Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Three Sisters, Take 2 (and, how plans don't always make things easier)

I am usually an enthusiastic supporter of planning. Hence meal plans. Lists. Calendars. Schedules. Today, however, I was thrown by the addition of one appointment to my already hectic day.

My menu for this evening was a little more involved than some, because there were three separate recipes, none particularly complicated, but all requiring a bit of time. This is kind of ironic, considering I pulled off brie, walnut and apple phyllo triangles last night—also a bit ambitious for a weeknight. But delicious! And regarding last night's Montebello beet soup

Last night was a success. Tonight, technically, was also a success, but my equanimity suffered. Last night I was zen through the whole thing and even had time to read the kids a story and construct a lion for D out of modeling clay. Today, while supper got on the table on time, in between a last minute chiropractic appointment for G and me (G had his first, hopefully only...but I can't count on that, tumble down the stairs, and even though he seemed fine, I wanted to get him looked at sooner than later), a preschool executive meeting, and my husband's first night of pilates classes.

I started prep as soon as G went down for his nap (1:00), and I continued working on everything until I headed out the door (around 4:30), with of course pauses for diaper changes, pee breaks, plugging in G's soother, nursing G AGAIN, getting D snacks, putting the bbq back together (which was needed for the recipes, and I didn't know until I went out to turn it on that it was taken apart), emptying the dishwasher, and so on.

So truly, the entire meal would only have taken an hour to prepare, without interruptions. That was not how today went.

So here's the menu. Note the corn, beans and squash components:

Cumin Carrot Tofu Patties
Baked Spaghetti Squash (from Whitewater Cooks at Home
Marni's Roasted Corn and Feta (also from Whitewater Cooks at Home

The baked spaghetti squash was just the squash, halved and baked in the oven (be sure to scoop out the seeds first) until tender, then the strings tossed with butter, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, parsley and nutmeg. The nutmeg threw me off. I just did a couple of other searches for baked spaghetti squash, and found some that use basil and oregano. I think I might enjoy those more.

The roasted corn and feta, on the other hand, was perfect. But really, how can a side dish drenched in garlic butter, feta cheese and lime juice be bad?? Here is the recipe for you to sample (I used the last of this season's corn from my parents' garden):

6 ears of fresh corn in husks
2 red peppers (I used several mini-peppers instead)
1/2 c. butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
juice of two limes
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the corn in cold water for an hour or so, then place on a bbq preheated to low. Roast, turning occasionally, for 45 minutes. Throw on the peppers for 20 minutes. Remove the red peppers, peel off the charred skins (I actually just shut off the bbq with the peppers and corn still on it, because I was late for my appointment. The peppers' skins were loosened just perfectly after cooling on the bbq).

Melt butter and add chopped garlic. Remove husks from the corn and slice off the kernels. Place in mixing bowl and add all the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and toss. YUM.

I kept looking at this recipe and swinging between determination to make it because it sounded so good and the temptation to just boil the damned corn, because my kids would like it just as much that way. I was won over by the recipe eventually, and pulled it off, and am grateful for it. I think I have a new favourite when corn season rolls around again next year.

Tomorrow, my parents are coming through on the way to British Columbia to see my sister and her new baby (imminent arrival), so they're stopping here for supper. I had already planned to cook Greek Style Flank Steak with Feta Green Pea Orzo and Greek salad. Should be good.

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