(Miso meat sauce with lettuce, papaya chunks, and rice)
Last weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving, and I am still trying to cope with its “aftermath.” While I merrily spent my time eating, sleeping, and idling, work piled up in a most unmerciful manner. So here I am now, trying to catch up with previously neglected tasks and making quick lunches with leftovers from last night’s dinner.
I decided to test out this “miso meat sauce” recipe because a) ground pork was on sale (so was the papaya, actually), and b) I still had leftover carrots from last week’s bi bim bap bento. The dish turned out to be a wonderful accompaniment for rice, and anything that goes well with rice is worth making again.
Besides the miso meat sauce, there are two other recipes that I want to share with you this week. Both are from my Thanksgiving potluck dinner this past weekend. Like last year, this year’s Thanksgiving dinner was a cosy affair with two friends of mine. The host was Justin, with whom I have celebrated Thanksgiving for four consecutive years. One of last year’s participants, Karen, had moved back to her hometown after her graduation in June. Instead, Yolanda, who had been away last autumn, was here to join us again.
Yolanda made roast chicken with lemon and herbs, while Justin showed us one of his “inventions” involving broccoli and bacon. My contributions this year were a potato gratin with mascarpone cheese and porcini mushrooms and chocolate-raspberry tarts. The potato gratin recipe is from the November 2007 issue of Bon Appetit, and the tart one is from Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goddess. This was my first time attempting these two recipes. I think I did an agreeable job overall, but there was definitely room for improvement.
For me, dinner parties are perfect occasions to experiment with new, perhaps fancy, recipes. Realistically speaking, one should adhere to the tried-and-tested; yet at the same time, a girl like me who cooks only for herself does not have that many opportunities and justifications to play around in the kitchen for hours and indulge her culinary fancies. Gone are the days when I would be overcome by pangs of nostalgia for this little fisherman place in Venice and make “Venetian mussel risotto” on a Wednesday night. Nowadays I tend to focus on what’s on sale at the supermarket.
(But that’s a story for another time.)
The three of us had a pretty good time eating and watching meaningless Taiwanese television. My friends and I rarely do anything “interesting” or spectacular. Most of the time we just sit around and engage in inane activities, but that is precisely how I like to spend time with them. Too bad this would be the last year for us to celebrate Thanksgiving together, but I am thankful for all the fond memories I have accumulated during the past four years.