Thanksgiving is coming. Menus are being considered. One guest coming is a Vegan. Another avoids gluten. What to serve to satisfy everyone?
Last night I went to a potluck with that in mind. I ended up making a pot of roasted cauliflower soup. Everyone loved it.
I am a multi-faceted creative person. Always a word artist, more recently I turned to sculpture. But, always my other love has been food. I love to cook, but never follow a recipe. My favorite reading has always been cookbooks. I can “taste” the foods I read about.
Then, inspired I set out to re-create the dish. I can begin with a recipe. I check my pantry, my freezer to pull out the needed ingredients. I might even measure a few of them as I dump them together. But soon I forget to measure something. Or, I decide I do not want to include carrot. And I am off!
And then, as I am completing the dish, I come up with variations to try. Just wait until I try this recipe with butternut squash, or carrots and beets, or roasted fennel. The spices might change, but the basic technique of roasting the vegetables and mashing them together.
After my success last night, I took on the challenge of re-making the recipe while I could remember the spices I used. I carefully measured everything as I went along. Here is the recipe. You do not want cauliflower? Try the technique with roasted asparagus and carrots. And instead of the garam masala, use five-spice.
1 head cauliflower
i small yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c avocado oil
1 nub of ginger
1 can coconut cream
2 cups coconut milk
1 T garam masala
2 t turmeric
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t paprika
salt and pepper flakes to taste
Roast top 5 ingredients for about 1 hour at 400 until it begins to brown and turn soft.
Blend with 1 can coconut cream and 2 cups coconut milk.
Add seasonings and salt to taste.
Today, by the river I saw the Cottonwood.
They held aloft their golden offerings,
under a sky of frost-tinged blue.
They allowed the gentle winds
to strip away their finest garb,
leaf by leaf, as if they yielded
their richest legacies: Lessons
learned in months of quiet
contemplation, toil from life
under ruthless sun-baked skies.
These fluttered to the ground.
I manage spring. I know how to accept
the gifts I am offered, the rich loamy soil,
the gentle rain and each seed, filled
with promise. I can take those bequests,
insert a song of praise, and transform
each into stuff of seeming beauty.
It is fall when I stumble. I am a hoarder.
I fear letting go of all I harvest.
Is this sacrifice sufficient? Couldn’t I,
with just another day, a bit more effort,
produce a more bountiful crop to share?
And, must I, like the trees give everything away?
Will I ever have enough, then? How can I be enough?
And, if I shed these golden leaves,
where will I find the comforts
I will need in the chilly blasts
of harsh wind still to come?
Today, the calendar marks the passing
of yet another month, another season.
Fall leaves impel me to yield my own donations.
I ask for the courage, the faith
to blow into the upcoming winter,
dressed in only this life-toughened bark.
I do not move on naked! See?
I’m adorned with the memories
of summers past, and the certitude
of next spring’s seed.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"