Feeding the Kitchen Elves

A good sign that I’m getting my postpartum groove on is that I’m back in the kitchen. I’ve made dinner most nights this week and I have to remind myself that just a few weeks ago that seemed like a cliff too sheer for scaling. I haven’t tackled anything complicated (yet) but things have been tasty. I did read that pine nuts, spinach and raisins are a traditional Catalan combination, so I threw some over pasta and mom and Damon absolutely loved it. So easy. I will tell you how I did it.

Make a pound of corkscrew pasta. (That’s the shape I favored for this, anyway, but any pasta will do.)
Saute a bag of spinach in a little bit of olive oil and salt.
Once the spinach is almost done, throw the raisins in the pan and give it another minute. Stir it around a bit. Turn off the heat and leave the combo in the hot pan.
Scatter some pine nuts on a cookie sheet in one layer. Stick them under the broiler for 45 seconds (YMMV on time, but don’t be late. They burn quickly.)
Throw the pine nuts in the pan. Then star mixing in pasta until you have a pleasing ratio. If it feels dry just add a bit more olive oil.
I wrote this one out because I would not normally have tried this combination. I decided to do it because I wasn’t very hungry, so curiosity won out over a sure thing. And it was good. Truly.

I was more mindful that night because I was so happy to be busy at the stove. That’s when I realized something. Let me give you background first:

When it’s just family I usually plate food at the stove and then carry it to the table. (When friends are here we serve at the table or buffet style so they can control what they get.)

Okay, here’s what I realized: I always leave a little bit of each kind of food (main, side, bread, etc) on the stovetop or counter. Never once have I mentioned it, but I always do it. And I’ve never examined the habit. But I know why I do it.

More background: I rarely clean the kitchen. The deal is that I cook, and then after we eat I go be-pajama Alden and take a little break while Damon (or my mom if she’s here) takes care of business.

So finally: It’s fun to pick at food. I love to sample while I cook. (Although sometimes I lose interest in the finished product. Odd.) So I make sure that whoever is cleaning the kitchen has little snacks to cheer the chore along.

What’s funny to me is that earlier this week was the first time I’d ever given it actual thought. I’ve been doing it all my cooking life, which goes back to college. I’ve never told Damon why it’s there. He’s never mentioned it. The food is always gone. For all I know he’s dumping it in the garbage. I hope not. But I don’t want to bring it up and break the spell.


2 responses to this post.

  1. ha! thats awesome. I should start leaving b little snacky bits for cleanup time.
    I am going to have to try your pasta recipe.


  2. ha! thats awesome. I should start leaving b little snacky bits for cleanup time.
    I am going to have to try your pasta recipe.


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