Too Hot to Bake, So I’ll Write…

Ahh…bless you Elle.  Thank you for sparing me the need to turn on my oven and bake, just to have something to blog about.  Yes, I could do a post on the other kind of cooking I do, because I certainly do enough of it, but it’s just so hot, writing about food has lost its luster for a while.  Elle, from Feeding My Enthusiasms is a fellow Daring Baker who, unlike me, has figured out how to get the DB logo in her side bar.  I clearly need lessons!

So thanks, Elle, for tagging me for this meme — a new one that seems relatively painless, thank goodness. None of that maniacal linking business.  Well, painless until I have to choose a few unsuspecting folks to carry on the duty — something I’m not very good at because I know they’re sure to grimace a bit and wonder, "Why Me?"

But this one is a breeze, so give it a go.

Here are the rules:

  1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.
  2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name.  If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.
  3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog-post containing your own middle name game facts.
  4. At the end of your blog-post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag.
  5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Okay, got it?  Not too bad, right?  I’m going to relate mine to food, since that makes my world go ’round:  the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Can you hear the "wha-wha-wha-wha….wha…wha-whaaaaaaa….." and see Clint Eastwood’s silhouette clearing the horizon?  No?  Hmmm…

I have three middle names.  One is legal, and the other two are the result of arcane religious practices.  But I love one of those names — Catherine.  And since I have no desire to do all of that writing in this post due to time restraints (unfortunately), I’ll go with Cate for short.  Kind of catchy, don’t you think?

C — C is for the oldest of my three sons whose first name begins with C.  Such a lovely young man working hard to finish school and balance a demanding job at the same time — something I did while I was raising my boys.  I’ve tried to encourage him to quit his job and really commit time to finishing school, but he hasn’t.  Sigh.  C is also for caponata which is made mainly with eggplant, something I’m not especially fond of, but will eat.  I found these beautiful little eggplants at Whole Foods yesterday, so will be roasting them tonight for dinner with other vegetables to make Michael Chiarello’s Caponata "Agrodolce."  Wish me luck!  Img_3285

A — A is for Autumn, my favorite season of the year.  I wait for it each year, expectantly.  I enjoy seeing the changes in the small garden I have, the cooling moisture that each morning brings, with drops of condensation glistening in the early light, and a pungent scent of humus in the air.  A is also for Apricot, probably my favorite fruit that I rarely get to eat.  We used to have three apricot trees in our old house, and each year enjoyed trudging up the hill to pick and eat them until there were just too many to keep up with.  Of course apricot jam, apricots in fruit salads, apricots in tarts, and apricots set on a table near the road with a "free" sign all filled the days.  I miss those days.  Img_3271

T — T is for Teach, something I did for many years.  And although I no longer teach in schools, I have taught my husband to cook.  Or perhaps my passion sparked his interest, and now he’s been primarily responsible for Thanksgiving dinner at our house for three years running.  He’s quite the guy!  T also stands for Tomato, my favorite vegetable.  I used to eat them like apples when I was growing up.  I love them raw and plain, or sliced with a bit of salt, or mixed in with scrambled eggs or an omelet, sliced with basil and fresh mozarella and red onions, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.  I love them sauteed with italian sausage, simmered in a marinara sauce, sprinkled and mixed with a chewy pasta and parmesan, and…well, the list is endless.  I would never, never spoil a tomato by putting it in the refrigerator, so they sit on the counter near the fruit bowl, waiting to be used each and every day in something I eat.  And not to leave out the sweets, T is also for Tart.  Any kind of tart, for any occasion.  But most recently, a peach & blueberry tart for my middle son’s birthday.  I’ll post it later…Img_3206

E — E is for my mother’s first name.  My mother has very recently moved to the East Coast at the age of 69 to try something different "before she is too old."  I just love that.  It takes guts.  She has just gotten a job, and is settling in, enjoying the differences between the dry heat of the extreme Southwest, and the lush green of Virginia.  It makes me happy to know that she is growing peacefully into her new home.  E is also for Eggplant.  Yes, I know I already mentioned it, but this was by design.  The reason I don’t especially enjoy eggplant is because my mom used to slice it, dip it into flour and egg, and then fry it.  I dislike very few things, but just the memory of eating the fried eggplant of my childhood gives me the shivers.  It completely lacked flavor, and the consistency was mushy.  And the grease?  Ugh.  My mom was (she no longer enjoys cooking) an excellent cook, but jeez, her fried eggplant was something really awful.  I’m still trying to find a way to learn how to like the poor vegetable!  Wait — or is it a fruit….hmmm….

Now that was quick!  So who’s next?  Bloggers who represent each of the letters I’ve focused upon in this post:

C is for Cooking by the Seat of my Pants (Jerry) who, like me, has an opinion — or a few — about Rachael…
A is for All Things Edible (Quellia) whose energetic voice and buoyant spirit leaps off the page whenever I read her posts, or her comments in other’s blogs.  She’s got a veggie garden I’d love.  But I don’t have the space, so I’m envious of what she’s grown.
T is for Taste and Tell (Deborah) who shares my philosophy about food.  We love to eat and cook.  Simple. And add to that a will to try something new, and objectively tell everyone what we think of the outcome.  What better way is there to learn?  Refreshing, don’t you think?
E is for Eat Drink Live (Laura) whom we may not hear from as she’s embroiled in a read-a-thon of sorts.  Thirteen books in three weeks?  Goodness.  But do check out the luscious recipe she has posted for "Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Tomatoes and Purple Basil." 

Did I mention that peppers are another favorite vegetable?  Especially roasted peppers.  And stuffed? 

I’m so there.