I’ll be up front: I’m no stealthy nutrient-pusher, a la Jessica Seinfeld. You remember Jerry’s wife, and her book about getting vegetables into your kids by lacing their mac ‘n cheese with cauliflower puree and their peanut butter cookies with carrot mash? Partly my objection to this way of cooking is my own sheer laziness: I hate fiddling with Cuisinarty appliances, even plain old blenders. And partly it’s principle: I think good food should speak for itself without concealment.
(I mean, I love peanut butter cookies and I adore carrots. But together? They’re no heavenly Reese’s-style collision waiting to happen! Chocolate chips in the batter, yes. Carrots? Yikes!)
That said, I have one sneaky dish that I make every fall just to see if anyone notices. Well, and because I adore it.
It starts with this humble, homely ingredient:
Ever feel stuck about what to say? For somebody who goes through as many words in a week as I do, both written and spoken, you might be surprised to learn that I’m often a big blank. Either I can’t think of anything worthwhile to contribute, or I have so many different wisps of things to talk about that I can’t latch onto just one to grow, or maybe I’m feeling too private about certain details – good tale, bad timing.
Whatever the cause, I can’t get going. (And yes, I’m talking about a way of being as much as a way of blogging. )
So what do I do in tongue-tied times like those?
Show me a handmade quilt and I’ll show you a happy Paula. I’ve been known to covet friends’ family heirlooms, swoon over intricate versions hanging in museums, and, yes, buy a treasure or two that called to me in an antique shop. I love many mass-market quilts too — in fact I sleep under one every night — but I hold a special place in my heart for those hand-stitched works of art.
So why am I having twinges of quilt guilt?