Saturday, November 26, 2005 12:01 AM
Small culinary diversions from a busy Thanksgiving week
A midnight snack
Earlier this week, I had a late night hunger pang, and I wanted something small and simple to nibble on. With some leftover renkon (lotus root) handy, I started cooking the renkon in a bit of butter until slightly golden brown on each side, then I added a splash of soy sauce and the tiniest hint of mirin.
My first memory eating renkon bataa was about a year and a half ago with some of Hiromi’s friends. The simplicity of the dish may obscure its charm… it’s an excellent shared plate, especially when served with some good cold sake or other favored intoxicant. When made well, you’ll be fighting over the pieces. You might like to add some grated katsuobushi as a garnish.
I made no plans with my local family for this year’s Thanksgiving, or vice versa, for that matter… the only thing I had planned was a brief supermarket demo at Uwajimaya; I ran my demo until about 4:30 or so, and got home just shy of 5pm.
I conspired with a friend to do a simple dinner close to standard Thanksgiving fare. I made some roasted sweet potatoes gratin, a mushroom-shallot cream sauce baked fresh green bean dish, some beautifully red cooked apples, and a dish of oven-baked dill-garlic mashed potatoes. We also had a mulled spiced apple cider.
Originally I had planned to make some protein-heavy dish for myself, but I somehow distracted myself and never quite got around to it. For me the whole meal was about butter and cream. I prepared gravy for Jennifer, who brought over three brined turkey pieces and one untreated one (needed to produce suitable fats for a gravy).
My camera batteries died unexpectedly when I was trying to photograph yesterday’s dinner. I never got any decent photos before the camera died.
Tonight I had battery power, but a much more basic dinner. I made a little yakisoba and some mapo doufu.
I tried to cram too much into this week. I really had a difficult time managing everything. I tried to squeeze in demos, pack orders, run down to the airport and pry the new shipment from the slow moving airfreight warehouse, and plow through more insanity than I knew what to do with.