The pinwheel quilt, with borders,
A couple of you commented on yesterday's post that you didn't know what collards were, and I realize now I'm not sure how to explain them. They are a green, leafy vegetable related to cabbage and broccoli. When you cook them, they wilt much like spinach, but when raw they're a lot tougher than spinach. They're popular here in the Southern states, in part because they're cheap and you can grow them in the cool months. They have the same effect on children as cooked spinach--lots of "Ewww, gross" and "Who would eat that?"
I was thinking this morning that my favorite times of year to cook are early winter and early summer. In early summer, you have lots of tender, young vegetables that make you happy to be alive (not to mention strawberries), and in early winter you get stew.
I love stew. I made a beef stew tonight that started--as all great recipes do (see yesterday's post for cross-reference)--with frying up some bacon.* Around step four, you pour in 12 ounces of amber beer, and the smell is divine. The great thing about stew is that it fills up the whole house with its wonderful aromas and makes you feel that life is worth living.
I did something totally out of the ordinary for lunch today. No one in my family but me likes Indian food, so I never make it. But the other day I was going through the humongous pile of recipes I've pulled out of magazines but never actually tried and stumbled across a recipe for chicken thighs in a curried yogurt sauce made in a slow cooker. So this morning, I chopped up onions and garlic, mixed them with some tomato paste, cumin and curry powder, threw in some chicken and cooked it on high for four hours. When the chicken was done, it fell of the bone in that wonderful way chicken does. I stirred half a cup of Greek yogurt into the tomato paste mixture, and wah-lah! Lunch. Wonderful, and no one to complain about the curry smell. Even better, there's enough for at least one more lunch, maybe two.
Well, I better go cook some more bacon; it'll be breakfast before you know it.
*I thought Pom Pom made an astute comment yesterday about bacon, how it makes the house smell marvelous in the morning, but as the smell weakens over time it's much less pleasing. This underlines the importance of cooking bacon at every meal, so that the smell always stays fresh and at its bacon-y best.