I like to cook. It’s not something I was born to; it’s more like Julie Powell, Miss “The Julie/Julia Project” who is now more famous than God. That is, it’s something that I found when I wasn’t really looking.
Christopher, my 12-year-old son who is currently stricken with The Dreaded Flu, isn’t around to comment this evening, quarantined as he is, but every night in the past oh six months or so when I’ve made something interesting, I’ve taken a photograph of it. Not tonight, however, and it’s a shame because this is the first time I’ve actually mustered up the energy to write about what I’ve cooked after I’ve gone through the arduous process of actually cooking it.
Christopher, or “Kristoff” as I like to call him. The poor Tamiflu-taking preteen.
He’s always giving me a hard time, this one, about taking pictures of food.
“WHY did you take a picture of the food,” he’ll ask, just as perplexed as he can be. Like, ‘why on God’s green earth did you waste valuable pixels on something as boring, unphotogenic and useless, photographically speaking, as FOOD.’
Not that he said that. But you could see it just oozing all over his face. Well, I’ll tell you why, Mr. Enthusiastic Eater of Mommy’s Cooking, I’m on the Internet and what we mamas do is talk about you rugrats, our sex lives and what we made for dinner.
Now see? Doesn’t that look good? And photographed nicely with plenty of natural light from yonder breakfast-nook window. It’s Chicken Bruschetta from Tasty Kitchen. I’ve submitted a coupla recipes there myself.
Doesn’t the fresh basil look nice, snipped from my own back yard?
At any rate, tonight I did a bit of on-the-fly cooking, such that Julie would never have attempted, wedded as she was to Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Hey I ain’t wedded to no one but Tras and if I wanna cook rogue, I do it.
Recipe Part A. Last weekend I had purchased some lovely onion buns. I probably buy them every two or three years; they’re delicious buttery yellow hamburger buns with scrumptious toasted oniony thingies on top. Oh it’s a good burger made with these babies.
Recipe Part B. I keep on hand, in the freezer, a vast quantity of frozen ground turkey; thank you Meijer’s. It’s appallingly cheap at the regular price, which I think is $1.69 a pound. Recently they ran it 10 for $10. So I use it exclusively for all my hamburger needs, which wax and wane as I make fizzled attempts to return to my natural, vegetarian state. Anyway, the ground turkey.
Recipe Part C. Squash. I love it. Tras loves it. The kids are sick of it. Heck, they never liked it much in the first place but me, I love to grill it. Grilled zucchini, grilled summer squash. And grilled eggplant. IT’S ALL GOOD. But along about June 23 of this year, I probably burned them out of it. I don’t care. I keep buying it.
Recipe: The Good Part. Here’s where I got devious and creative. I mashed the pound of ground turkey with an egg, a few bread crumbs, about a quarter cup of Kraft parm and my favorite spices: onion salt, ground pepper and Tony’s. It’s true. It’s. Good. On. Everything.
So I mash it all together, as I say, and then I am STRUCK. Struck by inspiration. I own a Cuisinart food processor. It turns anything into shredded nothing in two seconds flat. They won’t eat zucchini? Mu-friggin’ ha-ha-ha.
I do it. I shred that zucchini. I mix it into the turkey. I form patties. Down they go on the George Forman grill. Four minutes later, mon dieu! She is gorgeous and delicious, this turkey burger patty.
Then comes the devious part. The plating of the patty. The toasting of the bun. The application of the oh-so-desired Swiss cheese. The jauntily set bread-and-butter pickles. Poor Claire. She never knew what hit her.
When I got her plate back it was clean. Clean. She ate every ounce of her quarter-pound turkey burger, containing as it did, a quarter zucchini. It may be simple to you, but to me, it’s a victory to savor on par of the night I made “chicken” stir-fry. Ask my dear children how very very tender Mom makes her cubed chicken. Oh so delicious is that chicken<cough>tofu<cough>.
You never heard it from me.