  Maybe it would also be good with some milk on it.

Then there was a long argument over whether milk is acidic or basic.

* * * * * * * *

Maybe lentils would be symbiotic with polenta, if mixed and shaped into a loaf! 

Happy New Year. 


Cassi Renee said...

Hmm . . . lentil loaf just doesn't sound terribly appealing. I do like lentils, in soup, but a loaf sounds like too many lentils in each bite :-) You'll have to let us know how it turns out.

Aliosn said...

I think Moosewood Cookbook has a recipe for lentil loaf...I seem to remember it had walnuts in it. I went to a chamber music camp a million years ago where the cafeteria chef was dabbling in vegetarian food, and served a lentil/walnut loaf that was actually really good. I think her recipes were loosely based on Moosewood's...

Angie said...

I'm on a quest to introduce new foods into our diets, as well. (And cut back on sugar.) My latest adventure? Chia seeds. So far, I'm mostly adding them to cereal and yogurt, but apparently, they are quite versatile.

Patience_Crabstick said...

"Fowl condiment?" Very punny!

This post gives me an opportunity to share my polenta joke. We were at a banquet dinner. The guy sitting next to me was very country and he asked me to tell him what the yellow mess on his plate was. I told him it was polenta. He tasted it and said, "I know why they call it 'polenta.'"
"Because some guy named Lenta got married and his wife didn't know how to make corn bread."

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Funny how many things taste better with condiments added...
You are good to try anyway.

The Crislers said...

Lentil loaf, blech. I don't really like words like "loaf" and "log" in relation to food, though, so maybe I'm just being sensitive.

Who on earth gave you polenta as a Christmas gift? And what did you give them? A box of band-aids? Windshield wiper blades?

Common Household Mom said...

Just to answer your question - I received the polenta as part of an annual tradition of getting together during December with two dear friends. The polenta was not the only thing that friend gave me - there were also more serious gifts, not to mention smoothies. But I loved the polenta, especially as it sparked an argument about milk.

I think I probably did give each of them a box of bandaids. But if I didn't, I will keep it in mind as a gift idea for this coming December.

smalltownme said...

I will be interested to know how the lentil loaf turns out.

Lori Anderson said...

Loooove polenta. It was a staple when I lived in northern Italy. Yummy!