OK, so the last entry was a bit too philosophical, so let me lighten things up a bit again and offer you a plate of greens. St. Patrick’s Day came and went and I didn’t really feel it here. I wish a friendly leprechaun would’ve shown up at my door with a pot of gold, but instead it was a farm delivery a few days earlier with a box of fruits and veggies. Thankfully last week they cut back on the lettuce, but instead, they have scaled up on the carrots, pointy cabbages, fennel bulbs, and threw in a bag of rucola and rhubarb for good measure. Rhubarb! Good heavens what on earth was I going to do with that? Nothing in my asian background and experience prepared me for rhubarb, only my German years and even those experiences were few and far between.
I cannot tell you definitively what my position on rhubarb is. I don’t like the sour pickled version, nor am I fan of the sweet compote either. So I stared at the bunch of green leaves with bright red and yellow stalks and actually had a conversation with them. The solitary life is creeping up on me if I have discussions with rhubarb in my kitchen! I knew life in Portugal was going to be different, but rhubarb musings with a cat who doesn’t care one way or another is not something I ever envisioned or planned on.
Long story short, I opted to take several directions on the matter and chopped the stalks, sautéed them with apples to make a rhubarb apple crumble. The remaining greens I have been working through as manifestations of salads, stir-fry, omelettes, and today as a mixed bean vegan meal. I have at least two more portions to consume of the leaves and I truly hope the farmer doesn’t bring me another batch. I have to admit though it is far more interesting than lettuce and not as soggy as spinach, so it lends itself to quite the cornucopia.
Over the past weeks a small mountain of sweet potato has accumulated in my vegetable repository. I cannot possible consume that much sweet potato in this lifetime, but the damn things keep popping up in every blessed mystery box on Tuesdays. So yesterday I took the knife to chop at least four kilos worth of the stuff and throw them all into a large pot to boil. I will be making sweet potato butter, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes (Bratkartoffel, not fries), and gnocchi over the next days (weeks?). This homesteading life can be hilarious at times, and I dare not grumble with ingratitude about the abundance. It certainly forces me to tap deep into my culinary creative side.
Here is the source of my inspiration: Dept of Culture, a Nigerian chef takes over New York City For those of you reading this who have lived in Nigeria or any part of Africa, I know this will strike a chord!