Bigger-than-me snow piles, single-digit temperatures, impassable sidewalks, a beleaguered MBTA, and forget parking a car anywhere….we’re all a little stuck in the Boston area. Looking for a way to pass the long hours at home? There’s reading, and then there’s cooking. And then there’s combining your reading AND cooking (ideas here at The Art of Eating Books).
Chelsea Market, New York City
From Jerusalem: A Cookbook, a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, I give you a recipe for Mejadra, my new, most comforting winter meal. Mejadra, also called Mujadara in other parts of the Arab world, is a very old Middle Eastern staple, good served hot or at room temperature, as a stand-alone or as accompaniment. Bonus: the recipe features turmeric, which is good for aging brains. I use brown basmati rice (which you need to cook longer than the amount of time specified in the recipe). Add the lentils, fried onions and fresh Greek yogurt, and you’ve got a satisfying, healthy comfort food. Frying the onions is probably the most labor-intensive part of this recipe, but don’t skip it – the salty, crunchy onions make the dish!
RoseMary, my beloved aunt, used to be able to talk in circles around me. A constant stream of words, detailed memories, bird-like observations of everyone around: this was RoseMary. Until about five years ago, that is, when vascular dementia took hold of this once-unstoppable woman. Now, she can barely string together a few words into a coherent meaning.
Old Delhi, India, May 2014
Last year, in a packed and fragrant spice shop off a teeming Old Delhi street, I spoke with the proprietor, who claimed that liberal use of turmeric in Indian cooking is the reason that alzheimer rates are so low in India. Nationalistic claim or truth? I squirreled away the information and continued inhaling the cardamom pod I had been given.
Today, the BBC included this article on the benefits of turmeric in their daily news feed. Any one know good Indian cooking classes in the Boston area? I need to sign up, fast.
Spice shop, Old Delhi, 2014
Marianne meets Team Hoyt at the 2014 Boston Marathon
Marianne is really, really tired at the end of every day. I imagine that for many who work hard physically to move, it might feel like you’ve run a marathon some days.
My friend Katy is a runner and an athlete, and she recommended this book to me: The Runner’s World Cookbook, edited by Joanna Sayago Golub. I just checked it out of the library, and I think a lot of these recipes will fuel Marianne’s herculean efforts. The recipes are categorized: gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, low-calorie, fast, pre-run and recovery. There’s something for everyone here.