This is a first for the Clumsy Cook Blog, but please welcome a guest writer: me! I just wanted to share that being friends with M- is an exercise in recognizing and coming to terms with your own laziness. M- and I have many similarities. We were both science majors, lived on the same hallway for 4 years, graduated from Wellesley, are finishing our first year as TFA teachers, applying to medical school. But here is one area where we are very different: last night for dinner, I alternated handfuls of pretzels with handfuls of chocolate chips. M- made organic chard gratin, whatever that is.
I said goodbye to my 130 kiddos on Wednesday, suffered through the two extra days of paperwork that amounts to letting the door hit hard-working teachers on their way out, and then fell into bed. And then I woke up and… had no idea what to do. It has been at least five years since I had this dilemma. It was Saturday and I had nothing pressing to begin the hard work of procrastinating on! So I took inspiration from M- and actually ate something today other than Lean Cuisine 2-minute microwavable pizza (which, all things considered, is actually impressively yummy). My frozen-food lifestyle thrown aside, here is my first attempt to give the Clumsy Cook a run for her money.
Too lazy to go to the grocery store, I raided the pantry, and came up with the ingredients to make a spice cake. Now, I grew up in the country, and it was an implicit rule that every food had its own time of year. Spice cake is quite obviously a fall food, so forgive my lapse in proper seasonal etiquette. My spice cabinet needed organizing. Short story short, a simple spice cake with blackberry jam between the layers, frosted with cream cheese frosting and with embellished with fanciful raisin patterns is both a good way to clean out the cupboards and to create something delish-ish.
The leveled pieces of cake became a masterpiece in their own right when stuck together with cream cheese frosting and jam swirled together for a wonderfully simplistic, rustic look.
Ok, so truth be told, my sweet tooth leaves my stomach caring very little for actual food. My sophomore year of college, I had a stomach thingy that left me with a doctor-endorsed diet of ice cream for dinner, and no one heard much complaining from me on that matter (right, M-?). I will concede, though, that a regular, healthy dinner is necessary for good mental health.
Even so, these early summer days on the river in Muggy Memphis leave you in a weird hungry/un-hungry state, and drained. Listen up: here is the cure. I’m calling it “Summer Stuffing”, but feel free to make up your own, much cooler and descriptive name.
Recipe (2 servings)
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 bell pepper
1 vine tomato, diced
2 ears corn, cooked, cut, and chilled
small handful of walnuts, chopped medium-fine
small handful of left-over chicken, shredded, if you are so carnivorously inclined (Mita Note: Or fake chicken…”Chikin”)
1 tsp. olive oil
dash salt, pepper to taste
a slice or two of fresh lime
several leaves of fresh basil