This past Sunday morning, RL and I made on the fly plans to see an afternoon screening of No Country For Old Men in Union Square. With less than three hours before I had to catch the subway into town, I needed to throw some food together that would work as brunch, and possibly also brown-bag lunches for my shortened holiday-week at work. What to make?
Yup. I used what is essentially an upscale version of Hamburger Helper -- a pre-made spice mix for Alu Chole, curried chickpeas and potatoes. I'm not proud of myself, but I also blame Kalustyan's spice shop extravaganza in the city for making it so easy for me: all I had to do was open up a can of diced tomatoes, drain a couple of cans of chickpeas, and boil a half pound of cubed potatoes, and then more or less throw everything into the same pot, along with 3 heaping tablespoons of the spice mix, and voila:
Don't get me wrong: when I'm in the mood, I will cook up a storm, with no shortcuts. I will go to the ends of the earth (Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens anyway) to find ingredients and concoct dazzling dishes, if I'm feeling so inspired. I once left a turkey outside in a plastic bucket, brining for two days in salt water and Wild Turkey, and later roasted the bird to perfection (to this day my greatest achievement -- a Wild Turkey turkey); I've fed 10-piece Afro-jazz ensembles with my insane three-bean bison chili with a not insignificant bit of Guinness thrown in for good measure; for cocktail parties I've made peppermint patties from scratch. Trust me, I know from lazy.
But would it surprise you to know that the alu chole pictured above was gloriously grubby and great? And that tomorrow I'm going to pick up some Stovetop Stuffing on the way home and make myself a pre-Thanksgiving meal of buttery, bready, pre-mixed goodness? Sometimes all a girl wants is for her meals to be easy, quick, and most importantly, like a human salt lick. And those are the moments when the lazy takes over.
I am a terrible person, I know. But at least I'm a terrible person who loves to eat. And my discerning palate sometimes discerns that it really, really wants easy-ass stuffing mix.
Have a good holiday, folks.