Cooking

I like to cook, but I have a tendency to most like to cook things that are very yummy, but take a lot of preparation. And as I’ve gotten older and picked up more responsibilities (and have young kids, same thing?), I do less and less cooking period, much less of the big prep recipes. (Fortunately, I have a spouse who does enjoy cooking, and is better at not making a production of it!)

From our vegetarian and less time crunched days, we have a couple of cookbooks by Martha Rose Shulman, Vegetarian Feasts, and a shorter and smaller volume, Fast Vegetarian Feasts. In the former book are such amazing recipes as pumpkin lasagna, which not only features starting with a fresh pumpkin, but also fresh, homemade noodles, tied together with a béchamel sauce. (And this was something we last made over a decade ago… and no, I did not peek at the recipe.) Another favorite is black bean enchiladas, which I was reminded of by some refried black beans we used for tacos last week.

Tomorrow, I’ll be visiting a colleague who welcome his first child just over two months ago. I’ll be meeting her for the first time =). And having three kids of my own, I thought that it would be more useful to bring food for mom and dad than to bring another toy for the baby to ignore (for now), or cute clothes to be made a mess of. So, I used it as an excuse to make the black bean enchiladas…

Now, yes, I did look online to find a simpler recipe. But, none of them seemed to be much easier, and if they were, they didn’t look anywhere nearly as good. So, I went back to Feasts, and prepared to doctor the recipe a bit… I did not start with dried black beans, and I cheated with a can of sauce. But in both cases, I doctored the prepared items, hopefully in such a way as to improve them and get closer to the original recipe.

One benefit of my cheats was that I ended up with excess tortillas at the end — after making one tray for the newly-larger family, and another for home, I had enough to make yet one more entire tray. And it just turns out that a good friend who has been going through a lot of late has been given yet more to go through — and I can make a delivery of a tray of yummy enchiladas to that house tomorrow, too.

Part of what I look about cooking is the therapeutic benefits of paying close attention to what you’re doing, to the exclusion of all other worries. It feels even better to make food that I can give to others to enjoy.

And in this case, I may have to rely on others to find out whether my experiments worked… I will be visiting with the new baby tomorrow afternoon, and then staying nearer the city for a while to avoid the traffic jams on the way back home. Chances are, I will not eat dinner at home tomorrow — so I won’t get any unless the kids leave me some leftovers…

Tortillas prepped with a tomato based sauce and spices. Mmmm….

Assembly line…

Finished products

 

 

 

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