What Would Theresa Make?

So, last night I was trying to come up with something for dinner.  I was in a rather harried state for various reasons, one including a particularly stressful book series :-), and had only started to think about this question at 5pm.  I tried thinking, and looking through cookbooks, searching online.  Looking through the fridge, pantry, freezer.  As you can tell, I have a harder time with spontaneity compared to Theresa when it comes to meals.  I think I just get too hungry after a while and my ability to combine logic and food, maybe even time and space becomes a little questionable.

Finally after breaking a plate (I know, really) and managing to exhaust my mental resources (I should have had a snack), I finally took a deep breath and asked: What Would Theresa Make? And then, it was very clear.  We have cornmeal……

Freshly ground white cornmeal made from Mandan Bride Dent Corn.

Simple. Theresa would make polenta with some sauce.

A winning idea, for various reasons:  We have some milk to make it creamy, cheese for protein, canned tomatoes for sauce.  Of course, I then ask my constant question, how can I get more vegetables into that?

You wonder why I'm such a veggie fanatic. But how can you ignore these beauties? Rutabaga, potato, parsnip, carrot.

Soon I’m coming across this meal idea, and chopping up vegetables to roast, maybe a little too quickly, hoping that dinner will be done at a reasonable hour.  I set the root veggies to roast with rosemary, salt and pepper.

(Theresa here, I’m sure some of you are going to freak out over the fact that we are eating potatoes that have sprouted and are a little wrinkly.  After some research, we determined that, while not optimal, its not entirely bad for you either.  As members of the nightshade family, which includes tomatoes and eggplant, the greens and green bits are the poisonous parts.  If your potatoes have sprouted, but are not green and are still pretty firm to the touch, they should be fine to eat.  We haven’t died or gotten sick off of them yet.  With all of that said, this is the end of our potatoes and I will probably have to wrestle them from Laura’s vegetable-mongering hands when I next get into the kitchen.  We might plant them for our own entertainment, see what happens.)

Slices of rutabaga. Very pretty delicate patterns on the inside, I must say.

Soon, I’m whisking polenta, and cooking down some canned tomatoes with red wine, garlic and thyme.  I’m so very bent on making this meal happen quickly that when Theresa arrives home, I scream a blood curdling scream when I notice her unannounced presence cross the hallway in front of the kitchen.  So, maybe I could do to relax a bit.  Dinner is not life or death, at least normally.

Greens (the last of the spinach and some arugula) cooking down in the tomato sauce.

After calming down a bit, and wondering what my neighbors might be thinking, screaming and all, I threw some greens into the tomato sauce, added milk to the cooked polenta, and served dinner right up.

Creamy White Polenta, Herbed Roasted Vegetables, Tomato-Wine Greens Sauce, and Atwell's Gold Cheese. Dinner. Done in a reasonable span of time.

The meal turned out pretty well.  Another novel way to eat root vegetables.  Both Theresa and I liked the roasted vegetables on top of the creamy polenta, but we felt like the sauce could do with something more.  Balsamic vinegar, we both agreed.  Also, the arugula was rather strong, and it would probably have been best to use only spinach or something like chard.

When talking over dinner, I told Theresa how I had to think “What Would Theresa Make for Dinner?” to come up with the meal.  She laughed and said she agreed.  She would have made polenta, hands down.

Coconut, lime and toasted macadamia nuts. Nom.

All in all, a pretty good meal.  We rounded it out with the last of the amazing coconut lime dessert that Theresa made us last night.

Hopefully, today, dinner will be less dangerous (compared to the broken plate and all from last night).  I already have a plan, so that’s a good start.  No showing up to dinner without wheat flour today.

I hope that everyone else’s cooking hasn’t been such dangerous adventures!  A very Happy Wednesday to you all!

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