That’s how I feel right now that my kitchen is under construction. We’ve jam-packed a sink, a fridge, a dining room table and a portable pantry and a toaster oven into our small dining room – so there is room only for basic, very basic cooking. Just to be clear, I’m not complaining. How could I when so many were left homeless, let alone kitchen-less, in the aftermath of Harvey, then Irma.
It’s Week Four now, and the kids are tired of take-out since options are limited in my town. They’ve even tired of grilled cheese – in all its iterations. Fortunately, I have friends like Annabelle.
Annabelle is also French and loves to cook. Even more so with a cooking companion. So last night she texted: “I’m making your vegetable curry tomorrow. I bought enough ingredients for two pots. So come and chop and cook with me since your kitchen is out of commission. This way you’ll have a home-cooked dinner for your family and I’ll have company in my kitchen.”
So this morning we made vegetable curry. And talked a lot about our teenage daughters. Incidentally, it’s not “my” curry. It’s a recipe I’ve passed on to many friends over the years, including Annabelle. What makes it mine, though, is how, as a market lady, I modify the vegetables based on what’s in season. So, while the recipe calls for cauliflower, this week Annabelle and I added eggplant, carrots and peppers. And, this still being tomato season, we threw in lots of fresh tomatoes instead of canned as the recipe calls for. (Even though I am kitchen-less, I am still shopping the market. I can’t help myself.)
Fortunately we hooked up our rice cooker in our temporary kitchen so dinner tonight should be a snap. (By the way, did you know you can steam fish, hard-boil eggs and cook veggies in a rice cooker? Necessity really is the mother of invention.)
I had to leave Annabelle’s house for a work meeting before my curry was fully cooked today so Annabelle said she’d walk over with the Le Creuset curry pot later this afternoon. We’ll hopefully have time for some Larchmont Charcuterie saucisson sec, with some Bien Cuit Baguette and a glass of wine before she leaves. My other neighbor, Molly, will be here around the same time weighing in on whether I’m putting my fridge in the right place. We call her the kitchen whisperer around here. You’ve got to love friends like Annabelle. And Molly.
These last few weeks we’ve learned a lot about the importance of community. So glad to celebrate Community Day in Chappaqua on Saturday. The market will be in a slightly different location, but complete.
Here is the baseline vegetable curry recipe. Shake it up with a friend soon.
Pascale Le Draoulec
food writer/ farmer’s market director
author: “American Pie:Slices of Life (and Pie) from America’s Back Roads” (HarperCollins)