flow in the kitchen, listening to fleet foxes

I’m proud of and impressed by my husband.

Proud because this weekend he is recording a solo album (demo’d very loosely for FAWM) with Egg Studios in Seattle,* along with his trusty violinist and a few friends showing for random vocals. Impressed because without my request or expectation he took the two days bookending this event off of work to be here with and for the family – allowing me tomorrow to do my thing and allowing him to hang with the kids, chickens, and clean the house. He will be back (hopefully, after a very fun recording session) late Sunday night and Monday will be another family day. I am impressed by him at how he balances his life’s passions.

Two days ago I realized the thing that would mean most, and I mean most to him would be to send him up with a lot of my cooking – hopefully, to feed him, the violinist, and the friend whose house they are staying with as well. So today I’m thinking: three bean stew, naan (for the house friend, who loved this when he last visited us), Italian salad with garbanzo beans, artichokes, and feta, corn bread, roasted cauliflower, rhubarb pie, banana bread, apples, bananas, and some fresh hardboiled eggs. That should keep them going.

I enjoy cooking all the more when I can anticipate just how much someone will love the food. Tonight when we get home I start up a large pan with cranberry beans I keep pre-soaked in the fridge. Then in my other pan I pour up a generous amount of olive oil, turn to medium high heat. Working quickly, I take the stems and seeds out of a dozen jalapenos – setting aside a few to roast in a glass loaf pan with soy sauce and olive oil. The remainder are diced superfine with most of a head of celery and several cloves of garlic, and put into the pan warm with oil. While these soften in the oil I snip the ends off of 1 1/2 pounds of green beans, cut into 2″ lengths. Peel several carrots and cut them to 1/4″ dice. Add broth and veggies and bring to a simmer. Then take the cranberry beans off the stove, pour off about half the cooking liquid and add them, as well as the pinto beans prepared last night, generous scoops homemade berbere and kibbeh, salt, and a homemade tomato and garlic salsa.

I rinse the pan I’d used on the cranberry beans. Take about 1 1/4 lb. garbanzo beans, pick through, wash, and add to this pan on the boil. Turn the stove off after two minutes; I will rinse then cook these down after about an hour, before adding them to the remaining marinaded salad ingredients. Pull the roast jalapenos out of the oven. Pull them out with a spoon into a to-go container for Ralph. While this loaf pan (my one) cools slightly I mix up the banana bread – whipping shortening and sugar until fluffy and adding the rich farm-fresh eggs to a bold yellow. Mash the bananas I’d saved for a few days so they’d be ripe. Cinnamon, salt, flour, baking soda, and the bread goes in the oven that’s just the right temperature.

Piecrust; form two flattened disks, wrap, and into refrigerator. Rhubarb pie will be made tomorrow along with the cornbread, cauliflower, naan, maybe some more bagels if I get time.

The stew is done and tastes divine. The kids are running around in bathing suits and forming plans of having a slumber party out in our family van – hauling dinosaur costumes and toothbrushes. A fresh pot of coffee on; tonight we stay up late and celebrate!

* I love the studio’s website has a guy in a novelty viking hat and the line, “I have decent gear, shit loads of experience, and truly believe that recording should be easy and fun !” Is this professional? “Shitloads” is one word, c’mon.

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