First I’ll congratulate you on your much improved photo skills. Mazel!
… But not without hesitation.
Should I regret encouraging you to learn how to take in-focus pictures? To hold your camera still so the image doesn’t blur? Each and every stretched, salt-plumped pore of your turkeys make me think that I might should have left you and your fuzzy photos alone.
Yes, it was a lovely Thanksgiving. But bald turkey butts…
Not so lovely.
You know it takes a lot to gross me out. The image of bearded orthodox men slathering Nair on Kosher turkeys to melt their stubble doesn’t phase me. But I do worry about the stomachs of those who stumble across this in search of wholesome eats.
I made my bed and now I’ll lay in it.
Though I did have a nice time at home over Thanksgiving. I’m thankful:
- For not having to put my bags of Alabama dirt dusted kale and turnips through customs to get back to DC
- That my answer to why I was sipping on muscle recovery tea in the office on Tuesday was, “too much massage.”
- For Thanksgiving stamina til 1am… Yup, I knew dinner would stretch past reasonable hours when Abe roused us with the following question:
Moving forward as parents, how can we find balance between enabling our children and supporting our children?
It’s a loaded topic. I know that if a parent does his/her child’s math homework, then the child will not learn math – the parent is setting the child up for failure and dependence, and is depriving the child of critical problem-solving skills. But if the child really doesn’t understand math, how is the best way the parent support him/her to learn? There is no clear answer.
For me, the damage has been done. You never did my homework for me. But you did pay for me to see a math tutor. Who knows if I would have made it through high school without Ms. Cousins’ extra help sessions? Thank you! Thank you?
You and dad supported my drive for adventure, learning and success by allowing me to live abroad for much of my early adulthood, covering tuition for all of my fancy schooling, and providing emotional guidance and unconditional love. But in doing so you’ve enabled my current inability to settle, my constant questioning and torturous decision-making patterns – requisites of boundless opportunity, and my unclear, unstable and confusing career path. I am SO grateful for all of the privileges you’ve provided me (and slapping myself on behalf of those with less material fortune than I – I know a slap doesn’t cut it). But as the cousins, you and dad and Abe and Gail sat around the living room discussing examples and consequences of enabling parenting behavior, I wondered if I too have been set-up for failure. Am I ever going to be content with a job that’s not perfect? How can I even define perfect? Will I get worn out shooting for the stars without a clear star to shoot for?
I know my angst/anxiety is not your fault. But I’m nervous about my future… and your love has enabled me to blame you. So thanks (thanks?).
I realize that my future is my responsibility. At home you wash my bed sheets and tuck me in at night… and I know that the way you make my bed is how I’ll lay in it. But I wash my own sheets in DC (just don’t ask me how often). I hold myself accountable for the way I lay in my bed.
There’s so much to be thankful for. Usually, you send me back to DC with chocolate chips and bags of nuts from Costco. But this time you crossed the line, flattening kale we picked at the farm into a big plastic bag, and stuffing dirt fresh turnips into my suitcase. Abe may argue that you’re “putting me back into the womb,” and I may wince at the week’s worth of veggies as a representation of the overbearing love that’s created a paralyzing noose of responsibility around my neck. But I can’t tell you how grateful I was for farm fresh kale and turnips when I got home from work on Tuesday. And for the memories of our kale and turnip-picking outing to the farm as I munched away.
You gave me the veggies and I went wild… so today my recipes will be all about our turnips and kale. Thank you, I am grateful. – And in appreciation, I’ll keep on with wild.
Zatar and Garlic Roasted Turnip Wedges
- 6 medium turnips
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs zatar
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 2 tbs sesame seeds
- sea salt
(Note: You can alter this recipe by incorporating whatever spices you have on hand. I’ve made them with curry powder and cinnamon, cumin and garam masala, and plain ‘ol salt and garlic. Turnips have a bit of a kick to them, so I’d avoid spicy flavors like cayenne and black pepper.)
Cut turnips into small vertical wedges (like fries). Coat with olive oil and spices and lay flat on cookie sheet. Make sure that the wedges do not overlap and that they are not too squished together. Roast for a total of 20 minutes (flip them over at ten minutes) at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. They should be brown and crispy on the outside and watery on the inside.
Arielle’s Best Turnips
- 3 tbs butter
- 6 turnips cut into 1 inch wedges
- 1 1/2 cups water
- Juice of 2 fresh lemons
- Sea Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (or flax seed/almond meal/crushed nuts for gluten free option)
- 1 tbs poppy seeds
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley
I learned this one from Arielle. She is totally the turnip master.
First, melt butter in pan and add turnips, water, lemon juice, salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes covered. Then, uncover and increase heat while stirring turnips until liquid has evaporated and turnips and tender.
Meanwhile, cook garlic in oil for about a minute. Add bread crumbs (or crushed nuts for gluten free option) and poppy seeds and stir until brown. Add parsley and salt. Top turnips with breadcrumbs right before serving. The turnips melt in your mouth in contrast to the crunchy breadcrumbs.
Ginger Baked Sweet Potatoes with Garlicky Kale
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 cups sautéed garlicky kale (see recipe below)
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 tbs grated fresh ginger
- 1 tbs cinnamon
- 2 crushed cardamom pods (or 1 tsp cardamom powder)
- 1 tsp clove powder
- Honey or agave to taste (optional)
- Sea salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Crushed almonds, walnuts, shredded coconut and/or pumpkin seeds for topping
Cut sweet potatoes in fourths and roast in oven at 350 until soft. Meanwhile, chop garlickly kale into one inch pieces. Once cool, mash sweet potatoes (with skins if desired). Stir in chopped kale, agave/honey, coconut milk, spices, salt and pepper. Top with crushed nuts, coconut shreds and extra sprinkle of sea salt. Bake until nut-topping browns (for about 30 minutes) at 375 degrees.
- 1 large bunch of kale, chard, collards, turnip greens – whatever
- 1 tbs olive oil
- sea salt to taste
- 5 chopped garlic cloves
- zest of 1 lemon
- fresh juice of 1 lemon
Clean and de-stem greens. Then chop or tear into small pieces.
Heat olive oil in pan. Add salt and greens – stir until greens turn really green and remove from heat before they shrivel and wilt. Stir for about two or three minutes, and stir in garlic for just thirty seconds before you remove from heat.