Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How to avoid bread and pasta for a week and live to tell about it

Sardines Sardines are very tasty. They taste good on crackers, which means they're good on the Bread of Affliction (matzohs) too. If your foodie friend is visiting you, she will not let you eat these out of the can, hunched over the sink, as you intend to do. Rather, she will dish them into a bowl, spread fresh avocado mixed with freshly ground black pepper and capers onto a matzoh, place a single sardine just so, and hand it to you on a plate. She will make you sit down at the table to eat it. And she will make you use a napkin. And it will be good.

Matzo brei is also very tasty. You learned to make it from a Nice Jewish Boy from Long Island many yearsEggs ago when you were giving the other coast a whirl for a bit. It is his grandmother's recipe. You run several sheets of matzoh under the tap until they're good and wet, shake them out, then crumble them all up into a colander. Then you melt butter in a pan, and fry the damp matzo bits until lightly browned. Then you add three or four eggs, beaten with a little milk, salt and pepper. The resulting scrambled egg and matzo is then eaten, in delicious little bites, with jam and a giant cup of coffee. Your children announce that they love matzo-brei. This will make you feel like a righteous Jew.

Carrot salad with avocado and tofu sounded good (well, maybe not the tofu part necessarily), and since the gorgeous Clotilde at Chocolate & Zucchini eats it for lunch every day, you decide you should try it. You took four years of high school French. There's no reason why you should be so impressed with a dish called Carottes Rapées à l'Avocat, but you are. In any case, the recipe, in English, sounds like simplicity itself. You grate the four carrots. You dice your ripe, medium avocado. You toast your sesame seeds. Then you realize that your lemon is too big and that you probably added too much lemon juice and absolutely too much balsamic vinegar, and then, unable to stop the train wreck, you dump in your carrots before it's all mixed and you can't quite scoop it all out again to backtrack. What you're left with is balsamic-flavored vegetable slop. Good thing you opted not to use tofu in the end.

Refrigeration for a few hours doesn't fix the problem. You eat most of it anyway, because you sense that, if prepared correctly, it could be very good indeed. And at the very least it's probably healthy for you.

Eat the ginger and carrot soup you bought three boxes of from Trader Joe's, for several meals.

Make the kids a lot of hard boiled eggs. Color some and call it Easter, prompting the kids to continue eating them, along with their chocolate.

Have Tony over for more salmon.

Passover is over the next day and dream of the biggest, creamiest bowl of fettuccine Alfredo you can conjure up.

Next year in Greenblatt's.

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