Okay, before I go on, I need to preface this cooking spree I seem to be on.
Because I’m incredibly lazy and I liked the idea, I talked Sparky into signing up for an organic veggie/fruit/cheese delivery thing. A lady in my Hausfrau book group does it and recommended it. Sparky complains that I never make veggies. This is true. I cook like a single girl thrown into the task of cooking for two. For some reason, cake for breakfast is not his idea of a balanced meal. Ice cream is apparently not appropriate either and with Take-Out a completely different animal from that at home, I cook a main entrée. Sometimes, I throw in a Caesar Salat with store bought dressing.
Store bought ready-made salad is a VAST improvement for a girl who grew up eating SpaghettiO’s out of the can because her mother couldn’t be bothered to put them in a pan and heat them up. This was okay for me. I liked it as long as she didn’t get the type with meatballs. Uncooked, those meatballs left a fatty film on the roof of my mouth. I still prefer my SpaghettiO’s room temp.
So in that vein, I suggested that this veggie delivery thing would force me to cook more green stuff. It would be delivered and therefore I would cook it.
I get these ideas based wholly on my need to accessorize. I can kick ass in Deutsch School if I have the cute binder, graph paper, cool pens, mechanical pencil in pink and a hello kitty pink bubble gum eraser. When I got my car, a convertible, I needed a matching scarf to wear wrapped around my head like an old school film star (in reality, its more Isadora Duncan). Sure, I could cook great veggie dishes, but in order to do this, I need delivered organic veggies.
Sold! He ordered it and last Friday, our GemüseKiste was delivered. Oh boy. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. We got a sample kiste with cheeses and veggies and a couple of apples thrown in.
The organic cheeses were delicious. And the apples lasted about 3 minutes. The veggies… well, the veggies were types I had barely heard of in passing, let alone had any idea how to cook. I did not get, as I thought, a few normal, everyday type of veggies like brokkoli, zucchini, and eggplant. I got endive, parsnips, carrots, leeks, and collard greens.
What is a parsnip? I looked it up and it sounded like it could be a great new addition to my veggie repertoire. I made veggie bundles with leeks, carrots, parsnips and shallots tied with green onions. They were good, but parsnips have an initial taste that reminds me of urine, so I won’t eat anymore of those.
Endive looks like I can just throw it in a salat, but no, I cannot. They require soaking and onions minced and oil and vinegar and salt and pepper. I have to make the oil and vinegar thing from scratch.
Collard greens? I had these in North Carolina made with gobs of lard, I’m sure, but there is no way I’m cooking with lard. My ass is big enough without throwing lard in to my grocery cart. Its one thing when you don’t see how it’s made. It’s a horse of a different color if I have to make it myself.
So, with more veggies than my massive imported American fridge could store, Sparky called my bluff and demanded I cook every single thing delivered.
Hence my journey through the land of cookbooks began.
Dedicated in calling Sparky’s bluff in calling my bluff, I bought more veggies at the Wochende Markt. Well, one can’t make a meal out of parsnips, collards and carrots… I needed more stuff to make the stuff I have edible. Tonight we are having roasted zucchini, eggplant, carrots, parsnips, brokkoli and green onions over rice.
Markus wanted my special hamburgers. Hahahhahahahaaa. I got him, Mr. I-work-out-and-need-my-protein-why-don’t-you-make-veggie-man.
And this afternoon, I used the leeks in a little experiment that was delish. It’s gone now so he’ll just have to remember what that one bite tasted like when he comes home for his rice and veggie plate.
It all started with those damn leeks. I had something like 10 good-sized leeks. What do you do with 10 leeks? Make soup? I don’t have a blender or food processor to puree stuff. I do have a mixer, but that does nothing for leek soup. I can chop so chop I did. I made a leek quiche thingie.
When I first moved here and wanted to make it, I looked all over Aldi and Kaufland for ready-made piecrusts in the little tin pie plate to no avail. I even asked in a Bäckerei if I could buy one. I would have paid 20€ for a piecrust. The woman thought I was mad and shushed me out the door.
That was the end of my attempt to make quiche. I just wait until we go to Strasbourg and pick some up there.
I know, I give up too easily sometimes, but there is no freakin’ way I’m making my own piecrust. For some reason I feel like piecrust is the only thing keeping me from full membership to the Hausfraus-R-Us Association. As I’m a founding member of the Ladies of Leisure League, making piecrust is simply unacceptable.
So anyway, I had a ton of leeks and their time was running out. I had to do something as Sparky was keeping his eyes on the veggies, just waiting for them to go bad so he could win this battle of the GemüseKiste and curse his American veggie-wasting wife. So with the idea of a leek quiche in my head, I stopped by Minimal. There, under the ready-made pastas, was pastry dough. Ready-made pastry dough in Germany is like Lunchables for Americans. Only the working or divorced mothers must use ready-made. Or those mothers who don’t really care what their kids eat and feed them cold SpaghettiO’s.
Genetic memory kicked in and I cleverly bought the ready-made strudel pastry, stuck it in a gratin dish and went to town with my own ingenious leek thingie recipe.
It was delish and it’s gone and after school tomorrow I’m picking up 10 more leeks and making it again. After tonight’s veggie fest, I will have used all the veggies and wasted NOTHING!
Take that, Sparky!