The Dinner Project: Week 8
March 7, 2011
It’s hard to believe two months have gone by since I started this dinner project. It seems like more, or maybe less, I can’t decide which. When I first began writing down my dinners it had only been a week or so since Kim and Amber were here, since we met up a few days after Christmas at the Country Kitchen on I94 on our way back to Nashville, where we sipped Folgers in a kelly green vinyl booth near the rotating case of plastic looking pies, the three of us having not been together for over four years. It was magical in that surreal way that happens when you’re with good friends, drinking watered down coffee in the grey twilight of a Michigan winter, the hustle of the holidays finally nearing a close. Nothing was the same after that week, in the best way possible.
Now Drew and I find ourselves in the midst of starting a small remodeling and custom carpentry business, more on that awesomeness in the next few days. My friend Rick and I are doing a trade for some amazing wedding photography (me) in exchange for the website of my dreams (him). Just thinking about my photography website has been a thorn in my side for years, years I tell you, and it’s finally really going to happen. It’s a thought that thrills me more than I can explain and it is forcing me to take myself seriously in a way that I never have before. And in the next month or so I will be starting a new writing project for the East Nashville Farmers Market in exchange for a CSA from Delvin Farms. I’ve never had a CSA before and while the thought of being showered with endless varieties of vegetables used to intimidate me, I am now getting really excited to be gently nudged into a new way of cooking, or maybe not so gently come squash season. I have a feeling I might love it. And on top of all that, we just notified our landlords that when our lease is up on May 1st, we will be moving on to greener pastures, somewhere nearby, still in East Nashville, but into a place with space for an actual kitchen table, maybe even some hardwood floors and a front lawn that doesn’t grow six inches a day. Or if it does, that we won’t be the ones who have to mow it.
It dawned on me the other day that this year is shaping up to be a good one. It already has been a good one, but from my predictions, I think it might get even better. Perhaps that’s what happens when you finally find a home after years of searching, and all that energy that used to be spent wondering if we’d ever find a place that fit us, can now go toward other more exciting things. Like starting a business or going out to Portland this summer for the epic party of the decade, or seeing friends and family in Minnesota and photographing the wedding I’ve always dreamed of photographing. Or simply finding a place to live in East Nashville that suits us like a glove, where we can have friends over to sit around a table and enjoy a tasty meal. Because I can tell you right now that as much as Drew and I love our vegetables, those CSA boxes are no joke. And if I had to choose between the two, I would much rather cook for friends than cook for the freezer.
Monday, February 28 – Homemade nori rolls with tofu, avocado, cucumbers & carrots
Tuesday, March 1 – Stuart’s birthday! Dinner at the Smiling Elephant – spicy pork stir fry
Wednesday, March 2 – Pad thai with tofu (photo above)
Thursday, March 3 – Roasted sweet potatoes with cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt & pepper; rice noodles with sauted carrots and napa cabbage in a teriyaki type sauce (this was a Drew creation, he is the master of making delicious meals out of nothing)
Friday, March 4 – Soft corn tortillas filled with sauted shrimp, homemade mango salsa, avocado & queso fresco (the most delicious meal of the week, and the easiest)
Saturday, March 5 – Black beans & rice
Sunday, March 6 – Orzo with sauted garlic, portobello mushrooms, baby spinach and a sprinkle of fresh parmesan (this was a close runner up to the shrimp tacos both in deliciousness and simplicity)