The Root of Things

30 Aug

A year ago, I sat on the couch, belly filled with Herbed Potato Salad, and set to writing.  It had been a long time coming – lots of cooking, lots of recording and testing recipes, and lots of telling my, then fiancé, story after story that made him laugh (usually) and me warm with reminisce.  We were just days away from our wedding, days away from school starting, and admittedly stress levels were high.  And then one day we counted, and laughed about the number of potatoes in our CSA farm basket.  42.

A year later, we are still laughing!  Last Friday, we got 57 potatoes!  In addition to the plethora of zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, and cauliflower.  Like I said in my very first 42potaotes post, farm baskets are awesome!

That being said, I know I haven’t blogged a lot this summer.  It bums me out a bit, and honestly frustrates me just a tad, but looking back on this summer, it has flown by in a blink.  Rob and I have had a great time traveling to Cape Cod, visiting with my mom, and most recently, indulging in an early anniversary celebration to Bend, Oregon.  It has been fun.  Also, a few weeks ago I started working with my new job as a TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) / Instructional Specialist for the school district.  I’ve been raring to go, and the planning has been taking up a lot of my thought, time, energy, and motivation.  Thus, sadly to say, cooking has taken a back seat to lots of sourdough and tomato sandwiches and, well, sleep.

But I must say a big THANK YOU to the so-many-people that have left comments over the last year, and have also asked me why I haven’t been blogging recently.  That means people have been READING!  It touches my heart and makes this whole blog-o-sphere so much more personal and meaningful, so thank you!

It’s amazing how the Internet can bring people closer.  No, I don’t mean to be all clichéd, and no, I’m not getting contractor pay for an Internet company to boof up the idea that technology really can be intimate.  I actually happen to have an affinity towards the unseen technical universe, as it is not only how I can communicate stories and recipes, but also how Rob and I met.

Yes, we are an eHarmony success story, not only meeting online, but spent 5 months prior to meeting face-to-face talking/chatting/texting.  This is where some of our best memories came as we talked about everything from politics to favorite color.  When we finally met in Chicago in the dead middle of winter (it was kick-you-in-the-crotch-cold outside), it all started at 1:00 in the morning with an awkward text conversation.

“I just got in… are you still awake?” my fingers nervously, and strangely were slow in tapping the buttons.

“Yeah, I am.”

Great.  I have to make the first move.  “So… how do you want to do this?”

“Well, I can come up to your room,” Uh, no-sir-ee, buddy.  Not so fast.

I looked around.  The hotel, even though the a.m. was creeping around the corner, the downtown lobby was hopping with, ironically enough, a military convention.

“Why don’t we just meet in the lobby, by the bar.”

“Ok, see you soon.”

At this point, I was sweating despite the –9 degree weather out side, and proud of myself for 1) having the guts to fly almost across the country to meet some guy, and 2) not pooping my pants for doing so.

Long story short, Rob was standing by, and slightly behind, a giant margarita glass and gave me a little side wave.  I waved back, and during a small hug waited to hear his very distinctive voice before looking up to see his face.  We talked until 4:30 in the morning, and the rest is well, living history.

So with my little techie blog world anniversary, and the anniversary of marrying that guy next to the margarita glass just days around the corner, I decided to go back to the roots of things…. Potato roots that is.

Anniversaries are traditionally fancy occasions, but sticking with my homey comfort, I decided to “pull an Ina,” and make a very cozy yet elegant dish.  So out came Sweet Potato Soufflés with Ginger Preserves and Marscapone.  We ate it almost too piping-hot and paired it with Rob’s anniversary present: Stoic beer (a new tangy Belgian-style brew from Deschutes).  It was amazing.

I chose to make these soufflés somewhat sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.  They are great as a light lunch, a warm snack, definitely dessert, and satisfying breakfast.  Paying honor to the classic French technique, but also in trying to keep healthy (the irony is that I skipped Zumba class to bake these), I only used simple and nutritious ingredients, so there is no guilt about eating more than one.  Or two.  Or three?  Sure.

So now it’s back to my roots of cooking, blogging, and sharing many more cooking experiences.  Stay tuned!

Sweet Potato Soufflé with Ginger Preserves and Marscapone (makes 12)

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 c finely processed sweet potato (stop processing just before the sweet potatoes are totally puréed)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 8 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 c olive oil
  • ½ c good quality honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2 egg whites, whipped until stiff peaks
  • butter, for greasing the muffin tin
  • a sprinkling of flour, for the muffin tin
  • ginger preserves and Marscapone cheese, for garnish 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease and flour a standard muffin tin.  

After whipping the egg whites, in a separate large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together, minus the sweet potatoes.  In another bowl, mix the honey, yogurt, oil, and vanilla together until just combined.  In batches of three, add in the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix to combine.  Then, slowly mix in the sweet potatoes, and then fold in the egg whites.  

Equally spoon the batter into the muffin tins.  Bake for 20 minutes.  

When the soufflés come out, they will be puffed, and after a minute will start to fall just a bit.  That is ok!  That is the nature of a soufflé!  

While still warm, top with a dollop of ginger preserves and Marscapone cheese.  The cheese will start to melt, and will mix with the standard moistness of the inside of the soufflé.    

Enjoy!  

Sig in his favorite spot in the house... the kitchen.

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2 Responses to “The Root of Things”

  1. Gen August 30, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

    Hurrah, you’re back! 😀

  2. Rick Whittaker September 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm #

    A great story. Blessings on your anniversary.

    Rick, Sandy & Jack

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