Perspective

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Feeding Others

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Food & Healing

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Kimchi & Dals & the Comfort of Daily Habits

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CSA Love (!) and Creamy, Indian-spiced Spring Vegetables

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Sorrel (Sandwiches) & a Cooking Class

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Carrot, Oat, & Nutmeg Muffin

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There's Nothing Like Spring!

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Spoiled Rotten

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Spaghetti Nettle Pie

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Perspective

Muffin wrapper

Fudge-y bits, crumbly bits, and all the bits the muffin paper surface will release only with a careful scrape of a knife, were gathered. A careful scrape is in order because tearing that paper would compromise the heft of the fudg-y bits, all pushed together into a small bite on the edge of the knife. This bite was my pre-fast (therapeutic fasting around chemo) treat last week. I haven’t eaten any refined sugar for 6 weeks. Cancer cells love sugar and frankly I haven’t craved it much. However, that bite of Grand Central Bakery’s Chocolate Wheat Muffin goodness, eaten after the bulk of the muffin, one of my all time favorite treats, was devoured by two nine-year-olds, was the best thing I’ve eaten in ages. And it felt like a whole piece of cake! And it sent me into my 3.5 day fast with a smile on my face.

Feeding Others

bruschetta w peaches prep

We are surrounded by the loving instinct to nourish those in a time of need. Friends and family are eager to start a meal train for us and meantime they deliver lovely treats at random.

Enter the patient who develops recipes for a living and who is following a therapeutic fasting regime for three and half days around each chemo session.  Thus, picture me walking up and down my street, plates of just tested and photographed food in hand in search of eaters!

On the days leading up to chemo, that is food that has actually not been tasted by me! Oh the irony and the learning . . .when my boys are home I’ve begun to rely on their palates to tweak the dishes but mostly I just trust myself and years of cooking to know how a dish should be. Luckily, the cook-with-what-you-have philosophy of taste as you go, adjust seasoning to suit your taste, substitute what you have on hand, means you can create delicious food without exact measurements and overly detailed instructions.

I tested the above peach bruschetta prior to my first round of chemo as I needed a better photograph of it for a newsletter. I didn’t have goat cheese (as called for in the recipe) on hand but knew that the feta I did have on hand would pass as goat cheese in the photo. My neighbor who graciously answered my random knock on her door at 10am ate them with glee, so please add feta to the options of possible toppings!

Happy cooking with what you have!

Bruschetta with Peaches and Basil

Peaches and basil are a great combination and this dish is simple, gorgeous and delicious.

Serves 5 as a side/starter

5 good crusty slices of bread, toasted or grilled
3-4 ounces fresh goat’s cheese (or fresh ricotta or some other mild, spreadable cheese)
Handful or two of whole basil leaves
1-2 large peaches, washed but not peeled
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Good olive oil
A little balsamic sherry or any vinegar you have or lime juice

Set your oven to broil or turn on/light your grill. Slice the unpeeled peaches into 1/4-inch thick slices, working your way around the peach vertically. Spread the peach slices on a cookie sheet and broil for about 5minutes until browning in a few spots. You don’t want them to fall apart or burn so watch closely. Alternatively grill on foil on a grill.

Cut your slices of toasted bread in halves or thirds. Spread generously with goat cheese (or feta:) and cover cheese with slices of grilled peaches. Salt and pepper the bruschetta at this point and drizzle with a little good olive oil. Then top with the basil leaves and a very light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and enjoy right away!

Food & Healing

This does not look like my typical mid-summer blog post photo. It is not a typical mid-summer. I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer and have been learning about foods to nourish me during this journey–chemo therapy and eventually surgery. I am eating tons of fresh vegetables but I am […] Read more »

Sorrel (Sandwiches) & a Cooking Class

Constraints really are the mother of creativity. In this case the constraints were: 1) what’s available, any given morning, in my pantry and puny garden in early spring, and 2) what my 9-year-old might/will eat in his school lunch. He loves mortadella sandwiches and I had indulged by buying this classic […] Read more »

Carrot, Oat, & Nutmeg Muffin

These muffins are not particularly springy, but they are particularly good! Lots of nutmeg, freshly grated if possible, make these chewy-but-airy little treats sing. And grate those carrots on the small holes of the box grater and you’ll end up with an elegant texture for this otherwise rustic muffin. My son endorsed […] Read more »

Spoiled Rotten

me that is, not the vegetables. I am spoiled by my CSA. Spoiled by deliciousness, convenience (yes!) and by something bigger, harder to define. Everywhere we look we’re told to slow down, unplug, spend time with our family, be mindful, and of course eat more fresh vegetables and cook from scratch. […] Read more »

Spaghetti Nettle Pie

Spaghetti pies are everywhere, it seems. . . as are nettles here in the soggy Pacific Northwest at the moment. It’s a spectacular combination. Two of my favorite bloggers waxed poetic about this dish recently; Smitten Kitchen and David Lebovitz. I added lots of nettles, used less cheese, not because I […] Read more »