However shall I paint it?
I suppose it’s only appropriate to start from the beginning: June 12, 1982, my DOB. Like other babies, I mingled with the occasional mashed banana, experimented with liquefied chicken and rice, and flirted with my fair share of smashed sweet potatoes.
And sometimes, I ate cake/smeared it on my face.
It wasn’t long before solid food and I started a full blown relationship, one that can only be described as my healthiest and happiest to date. American psychologist Dorothy Tennov extensively studied the trajectory of the in-love experience, theorizing that the passion and sometimes obsessiveness that one feels when first starting a romantic relationship generally fades in two years or less. My infatuation with food has challenged this time frame, which is why I generally opt for food over men, or anything else for that matter. Don’t get me wrong, I have had exceptional boyfriends who have deeply enriched my life. However, in the conflict of men vs. food, it’s hard to refrain from siding with the latter.
How do I love food? Let me count the ways. I appreciate its dependability. Whatever my mood may be, there is a food out there to suit it. Its omnipresence soothes me, entertains me, and dares me to think bigger and better and tastier. It is an edible art that tickles all of the senses and never stops evolving, and therefore, it rarely risks a dull moment. I like that I can jump from one food to another and not be considered a tease or traitor. Throughout my relationship with food, I have never had to ask, “Am I settling?” or, “Will food and I ever have the relationship we once had?” I can have it six times a day, and never tire of it. It is ubiquitous without being boring, which I consider quite a feat in a world replete with planned obsolescence. Lastly, If ever I find myself dissatisfied with food, I can throw it out and start afresh (don’t judge me for being wasteful. I’m working on it).
I could go on and on, but my main point is this: My passion for food has not once waned in the 28 years we have been dating, and I am confident that as my tastes continue to develop, so will my reverence for food. This is why I am dedicating myself to this here blog, which showcases Food glorious Food, my one true and everlasting love!
Is this a “food blog”? No, not in the traditional sense. I am not an exceptional chef, nor do I take enticing food photos. Like this blog, my cooking and photography skills are a work in progress. What I do bring to the table is an unwavering ability to unearth the best edible treats and their inventors, no matter where I may be. Given that my tactics for doing so are a bit unorthodox, and my budget is…“interesting”, my food-related anecdotes are many. This blog will be devoted to such stories, and will include typical food blog components such as recipes, restaurant recommendations, kitchen tips, photos, favorite food discoveries, articles highlighting the culture of food, and anything else that occurs to me along the way.
Before closing this entry, I’d like to start my first blog tradition. For every substantial post I make, I’d like to attach a corresponding recipe. Since this entry began with talk of baby food, let’s start simple.
Speaking of smashed sweet potatoes…
While these recipes began as holiday traditions, I have started cooking them more regularly since sweet potatoes are more antioxidant-packed than white potatoes. The first recipe is from my grandma, who like most grandmas, cooks perfectly without using exact recipes. This is as close as I can get to pinpointing measurements.
Sweet Potato Pudding
- 5-7 large sweet potatoes (a red-skinned white-fleshed variety like the New Jersey Redskin is better than a yam or an orange-fleshed sweet potato because it is less stringy)
- half stick (1/4 cup) of butter
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like things. I like to use half white and half brown sugar)
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp orange or pineapple juice (optional – gives mixture a fruitier flavor, as opposed to a creamier one)
- cinnamon and nutmeg (also optional)
- 1 pack of large marshmallows
1. Wash and cut sweet potatoes into thirds. Place in large pot of water and boil until tender (about 15-20 min). Since I hate peeling raw potatoes, I boil them until their skin starts peeling off. This is probably bad, since it likely decreases nutritional value.
2. Dump water and peel skins completely off. Place 2 cups of sweet potato aside for second recipe (below). Add butter to remaining potatoes and mash. Add sugar, milk and juice (if desired) until mixture reaches a smooth pudding consistency.
3. Spread mixture into a 9×13 pan and sprinkle with light coating of nutmeg and cinnamon. Cover with marshmallows and bake at 350 degrees F until marshmallows melt and become light brown.
Suggestions: Enjoy as a dessert or side dish, and try spreading leftovers on ham or turkey sandwiches. Delish!
Sweet Potato Biscuits– this is what I like to do with the 2 cups of sweet potatoes I had you set aside. The recipe makes about 24 biscuits.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups sweet potato
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray. In large bowl whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In another bowl, mix sweet potatoes and butter. Make a well in dry ingredients and add sweet potato mixture and buttermilk. Stir with wooden spoon until very soft dough forms.
2. Place dough on well-floured surface and roll out until it is 1-inch thick. If you don’t have a rolling pin, use a wine bottle. Use floured 2 1/2 inch cookie cutter (or the rim of a wine glass…I promise I’m not a wino) to cut biscuits. Place biscuits on baking sheets and bake for 22 minutes, until golden. Transfer to rack to cool.
This is what your biscuits will look like, but I didn’t take this pic:
Suggestions: These are great plain, but I love making sandwiches out of them with ham and honey mustard. They freeze really well and can be reheated out of the freezer at 350 degrees F for 15 min.