Life is a magical mystery. Walk forward down the path out of this year into the next. Happiest of holidays to all of you, dear friends.

 

Niloufer’s Kheema (with the addition of potato cubes and garbanzo beans) for dinner last night. Can’t get enough of those flavors. This morning we found little jewel yams in the market. After roasting, we split the yams open, filled them with the warmed spicy leftovers, and scattered some cilantro leaves for color and flavor.

Do as we are doing, learn from Niloufer Ichaporia King’s My Bombay Kitchen: Modern and Traditional Parsi Cooking (University of California Press, 2007).  And don’t forget Canal House Cooking, Volumes N°s 1–8. All great holiday presents!

 

 

Good ideas are always right in front of your nose, and in this case a very fine one really was. We had decided to give our Yorkshire pudding a little run through since we are both planning on serving it with big bodacious prime ribs of beef for the upcoming holidays. We cooked some thick-cut bacon in our big roasting pan for the required “drippings”, removed the crisp strips, then poured the batter into the hot pan. The pudding rose and fell beautifully, and turned a golden brown. As we cut it into 8 generous pieces, the bacon’s heavenly aroma wafted over our way. Aha! So we wrapped the warm crisp-soft slices around strips of meaty bacon. Best things we have eaten since yesterday’s latkes.

 

 

Latkes with sour cream for lunch today to celebrate day two of the festival of lights, Hanukkah. Like the title of  the 1965 comedy album of Bob Booker & George Foster, ”You Don’t have To Be Jewish” to love these crisp-on-the-outside, soft-and-tender-on-the-inside potato pancakes. Happy Hanukkah—Mzl Hanukka!

 

We had a little smoked whitefish left from a lunch earlier in the week. So prudence prevailed and we made a smoky fish and potato chowder. We took our bowls outside and sat on a stone wall in the mild air and warm sun. Nothing to complain about, everything to be grateful for. Cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

The other day we cooked a pot of cannellini beans from Iacopi Farms in Half Moon Bay, CA. and have been enjoying every spoonful. Our neighbor dropped off a bag of sprightly arugula that is still growing in his garden (and we rustled up some chives). It wasn’t hard to know what to do: warm the beans, wash the greens, drizzle with good olive, and season with salt and pepper. This is our kind of health food.

 

We went shopping last night to restock the fridge and came upon this big beauty–a whole smoked white fish. It should last us a good little while. So for today’s lunch, we’re having it on buttered toast with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon and cracked black pepper (no salt necessary, the fish is salty enough). Maybe tomorrow we’ll make a simple chowder with some of it.

 

Pants won’t button, blouses straining at the seams, it’s time to push away from the table. Right after our lunch— temperate bowls of rich turkey broth with cannellini beans garnished with dill and chives. Maybe the broth is so darn good because we threw a lamb bone into the pot. We have eaten the turkey beak to tail feather, everything save the gobble.