Sunday: Pizza dough
Plan my meals for the week. Realize that this is turning out to be harder than I thought.
(One, I am way too stubborn. I’ve got my guns to stick to and I’m not quite willing to let go yet. Soon, local tomatoes, bell peppers, and other joyous veggie-fruits will be gone and I will be left high and dry with only canned varieties (or none at all!) to turn to. How do you cook Italian food without the nightshade family? I guess when I get desperate, that’s when my Finnish three months will start. But I gotta put that off long enough for the Finn months to get me *back* to tomato season!
Two, is this going to get repetitive? I feel like right now there’s risotto, polenta, pasta, and that’s not really enough to get through the week. At this point, I can’t afford cooking more meat, even if I wanted to. Gotta find a veg Italian cookbook!)
Then decide to make pizza for dinner. Beg dog park friends to come over. They’ve already got plans. This turns out to be a good thing when the entire apartment fills with smoke from the butter that dripped onto the bottom of the oven after the risotto timbalo from last week. Make calzone instead, since those can be fried. Hope particulate matter doesn’t accumulate too much in bebe’s lungs. Smoke alarm doesn’t go off only because I turned it off when I started. Big dog quivers in her proverbial boots anyway. She knows it's expected.
Monday: Italian enchiladas.
Okay, that’s not what they’re called. They’re crespelle, but they are essentially Italian enchiladas. You make these little crepes, fill them with a mixture of parm and spinach, cover them in bechemel and bake.
Friends come over and eat them all. As I question whether I will ever invite these two over again, I realize the better option is to make a double batch next time.
Bean and red cabbage soup. More stuffed bell peppers.
Discover cabbage can grow mold inside its leaves. Wasn’t quite sure that it was mold at first, since it was so smoothly integrated and there was no smell. But it was definitely fuzzy. Not surprising, since I think it was in the veggies drawer for almost two months. So, no bean and red cabbage soup.
Instead, I pull out the dozen bell peppers from the farmers market, cut off the moldy bits (will not be keeping them in the “moisture” veggie drawer next time) and stuff them with rice (out of arborio, though), chopped mozzy (soooo much better than shredded!), and BACON. Freeze them for easy dinner later.
Too much filling is left over, so bebe boy and I eat the rest for dinner.
Wednesday: Do Italians make tacos?
The husband cons a friend into bringing us Taco Bell. I don’t mind a day off from cooking.
Thursday: My Italian cookbook from England uses French words.
Aubergine fritters are on my list. Get the idea to make some focaccia as a side, too.
(While the dough is kneading in the mixer, I get on my hands and knees and de-grease the oven. A good scrubbing with baking soda does the trick. I turn the oven on and poof! Or rather, un-poof! There’s no more smoke!)
Slice the eggplant and bake it, but when I check it, it looks like it needs a little more time. So I shut off the oven and walk the woofs.
First rising for focaccia is over after the girls are walked and watered, time to crank the oven to 450 so it’ll heat up nice and hot for baking. I play with the boy for a bit, then decide it’s time to put together the fritters.
But where’s the eggplant?
I look high and low. How do you lose eggplant?!?
And then realize that the burning I smell is not just a little bit of residual butter but THE EGGPLANT.
It’s not quite a charred mess. More like a leathery one.
No eggplant fritters for me.
As I have already assembled the rest of the ingredients for the fritters, I just add another egg for binding and instead enjoy feta/parm/breadcrumb fritters. Delish!
Gonna buy another red cabbage for some soup. It’s better soup weather now anyway. And I've got focaccia.