Friday, November 9, 2012

Not My Cup of Tea, But Maybe Yours...

"Dinner, A Love Story" by Jenny Rosenstrach   Harper Collins Publishers   312 pages   $27.99

This is the story of how Rosenstrach and her husband managed to eat dinner with their two daughters almost every night of the week despite the fact that both parents worked full-time.  In addition to favorite family recipes, she discusses how to plate the food to accomodate everyone at the table. One kid doesn't like avocado?  The other won't eat cheese?  Serve the hated foods on the side and let everyone add what they want to add.  

 There are tips on how to get your children to converse at the table - Never ask them a direct question,  such as "How was your day at school?" instead ask about someone else in their class.  How to introduce new foods to them without a fuss on their parts - She made "fish presents" of salmon  filets in aluminum foil that had been baked in the oven - and meal planning.  "Date night" turns into Saturday morning grocery shopping - both parents like to cook and eagerly clip recipes.

The following recipe appealed to me for several reasons -- I like Asian food, Richie doesn't; he's currently on a peanut butter rampage (Ritz crackers with a smear of peanut butter) and, finally, as a tribute to our French godson who lived with us a couple of months when he was 20 while his parents fondly thought he was learning fluency in English.  What he was doing was riding his bike all over the beach cities and playing pick-up basketball.  He lived on peanut butter and frozen waffles!   He's now 30 and thriving so I guess it didn't hurt him.

1 lb. udon noodles or spaghetti
1 small garlic clove
1-in. piece of peeled ginger
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2/3 cup warm water
2 T soy sauce
1 T sesame oil
1 T red wine or cider vinegar
1 teas. sugar
red chile flakes to your taste

Cook the pasta and drain it.  While it's cooking, put the garlic and ginger in a food processor  until they are finely chopped.  Add everything else and process the whole mess until it's creamy.     Suggested toppings include sliced cucumbers, chopped peanuts, sugar snap peas or shredded chicken. 

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